There were once seven giant, child-eating monsters living in the Blue
Mountains of Oregon.
Each year the monsters traveled eastward, devouring all the little ones
they could find along the way. The chiefs of the tribes asked
Coyote to help free them from the tyranny of the seven giants.
Coyote asked his friend Fox for advice.
"We will first dig seven holes," said Fox.
"We will dig them very deep, in a
place the giants always pass over ... Then we will fill the holes
with boiling liquid."
Coyote called together all the animals with claws -
Beavers, marmots, cougars, bears, and even rats, mice and voles -
to dig the holes. Then Coyote filled the holes with a
reddish-yellow liquid. Coyote and Fox dropped hot rocks into
the boiling liquid to keep it hot.
The next time the seven devilish monsters journeyed eastward,
they fell into the seven deep holes of boiling liquid. They fumed and
splashed and roared, but could not get out. As they struggled, they
scattered the reddish liquid around them as far as a man can travel in a
Coyote came out of his hiding place and said,
"You are being punished for your wickedness. I will punish you even
more by changing you into seven mountains. I will make you very high
so that everyone can see you. You will stand here forever, to remind
people that your punishment comes from wrong-doing. And I will make a
deep gash in the earth here so that no more of your family can get across to
trouble my people."
Coyote changed the seven giants into the Seven Devils Mountains,
and then he struck the earth a hard blow and so opened up a deep gorge,
Hells Canyon, at the feet of the giant mountain peaks. The boiling
reddish-yellow liquid that was splashed across the land by struggling
giants formed the copper deposits found in the area today.
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