Volume 1 Number 2
One day as Coyote was going along, going along, he met his friend Jackalope sitting beside a creek.
“Heyo, Jackalope!” called Coyote. “What are you doing today?”
“Beading a necklace to make the pretty maidens wiggle their whiskers at me,” Jackalope said. He held up the half-finished necklace.
Coyote looked at the necklace. It was made of little black beads and big red beads in an interesting net pattern. “That smells like strong medicine,” said Coyote, “but why are you working on it right now? This time of day you are usually ready for some fun.”
“I'm getting ready for a party this evening,” said Jackalope.
“A party?” Now Coyote loves parties, and attends them whenever he can wangle an invitation, and crashes a good many more besides. “I want to come too.”
Jackalope licked his paw and rubbed it thoughtfully down one long ear. “Well,” he said, “I really don't think this would be your sort of party. My little brother Cottontail and his people are hosting it. You wouldn't care for the menu -- all grains and tubers, hardly your idea of a feast.”
Coyote thought about this for a minute. He certainly didn't want to get all dressed up for a bowl of cereal. Then again...
“Any good party has pretty maidens, and I like pretty maidens, so it's my kind of party,” Coyote declared, giving Jackalope a friendly slap with his paw.
Jackalope laughed and agreed since, after all, a party without Coyote was a party with much less excitement. So they worked together to finish the necklace. But when Jackalope went to put it on, he couldn't fit it over his antlers.
“That's all right,” said Coyote, “it looks quite dashing that way.”
Actually it looked a bit silly, as if Jackalope had hung a tiny hammock between his tines, but Coyote thought that might make the maidens giggle. Anything that made the maidens look from Jackalope to Coyote seemed like a good thing to Coyote.
By this time, the sun was dropping low in the sky, so the two friends headed down towards the pond where the party would be held.
When they came to the stand of birch trees that surrounded the pond, Coyote said to Jackalope. “Do you hear something? It sounds like someone crying.” They looked around, and sure enough, they found Beaver sitting on the ground crying.
“Why are you crying, Beaver?” asked Jackalope.
“They won't let me come to the party,” snuffled Beaver. “They said I'm too big!”
Coyote looked at Beaver. She had big brown eyes and sleek, glossy fur covering a round body with lots of curves. A strong, flat tail propped her up so that her head came just about to his shoulder. She looked so beautiful that Coyote straightaway thought about poking her with his penis. Coyote was always thinking about poking pretty maidens with his penis.
“We're going to the party,” said Coyote. “Why don't you come with us?”
Beaver smiled at him and stopped snuffling. “But what if they won't let us in?” she asked.
“Well then,” said Jackalope with a twinkle in his eye, “we'll just have to think of something.”
So the three of them went down the path together. Beaver admired Coyote's ears and Jackalope's beads. Coyote admired the way her ripples rippled when she stretched up to take a closer look at his ears. Jackalope was a little disappointed that the beads didn't make her like him more, but the night was young. Soon they were laughing and talking like a party unto themselves.
When they came to the reeds that marked the edge of the pond, though, Jackalope suddenly said, “Hush! Do you hear something? I think I hear someone crying.” They all looked around, and sure enough, they found Mouse sitting on the ground, crying.
“Why are you crying, Mouse?” asked Coyote.
“They won't let me come to the party,” sniffled Mouse. “They said I'm too small!”
Jackalope looked at Mouse. She had bright black eyes and a gorgeous red-brown coat that covered her back and sides, showing off her white belly and dainty feet. Clever little hands held a long, slinky tail. Jackalope thought she was the loveliest thing he'd seen in ages.
“We're going to the party,” said Jackalope. “Why don't you come with us?”
Mouse smiled at him and stopped sniffling. “But what if they won't let us in?” she asked.
“Then we'll just have to think of something,” said Coyote with a big grin. He threw an arm around Beaver's waist and squeezed. Jackalope picked Mouse up and put her between his antlers. Straightaway she climbed up to sit on the beads, which made a very fine hammock. Soon they were all laughing and joking together, as they walked on toward the party.
