Coyote and Mouse



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“Coyote and Mouse” Vocabulary List, Glossary and Cultural Notes

Vocabulary list: cache, burrowed, contentedly, haunches, lulled, scampered, relieved (multiple meaning word, look at text to define meaning) anticipation, boughs

Glossary: Each word is followed by the Shoshone word

Coyote – Itsappe

Mouse –


Sunflower Seeds –

Pinenuts -

Snow –

Grass hut –



Rabbit skin blanket –

Shoshone – Newe

Corn –

Seeds ?


Porcupine –

Cultural Notes:



*Native Songs: The Shoshone people have many special songs for specific circumstances. For instances the Harvest Song is sung as a prayer to invite a bounteous harvest. Before the gathering of choke cherries occurs, a song is sung by the medicine people to insure a full harvest. The Warm dance is a ceremony performed in late December, early January to ask for deep snows to quench the thirst of the earth to help growing plants grow tall and strong so their will be plenty for the Newe.
*In these traditional Native stories, the animals take on human-like qualities; they speak to one another as if they are all part of the same family; and, lessons are taught using humor, personification, and exaggeration. Compare and contrast with more well-known fables and traditional tales, such as Fables by Arnold Lobel, and Stories from Around the World by Virginia Hamilton.

*Instead of using the “lecture” method of teaching morals and life lessons, Shoshone parents used trickster tales such as Coyote and the Rock to teach the young ones about earning what they possess instead of taking what doesn’t belong to them, noting that there are consequences for all actions. In this story of Coyote & Mouse, listeners/readers must infer a lesson from this fable-like story: the idiom “what comes around, goes around”, or “you’ll reap what you sow” come to mind, in that Coyote treats Mouse badly (like garbage, really) and at the end of the story, ends up with, literally, garbage.
*There are five recognized bands of the Shoshone Nation. The Northwestern Band of Shoshone resides in Northern Utah and Southeastern Idaho. This story comes from this band of the Shoshone. See: Coyote Steals Fire, A Shoshone Tale (ISBN 0-87421-618-40) for more stories from this band.




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