The desert wind whipped across her face, but even in the moonlight, it was warm.
She was told that her prey would not be an easy one to catch.
After all, he was the most cunning of the legends, said to have stolen fire from the very gods themselves. He gave it to the People, back when he was their Brother, but he had long lost such loyalties.
How could an innocent, young girl like her possibly hope to beguile Coyote, the Trickster?
But he had deceived her grandfather long ago, brought shame to their whole line. It was her time to exact revenge.
Even Coyote himself had laughed at her. You think you are a match for me? he had taunted.
I know a secret, she had told him. A secret about yourself.
He had laughed at her at first, but was soon demanding to know what the secret was.
I will tell you if you perform three services for me, she had said.
Coyote did not like this, but his curiosity was too strong. Name them, he commanded.
She asked for him to bring her a piece of the moon, and a piece of the sea, and to tell every person he met on his journey of her beauty and good graces.
He traveled far from his home, wandering the desert, and finally found a rock that had fallen from the sky. He walked to the vast sea, which would not be carried with him however he tried, and found a dying stone creature in the shape of a star.
And everywhere he went, he told people of the girl, and her great and surpassing beauty. Of her smooth, raven hair and copper skin and deep brown eyes. He told of her kindness and gentleness, of the sweet sound of her voice and the ringing of her laughter. He told the stories over and over again.
When at last he returned to her and lay the requested objects at her feet—feet he had praised for their smallness and their grace—he knelt before her, and asked again to hear her secret.
She smiled at him, a beautiful smile that he had dreamed of for many nights.
The secret, she said, is that you love me. And every time you have spoken my name and praised my beauty, your love has grown. The secret, dear Trickster, is that you are mine.