The beaver and the porcupine were great friends and went about
everywhere together. The porcupine often visited the beaver’s house,
but the latter did not like to have him come because he left quills
there. One time, when the porcupine said that he wanted to go out
to the beaver’s house, the beaver said, « All right, I will
take you out on my back. » He started, but instead of going
to his house he took him to a stump in the very middle of the lake.
Then he said to him, « This is my house, » left him there, and went ashore.
While the porcupine was upon this stump he began singing a song,
« Let it become frozen. Let it become frozen so that I can cross
to Wolverine-man’s place. » He meant that he wanted to walk
ashore on the ice. So the surface of the lake froze, and he walked home.
Some time after this, when the two friends were again playing together,
the porcupine said, « You come now. It is my turn to carry you
on my back. » Then the beaver got on the porcupine’s back, and
the porcupine took him to the top of a very high tree, after which
he came down and left him. For a long time the beaver did not know
how to get down, but finally he climbed down, and they say that
this is what gives the broken appearance to tree bark.