The Gathering Old Woman Speaks with Coyote and Rabbit

Word Count: 1,514

by Tahnahga Yako


artwork by CRICE

This story was told to the writer by Rick Gijik

Coyote: Hey Old Woman, what is this, the Changing Times of the Unknown?

Old Woman: Coyote, what’s up with you to address me in such a way? Do not think for one moment that I don’t know about you and Rabbit hanging out. How many times does Rabbit need to jump over you? Four times to bring your spirit back into your body? How many generations will this go on? And you ask me what’s up?

Coyote: Old Woman, Rabbit and I go way back, before these two-legged ones even came into the scene of the physical world—into their physical bodies as Spirit who choose to be human. But that is not why I am talking with you. Even I, the greatest trickster, can see what is taking place with humankind. Now before you say anything, I, Coyote, the greatest trickster and Rabbit, a great trickster, together, we could not even undo this trick.

Old Woman: RABBIT, forget about hiding, I know and sense your presence, even before Coyote spoke your name out into the universe. Come into the circle, Rabbit, we three have an important vision to understand and birth into reality. The Changing Times of the Unknown are here now, and are moving us all further away from Creator’s greatest gift. We will need to create some powerful tricks to trick the humans back into what they have walked away from. It is a matter of life and death for all creation.

Rabbit: Old Woman are you so sure we three can do this? Is it not too late? I remember that day before humans walked this earth, when Creator came to all the animal beings asking: “Where shall I put this great gift for humans?” Well! Creator did a good job hiding it from them! Some are too busy with making money, thinking it will buy happiness, having material things, and still they have an empty hole inside, which is just where Creator hid this great gift. Can you imagine having this gift and believing in the power of lying, cheating, causing pain, suffering, war, and destruction of humankind and all of creation? How did I get involved in this crazy story line of humans and world destruction?

Coyote and Old Woman: Rabbit, Rabbit slow down! Your ears are twitching and your feet are stomping! Slow down! We are not here to bring about world destruction. We need to create this trick, and talking about world destruction does not help. BUT, your words do carry truth.

Old Woman: We need to remember that there are humans who are of good heart, humans of good spirit-souls. We have humans who are blinded by their own inability to see, hear, and feel what is good and what is not good. Humans who think they need to be led around with false words of power, hatred, and all the fears of who is more superior than others, just because some are not the same or don’t look alike.

Coyote: Yes, yes, I remember once when I was sneaking around a people’s village, I heard an elder say: “Listen closely, history will continue to repeat itself until we learn that one is not greater than another.” It seems very clear to me that history is repeating itself once again. Old Woman, how many cycles will it take for humankind to find this sacred gift of Creator?

Rabbit: Yeah Old Woman, just how many cycles? You know, to tell you the truth, I am getting tired of jumping over you, Coyote, four times to bring you back to life. So, If I am jumping over you four times, how many times have I jumped over humans to bring them back to life, to their center and this great gift?

Coyote: Rabbit, for many, many generations you have jumped over me, and during those many, many times you have jumped over humankind as well. The truth is, Rabbit, from those many, many times, few have found this gift. I know that I can be greedy and want to create my best trick. But just when I think I’ve made it, it comes back at me, taking my life away. Each time you have been there for me, and each time you have jumped and danced over my lifeless, pitiful body.

Old Woman: True words, Coyote, you have spoken about Rabbit! Creator was very wise to bring you two together once again for this very important Changing Times of the Unknown.

Rabbit: This great gift that Creator tried to hide, so that one day humankind could find it, Creator asked Migizi, the great eagle who can fly higher than any bird, for help. Migizi offered to take this great gift to the dark side of the moon, but Creator said, “Gaawin (No)!” So this great gift is not there. The trick is, we need to speak of this gift, to find the words. For so many cycles of life we ourselves have not even spoken of this great gift. We need to untangle our thoughts and our tongues, to speak this gift into the breath of life for The Ongoing of all creation.

Old Woman and Coyote: Untangle our thoughts and our tongues. This is about speaking our truth, and honoring our truth for The Ongoing of all creation. That can’t be so hard!

Rabbit: Well, but it might be. How long have we watched humankind and held back our voices of truth? Speaking our truth is to know our truth, and honoring our truth is to stand in our truth. How many times have we seen what happens to truth-speakers? I do not care to count the many times across many generations, and what happens.

Old Woman: Very true, so true. But now is the time for The Ongoing. This will help and guide the many through the Changing Times of the Unknown. We three have come together because Creator has called us to undo the trick with a trick. Just think: two very strong tricksters and a very, very old woman. We can do this. We just need to remember to breathe in and breathe out together as one—one heart, one spirit, one body.

Coyote: This is good, very good indeed. I have brought the medicine to bring us together as one: the very breath of our breath is the breath of the Creator. Our breath as one, today I place our asemaa (tobacco) as an offering so that our intent is good and goodness will come for The Ongoing.

Old Woman, Rabbit, and Coyote came together once again to bring this gift of the Creator forward with the unspoken words that for so many cycles were not spoken. This great gift is the purest connection that we as humans have with the Creator. This great gift is not hidden on the dark side of the moon—it is in the center of our most inner self, where our deepest truth lies, waiting for us to seek—and breathe in and breathe out—the center of our human universe, our solar plexus, our most sacred and greatest gift, our intuitive self, our intuition, our inner voice of truth, our connection to the breath of the Creator: as one, we breathe in and breathe out.

May we, for The Ongoing of the people and of all creation, breathe in and breathe out as one: one breath, one truth hidden inside, the truth of our interconnectedness, for one is not greater than the many.

Tahnahga Yako
December 18, 2022

“Inside you there are two wolves”


Tahnahga Yako is Mohawk, Taino, and Ojibwa who was adopted into the lineage of her grandmother Keewaydinoquay. She has been named within the Longhouse and also carries her name from her grandmother’s lineage. Tahnahga Yako is a Chaplain and Cultural Liaison who has worked in serving the American Indian community within the Great Lakes region as a person who shares traditional cultural practices that promote healing for the ongoing of her people.

Tahnahga was featured in Issue 003: FALLOW with her poetry “The Scar of the Human Soul.” She has acted as Stillpoint Magazine‘s Elder-in-Residence since 2019.

CRICE artist

CRICE is Connor Rice, an award winning multi-media artist from Southside Minneapolis. His work is heavily inspired by hip-hop, street art, and ancient propaganda. He uses art to document the issues and motifs of pan-Africanist realities throughout time and space.

CRICE was featured in Issue 005: DAZE, Issue 004: APOCALYPSE, and Issue 003: FALLOW. He was also interviewed in a mini-documentary for Supporters Issue 1: FLIGHT.

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