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The Colorful World of Latino Folktales



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Borreguita and the Coyote

Aardema, Verna.  1991.  Borreguita and the Coyote: a tale from Ayutla, Mexico.  New York: Knopf.


Summary:  A little lamb uses her clever wiles to keep a coyote from eating her up (Verso 1991).
 
Type:  Pourquoi and Beast - because the tale explains why the coyote howls at the moon and the animals talk and act like humans.
 
Characters:  The Coyote is very determined, but gets fooled very easily; the borreguita is the little lamb who outwits the coyote every time.  She is very smart and witty.
 
Setting:  The only reference to time and place was in the first paragraph of this folktale: "On a farm at the foot of a mountain, there once lived a lamb" (Aardema p.1).  The title tells us this is a tale from Ayutla, Mexico, and the animals mix Spanish words with English words throughout the tale.
 
Plot:  The little lamb plays tricks on the Coyote to keep him from eating her.  She tricks him by holding up the mountain, eating the "cheese", and waiting until she was fatter to eat.  This story is very much like several other folktales I have read for my project like "The Tale of Rabbit and Coyote" and "Love and Roast Chicken".  They all portray the coyote as the one being tricked and some other animal as the trickster.
 
Theme: The smarter and wittier a person, the better off they will be.

Rating: 3 out of 5
This story was very similiar to other "Coyote" tales from Latino countries.  The pictures were detailed and colorful that helped visualize the story.





Additional Feature:
 
Borreguita and the Coyote (Reading Rainbow)

Here are some quotes from my students:
 
"I liked the colors"
 
"It was a little short"
 
"Why is the coyote always being tricked?  Can't he win just once?"
 
"The coyote is freaky looking."

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