If we are to regard the Egyptian myths about the gods in animal shape, and about the non-natural superhuman heroes, and their wars and loves, as esoteric allegories devised by civilized priests, perhaps we should also explain Pund-jel, Qat, Quawteaht, the Mantis god, the Spider creator, the Coyote and Raven gods as priestly inventions, put forth in a civilized age, and retained by Australians, Bushmen, Hottentots, Ahts, Thlinkeets, Papuans, who preserve no other vestiges of high civilization.
Among the Papagos, on the eastern side of the Gulf of California, the coyote or prairie wolf is the creative hero and chief supernatural being.
The city lies mainly on a gently rising plateau (altitude, 90 to', 25 ft.) between the Coyote and Guadalupe rivers.
The coyote or small wolf, here and there the grey wolf, the fox and the mountain lion (panther) occur.
Among the lowest races the culture-hero commonly wears a bestial guise, is a spider (Melanesia), an eagle hawk (in some myths and south-east Australia), a coyote (north-west America), a dog or raven (Thlinkeet), a mantis insect (Bushman), and so forth, yet is endowed with human or even super-human qualities, and often shades off into a permanent and practically deathless god.
There is, however, considerable local variation both in the matter of size and of colour from the typical coyote of Iowa, which measures about 50 in.
Here in the spring the half-dozen or more coyote pups are brought forth; and it is said that at this season the old ones systematically drive any large game they may be chasing as near to their burrow, where the young coyotes are waiting to be fed, as possible before killing it, in order to save the labour of dragging it any great distance.
A coyote howled in the distance and another answered.
In North America there is a second distinct smaller species, called the coyote or prairie-wolf (Canis latrans), and perhaps the Japanese wolf (C. hodophylax) may be distinct, although, except for its smaller size and shorter legs, it is scarcely distinguishable from the common species.
There, too, the grey (or timber) wolf and the coyote are found.