Bluebird And Coyote
: CHEROKEE TALES
: Indian Legends Retold
In the old days the animals wore no such fine clothing as now, and the
bluebird was of an ugly dun color, which made him very unhappy. One
fine morning he came to a lake shining like turquoise, and something
told him to bathe in the water.
Lightly he skimmed above the waves and dipped his wings four times,
singing as he did so:
"Here is blue water--
I go in--
I am all blue!"
The fourth time that he sang the verse and shook the water from his
feathers, they really became bright blue!
Just then Coyote appeared, in time to see the transformation. "If you
can make yourself beautiful by bathing in the lake, I can do as
much," said he, and accordingly he took the plunge. Coyote could not
swim, and he choked and strangled and was almost drowned. When at last
he contrived to get upon dry land, he was shivering with cold. He
rolled and rolled in the warm sand, which stuck to his fur, and he
became dirt color, just as you see him now.