In the land of the Three Worlds, this is the tale of how Pandora got the Book.
|When Monkey found the Book in Jove’s workshop and accidentally dropped it, down it tumbled into to a great chasm were a curious Trickster came across it. He was Coyote, who loved to trick mortals, especially when they were full of themselves. The strange Book would be most useful in his games. So, he picked it up in his jaws and dashed down into the mortal world into a bright field.
A young woman of dark beauty was there, woven basket in the crook of her arm, full of the wildflowers she was so busily picking. Humming a haunting tune she swayed back and forth as she bent over to pluck a lily.
Coyote slowed his dash and slunk slowly towards the maiden so as to not frighten her away, for though maidens were he most fun to play tricks on he very much disliked frightening them.
However, this maiden spotted him first, quite different from the usual maiden, Coyote thought surprised. As she spotted him she did not squeal in fright but immediately looked to the Book in his jaws and reprimanded him for stealing, especially a book of all things. For, Pandora, as curious as a Trickster she was, dearly loved books. They taught her everything she knew but she always wanted to learn more, she wanted to know everything. Thus, she wanted to own every book ever written.
“I want that book!” She declared to Coyote, pointing at it.
Coyote barked in surprise around the Book. A maiden want a book? Most maidens were content with picking flowers and singing. Knowledge was a frightening thing to delicate maidens that was for sure. Nonetheless, Coyote was curious for he had never met a maiden such as her.
“What is your name, oh maiden?” He asked, his voice somewhat muted by the Book in his teeth.
“Who might you be? Then perhaps I shall tell my name.”
“I am the great Trickster Coyote.” The Trickster ruffled his fur and stood up a bit straighter.
Pandora became greatly excited and almost forgot about the book until her curious mind, desperate for the book, came up with a trick worthy of a Trickster.
“I have never met a Trickster before. But I bet you aren’t good enough a Trickster to be able to steal the heat of the sun.”
Coyote was very affronted and annoyed, he was a great Trickster god, and he could do anything!
“I’ll steal heat from the sun just for you fair maid, but first tell me you name.”
Pandora smiled prettily, “I am the wife of Loki.”
“More radiant than the sun you are wife of Loki.”
Pandora fluttered her eyelashes. “You embarrass me, Trickster, now, go, and bring back the heat of the sun for me.”
“But,” she added, staring at Coyote hard. “If you do fail, you shall give me that book and the sun’s warmth.”
Coyote grinned and nodded, he’d agree, but he most assuredly would not be caught, for he was the great Trickster Coyote.
“You must tell me your name when I succeed!” He called back to her as he left, laughing off into the heavens. Pandora let a slight foretelling smile dance on her lips as she waited patiently in the fields below.
As Coyote raced towards the home of the sun god in the Upper World, he almost didn’t see a ragged looking Hermes, as he passed by, who was being sent on numerous errands as punishment for his recent trickery.
Coyote felt a grand trick growing in his mind and yes dear reader, even Tricksters can trick each other. Coyote slowed until he was side by side Hermes and then asked him,
“My dear friend, you look tired. Why don’t you rest by this pomegranate tree and I shall deliver the messages for you?”
In truth Hermes was quite tired and did not think to question the implications of a Trickster approaching him in such a manner, which had been more coherent, would have been a great warning of trouble ahead.
“Hmm, perhaps I shall. Though may I ask where you are off to brother Coyote?”
“Why to visit a pretty little mortal maid did not you know?”
Hermes nodded, “I did not, but I shall rest for now, for I am sorely in need of it.”
“Do no be so careless to get caught next time brother Hermes.”
“Nor should you my dear sibling!” Hermes called as Coyote grabbed the satchel of messages.
One of the scrolls held the seal of Jove himself, perfect, a summons from Jove could be questioned by no one. Grinning, Coyote howled the laughter unique to his immortal kind and raced off to the sun god’s domain.
Ra had accepted the note from Coyote with a typical wary attitude but upon seeing the urgent hand of Jove scrawled across it, he left with nary a farewell. For in the note, Jove had called Ra, among the rest of the gods to gather at Valhalla, the Hall of Jove of the Heavenly Mountain. For Maui, a brother Trickster of Coyote’s liked to live among the mortals and trick them, thus causing many problems. However, that is a tale for another time.
Coyote took up the fire of the sun in his jaw and returned to the mortal world. Hermes meanwhile had refrained from “napping” and had taken it upon his self to get acquainted with Pandora, for he learned of her whereabouts from Loki, her husband of course, and even gotten word of Coyote’s trickery to an angry Ra. After all Hermes was the resident messenger and as a result he was truly speedy. So thus he schemed against his brother, for he had greatly disliked that comment on his habit of getting caught by the other gods in the teeth of a good ploy.
Upon arriving at the meadow, Coyote triumphantly presented Pandora with the flame and she graciously accepted.
“Your name please fair wife of Loki.”
“’Tis Pandora, almighty Trickster Coyote, but I’m afraid you have been had.” She nodded in the direction of a copse of trees, from which emerged Hermes, a knowing smile upon his lips.
Enraged Coyote turned accusingly towards the other Trickster knowing full well what the other had done now but a hand on his shoulder stopped him. Pandora turned to Coyote ignoring the presence of Hermes
“I believe you also owe me that book.” She held out a hand for the other half of the bet.
With great reluctance, Coyote produced the Book and Pandora disappeared into the copse of trees both it and the flame.
Poor Coyote was in great trouble for he had not only stolen fire and given it to mortals but he had given them also the dangerous Book that not even the great Jove desired to touch. The Book of which had been created by Eris, a Trickster of chaos, that held terrible Sins that when the curious Pandora opened it, would be unleashed upon humanity for eternity. For his terrible misbehaviour and reeking of havoc Coyote was assigned the duty of watching over humanity to ensure they always had access to the warmth and light he had granted them with and so that they could be guided from the dark paths the Sins in the Book would bring down upon them. Thus from then on Coyote became a protector of the human race.
(A/N: This is one tale in the ever expanding collection of the myths of the Three Worlds).