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Friday, 9 January 2015

The Buffalo Hunting Porcupine

Hi dear friends and followers. Today we visit the Native Amercan people named Utes

The Native People known as the Utes lived in central and western Colorado for centuries before their contact with the white man. They were a nomadic people who, at first, lived in bark covered dwellings called wikiups, and followed the buffalo herds. A wikiup was rather hard to move so the Ute eventually adopted the teepee as a temporary shelter while on the hunt.

Many Native American legends feature animals animals who embody a certain spirit or are known for a particular skill or "virtue" as the central characters; whether it's part of a creation myth, or legends and fables, they manage to hold our attention, and teach us in the process.

One story tells of a time when animals ruled the earth, and a buffalo tracking porcupine.


The Buffalo Hunting Porcupine

The porcupine had been following the buffalo by their manure chips, asking each and every one in which direction the buffalo were headed. One answered it was "fresh", and the porcupine followed its directions to a river which the buffalo had just crossed.

The porcupine called out for a buffalo to carry him across the river, but as each one replied, "Do you mean me?", he said, "No, I want a different buffalo," and moved on to the next one until he finally found the strongest buffalo in the herd who said, "I shall carry you across the river!," and proceeded to cross the river to fetch the porcupine.

The porcupine, unsure for his safety, was apprehensive about getting on the buffalo's back. Every suggestion offered by the buffalo was declined by the frightened porcupine until the buffalo asked him if he would rather cross the river inside him. The porcupine agreed, and was swallowed by the buffalo.

As they crossed the river, the anxious porcupine asked the buffalo if they had arrived. The buffalo answered, "No, not yet." Then a little while later, he asked again and the buffalo replied, "We have just come out of the water, it is safe for you to leave my insides." But the porcupine replied: "Not yet, wait a little longer."

A while later, the buffalo grew tired of carrying the porcupine inside him, and ordered it to come out. The porcupine came out, but his heavy tail, full of quills punctured the buffalo's heart on the way, causing it to charge and die suddenly. This angered the other buffalo, who tried to kill the porcupine, but he stayed beneath the buffalo's ribs, safe from their horned attacks.

After the buffalo got tired and abandoned their efforts, the porcupine emerged, and looking at the buffalo carcass said, "I wish I had something with which to butcher this buffalo."

A coyote who happened to be sleeping nearby heard the porcupine, and quickly got to its feet, and rushed to help the porcupine. He said, "Here is my knife for butchering", and joined the porcupine at the dead buffalo's side.

The coyote issued a challenge: "Let he who can leap over the beast butcher it." The porcupine got a good start, ran, and jumped, but he fell short of the mark. Of course, the coyote achieved the jump in a single bound, not even grazing the dead buffalo, so he got to carve up the beast.

After a while, he removed the paunch, and gave it to the porcupine for him to go and clean in the river, asking him to wait before eating any of it. The porcupine, hungry from all the excitement, tore off a little piece and ate it, but not so little a piece, and not eaten fast enough that the coyote didn't see, and the latter howled with anger at the disobedient porcupine whom he chased and killed with a club, then stuffed inside the buffalo's carcass.

When he later joined his family, the coyote told them he had killed both the porcupine and the buffalo, and he asked them to help carry them home.

Before being removed from inside the buffalo, the spirit of the porcupine said the magic words, "Let a red pine tree grow here - fast." The tree sprang upwards from beneath the meat and the porcupine, carrying them to the heavens, with the porcupine miraculously coming back to life.

When the coyote and his family returned to get the meat, they were surprised to find it had gone missing, and he asked his family to search the area, hoping to pick up a scent.

Porcupine, sitting atop the tall red pine, wished the coyotes would look up and see him there. Then it happened: the smallest coyote looked up and saw the porcupine, sitting up at the top of the branches on a small hill of meat.

Coyote asked the porcupine to throw them a piece, for they were starving, but the porcupine had one request: "Place the smallest of your children a little farther away." The coyotes did as they were asked, placing their youngest off to the side. "Now make a circle and hold your hands upward to the heavens," so they did, and porcupine began throwing down the huge chunks of meat which ended up knocking the coyote and his family dead, with the exception of the little one.

When he came back down, Porcupine took care the little coyote, fed him some meat and then went home with as much as he could carry. Later on, the porcupine and the coyote, who had since become close friends, ended up helping each other in 
the hunt for buffalo.

Thank you very much again, dear friends, for visiting my blog. Please share your thoughts with us, if you will. have a great Week.

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