Announcer: (Entering stage and addressing audience) Ladies and gentlemen. We apologize for the ensuing drama we are about to unfold, and yet, history has been so outrageously misrepresented that we feel obligated, morally driven, yea, even socio-religiously chosen by supreme forces (especially in the face of our present global situation) to set the records straight, and portray (in our own humble way) the development of the human race as it really happened. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. (Bows and departs)

(Small overture which leads to the entrance of five hominids and three or four children who come out into performance space and sing and dance an ensemble piece. They are dressed in athletic uniforms (gym trunks and tank tops) with the words TEAM HOMINID written on their chests and backs.)

(Sound of a gong ends the singing, and hominids are obviously cold and huddled together. During ensuing dialogue one woman with two children doesn’t speak.)

Hominid 1: Being a hominid sucks!

2: Maybe it’ll get better after we been on earth a couple of thousand years.

3: I don’t know. Every time I look around I see some stupid animal with some big fur coat, or some lowly bird with a bunch of sexy feathers, and look at us!

4: Yeah, my brother died from raw meat!

1: He was my brother, too!

2 and 3: He was mine, too!

1: It’s hopeless!

3: And not only that, the farther we go north the colder it gets. I just don’t get it.

4: What a world!

2: I know it’s degrading, but maybe we should ask the gods?

1: Yeah. They are always standing around watching us.

4: Look at them all.

3: Atleast one of them has to have pity on us.

2: Let’s beg them for mercy.

4: Ok.

(Approaching and addressing audience)

1: Oh, great gods, please have mercy on us!

(Pushing children forward to illicit sympathy. The woman who didn’t speak holds back from begging the gods. She has two children with her)

2: Please, oh Supreme High Ones, please clothe us—we are but humble beings who know not how to keep warm on this strange planet.

3: Yes, thou Great Ones, shower us with your compassion as you’ve done with the lowly animals who are but loveless simpletons compared with us.

1: Wait. Look. One of the gods is giving me a coat. But it doesn’t really fit that well. Why did it give me a coat that doesn’t fit?

4: They don’t like us.

3: They made us the smartest beings on the planet and now they’re jealous of us.

2: It’s kinda outta fashion.

1: I was hoping for a type of spandexy thing.

3: Yeah. Something a little more arty.

1: I can’t wear this in public.

4: Oh, it’s hopeless! Even the gods have forsaken us on this awful planet.

(Hominids begin wailing, but then start playing dice and giving each other massages)

(Sound of gong)

(Enter two Coyotes (one with guitar) with drums slung over their backs, who enthusiastically sweep into performance space and sing a great love-of-life friendship song. It’s indeterminable what gender the coyotes are or if they are mates or deep love-of-life partners or both)

(The Coyotes end song and dance almost as if they’ve met deep in the night and sang/wailed together. They look over at hominids)

Coyote 1: Hominids.

2: Hmmmm.

1: They look pretty cold.

2: Yeah. I can’t imagine anything worse than being born without fur.

1: Yeah, do you think we should do something for them?

2: Well, from what I heard, it’s kinda up to us.

1: That’s convenient. Why is it always up to us?

2: Well, I guess it’s because we came before them. They’re like our children or something.

1: Wow. You didn’t have to say that. I’ve raised a lot of kids and none of them quite looked like that. Hmmm. What should we do?

2: Well, I was thinking, maybe we could bring them fire! (A magic flame flares in palm)

1: Fire?! Are you crazy?! In the hands of those things? For one thing, if we bring them fire, they’ll never know what it’s worth, and they’ll probably end up turning themselves into coal and oil. Atleast that’s what happened—what was it—the third time humanity tried to make it?

2: Third for fourth.

1: And they might do some damage to the earth.

2: Hmm. I guess that’s possible. But those times fire was brought by various gods and such. (Making a head motion toward the audience) We’re coyotes. Coyotes never brought hominids fire before. And, I must confess…

1: What?

2: I was once…

1: You were what?

2:…in love…with a…hominid.

1: Stop!!! (Puts hands over ears)

2: Yes, it’s true.

1: Now I know that life’s truly a dream. How could you be in love with a hominid?

2: Oh, I don’t know. They’re just so funny and gullible, the way they walk, stumbling around, making noise—they’re like some kinda big, sexy monsters.

1: Sexy monsters?

