Native American Legends
How Buffalo Taught The Bully A Lesson
An American Indian Legend - Nation Unknown
One day long ago, Grizzly Bear was traveling through the hills
near a river. He came upon Buffalo Bull standing in the trail. Buffalo's
head was hanging down as if he were weak and sick.
"Ho! Crooked Horns," said Bear. "They say you have
been saying you will go to war with me! Put on your war paint now
and we will have a big fight!"
"I do not want to fight with you, Rootdigger," Buffalo
replied. "I want peace, not war."
"Ho!" said Bear. "Crooked Horns, you are a coward!
You want to run away like an old woman! You are afraid of me!"
Then Bear came close and pulled Buffalo's hair and pushed his nose
down into the dust. Then he pulled Buffalo's tail and slapped him
as hard as he could.
"Oh! Root-digger, you have caused me great pain," said
Buffalo as he limped away. "I have done nothing to you and
you still have hurt me. That is not right"
"Ho! You are a coward Crooked Horns! You have the heart of
an old woman and you fear me," said Bear as he turned to continue
his travels. "Ho! I laugh at you! You are a coward!"
As Bear walked away, Buffalo thought to himself, "I really
ought to fight him for he is just a mean bully."
Bear, by his magic powers, knew what Buffalo was thinking, so he
came back and said, "What was that you said about me, Crooked
Buffalo said, "I said nothing about you."
"You speak with two tongues," said Bear. "You were
talking in your mind about me and I know it!" Then he mauled
Buffalo again, pulling his hair and slapping him. And then he went
Buffalo thought again to himself, "Now I should surely fight
him for he is always picking on someone and wanting to fight."
Again Bear knew what Buffalo was thinking and came back and snarled
and abused him. Four times this happened. The fifth time, when Bear
started to come back to Buffalo, Buffalo backed away and began pawing
the earth, still begging Bear not to hurt him.
Bear said, "Don't run away Old Woman Crooked Horns. Don't
run away. Stand and fight me, Crooked Horns Coward!"
But Buffalo kept backing away, and at last, when he was at the
edge of a steep bank, he rushed at Bear and knocked him flat. Buffalo
stood over Bear and tried to pin him down to the ground with his
sharp black horns.
"Ho! Do not spear me with your horns! You cause me great pain,
Crooked Horns!" cried Bear as he scrambled about, trying to
get away from Buffalo.
"You wanted to go to war," said Buffalo. "Now why
don't you stand up and fight, Old Woman Root-digger? Why don't you
fight me now, I say?"
At last Bear scrambled too close to the edge of the high bank,
and over he went, right down to the bottom of the river valley.
There he lay on his back, where he had fallen, crying and begging
Buffalo to let him come up again.
Buffalo stood at the top of the bank watching Bear. At last he
said, "You are the kind of person who always wants to fight
the weak. I should finish this fight and make you pay dearly to
teach you a lesson, instead of letting you come back up here to
bother decent people."
Bear cried, "If you will let me come up, we will make peace
and fight no more."
So. at last, Buffalo let Bear come back up. Since that time Bear
and Buffalo have been at peace. But Bear still has his bad temper.
That is how one bully found someone who was not fearful of him
and was hurt the way he had been hurting others! A bully has no
real courage, and somewhere, sometime, he is going to learn a lesson
in life that will hurt him.
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