Over the years folks has asked me if it’s true that I been alive fer countless centuries, and if so, how come? So I’ll tell ya.
‘Twas quite a few centuries ago, long befer Montana was a state. Matter of fact thar warn’t no Indians in the land, neither. One day I seen this coyote with only three legs. I pondered how he lost his fourth leg. Was he borned thataway? Did he lose it in a fight with a cougar or a bear? Either way, it was plain to see that that coyote had a plum determination to survive.
Well, while I was a comtemplatin’ that three-legged wonder, he turned and looked me straight in the eyebone. A thought come powerful in my head, one I’d had many a time.
My favrit past time was encouraging folks and doin’ kind deeds, and right then I thunk how wunnerful it’d be to be to influence and help folks… forever. Whilst me and that coyote stared each other down, that desire burned strong within me.
Now, over the centuries I been follerin’ that determination ever since, helpin’ and encouraging folks. That there coyote is still around too.
Later, after the Indians came to this land, I noticed one warrior what was plum dejected cuz he warn’t no good with the bow and arrow. I watched him from my secret perch in the woods as he was out in the meadow practicing, missin’ everthing he shot at.
Then that three-legged coyote came a trottin’ by through the meadow. The coyote jerked his head to the side jest fer a moment and caught that Indian eyebone to eyebone. A fierce determination pulsed through the warrior.
As I watched him over the next few years, the warrior eventually became the most skilled archer in the tribe. He was so precise and powerful with his bow and arrow it only took him one arrow each time he went hunting for deer, buffalo, mountain lion or bear. He became the mightiest hunter and warrior in the land.
Centuries later, in the early 1900s, as European settlers began moving to Montana, I seen one young feller get all fussied up when the gal of his affection turned him down to go to the town dance. He had a big chin (kinda like that modern feller, Jay Leno) and knowed he din’t catch the eye of the young ladies.
Well, one day whilst he was a walking home from school he seen that three legged coyote crossin’ the road. As the coyote looked to his left, then his right fer horses or wagons chargin’ down the road, he caught that homely feller square in the eyebone. Fer just a couple seconds they connected, eyebone to eyebone.
Right then, that young feller was struck with a fearless determination to do what it took to eventually git that gal to marry him. After many persistent approaches follered by many disappointments and failures, he eventually won the young lady’s heart over. They got married and enjoyed a nice life together, having children and grandchildren over the years. I swear that Leno feller is a descendant of his.
I seen many innerestin’ events happen to folks what caught the eye of the three legged coyote. Over the years, many folks have pursued him just to catch him with a glimpse, eyebone to eyebone. But he’s still a wild animal and ain’t one to reckon with.
Well, lately that three-legged coyote has been hanging around Big Sky. Just recently one young lady came here as a tourist with her family. She was feelin’ kinda dejected cuz she been doin’ poorly in her gymnastics, so her family brung her here to git her mind off her woes.
They was all eatin’ dinner at a small restaurant whilst the waitress was tellin’ them how the restaurant was about to close its doors fer good. The owner was throwin’ in the towel.
Then it was the durndest thing. As the young lady went to the back of the restaurant to visit the ladies’ room, she heard a big ruckus goin’ on out back. She ran out just in time to see that restaurant owner banging a ladle against a pot, trying to git that three-legged coyote’s attention since he’d been digging in the trash. The owner knew about the enchanting power of the three-legged coyote and hoped to catch him, eyebone to eyebone.
And then, like it was in slow motion, the three-legged coyote raised his head. The coyote stared the restaurant owner square in the eyebone, and then slowly turned his head to the girl. They also locked eyebones together.
Suddenly both the restaurant owner and the young gal swelled up their chests, glowing, as a big smile beamed across their faces. Dogged determination entered their souls, as both decided nuthin’ would stop them from achieving their dreams.
That was three years ago. Now that restaurant owner gots a fine successful restaurant, and that young lady went off to competing in the World Olympics in gymnastics.
Yep friend, I still see that three legged coyote ever onc’t in a while in Big Sky and marvel at his enchanting power. Through the eyes of one who has seen the power of determination, we realize the ability within ourselves.

Buscrat’s fables are simple stories that teach a moral. Buscrat welcomes you to visit buscratsfables.com and post your comments regarding the fable.