Iktomi and the Dancing Ducks

Iktomi and the Dancing Ducks

“Iktomi and the Dancing Ducks” Iktomi is an awful person that will do anything to get his way. He often outsmarts himself or gets outsmarted. In this allegory, Iktomi tricks some ducks into dance around some fire so he can kill them, then eat them. However, when he is sleeping and the ducks are cooking in fire a coyote comes along and eats the ducks. The setting takes place near a pond where the ducks were swimming. The protagonist in this short fable, is Iktomi a greedy, mischievous, deceitful, lazy, and stupid.

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The antagonists are the ducks, the two trees, and the coyote. The plot is man against man which is Iktomi against the ducks and the coyote. Iktomi tricks the ducks into dancing around fire then kills them one by one. Iktomi wants revenge from the coyote but gets thrown into the fire instead. There is also man against the environment Iktomi against the wind. The wind and the trees won’t let him sleep and kept him from eating his meal. Also man against himself because of his own laziness and stupidity Iktomi isn’t able to eat the ducks.

Instead of staying awake and doing the process of cleaning the ducks he does it by placing the ducks in open fire. That gave the opportunity for the coyote to eat the ducks. The theme of the story is that when you lie and deceive sooner or later it will catch up to you. The story is told by omniscient point of view because the author uses words such as he, they, and etc. Some other elements used in this short story are symbol, allegory, irony, and fantasy. “Iktomi and the Dancing Ducks” is allegory because everything is symbolic such as, the name of Iktomi, ducks, and the two trees.

The name Iktomi symbolizes coward, malicious, lazy, and dishonest. The ducks represent innocence, the trees represent brothers, and the coyote stands for smart. Situational irony is very strong, since the results will be the opposite of what Iktomi expects. Iktomi assumes he will enjoy a good meal the “ducks”, but the coyote eats them instead. Irony also happens when Iktomi tells the trees to stop fighting because they are brothers but he himself does terrible things to others.

Fantasy is also present, given that the story utilizes non-realistic characters and non-realistic situations. For example, ducks don’t dance or speak, trees don’t fight with each other, and eyes will not turn red. The moral of “Iktomi and the Dancing Ducks” is not to be greedy, stupid, and too gullible. Iktomi didn’t have to kill all the ducks but as greedy as he was he did it anyways. Iktomi was stupid in the manner he didn’t eat the ducks right away.

In addition, Iktomi told the coyote to stay away from the meal “the ducks” what he got was the attention of the coyote. Iktomi thought he could outsmart the coyote but got burned instead. Last but not least the ducks were too gullible they believed everything Iktomi said. They just got killed except one that got red eyes. This might be a short story but it thought us various lessons such as, not to be too trustworthy, greedy, curious, lazy, and deceitful. At the end Iktomi got what he deserved. Nothing good can come with malicious behavior.


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