This week weather disasters have touched many with over 40 million experiencing heat alerts from California to Florida, while New England experiences flooding first in New York and then Vermont. As a result my folkloric antenna went up when I found myself reading a retelling of a Coyote tale that has the trickster -- who usually oversteps and is punished for it -- taking weather to extremes. I searched for its source using the clue of it being a Salishan story.
For those unfamiliar with the Salish, they are in both the United States' Northwest and in Canada's British Columbia. Folklorist James Teit married into the culture and worked tirelessly to preserve both stories and the rights of the First Nations people. Here Coyote is given a commission by Chief or God to "set the world in order." Like many tales of Coyote, he gets carried away by greed.
The only things that might need to be explained are what is a coulee, and the two rivers, the Okanagan and the better known Columbia River. This is from the 1917 Memoirs of the American Folklore Society volume XI with Teit's work forming roughly half of it with the Okanagan section opening with these two stories that are one of many in the book about Coyote.
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain." The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated. I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century. My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them. I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.
At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience. Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week. This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here. (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.) Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection. I have long recommended it and continue to do so. He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories. There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.
Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"