(Coyote 2 sings song about falling in love with a hominid that actually has a point toward the end with serious emotion)

2: Well, I don’t know if sexy is the word—maybe just somewhat dense and attractive. Some of them kinda smell good.

1: Ok, whatever. So what about the fire thing? I mean, there’s been a lot of people who brought fire to the hominids and none of them faired too well. For example, there was Prometheus.

2: Hmm. Well. Poor Prometheus. Lashed to a rock and having his liver pecked out. It kinda makes me hungry.

1: Exactly. And Loki.

2: Well, Loki was exiled and died in battle against the other gods, for better or worse. But, he did have fun playing tricks on the gods, on and off, anyway.

1: And Lucifer?

2: Well, he was obviously a rock star type, or wanting to be a rock star type. He never really got over being banished to hell. I think beneath all that anger he died of a broken heart.

1: Exactly. A big, red-hot broken heart.

2: Well, I guess that’s true. But I guess what it comes down to is we drank a lot of Chai this morning and we gotta do something. But maybe we should ask the gods what they think. They’re a little more experienced than we are. (Turning to audience) Hey! Gods! Do you think we should help them get fire?! (Audience shouts various things) I guess it’s settled. But! I think we should make those crazy, naked things work for it!

1: Yeah!

2: I mean, we should help them as much as we can out of our great compassion, but they gotta really put in the time!

1: That’s right!

2: They gotta know what it’s like to have a roaring bonfire in the middle of the icy, star-strewn night, gleaming off their naked skin, and sizzling, smoking mammoth steaks dripping archaic fat down their children’s happy faces, like a burning jewel they sang and wailed down from the sun!

1: Yes!!!

(Song of gong)

1: What was that?

2: I think it was the gong in the Raven’s Temple.

1: Hmm. The Raven’s Temple. What do you think’s going on up there?

2: No one knows. The Raven and it’s Eye built a Zen Monastery way up above the tree-line. And it’s supposed to be a place wrought with all kinds of spiritual dangers and stashes of expertly fermented meat.

1: Hmm. That’s what I’m talking about.

2: You know, I been thinking about that legend of the mountain lake you come across in the old teachings, the one where the Paleo-hominids during the last cycle sunk that enormous mammoth.

1: Yes. Everyone grew up hearing that story before they snuggled up for bed, how it’s been frozen and thawed so many times over the last twelve thousand years—

2: While not rising above 41 Fahrenheit.

1: Of course. And now it is at the indescribable!

2: Indefilable!

1 and 2: Pinnacle of spiritual puss!

2: With great texture.

1: It’s like the El Dorado of the scavenger empire.

2: Theoretically so perfectly aged you just smell it and it oozes into every pore of your consciousness!

1: Yes!!!

2: And then, the secret is is if this decomposing mammoth flesh is cooked—

1: On the rare side, of course.

2: By a hominid, of course.

1: Then every door to every dimension will blow wide open and fleas and tics won’t exist.

2: At least not on such a grand scale.

1: And we can eat a lot of deeply perfumed meat without scratching. Plus they can haul it out of the lake for us.

2: The problem is no one knows where this lake is.

1: Or if it exists.

(Sound of gong)

1: Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

2: Yeah. It could be in the Raven’s Temple.

1: You mean, the Raven and it’s Eye built that temple around the mountain lake?

2: It’s possible.

1: Ok. That settles it.

(They look over at the hominids)

1: Maybe we should give them fire.

2: Or at least use them to check out the Raven’s Monastery.

1: Let’s try one of the males.

2: Do you think one can do it?

1: Hmm. You may be right. They are hominid males. Maybe we should get two of them.

(They draw over two of the male hominids with their drums by hitting drums and sending out the sound, as if the drum beat is a chord attaching to the hominids that they then pull in)

(Coyotes stand stately and erect and give themselves royal bearings)

1: Hm! Hm! Loyal subjects.

(The two hominids awake as if from a trance and one drops to his knees bowing while the other is transfixed as if struck by carnal passion)

Bowing Hominid: Oh, great goddesses…or gods…I grovel before your majesties. Thank you for revealing yourselves to your humble servant, thou beautiful and revered progenitors!

