These tales were edited by the brilliant editor and translator of Native American literature, John Bierhorst. Here is the opening image to that story, a tale that explains why Coyote has a blackened tail and crooked teeth.
Coyote tries to turn the tables on his treacherous friend, Snake...
...but Coyote's plan backfires when Snake sets Coyote's artificial tail on fire......and Coyote flees, a chastened and changed creature. I am realizing only now, years after this book's publication, that I should have portrayed Coyote's tail in the opening image WITHOUT the blackened tip! Because of course, he had not yet been tricked by Snake, and his tail was at that point still beautifully rust-colored and pristine. Yet all the eyes (artist, author, art director, editors) that examined that art pre-publication failed to catch the slip.
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