Coyote's Dance
The trickster fox was chased far across the earth by the angry sky god for his crime of stealing the magic paint brush. He was at last chased into the desert, where there was no cover to hide away from the angry sky.

The sun bore down hard on the trickster fox. Without any water, his breathing grew ragged, his red coat bleached to pale tan, and the bristles of the magic paintbrush dried up. He was no longer red fox, but had become coyote, and was cursed to wander the dusty desert, with no colors to paint with or shade for relief from the sky god's wrath.

Coyote had come deep into the center of the desert, and seeing no way out, cursed the sky god and yelled at the sun in a shrill voice, broken from thirst. In the midst of his tantrum, he kicked a cloud of dust at the sun, which covered him for the barest moment in shade.

The trickster's cleverness began to kindle. He swept his broken tail over the dusty earth like a broom, sending clouds of earth rising on the hot updrafts. He began to run back and forth, dancing, kicking up as much dust as his paws could toss into the eyes of the hateful sky god.

The dust rose towards Heaven and filled the eyes and nostrils of the god, who coughed and sneezed and at last could take it no longer. A storm rolled over the desert, soaking the earth so that the dust would settle.

Water filled the parched earth, and all manner of flowering thorns and cacti began to bloom. The trickster dipped his magic paintbrush in the wet earth and painted the desert in glorious reds and oranges and purples, a monument to the red coat he had lost. Once again the wily spirit had evaded punishment, and color continued to spread across the planet.