It was when it was fall, and all the animals were in their towns. Then Great-Grizzly-Bear was also in his town because it was mid-winter. Then rain came down and dropped into the den [town] of Great-Grizzly-Bear, whose fur was wet; and he was much annoyed on account of the long rain. Therefore he sat outside of the door of his den and looked about for something.
While he was sitting there, behold! Porcupine went towards him. As he passed the door of Great-Grizzly-Bear's den, Grizzly-Bear said, "Come in, friend! Come in, friend! You shall eat with me." Therefore Porcupine entered the den of Grizzly-Bear.
Then Great-Grizzly-Bear made a great fire. He took little Porcupine, tied his feet and hands, and put him by the side of the fire. Then Porcupine's back was burned by the fire. Great-Grizzly-Bear said, "? ? ? du-u, du-u!" Thus said Great-Grizzly-Bear. "I shall do so," said Porcupine. "O chief! untie my bands, then I will do what you say."
But Great-Grizzly-Bear did not mind what little Porcupine said to him, because he is very strong. He is the strongest among all the animals, therefore he did not listen to what little Porcupine said to him. He was very
proud, therefore he kicked him again into the fireplace. "? ? ? du-u, du-u!" said Great-Grizzly-Bear, making fun of little Porcupine. Then the hair on the back of Porcupine was burned again. Therefore the backs of all porcupines are this way now.
When the poor weak little animal was about to die because the skin of his back was shrivelled up, he said again to Great-Grizzly-Bear, "Have pity on me, chief! I will do what you say." But then Great-Grizzly--Bear kicked him again into the fireplace, and said, what he had said before, "? ? ? du-u, du-u!"
Great-Grizzly-Bear did so many times. When the poor little Porcupine was about to die, he threw him out of his den, and the poor one lay there for a long time. Then he opened his eyes. He tried to walk, but his whole body gave him much pain. Then the poor one said, "I have reason to be ashamed of you, great strong Grizzly-Bear. Don't say anything when the ice comes to you." Then the poor one went along slowly. He went out, singing a crying-song, and he cried,
"As I walk at the foot of a beautiful green mountain,
All the stars of heaven are glittering as the north wind clears the sky." 2
When he had repeated his cry four times, and when he had finished saying it the fourth time, the wind began to blow down river. Then all the stars came out and twinkled, and indicated that there would be a strong wind down river. Then the wind came, and was very cold, and everything was ice.
It was Great-Grizzly-Bear who was caught by the ice in his den. Then he was dead, because he had made
fun of the poor weak one, who was smaller than he. It was the wish of Great-Grizzly-Bear when he began to make fun of the poor weak little Porcupine, and there was nobody who took away poor Porcupine from his hands. Nevertheless the strong wind down river avenged the poor weak animal. He was the one who hated him.
239:2 The translation of the song is not clear. So far as the word,, are intelligible, they may be translated as follows: "Around the foot of the door goes ? ? ? Fog is around, stars are around the head waters of the Skeena River and the head waters of Nass River." The translation given above is the interpretation of the song given by Mr. Tate.