(Coyotes soak up compliments and pat at their hair)

2: No problem, my slightly handsome young hominid. Now—

Throbbing Hominid: Yea! And the rising sun is within thy blazing, opulent manes, and groaning, musky tails and hairy beauty! Oh, gorgeous shafts of heaven, have no mercy upon the throbbing heart I bare to thee! (Coyotes look at each other and step back) Never have I seen and laid my affection-starved eyes upon goddesses or…(tries to see under Coyote’s tails, but they turn their backsides away)…anyway, yes, with such aromas of the pleasures of heaven and the ecstasies of hell!

(Coyotes nod to each other as if they can’t help but agree to such well-known facts, and look at the audience)

Coyote 1 and 2: It’s true.

(While throbbing hominid speaks it’s obvious that Bowing Hominid is getting annoyed)

Coyote 2: Ok, ok, anyway, we have a mission for you, a mission that will—

Bowing Hominid: (Interrupting) Yes! A mission! Oh, great bringers of life! I accept your great endeavor with heavy severity—I vow—

Throbbing Hominid: (Stepping up and interrupting) Yes, great, great burning, hairy heartthrobs! Sexy lopers of the wettest smoking forests of dripping love. I understand your–how do you say it? innuendos? Ah, yes, I am a slave of your most burning visions and desires, etc.

Bowing Hominid: (Getting annoyed) Listen, Sammy, this isn’t about you getting laid all the time.

Throbbing Hominid: Oh, oh, getting laid, Herbert? I am shocked at how your mind works, my friend. Maybe you’re spending too much time meditating.

Bowing Hominid: My meditation is a very serious endeavor! It’s helped me a lot!

Throbbing Hominid: I’m sure it has!

(They start scuffling with each other)

Coyote 1: This doesn’t seem to be working.

2: What should we do?

1: Let’s send them back.

2: Alright.

(They drum the hominids back to the group)

1: Weew!

2: Wow.

1: So, what do we do now?

2: Let’s try one of the women.

1: Ok.

(They pull one of the women to them with their drums. This is the woman with two children who didn’t speak at the beginning of performance. Woman wakes up before them and looks around. Coyotes look at each other. She looks at Coyotes)

Woman: Wow. I wish I had fur like you guys.

1: It does come in handy.

2: Except for the bugs.

Woman: I bet. (She steps forward and grabs at a tic on one of the Coyote’s heads) Wait. Hold still. I almost got it. There! (throwing tic on ground and crushing it into dirt)

2: Well, Sister, we have a mission for you. A mission that, if successful, will change the course of hominidity, a mission that will transform the hominid species from the hairless, helpless, groveling, pathetic things begging the gods for second-hand spandex, into real people, essentially, or, at least something that gots some style.

1: You said it.

Woman: Is that really possible?

2: Yes, it is possible. And all through the use of fire!

Woman: Hmm. What’s fire?

Coyotes: What’s fire?!

(Big song and dance ensues all about fire, which is joined by the group of hominids and which is eventually cut short at its peak by the Raven’s Gong. The Coyotes drum all the hominids, who are disgruntled to be sent away, back to their original location, except woman)

Woman: Hm. How long will it take?

1: It’s hard to tell. It could take an hour or it could take an eternity.

Woman: Hm. Well, I’d have to find a babysitter. It may take a little bit.

1: That’s ok. We’re used to waiting.

(Woman thoughtfully goes back to group)

2: Hmm. She has promise.

1: Better than the first ones we pulled out. So, how are we gonna get her to find fire?

2: I don’t know. We’ll figure it out. But the point is we can send her up to the Raven’s Temple and it’ll create a diversion and we can get up there without the Raven and it’s Eye seeing us. We can probably sneak up the back way.

1: Sounds good. Wait, here she comes.

(Woman comes back with a little girl and a little boy)

Woman: I couldn’t find a babysitter, so I’ll just have to bring them along. You guys ready to help me find fire?

Children: Yeah!

(Coyotes look at each other and nod)

Woman: Ok, so what do we do?

2: Well, the first part of your quest to find fire is to journey to the Raven’s Temple! (Covering their eyes dramatically)

1: Or Zen Monastery!

1 and 2: Zen Monastery!!! (Covering their eyes and shivering)

Woman: The Raven’s Temple?

1: Yes, the Raven’s Temple.

Woman: Does the Raven have the fire?

2: Well, this is a quest so there’s certain mysteries to be solved and certain mountains, metaphorically, to be ascended, but it’s all somewhat character-building. And sometimes you gotta go up to really get down.

