The Coyote and the Rabbit Folktale
My Thesis Book
Some years ago I started an alphabet book for children as a thesis project for my illustration degree. The whole project transformed and morphed many times before I was done. I am planning a series with several of my folktales and fairytales from around the world.
First, I decided I didn’t want the typical “A is for Apple” type of book or animal alphabet book; those have been done. I have a love of fairy tales and so the fairy tale theme began. Second, my advisors saw some of my collage work and suggested that I make the illustrations in collage instead of watercolor. Knowing that would take much longer, I began right away. But even then the transformation continued.
Do you think animal stories are true folktales?
Before a child talks they sing. Before they write they draw. As soon as they stand they dance. Art is fundamental to human expression.— Phylicia Rashad
After doing R is for Red Riding Hood and J is for Jack in the Beanstalk, I thought I was going to have trouble finding fairy tales for all 26 letters if I stuck to the typical Grimm’s Fairy Tales. And that’s when it hit me to be more global. Why not research fairy tales and folk tales from all over the world? This added to my work but in the end, it became very satisfying. This one is a South American folktale.
C is for The Coyote and the Rabbit
A South American Folktale
The coyote and the rabbit have always been enemies but the rabbit is trickier than the coyote. One day, the rabbit came to a big rock, and he was leaning on the rock when the coyote came by.
"What are you doing there, brother," the coyote asked.
"Quickly, brother, the sky is falling down on top of us. Lean against the rock and hold it up while I go for a stick to hold it up," said the rabbit to the coyote.
"I will, but hurry," said the coyote and began holding it up with all his might. The rabbit went and left the coyote. After a long time, when the rabbit didn't return the coyote shouted:
"Come back, brother! I am so tired. I can’t hold the rock up much longer." The rabbit still didn't come back.
"That’s all I can take. I'm going to leave even though the sky may fall down on top of us," said the coyote. So he ran away and fell into a ditch.
Later the rabbit came to a pond and as he was looking at the reflection of the moon, the coyote came to where the rabbit was. The rabbit saw the coyote coming, so he began to drink the water from the pond.
"What are you doing, brother,” the coyote asked the rabbit.
"Look, brother, there's a giant cheese down there," answered the rabbit. "If we drink all the water we can get the cheese. Drink it, you're big and you can finish the water faster than I can."
"Yes I can, brother," he said and began to drink the water.
"I'm going for a walk," said the rabbit. The coyote continued to drink the water, but the rabbit didn’t come back. The coyote's stomach began to hurt him, and he got the runs. After a while, he realized that he wasn't able to finish the water, so the coyote abandoned the effort. He knew he had been tricked again.
You might not make it to the top, but if you are doing what you love, there is much more happiness there than being rich or famous.— Tony Hawk
Published with Lulu
This story is a South American folktale and is shortened to fit into my book. If you would like to read the full version, you can Google the title and find several versions of The Coyote and the Rabbit or sometimes known as the Rabbit and Coyote.
I self-published The FairyTale Alphabet Book, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales from Around the World this last year with Lulu.com because Amazon (Kindle Direct Publishing) refused to allow illustrations that spanned the central gutter of the page. They demanded at least a half-inch margin around the outside, which was doable, and a half-inch margin through the center margin, which was not. That would destroy the look and cohesiveness of the double-page illustrations, and so I had to find a different publisher who would allow it. KDP obviously does not understand illustrated children’s picture books.
The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.— Pablo Picasso
I hope you like my story and my fairy tale alphabet book idea. Lately, I’ve been doing some research to begin another one. There were so many stories I had to pass over with the first book because there was just not enough room or letters in the alphabet. I’d love to read your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.
Any art communicates what you’re in the mood to receive.
— Larry Rivers