When the four friends rounded the last bend, they came upon the party. Cottontail and his people had a nice bonfire going. The maidens clustered around the table, laying out the feast. Coyote looked at them, but Beaver told another funny joke, and he laughed so hard that he forgot all about the other maidens.
“Let's go have fun!” said Jackalope.
“Party! Party!” yelped Coyote.
“Not so fast!” grunted a voice from some bushes. Warthog lumbered out into the path, blocking their way.
“Well, drat,” muttered Coyote. “Who would have expected him here?” Warthog had an unpleasant smell and an even more unpleasant temper, and nobody really enjoyed his company except for his wife, Porcupine.
“Cottontail asked me to guard the trail,” said Warthog. “Jackalope, you can come to this party. But that rake Coyote had better not set foot in here, and that Beaver is too fat, and that Mouse is too tiny! Why, what kind of a party would it be if they let just anyone come? The rest of you go away, or I'll make you wish you had.”
Beaver snuffled. Mouse sniffled. But Coyote dropped his jaw in a canine grin and said, “Shucks, ladies, looks like we aren't welcome in this fancy-dancy place. I guess we'll just have to make our own party.” Beaver leaned against him and said nothing.
Mouse started to squeak a protest, but Jackalope said, “Don't worry, sweeting, I'm sure we can find all sorts of interesting things to do!” And Mouse remembered some of the stories she'd heard about Jackalope and Coyote, so she got quiet fast.
The four friends walked back up the path until the reeds hid them. “What now?” said Beaver.
“I have an idea,” said Coyote. “If those fools want to complain about size, let's really give them something to complain about!”
“If you'll handle the big end, I'll handle the small end,” said Jackalope. “I think we can get in this way, but I don't know if it will make the party any more fun.”
So Coyote took off his penis and put it on the ground, because that is part of his medicine. Then he looked at Beaver. Looking at Beaver made Coyote's penis get big and stiff. It got as big and stiff as a sausage. He looked at Beaver some more. Beaver saw him looking and did a wiggly thing with her hips. Suddenly Coyote's penis grew as big and stiff as a log. It towered over them all.
“How remarkable,” said Beaver with a gleam in her eye.
Coyote's penis began hopping along the path towards the party. They all followed it. Pretty soon they came to the place where Warthog stood. Coyote's penis hopped right up to Warthog and loomed over him. Warthog trembled a bit but did not back away.
Now Coyote is a rather crude fellow, but he thinks quickly in a crisis. He started talking loudly to Jackalope. He said, “You know what I forgot to do before we came to the party, my friend? Why, I forgot to water the bushes. I think I'd better take care of that right now!”
When Warthog heard that, he squealed and ran away. He didn't want to get watered along with the bushes. So Coyote's penis jumped right into the middle of the party. Squirrel saw it and screamed. Chipmunk saw it and fainted dead away. Cottontail and all his people got hopping mad. Coyote got ready for a fight.
Before a fight could break out, though, Jackalope pulled out a tiny pouch and shook its contents onto the ground. At once the contents scattered, because the pouch held itches in the shape of fleas. They weren't real fleas, just pretend fleas -- making jokes is part of Jackalope's medicine -- and they wouldn't last very long. But they sure made an impression on the partygoers while they did last! The four friends stood there and watched and laughed until their sides ached.
The party dissolved into chaos. Coyote's penis hopped all over the place. Squirrel ran around screaming. Old Woman Possum tried to rouse Chipmunk. Cottontail and everyone else scratched and scratched at the pretend fleas. Old Man Muskrat tried to whack Coyote's penis and hit Coyote instead. Coyote fell over on the ground, forgetting all about Beaver and that wiggly thing she did with her hips.
That made his penis get small again. Quickly he grabbed it and put it back where it belonged before anyone could step on it. About this time all the itches had gotten scratched, so things finally began to settle down again.