1: That’s right.

2: So, go to the Raven’s Monastery and ask him and his Eye about fire, but make sure you remain absolutely conscious and aware at all times, especially of the food the Raven’s eating or anything it may have stashed around the Temple.

1: Especially in a lake. And just kinda talk to them.

2: And we’ll see you soon, sister.

Woman: How do we get there?

2: Well, you can fly. You just need a song.

Woman: A song?

1: How do you think we got fur?

2: Yes. If you know how, you can sing yourself anywhere.

(They hand her the guitar. Coyotes back and forth kiss each other on the cheek as other pretends to look away, and foxtrot out of performance space)

Woman: A song.

Kids: You can do it, Mom. You sing to us all the time.

Woman: Ok. Ok. I guess I just gotta try. Hang on.

(Kids grab on to her legs and Woman starts singing. As she sings they gaze down and around in wonder and amazement)

Kids: (As Woman pauses in song) Go, Mom, go!

Woman: Wow! This is unbelievable. Look at the landscape! The lakes are like sky!

Kids: It’s so pretty. Look, there’s some mega-fauna!

Woman: That’s right. Wow. It looks like the whole earth is blooming.

Kids: We’re so high up!

(Continues song)

Woman: Wait. I think I see a Zen Monastery.

Kids: I see it. It looks like a giant pine tree.

Woman: Ok. I’m goin in!

(Sings till song ends when they tumble to ground and there is sound of gong and a puff of smoke where a Raven with an eye-patch appears in meditation posture, coughing and snoring)

Woman and Kids: Wait a minute. We’re inside. Oooow and there’s the Raven!

Woman: Wooowa! Wait a minute. (Holding her abdomen)

Kids: Mom, are you alright?

Woman: I’m alright. I think. There was just this strange feeling. But I’m alright. I’m alright.

Woman and Kids: (Approaching Raven) Excuse us, but are you the Raven?

Raven: (Waking up) Gwup! A Raven?! Where?! I was told that Ravens like Zen Monasteries. I should have known. Where is it?!

Woman: But aren’t you a Raven?

Raven: Me? A Raven? No, I am just a humble Zen Master—(Sound of gong) Hey, Eye! Could you please stop hitting that gong?!

(Enter Raven’s Eye, looking sexy and androgynous)

Eye: Sorry, Great Master, thou Winged Prince, etc, etc.

Raven: Ever since it’s been outta my head, it’s been nothing but trouble. Yes, a humble Zen Master, meditating deeply on the problem of Ravens in the world, and how to save hominids from them. Yes, I’ve flown on great pilgrimages through all the worlds, gwalapopapa, studying with great teachers at extremely high altitudes. Yes, I’m here to help. I’m also looking for some devotees to do some heavy lifting.

Woman: A Zen Master? That’s scarier than a Raven. I always kinda trust Ravens, but I don’t know about Zen Masters.

Raven: Well, I guess it’s true. I don’t like to talk about it, but there has been the mention of a certain amount of Raven in my ancestry. Don’t tell anyone.

Woman: Well, I guess we can trust you then. Well, we were wondering if you know where we can get fire?

Raven: Gwam.

Kids: Yeah, we want fat dripping off our chins!

Raven: Gwammm. Gwam. Gwam. Gwam. Through my meditations I can see many things. Was it two Coyotes who sent you up here to get fire, maybe?

Woman and Kids: Yeah!

Raven: Gwam. Gwam. Gwam. Gwam. Coyotes are always getting hominids excited about things. But this monastery is built upon the basis of a very calm and benevolent spiritual fermentation. Some people don’t like the smell. But smell is part of the Buddha. And fire is part of the Buddha. But fire used without style is also the end of lacto-fermentation. And the end of lacto-fermentation means lower immunity. Thus, plagues and bad digestion. You can’t have a solid spiritual community based on plagues and indigestion, although it does create a lot of food laying about. Gwap. Within the heart of this monaster, in the Relic Rec-room, is a lake where a mammoth-sized Buddha with tusks and four legs has been fermenting for 12,000 years, but I can’t seem to get it out, only chunks float to the surface every once and a while. Thus, the need for some heavy lifting. Gwap.

Woman: Wow. I didn’t know Buddhism was so complicated.

