One afternoon, as Coyote was hunting in the newly fallen snow, he came upon a family huddled in a circle. They were singing a sad song about their lost loved ones, who had died in the ice-cold winter blizzards. The sorrow in their voices prickled the fur on Coyote's neck. Coyote saw how their mournful tears froze on their cheeks, and how their icy breath hung in the air. Coyote, like many of the animals, had no need for the warmth of fire, because he had a thick winter coat. But he felt sorry for the Humans, and decided to help them find fire.
Coyote knew of the Fire Beings, who lived on a nearby mountaintop. The Fire Beings were not known for their hospitality. They kept fire to themselves because they were selfish and afraid to share it with the Humans. But Coyote, known as the Trickster of the animals, knew there must be a way to steal fire from the Fire Beings. So he hurried off to the mountaintop to watch them.