The Orange Coyote
Once upon a time (actually it was 1862), a lonesome coyote named Clyde roamed the desert prairies of the Wild West of America, looking for food. The winter had been particularly harsh, and the barren land offered little in the way of sustenance. “Perhaps the town will have some scraps for me,” thought Clyde hopefully.
As he approached the town, Clyde’s keen nose picked up the scent of food. His stomach growled in anticipation as he followed the scent to an alley where he found a heap of discarded food and rubbish. Eagerly, he began to sniff, scratch, and rummage through the trash in search of a decent meal.
The racket Clyde made soon attracted the attention of the town’s dogs. With their territory invaded, the dogs, a mix of breeds ranging from scrappy terriers to imposing mastiffs, descended upon Clyde with loud barks and snapping jaws. They scratched and bit him with their sharp claws and big teeth. Terrified, Clyde turned tail and ran as fast as his legs could carry him through the desolate, moonlit streets of the town. But the dogs were relentless, chasing after him with even louder growls and barks.
Desperate to escape, Clyde spotted the high wall of a courtyard and, with a mighty leap, jumped over it, landing with a splash in a large vat of orange dye made from the bark of the alder tree. The vat had been left there by a local dyer who had prepared it for use the next morning. Now, Clyde was completely covered in rich orange dye, transforming him from a dusty brown coyote to a vibrant orange creature of the night.
Meanwhile, the dogs had lost sight and scent of Clyde. Puzzled, they gathered near the courtyard wall, waiting and hoping that the coyote would show himself again. But instead of a coyote, out walked a strange and magnificent orange creature. The dogs were so taken aback that they forgot all about attacking and instead turned tail and ran off yelping in fear.
Clyde, still puzzled by the turn of events, decided to head back to the prairies. As he walked, every creature he encountered—from rabbits to raccoons, from hawks to humans—fled at the sight of him. Clyde couldn’t help but feel a sense of power and satisfaction.
With a newfound confidence, Clyde called for a meeting of all the animals in the prairie. When they had gathered before him, trembling in fear, he spoke in a booming voice, “Dear friends, fear not! I am a guardian sent by the gods to protect and rule over you. In return for my protection, you must make me your king and do as I command. Otherwise, the gods will be displeased.”
The frightened animals had no choice but to agree. They crowned Clyde king of the prairie, and he lived a life of luxury and abundance, with the other animals catering to his every whim.
But as the months passed, Clyde grew lonely. He missed the company of his own kind. Then, one day, a pack of coyotes ventured into the prairie. Clyde watched them from afar, a deep longing in his heart to be with them, to be a coyote again.
One moonlit night, as the pack lifted their heads and howled in unison, Clyde could no longer resist the call. He joined in, forgetting all about his lies and deception. His orange dye, faded from months of exposure to the sun and rain, gave him away. The prairie animals, realizing they had been duped, were filled with rage. They chased after Clyde, and, with their combined strength, overpowered and tore him to pieces.
Moral of the Story
In “The Orange Coyote,” the moral is about the importance of staying true to oneself and the consequences of deception. While lies may provide temporary gains or power, they ultimately lead to downfall and isolation. It is better to be genuine and embrace one’s true identity than to live a life based on falsehoods.