Raven: Yes, every thousand years or so a glob floats to the surface, like a jewel, and radiates throughout the world, which you experience as some kinda eclipse, Guurama, or volcanic eruption—also certain religious upheavals—they’re very tasty. And yet, if the thing, if the whole mammoth Buddha could be hauled from the ancient lake, who knows—in other words, hominids have purpose.

Woman: Do you think it’s really possible?

Raven: Yes, it’s possible. They’re very good at lifting things.

Woman: Hmm. But what about the fire?

Kids: Yeah!

Raven: Gmmm. Fire. Gm. Well, if you want fire you have to meditate. Gwap!

Woman and Kids: Meditate?

Raven: Gawak! Meditate. I’ll show you. Sit here. Cross your legs. Posture is important. Posture is like arranging all the bones and shining treasures in your cache, but, flying over the forests and gazing down at the glittering dew is like arranging things, too. Breath is fire. Meditation is fire. And to meditate you have to breathe in the sky. Thus, gwabraka, snoring is the first step in keeping track of your breath. Snoring sounds a lot like when the wind hits your wings, like riding on some old vulture. But don’t get stuck on snoring.

Woman: Wow. I didn’t know there was so much to meditation.

Raven: The point is not to get attached to anything.

Kids: What’s that smell?!

Raven: That is the Relic Rec-room. Now, half-close your eyes. Remember, posture is like flower-arranging. Letting things alone is like arranging flowers, too. Now concentrate on your snoring. Gwamamam.

(Raven and Woman and Kids sit and meditate, facing each other with a big space between them, snoring. Music begins. Raven’s Eye sings song and as she does two deer come into space circling, dancing, nibbling invisible vegetation. They begin jousting and clashing antlers. When they lock antlers, sparks and smoke come from them. As they pass each other, they perform moves and don’t always clash but many times dance embraced as partners. As they perform, people begin to gather, but different from hominids of earlier scene. These people are dressed in vibrant clothing, even suits, with painted faces, and sing and chant as deer circle and dance, putting food down and offerings to the deer. The Woman and Kids go over and join them and Woman joins in songs that have evolved out of Raven’s Eye’s initial song. She is obviously trying to learn song on guitar as it continues. At one point during the jousting, one of the deer gores the other and kills it and dances around doing raven tumbles and faints and spins and goes and bends down to taste food. One of the kids climbs on back of deer and they dance out and fly over dead deer twice, which resurrects deer. First deer leads with child on back as they both fly and then lets child down in original position. Resurrected deer passes over other deer and spins and becomes a tree by spreading fingers and upwardly extending arms that when they reach their height release maple seeds that spin down. Deer pass people and they all slowly leave performance space the way they came. Women and Kids go back to their original location in seated posture. Raven’s Eye hits gong)

Woman and Kids: Wow. Meditation’s crazy!!!

Woman: Wait…aghh! Aggha! (She doubles over clutching her stomach)

Kids: Mom! Mom! Are you alright?! Mom! What’s wrong?! Oh, please, Mom, you have to be alright! Zen Master Raven! What’s wrong with our Mom?!

Raven: (Waking up) Raven?! Zen Mater?! Where?! Who let them in?! Are they breeding?! Eye, I thought I told you to keep a watch?!

Raven Eye: Oh, thou Lord of Corpse-strewn Ocean Beaches, King of Roadkill and Stunt-flying, etc, etc, I don’t see any such thing as a Raven or Zen Master.

Raven: Very well. I must have been meditating a little too deeply after eating that canned Brontosaurus.

Raven’s Eye: I guess the seal was a little cracked.

Raven: Another trick like that and I’ll put you back in my head!

Eye: Oh, no, Great King, Princess of Eyeballs, anything but that!

Woman: (Getting up and hugging kids) I’m ok. For a second there I thought…well…but I’m alright.

Kids: I hope so.

Raven: It looks like you’re digestive system is in bad form. Gwap. Probably too many starchy foods.

Woman: (Still feeling woozy) Well, I guess we should go. But I don’t think we can fly. I still feel strange.

Raven: You can use the back door. There’s a trail that leads down the other side of the mountain.

Woman: Well, thank you for your help. I still don’t know what fire is or where to get it, but it feels like we learned something.

(Kids tug at Woman and she bends down and they whisper to her)

Woman: (To Kids) That’s a really good idea. Go ahead. I’m sure the Raven or Zen Master would appreciate it.

