olden days when mostly animals roamed this earth, a Porcupine set
out to track some buffalo. He asked the buffalo chips, "How
long have you been here on this trail?" He kept on asking,
until finally one answered, "Only lately have I been here."
From there Porcupine followed the same path. The farther he
went, the fresher the tracks. He continued until he came to a river;
there he saw a buffalo herd that had crossed the ford onto the other
"What shall I do now?" thought Porcupine as he sat
down. He called out, "Carry me across!" One of the buffalo
replied, "Do you mean me?" Porcupine called again, "No,
I want a different buffalo." Thus he rejected each member of
the herd, one after another, as each asked. "Do you mean me?"
the last and best one in the herd said, "I will carry you across
the river." The buffalo crossed the river and said to porcupine,
"Climb on my back." Porcupine said, "No, I'm afraid
I will fall off into the water." Buffalo said, "Then climb
up and ride between my horns." "No," replied Porcupine.
"I'm sure I'll slide off into the river."
Buffalo suggested many other ways to carry him, but Porcupine
protested. "Perhaps you'd rather ride inside of me?" offered
the buffalo. "Yes," said Porcupine, and let himself be
swallowed by the buffalo.
"Where are we now?" asked Porcupine. "In the
middle of the river," said the buffalo, After a little while,
Porcupine asked again. "We have nearly crossed," said
the buffalo. "Now we have emerged from the water; come out
of me!" Porcupine said, "No, not yet, go a little farther."
Soon the buffalo stopped and said, "We have gone far enough,
so come out." Then Porcupine hit the buffalo's heart with his
heavy tail. The buffalo started to run, but fell down and died right
there. Porcupine had killed him. Others in the herd tried to hook
Porcupine, but he sat under the buffalo's ribs, where he could not
be hooked. Soon the herd tired and ran on their way.
came out and said aloud, "I wish I had something to butcher
this nice big buffalo with." Now, Coyote was sleeping nearby,
and woke up and heard him. Coyote went to Porcupine and said, "Here
is my knife for butchering." So they went together to the side
of the buffalo.
"Let him butcher who can jump over it," said Coyote.
Porcupine ran and jumped, but only partway over the buffalo. Coyote
jumped over it without touching the dead animal, so he began to
butcher, cutting up the buffalo.
After a little time, he handed the paunch to Porcupine and said,
"Go wash it in the river, but don't eat it yet." Porcupine
took it to the river, washed it, then he bit off a piece. When Coyote
saw what Porcupine had done, he became very angry with him and went
after him, "I told you not to eat any of the paunch."
Coyote picked up a club and killed Porcupine and placed him beside
the buffalo, and went to his home. Then he told his family, "I
have killed a buffalo and I have killed a porcupine. Let us go and
carry them home."
Porcupine had come out of the buffalo, he said magic words, "Let
a red pine grow here fast." Then at once red pine began to
grow under the meat and under Porcupine. It grew very tall and fast.
All of the meat and Porcupine rested at the top of the red pine
tree, high in the air, Porcupine magically coming alive again.
Coyote and his family arrived and were surprised that all of
the meat was gone. They began to hunt for it. "I wish they
would look up," said Porcupine. Then the smallest child looked
up and said "Oh!" The family looked up and saw Porcupine
sitting on top of the meat in the tall red pine tree.
said, "Throw down a piece of the neck, we are very hungry."
"Yes," said Porcupine. "Place that youngest child
a little farther away. "Yes," they responded and took
him to one side.
"Now make a ring and all hold hands upward," said
Porcupine. So the family joined hands and held them up. Porcupine
threw down several pieces of the buffalo meat, killing Coyote and
those in the ring. Porcupine then threw down the rest of the buffalo
meat, and climbed down the tree.
He took charge of the young coyote and fed him all the meat
he desired. Porcupine took all the meat he could carry to his home.
He and the young coyote became good friends and helped each other
hunt buffalo together for a long, long time.