Items Related to the the Coyote, Porcupine and the Elk Legend

A fat porcupine was sitting on the bank of the river one morning, wondering how he could get across to the other side. He was hungry. On the other side of the stream were many pinon trees. The porcupine wanted to eat the bark from the trees, but the river was too wide, and the water was high and swift.

Elk were grazing on the flats behind him. Suddenly one elk came toward the river and stopped on the bank near the porcupine.

"Are you going to cross the river?" the porcupine said.

The elk looked down at him.

"Yes, I'm going to cross the river," the elk said.

"Well, Sister," said the porcupine, "will you carry me across? My legs are very short and yours are very long."

"Yes," said the elk. "You can ride on my back."

"Oh, no," the porcupine cried. "I'd slip off into the water and drown."

"Then you can ride on my horns," the elk told him.

"Oh, no. You'd be sure to shake me off into the water and it would carry me downstream. I'd probably drown," the porcupine objected. "I know a better way. I'll crawl into you from the rear, then I'll crawl out your mouth on the other side."

The elk thought about that.

"No. I don't like that idea," she said. "Your sharp spines might kill me."

"Don't worry about that. Sister," said the porcupine. "Let me show you how easy it will be."

The elk was suspicious at first, then she decided to let the porcupine show how he could do it without hurting her.

The porcupine smoothed his quills down and went in one way and crawled out the other.

"Wasn't that easy?" he asked. "I didn't hurt you at all, did I, Sister?"


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