Beaver And Porcupine

: Indian Legends Retold

Once in the old days Beaver and Porcupine were comrades and went

everywhere together. Now Beavers are much afraid of Bears, who break

down the beaver dams so as to let off the water, catch them and eat

them. But the Bear fears the sharp quills of the Porcupine, therefore

the little fellow acted as guard to his friend. Porcupine often

visited Beaver in his house, which is dry and comfortable, and

unfortunately annoyed h
s host by leaving some of his quills there.

One day Porcupine proposed to call on his friend, and Beaver offered

to carry him on his back, since the prickly one cannot swim. But

instead of taking him to his home under the dam, he took him to a

tall stump in the very middle of the lake, and there he left him!

There Porcupine was compelled to stay until the lake froze over, and

he could walk home on the ice.

Beaver contrived to explain the whole thing as a joke, and the pair

appeared to be on as good terms as ever. One fine day the Bear


"What shall I do? Save me! save me!" cried Beaver in terror.

"Certainly, friend; just get upon my back and I will carry you to

safety," replied Porcupine.

Beaver did as he was told, and was taken to the top of a very tall

tree and left to himself. He did not know how to climb and was afraid

to try to get down alone.

He took him to a tall stump in the very middle of the lake and

there he left him.

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"Oh, do help me down!" he cried; but it was of no use to beg. After

staying up there so long that he grew dizzy and almost starved to

death, he finally contrived to scramble down the tree; and they say

that is why the bark of trees is rough and full of scratches to this

day. We are also told that it is on account of this happening that

people who have loved each other very much sometimes quarrel, and are

no longer friends.