After reading story called “Courage to fear,” class will respond to twenty-one tale discussion questions.
Story description: Coyote is up to his old tricks again. He brags and bullies Eagle and Bear. He’s on his way to bully Wolf when he gets caught in a hunter’s snare. Discover what happens to him next. Afterward, click on the link to answer the discussion questions that accompany the tale.
Tale is most appropriate for grades 2 to 6.
This story was written back in 2006 by the new-deceased Terry Gardner. He was a clinical social worker all the way up to the time of his death. He also was a published author. This Four Directions story, as he called them, is shared in his memory and with permission of his widow, Lin Gardner. The discussion questions were created by Debbie Dunn.
To print a free PDF file of the story comprehension discussion questions for the four directions tale about coyote, scroll to the bottom of this article.
Courage to fear
© 2006 by Terry & Lin Gardner; Story re-told and reformatted with the permission of his widow, Lin Gardner, by Debbie Dunn
To read story, click link:
- Printable four directions tale: Courage to fear
Twenty-One Story Comprehension Questions
1. What kind of things did Coyote brag about to Eagle?
Students Respond: Coyote said that Eagle couldn’t dance like him, run like him, leap like or him. He also said that he was so much better than Eagle.
2. How did Eagle respond to Coyote’s bragging and bullying?
Students Respond: Eagle calmly agreed that she was not able to dance, run, or leap. Coyote took that to mean that she agreed that he was better than her. She simply said. That is your belief.”
3. Why did Coyote stop calling Eagle names?
Students Respond: Since he was not able to get Eagle upset, he said that she was boring and not worth the trouble to even call her names.
4. Who did Coyote make fun of next?
Students Respond: Coyote made fun of Ben Bear.
5. In what ways did Coyote bully Ben Bear?
* He called him Sneaky Sam since he was apparently not capable of sneaking around anywhere.
* Coyote told Bear he was clumsy.
* Coyote stuck out his tongue at Ben Bear.
* He told him he was clumsy.
* He told him he couldn’t move fast.
* He told him he stumbles and bumbles through the woods.
* Coyote tried to convince Bear that everything he was saying was the truth.
* After Bear began to cry, he called Bear a cry baby.
* Coyote told Bear that it was no wonder he had no friends.
* Coyote finally tried to convince Bear that he had told them all these things himself and that Coyote was simply reminding him of these truths, as he called them.
6. How did Bear react to all of Coyote’s bullying?
Students Respond: He sobbed. He said, ‘NO! NO! NO! I won’t listen to you anymore, Coyote.” He covered his ears. Then he ran away.
7. What did Coyote say to Eagle after Bear ran away?
Students Respond: Coyote bragged that he, a much smaller animal than Bear, managed to easily chase off a huge bear who thought he was so tough. Coyote said that Bear is a baby.
8. How did Eagle react to Coyote’s words about Bear?
Students Respond: Eagle said that she refused to talk to Bear. She said that Coyote needed somebody to bully in order to feel good. She then flew away as she refused to allow Coyote the chance to try to bully her.
9. How did Coyote react when Eagle flew away?
Students Respond: He was puzzled about Eagle’s words when she stated that he needed to feel good about himself. He didn’t allow himself time to think about it. He rationalized that it was his duty to help Eagle and Bear know what they really are. But then Coyote felt sad that he was alone once again. He didn’t like being alone.
10. How did Coyote plan to do about his cousin, Wendy Wolf?
Students Respond: Coyote intended to find his cousin, Wendy Wolf, and tell her a few negative “truths” about herself.
11. In what way did Coyote get trapped?
Students Respond: Coyote got caught in a hunter’s snare that sent him into the air. He was now attached by a rope to a nearby tree.
12. What did Coyote do when he saw the two hunters?
Students Respond: Coyote used coyote language to call for help that rang through the forest.
13. What did the hunters plan to do about Coyote?
Students Respond: The hunters debated whether they would get the most money either by selling his hide to the city guys or by getting him stuffed. They also considered selling him to the zoo. They were trying to figure out how to transport Coyote without hurting him or themselves when help for Coyote arrived.
14. Who came to Coyote’s rescue?
Students Respond: Ellen Eagle, Ben Bear, and Wendy Wolf.
15. What happened to the two hunters?
* They dropped their rifles and ran in the opposite direction from Ben Bear.
* Eagle made a dive and snatched off Jake’s hat and tore it to shreds.
* Eagle dived again and tore off Billy Joe’s wig.
* Wendy Wolf tore off a huge piece of the rear end of Billy Joe’s pants.
* Jake was running away so fast from Wolf that he ran right into Ben Bear so hard that he fell back and was out cold.
* Billy Joe picked up Jake, threw him over his shoulder and ran all the way to his SUV and drove off.
16. What did Eagle, Bear, and Wolf conclude about the hunters?
Students Respond: They concluded that the hunters would probably not return to the forest for a long time.
17. How did Eagle, Bear, and Wolf handle it when they returned to Coyote?
Students Respond: They were planning to set him free. Then they waited to hear what Coyote was going to say.
18. What did Coyote say to Eagle, Bear, and Wolf?
Students Respond: Coyote apologized for calling them names. He told them they none of the things he said was true. He explained that he felt good right after he said them but not later on. Plus, he felt awful being alone.
19. How did Eagle, Bear, and Wolf react to his apologies?
Students Respond: They accepted his apologies. They reassured him that they were still his friends, but told him he couldn’t keep trying to tear them or others down.
20. How did the story end?
Students Respond: Coyote approached Eagle, Bear, and Wolf. They each gave him a hug.
21. Why do you think Eagle, Bear, and Wolf agreed to still be Coyote’s friend?
Students Respond: (Accept Reasonable Answers.)
Print a free PDF file of these tale discussion questions. Click link below:
- Tale discussion questions: Courage to fear
Other Stories by Terry Gardner
- Printable four directions tale: Coyote meets his master
- Printable four directions tale: Courage to fear
- Printable four directions tale: Coyote travels inside
- Printable four directions tale: Coyote becomes mindful
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