The spirits must have planned this, because just after I published a post on two coyote poems, my delightful grandchildren came to visit, and climbed up on my lap, saying, “Grampa, grampa, tell us a coyote story” — all except for Avi, who doesn’t say much, because, by the time he gets around to saying something, his two older sisters have already said it.

So I told them a story I first heard at a campfire in the Grand Staircase-Escalante Wilderness. I have since learned that a similar story is told by the great storyteller Johnny Moses, but I heard my version first, and my version is shorter. I said to my wonderful grandchildren, “All right, my moppets, I will tell you the story of coyote and the assholes.”

Back when Creator first made the earth, all the creatures were very happy with the new world — its blue skies, clear waters, trees and deserts, lakes and oceans. But they soon noticed that Creator had somehow forgotten to give them assholes. This was not a problem for a few days, but eventually the situation became grave, and all the creatures went to Creator. “Uh, Creator,” they said. “We really like your creation and everything, but … well, you forget to give us assholes, and things are beginning to back up.” Creator realized that he had to finish up the creation, so he started to make assholes for all the creatures — big ones, tiny ones, wrinkly ones, bald ones, hairy ones. And he asked coyote to take the fresh damp assholes and hang them up on a line to dry, and then the next day to hand them out to all the creatures.

So the next day coyote took the dried assholes and handed them out to all the creatures, who let out a big … uh, sigh of relief. Suddenly coyote realized that, in all the excitement, he had forgotten to ask Creator to make an asshole for him. What to do? Then he saw that there was still one asshole hanging on the line. This one belonged to dog, but dog had, of course, found a nice soft patch of grass and had slept through the whole … uh, entire thing. So coyote stole dog’s asshole and put it on.

When dog woke up, and saw there was no asshole for him, his distress increased, and he went to Creator, asking for help. “This will teach you to miss meetings,” said Creator. “I can make an asshole for you, but there will be a price.” “Anything,” said dog. “But please hurry.”

So Creator made an asshole just for dog. But to this day, dogs worry about the situation. So now, every time two dogs meet, they have to check each other to make sure each one still has an asshole.

“Thank you, grampa,” said my wonderful grandchildren. “We see now why you are so wise.”

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One Response to “Why Dogs Do What They Do”

  1. Ellie says:

    Ah, synchronicity.

    My Opa told me that one when I was little; it is still one of my favorites. ;-)


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