In the mythology and folklore of the Native Americans of the Southwest, California, and the Central Plains, Coyote often appears as a trickster, a creative force (called a demiurge), and a hero.
Here are some of Coyote's adventures and creations
- Coyote and the Columbia
One day, Coyote was walking along. The sun was shining brightly, and Coyote felt very hot. "I would like a cloud," Coyote said. So a cloud came and made some shade for Coyote. But Coyote was not satisfied.
- Coyote's Salmon
Long ago on the Sanpoil River that flows southward into the Columbia River, Old Man and old Woman lived with their tribe, the Sanpoils, and their very pretty granddaughter lived with them. One day Coyote came along and saw the old couple with the beautiful girl. Immediately, he decided that he wanted the girl for his wife.
- The Bridge of the Gods
In the days of the animal people, a great bird lived in the land of the setting sun. It was Thunderbird. All of the animal people were afraid of it. Thunderbird created five high mountains and then said to the animal people, "I made a law that no one is to pass over these five high mountains. If any one does, I will kill him. No one is to come where I live." But Coyote's five sons dared to challenge the Thunderbird.
- Old Coyote and the Coyote People
Old-Coyote (he is called "Uncle Coyote" by some) was the ancestor of all the Indians. He had many wives. From some are descended the Thompson, from others the Okanagan, from still others the Shuswap. One of his sons (probably Ntli'kisEntEm) had two wives, Lu'la and Tce'xa (varieties of ducks). The latter had a simple-minded sister, the Frog, who acted as her servant.