Kids: Raven Zen Master, would you like these? (They hold up a couple of bracelets)

Woman: They’re bracelets they made of sinew from a gazelle we stole from a bunch of hyenas and they put acorn tops and seeds and things on them.

Kids: Yeah, we put little bones and and little bits of fur and everything.

Raven: Gwahahap! Zen Masters love jewelry made out of tendons and bones. Gwamama! Eye, bring me a piece of the Buddha.

Eye: Yes, oh Great Reaper Priestess. (Hands Raven a tiny package with a bow)

Raven: Take this. It’s so concentrated and nutritively accessible that one tiny sliver is enough to feed your family for a year. Everyone has a family to feed, you know. Poulopop!

Kids: Mom, that really stinks!

(Mother and Kids cover their noses)

Woman: (Taking package) Thank you Raven Zen Master.

Raven: Yes, the Buddha does smell. There’s basically no amount of deodorant that can stop the smell of the Buddha. Many times I’ve flown high into the vast emptiness of the sky when suddenly I was touched by the faintest wisp of the smell of the Buddha, and was drawn back down to stand upon rotted podiums to teach and save the people from the barbarian raven hordes. Now, take this as proof of your visit and make sure you don’t give it to anyone outside your family. Gwap.

Woman and Kids: Our family?

Raven: Yes, there are many families you can form. You just have to figure out who is a part of your family. Now, this is of the utmost severity and also has to do with families—this mountain, during the last round before the hominids destroyed themselves, was surrounded by iron traps hominids set in order to sell the furs of people. Back then, the traps were protected by magic spells called “Laws” which if defied entailed severe punishments, and some say those spells are still being enforced, that the “Laws” still hold great magical power.

Woman and Kids: Laws?

Woman: But what do the laws or spells say?

Raven: Patipatipoopip. They say that any person caught in the hominid’s trap belong to the hominid no matter how much pain they’re in, no matter how much they’re suffering, no matter how much they beg you to set them free, and who-ever tries to set the person free can be imprisoned by the spell, that is if the spell catches you. But the trick is you have to ask yourself: are you a hominid?

Woman: (Holding her stomach) A hominid?

Raven: Yes, that’s the thing about hominids, they can be so obsessed with the illusion of permanence that even after a thousand years they can still step in the same old trap. So, what-ever you do, especially if you want to find fire, don’t break any spells. Gwap!

Kids: Mom, I’m scared!

Woman: (Still holding stomach) Don’t worry. We can take our time and be careful. Well, thanks for the lump of putrid Buddha. And I guess we’ll be going.

Kids and Woman: Bye!

(Woman and Kids slowly walk away)

Raven: Remember, only give the Buddha to someone of your family.

Raven’s Eye: I think she has potential, oh Great Sour-slurping Juice-lord. (Taking one of the bracelets from the Raven and putting it on)

Raven: Gwamm. How many times has it been now, Eye, that the hominids went extinct and re-evolved?

Raven’s Eye: (Counts on fingers) Seven. How does it keep happening, thou Black Prince?

Raven: I think this last time it was when I ate that Pterodactyl.

Raven’s Eye: You mean that puss pile shaped like a Pterodactyl?

Raven: It’d been there awhile. Anyway, I think this time they may learn something about their thoughts.

(As Woman and Kids move away, Raven and Raven’s Eye leave the performance space. Suddenly, Woman and Kids stop, gazing ahead of them)

Kids: Mom, look, it’s the coyotes!

Woman: Oh, my god!

(The two Coyotes sneak forward but suddenly Coyote 1 steps in trap. Coyote 1 screams and falls, but then begins lunging against the chain and spinning and biting at its own leg frantically and clawing at the ground)

Coyote 2: Holy shit! A trap! We forgot about the traps! Please! Stop struggling! You gotta stop struggling! No! No! I can’t open it with my paws!

(Coyote 2 jumps around, trying to restrain other Coyote and attempts to pull it out of trap by pulling on Coyote 1 with teeth. It is an intense, desperate struggle, the trapped Coyote is oblivious to anything but its desperate attempts at freedom, and the free Coyote crying and struggling helplessly to free its friend)

(Woman and Kids rush up)

Coyote 2: You have to help us! You have hands! You have to set her free!

Woman: Why won’t she stop struggling? It’s like she can’t even see us!

