Coyote and the SoybeansMar 04, 2013
This blog on how soybeans came to America is inspired by one of my all-time favorite books Indian Trickster Tales by Richard Erdoes and Alphonse Ortiz. The stories tell of the trickster, Coyote, and how Coyote represents all things to native people: creator, bringer of light, monster killer, healer, glutton, liar, lecher, thief.
A surprising number of the tales are explicitly erotic, earthy and downright scatological — well deserving their reputation for making missionaries and tourists blush. As The Naughty Nutritionist®, I cannot help but react with belly laughs. Seems to me, Coyote sums up the best and worst of humankind, and furthermore seems to get the credit and blame for everything from mosquitoes and fleas to unplanned pregnancies!
Because storytellers have long used Coyote to educate, warn and help create and maintain community, I could not resist cooking up a Coyote story using one of Erdoes’ recipes that will instruct health-conscious consumers on the indigestible cause and gas-producing effect of soybeans. Indeed, soy industry publications say the key reason people decline to eat soy is “the flatulence factor.”
Laughter is truly the best medicine, and I hope this naughty story will also serve to answer the many questions I get about how on earth soy foods became such a large part of the Standard American Diet.
Coyote and the Soybeans
Coyote was roaming down the path of the health food store looking for something to eat. He saw some soybeans in brightly colored packages. “Oh, they might be good to eat!” he thought.
The soybeans said among themselves. “We’d better tell him we are not fit to eat.”
He stopped there and said. “How sweet you look. And low saturated fat and no cholesterol too! I think you would be very good to eat.”
“No, we are not good to eat at all.”
“What will happen if someone eats you?”
“Oh, if anyone eats us, he will have to break wind so hard that it will toss him up into the sky.”
“Well, I just want to try one,” said Coyote. He picked one out of the package and ate it. The soybeans nudged each other. “Oh, you are so sweet.” he said. He gathered them by the handful and ate another and another and another. They didn’t nudge each other any more.
Coyote started to walk down the aisles, snacking and looking at all the other soy products. He began singing.
When I look up, I see soybeans.
When I look down, I see soybeans.
The hard ones, the soft ones, the powdered ones, the milked ones, the pilled ones. They are the ones I eat..
At last he had had enough. The little soybeans winked their single eyes and nudged each other when he had gone a little distance away. They began to work on his insides. He ran for the door and hung on. He went off like a horse. He had to do this again and again..
Most of the other shoppers were in a panic, wrapping their children up and running for the exits. A tremendous stink filled the store.
“Oh, dear, this cannot be” said Coyote’s Aunt, so she dragged Coyote outside, pulled back his tail and stuffed a large fat-free soyburger in his anus. It stopped him up. His farts could not come out. Nothing could come out. His belly swelled up to a tremendous size until at last Coyote was blown apart. The big stink filled the whole country. And soybeans rained onto every table in America.
* * THE END * *
©copyright 2006 Kaayla T. Daniel
To read the wonderful Coyote trickster stories as told by Erdoes and Ortiz, just click this Amazon link below. For more information on coyote, I also highly recommend The Center for Children’s Books at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.
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