Coyote and Grandfather Crow

I’ve been thinking a lot more about Tricksters as we get ready for Evil Expo.  One of the beauties of Tricksters is that, while they’re cunning, they’re also fluid; they’re not stuck in the role of either hero or villain.  It’s one of the many things I love about Coyote.

As for Grandfather Crow, well… let’s just say he’s one mythological figure I’d rather not annoy.



Coyote heard that Odin once
Hung high from the World Tree
to seek the kind of wisdom
Not won easily

Coyote said, “What wisdom!
What things he surely knows!
If I had that much wisdom
I’d outshine Grandfather Crow.”

Coyote heard that Odin, too,
An eye for foresight gave
“And what a wondrous thing!”
he said,
“How marvelous and brave!”

Cyotoe to the sky he called:
“Grandfather Crow I seek!”
Grandfather crow did then alight
Dark wings and sharp, sharp beak

Coyote said, “Grandfather,
My left eye might you pluck?
And this rope help me tie
So that ‘neath this tree I’m stuck?

“For wisdom I must have!”
Grandfather Crow said, “Boy,
You give me a task
That I just might enjoy.”

Grandfather crow flashed out his beak
And out the eye did fall
Coyote screamed, Coyote howled
Coyote he did bawl

Grandfather Crow said, “Only half
Of our work is yet done
Now to hang you from this tree
For eight days and one.”

And grandfather, with cunning rope
Coyote did suspend
From a sturdy branch
That would neither break nor bend.

Nine days did hang Coyote
As from his eye he bled
He screamed and howled and did cajole
He wept and sighed and pled.

But on the ninth day he did grin
“Grandfather, I am done!
Please let me down, that all may see
The wisdom I have won!”

Once on the ground, Coyote
His mouth did open wide
In the hope that wisdom
Would pour out from inside.

But not a word Coyote spoke.
“Grandfather!” he did cry
“I feel not a bit wiser
Though I have lost an eye!

“I am as foolish as I was
Though nine days I did spend
All I know is that I never
Want to do that again.”

Grandfather crow he then did laugh
His voice, it was a purr
“Then, my pup,” the Crow did say,
“You’re wiser than you were.”

-Jeff Mach

Jeff Mach Written by:

Jeff Mach is an author, playwright, event creator, and certified Villain. You can always pick up his bestselling first novel, "There and NEVER, EVER BACK AGAIN"—or, indeed, his increasingly large selection of other peculiar books. If you'd like to talk more to Jeff, or if you're simply a Monstrous Creature yourself, stop by @darklordjournal on Twitter, or The Dark Lord Journal on Facebook.