Paht’-Win Creation Story—Adapted from the telling of Frank Latta
First the world had no land, it was covered with water. Only Coyote and Rattlesnake were land people. The rest were water people. Coyote was chief and under him was Rattlesnake and Turtle. Coyote sent the great snake spirit to get some earth. The great snake crawled over mountains and trees and could not be caught. He had Whirlwind make him invisible. He made the rivers and the creeks and went under the water, ran away and left the land. Turtle helped make the rivers and creeks. He wouldn’t go where Coyote told him so Coyote threw him in the water where he remained. After the world was made Coyote made the bird and animal people. He made Deer, Crow, Gopher, Quail, and many others. Everyone went to sleep and the water returned and drowned everyone except Coyote and the head men. So Coyote made the world and the animal people all over again. But everyone went to sleep and Coyote had to make everything again. This time he had someone stay awake. Nowadays someone always stays awake but sometime everyone will fall asleep and everyone will drown again. Coyote had Rattlesnake crawl around and kill bad people. He never kills good people. Because of this Indians never kill a rattlesnake. Coyote made Blue Jay who planted all the trees for the people. Coyote had the old-time people get fire for him and he put it in the elderberry in the buckeye where people can get it wherever they wanted.