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How Coyote Brought Rain To The Inland NorthWest

The time has come to share a vision that came to me 29 June 1988 while Southbound across the Chukchi Sea in a New-ish Crowley pusher tug. We were taking the two boats back to Seattle from West Dock at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. A substantial voyage.  We saw aurora borealis every night, including while coming in to Elliot Bay, Seattle.  There is much to relate about how this story came to be written by my hand, on a tugboat in a big swell in Arctic waters. That can wait.

This is copied from the original.

By Joe Chasse`

The First Nation people of Okanagen and Colville groups needed rain desperately. The people were grumbling and fighting amongst themselves because the gardens were drying up and game was moving farther and further away.

Sitting on his rock, Coyote heard them and saw their unhappiness. He howled and howled. “YI! YI! HOW HOW HOW CAN I HELP MY PEOPLE?” His cousin Wolf , over the hills in Loup Loup, heard him and called back. “OUR LUMMI COUSIN BY THE BAY (Lahq'Temish or People of The Sea) HEARS US AND INVITES US TO COME OVER TO HIS HOME.” He has an idea he thinks may help.

And so they went. It was a long trip, but Coyote and Wolf had much to discuss, and there was plenty to eat in the High Mountains and their Western slopes. Coyote was thrilled by the yummy creatures to eat and places he could hide his scat for jokes.

He thought “Surely my cousin by the Bay is rich!”

When, at last, the pair got to the Bay near the homes of the Lummi people, another cousin trotted out of the mossy, muddy forest to greet them: “Klahoya cousins!” he barked! "I will show you the wonders of my home”. The cousin insisted on showing them the oyster beds - clam beds - the fish drying racks -  first. Never had they seen so much yummy stuff in one place! Oh they filled their bellies all right!

Wolfe explained that they were seeking advice and help. Soon enough their cousin by the Bay (Bellingham Bay) said “It is time to visit my friend, the leader of this band of Lummis”. So the four (snoopy Raven was with them  as always) went to his fine big cedar home.

Coyote had brought gifts.  The Lummi leader said “I will only accept your gifts if you let me show you how to bring the rain from the sky across the big mountains.” Of course Coyote agreed.

The four went out to the leader's fine cedar shop building. He had an old fifties Dodge Power Wagon truck and a welder there. He commenced to showing them how to design and build a special hitch for this truck. With this particular truck and the special hitch, Raven and the leader explained how they could tow a few of their many rain clouds over the high mountains to the East. They had to get to work right away as it was early Summer. They knew the snows could come early to the high mountains.

That is part of the story of how coyote brought rain to the Collville and Okanagen people, and why so many of the people drive 4 wheel drive pickups.

And here the story ends.

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