Tired of always being treated as the underdog, Coyote decided he would become the smartest, know-it-all on the planet. That way, no one could ever get the better of him, because he would always have the dirt on them.
To feed his desire to never be the underdog to anyone, Coyote spent his days loping across the wide open plains in search of the latest dirt to dig up that would make him the smartest, know-it-all on the planet.
He thought it was possible. To dig up enough dirt that he would be invincible and immune to being treated like the underdog.
One day, Coyote smelt something stewing over on the other side of the plains. It had the smell of no dirt he’d ever smelt before. He had to find out what it was.
Maybe he thought, as he loped through the long prairie grasses, his nose pointed forward towards the unknown scent, just maybe this would be the final piece of dirt he needed to secure his position. Maybe, just maybe, this dirt would make him the smartest, know-it-all on the planet and he would be safe.
As Coyote loped across the plains towards the unknown scent, Owl flew overhead and noticed him loping with such intent, he was curious to know what was going on.
“What are you so hot on the scent of?” asked Owl as he settled on a fence post beside the field where Coyote was running.
“I’m running towards the last piece of dirt to dig up that will make me the smartest, know-it-all on the planet,” Coyote replied without even stopping to look at Owl.
“That will never happen,” replied Owl. “There is no such thing as being the smartest, know-it-all on the planet. Everyone knows that.”
Now this comment was so confusing, Coyote stopped in his tracks and looked at Owl.
“No way!” he replied. “If there’s no such thing as being the smartest, know-it-all on the planet why don’t I know it?”
“Because wanting to be the smartest, know-it-all on the planet is all that drives you forward,” said Owl wisely. “What do you intend to do with all that dirt you uncover?”
Coyote stood tall and proud. “Use it to keep anyone else from becoming the smartest, know-it-all on the planet!”
Owl turned his head slowly from side to side. “You can’t use dirt to keep others down or to hold them back,” said Owl slowly closing the lids of his wise owl eyes and slowly opening them again. “Anyway, you can’t be the smartest, know-it-all on the planet because you think smelling out the latest dirt is all you need.”
“Duh.” replied Coyote disdainfully. “You obviously don’t know anything. If you did, you’d know that I dig up dirt and find answers.”
“Answers to what?”
“To what the dirt’s all about!” screamed Coyote with a flick of his fluffy tail. “Everyone knows that!”
Owl blinked again. “If everyone knows that why isn’t everyone digging in the dirt?”
Coyote laughed. ‘Ha! Got you. ‘Cause they’re not as smart as I am!” And he took off again across the plains in search of the latest dirt to unearth that would make him the the smartest, know-it-all on the planet.
Owl watched him lope away and then slowly spread his wings and took to the skies. From above he watched Coyote lope through the long prairie grasses. He saw the rabbits burrowing, the deer leaping, the fish jumping in a river far away. He saw humans scurrying about, building things, tearing down things and everywhere he looked he saw change happening, in spite of all the dirt Coyote was digging up.
From Owl’s view, it was a beautiful world. A beautiful tapestry of colour and motion, light and sound. Ebbing and flowing. Twisting and turning. Always filled with life unwinding in all its unknown mystery and majesty.
And he continued to fly content with witnessing the beauty and wonder of the world all around him.
And the Coyote continued to lope across the plains in search of the latest dirt that he could dig up that would make him the smartest, know-it-all on the planet.
This fable arose in a dream that lingered as I awoke this morning, calling me to write it out. I created the art journal page last year.