Coyote Spills the Stars
Cochiti Pueblo Indian Legend
In the beginning days when all came up from the underworld a huge gathering was planned, uniting all the four-leggeds and flyers. At this meeting Our Mother selected a human being to take a jar of stars, hang them in the sky and name them for all to enjoy.
Coyote was very interested in what was going on, but being a wiggler and trickster then as he is no, Our Mother turned to him and said "Do not make mischief here!"
The human being was busy, placing the stars in ordered patterns upon the sky...Seven Stars here and the three Pot Rest Stars there. When he had placed the beautiful Morning Star he stood back and admired his work, as did all the rest.
While everyone including Our Mother was gathered to gaze at the luminous Morning Star, Coyote tiptoed over to the jar of stars to see for himself what the man was doing. As he lifted the jar's lid just a little, the stars rose to the occasion, pushed the lid away and raced for the sky. This is the reason so many twinkle without order or pattern, and why so many are not named.
Our Mother was angry with Coyote, and said that because of his mischief with the stars Coyote would forever be a wanderer and bring trouble with him wherever he may go. That some days he could be happy and abundant, but other days he would see unhappiness and hunger.