Cottontail looked at the four friends and grumbled. He felt very put upon because he didn't dare tell them to leave. Once somebody came to a party, it was very bad luck to tell them to leave -- if he did that, surely his next party would be a disaster. So he quite grudgingly invited them to stay.
“Let's dance!” cried Coyote and Beaver.
“Let's eat!” cried Jackalope and Mouse.
They looked at each other. “One dance first, then we eat,” proposed Coyote.
So that's what they did. Jackalope went to the drum with Cottontail and his people, and they all began to beat out the rhythm with their big back feet. The drum said, “Come-come-come-COME!” and the women picked up their shawls and danced. Coyote saw that Beaver had the best rhythm. Mouse, on the other hand, just got hungrier as the drumming and dancing went on. She got so hungry that she nibbled on some of the seeds in Jackalope's necklace.
At last the dance wound to a close. Jackalope got to thinking about Mouse again, and how he'd promised food after dancing. He tried to get her attention, but she didn't answer him.
Finally he reached up and brought her down from his antlers. Mouse lay in his paws and cooed, “That's all right, Jackalope--hic!--I'm not so hungry anymore.” And she did a tickly thing with her whiskers that reminded Jackalope how very lovely she was.
“Uh oh,” said Jackalope. “I think Mouse has gotten into my medicine.”
“So what?” said Coyote. “Isn't that what you made it for?”
“Yes, but I didn't expect anyone to eat the seeds!” Jackalope said. He looked at Mouse, who was now rubbing herself against his paws.
Coyote laughed. “Wouldn't that just liven up this party?” he said with a wicked grin.
Jackalope grinned back. “Yes indeed, my friend. Why, just these few seeds in the soup pot would make everybody lively!” But he found it harder and harder to concentrate, because of what Mouse was doing. So he took off the necklace and gave it to Coyote.
“You'll have to do it yourself. I can only think of one way to dispell this medicine. Mouse is getting impatient, so I'd better go take care of her.”
“I guess it's a good thing I didn't water those bushes after all,” said Coyote, waggling his eyebrows. He and Beaver watched Jackalope dash away with the eager Mouse. Soon squeaks of glee emanated from the bushes.
Coyote and Beaver joined the crowd of people around the table. Beaver nibbled a bit. Coyote nibbled a bit too. Then they came up to Squirrel, who was stirring the soup pot.
“How did you like my penis, Squirrel?” asked Coyote.
“I did not like it at all!” Squirrel exclaimed in a huffy voice. “I found it huge and ugly. You just keep that repulsive thing away from me!” She was so offended, she didn't notice when Coyote slipped the medicine seeds into the soup.
“Well, I found it impressive,” murmured Beaver.
Coyote gave her another squeeze. “Would you like a closer look?” he asked.
“I might,” said Beaver.
“Would you do that wiggly thing with your hips?” asked Coyote.
“I might,” said Beaver.
Indeed, it was a very good thing he hadn't watered those bushes; they saw a lot of excitement that night. Beaver did indeed take a closer look, and she also did that wiggly thing with her hips; and Coyote showed her some more of the medicine that made him so famous, and they both made an astonishing amount of noise in the bushes. Not too far away they could hear Mouse and Jackalope going another round just for the fun of it.
After a bowlful of stew, Cottontail and his people hustled their own women into the bushes too. Squirrel and Chipmunk fought over Otter, that handsome fellow. Why, even Old Man Muskrat and Old Woman Possum got into the act, with those medicine seeds to stir up their coals.
Pretty soon, word got around that Cottontail and his people threw quite an amazing party. Now everybody wanted to come, and they got a lot of prestige. Of course, it was no secret that Coyote and Jackalope got the ball rolling, so Cottontail had to invite them back. And Coyote and Jackalope made it plain that they wouldn't come unless Beaver and Mouse could come too. So that's how a quiet family frolic turned into the best party in the Deep Plains -- at least until Shrew and Badger met at one a few years later.
But that's another story.
Graphic by RT Computer Graphics