Storytelling as a compulsion is a recurring idea in the story. Thomas Builds-the-Fire is a storyteller. Early in the novel he considers this trait to be a disease he was infected with before birth. This regard for his habit of storytelling is more a reflection of the way that other reservation residents respond to his stories. Generally, they respond negatively to Thomas's stories, partly because they have heard most of them before from Thomas and partly because they fail to appreciate the value and function of the stories. Before Coyote Springs forms, Victor and Junior are willing to agree to a bet where if they win Thomas will be forever barred from telling stories. They feel so strongly about this prospect that Victor cheats in an attempt to win the bet. They fail to understand that storytelling is more than an annoying compulsion. It serves multiple purposes.