Coyote And The Crying Song Summary

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Coyote and the Crying Song is an allegorical story about the variables in the teaching and learning process. One of these variables is the participants–teacher and learner-, whose roles are interchangeable as they can learn consciously or subconsciously from one another. For example, Coyote is first an observer, then a leaner. He approaches, watches and listens attentively to Dove, the teacher. Focused and in command signing his song, Dove continues collecting seeds –his task- despite his painful cuts and the menacing presence of Coyote. Dove does not give many hints about his intention to teach his song, except that he responds positively on demand. On the other hand, Coyote decides not to show his fierceness and hurt Dove due to his determination…show more content…
Technically, the explicit learning/teaching content of his lesson is the lyrics and tune of the song, which is approached holistically. While implicitly the ‘hu-hu’ symbolizes the actual words in the song concerning the language systems (syntax, lexis and phonology), the pitch of the cooing refers to the musical notes concerning the pragmatics of musical performances in this case. Furthermore, Coyote’s repeated attempts to perform that song properly show, in Zinsser’s words, that his trials were ‘a chance to savor each segment of [his] education as an experience in itself and not as a grim preparation for the next step’. Surprisingly, Dove gives Coyote no homework or additional tasks either to help him to succeed or quickly get rid of his potential menace. Moreover, Coyote’s next step should have been to take an exam, and Dove’s to prepare it. Yet, neither Coyote nor Dove has this in mind. Coyote ‘tripped and fell’ repeatedly as he progressed in his learning process. Meanwhile, Dove remained in the field at the ready for as long as he thought it safe, as if granting Coyote ‘the right to experiment’. In short, this ongoing trial-and-error sequence is

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