Coyote 2: You don’t understand! Coyotes aren’t used to being in traps. Hominids practically live in their own traps constantly, no matter how painful! You have to help us! I’ll hold her down and you try to get it open!

Woman: I don’t know! I don’t know! What about the spells? The Raven said we could get imprisoned ourselves.

Kids: Mom, the Coyote’s hurting!

Coyote 2: No! You’ve tore your shoulder out! She’s not breathing. She keeps lunging! (Trying to tackle other Coyote)

Woman: I don’t know! Maybe we should ask the gods. (Addressing audience) Gods! Gods! Should we set the Coyote free?!

(Audience replies)

Kids: Mom!

Woman: Ok! Ok! Fuck the laws! Fuck the spells! Let’s go! (They tackle Coyote 1 and set it free. But as they rise the Coyote doesn’t move except for a faint harsh panting)

Coyote 2: She’s dying. It must be her heart. Her shoulder’s been totally torn free. No! (Holds other Coyote, crying)

(They all sit solemnly with Coyote, and Woman begins playing a version of song she learned at deer dance. After a couple of minutes, Coyote 2 sadly shakes its head to signify that other Coyote is dead and falls on its body weeping)

Woman: We should give the Coyote an offering.

Kids: We could give it the smelly Buddha, but the Raven said to only give it to somebody in our own family.

Woman: But, you know, the Coyotes are like our family. They’re helping us get fire.

Kids: Yeah.

Woman: Ok, put the package down by her. Thank you, Coyote. Thank you for all you done for us. Oh!!!! Oh! Oh! (Clutching abdomen and falling on ground)

Kids: Mom! Mom! What’s happening?

Woman: I don’t know. It feels like…holy cow!…it feels like I’m gonna have a baby…like…like a really big baby! Ahhh!

Kids: Coyote! Mom’s gonna have a baby!

(Coyote 2 turns from its friend and lifts woman to a sitting position by supporting her from behind)

Coyote 2: You don’t look like you’re gonna have a baby.

Woman: I know. Ah! Ah! I know! But something’s coming out! And it’s moving! It’s changing! It’s growing! I can feel it!!!!

(While this goes on, Coyote 1, whose nose is right by the package of fermented Buddha, begins to become conscious, first just sniffing the package as if it is like smelling salts, rising up and eating some and extending arm, marveling that it’s been healed. The Coyote joins the others)

Coyote 1: What’s happening?

2: She’s giving birth.

1: Giving birth?! Kids, prop your mom up while we look inside!

Kids: Ok. Mom, we love you!

Woman: Thanks. Ah! Ah! Ah!

(Coyotes look between her legs)

1: Wow! It’s kinda orange in there. Feel the heat!

2: Wait a minute. Do you think…?

1: I guess it’s possible.

(Suddenly, all the hominids come onto scene, foremost Sammy and Herbert, Herbert bowing and praying and Sammy lasciviously eyeing the Coyotes)

Woman: I think it’s coming!

Coyote 1: Holy shit!

2: She’s! She’s giving birth to—

(Suddenly, a flame blows out of Woman, knocking the Coyotes back, and all the hominids rush forward and light cigarettes off their burning tails)

Hominids: This stuff is amazing. It’s just what we needed.

Kids: Mom! You did it! You found fire!

Woman: (Exhausted) I guess I did. It was inside me all the time.

(There ensues a final ensemble song with everyone included except Raven and Raven’s Eye. At end everyone hugs and shakes hands. Two Coyotes continue holding each other)

Coyote 2: I thought you really died back there.

Coyote 1: I couldn’t leave you.

(They kiss each other’s cheeks alternately as other pretends to look away)

Woman: Oh, I almost forgot. The Raven and its Eye are looking for some devotees up in the Zen Monastery. You two should go. (To Herbert and Sammy)

Herbert: Zen Monastery?! It’s like a dream come true.

Sammy: (Once again eyeing the Coyotes lustily) Why would I ever go to a Monastery?

Kids: Yeah, the Raven’s Eye is super sexy!

Sammy: (Stops moving in on Coyotes and considers this) Yes, I’m getting older and wiser. I can feel the call of religion in my bones. Are you ready, Herbert?

Herbert: Yes, Sammy. I knew you’d see the truth someday.

(They depart holding hands)

(Sound of gong)