Buffalo Tear Drops
By Kari Kovacs
Once many, many years ago there lived a wise, old
buffalo who was sent to the earth to teach animals about peace and love.
Oh how buffalo loved his job! He loved to talk to and teach the other animals all
All of the animals respected and loved buffalo. His life was filled
with happiness and joy, but yet he was sad. Some of the animals did not listen to buffalo
when he was teaching. Many of the animals had bad lives because they were mean and hated
one another. This made buffalo very sad.
One fine spring day, buffalo was talking with one of his best friends,
"The rains have come early this year. I think the food will be
more plentiful,"remarked coyote.
"Yes, the prairie does look more lush than last year,"
"What's wrong?" asked coyote.
"Oh, nothing." answered buffalo.
"Yes there is,"said coyote, "I can always tell if there
is something wrong in your life."
" Well, there is something wrong," buffalo finally
"Well, what is it?"
" It's all the other animals,"sighed buffalo. " All they
do is fight and behave like savages. I was sent to the earth with great wisdom and power
to help me teach the animals of the world about peace and love and yet I feel that
I have not even started to help anyone. I don't even know why I feel this way."
"I think I know why you feel this way," said coyote.
"It's probably because you have so many places to visit and so many animals to
teach. What you need is an assistant to help you teach others. You could use some help
from someone like....."
"Like you, Coyote!"exclaimed buffalo.
"Me? Why me? I don't have any special talent or wisdom or-"
"But you have lot's of energy and a mind that is ready to learn
anything that can be taught to you. Your energy can be used for traveling and you could be
my apprentice. Please, will you help me, coyote ?"
"Alright, I'll help you buffalo but only because I enjoy helping
others besides myself. So, when do you start teaching me?"
"Be patient my friend. We start tomorrow."
Early in the morning the next day , coyote met buffalo under the Great
"What do I learn today?" asked coyote.
"Nothing. You will begin your journey to teach
"What will I say to the animals?" coyote asked.
"I'm going to tell you the same thing the great spirits told me
when I asked the same question. Tell them what your spirit says."
"Alright, I'll do that. Good-bye buffalo."coyote
shouted as he walked away.
"Bye coyote, I'll see you next month."
Together ,buffalo and coyote were the best team of teachers in the world.
Coyote taught half of the world while buffalo taught the other half. By the time
winter had come, coyote and buffalo had already taught the whole world but their job was
not yet done.
There were many wars they had to help settle. After everything had been
done, coyote and buffalo had gone out to visit wolf .When they were gone a group of rats,
that had been planning to stop buffalo, waited at his home for
"Do we really have to do this?" asked one of the rats, "
I mean kill buffalo."
"Who said that we were going to kill him? We're going to
kill his friend so that buffalo won't be able to do any thing but mourn." explained
the rat leader.
"Here comes coyote!" yelled one of the rats. Since
coyote's house was too far away and coyote was very tired from the long day, buffalo
insisted that he spent the night at his home. Coyote was just about to lay down on a
pile of leaves when the rats jumped on him. They started to bite and stab him with small
sharp sticks. Coyote tried to fight off the rats but it was no use, the rats just kept
biting and stabbing.
Finally coyote fell on the ground and lay still .
The rats ran away assuring themselves that coyote was dead.
A few minnuts after watching the attack, hummingbird saw coyote lying
on the ground. She wasted no time to tell buffalo.
"Buffalo! A pack of rats attacked coyote and now
he is lying on the ground severely injured. You must come at once!"announced
As buffalo was about to leave wolf came up to him, " Can I
help you in any way?"
"Yes. You can find the rats that did this and kill them,"
buffalo said in an angry voice. Wolf nodded and started his search. Now what buffalo told
wolf to do did not make the great spirits happy. He had gone back on his oath to help
teach others about peace and this made the spirits angry.
That night the spirits had a meeting to decide what they should do with buffalo.
"We should end his life right now," said the spirit of the
"No. We should just let him be. It was just a mistake,"
answered the earth spirit.
"Enough from both of you!" bellowed the greatest of all
spirits. "We will just simply punish buffalo. Are there any suggestions?"
"I have one,"said the water spirit. "Perhaps we can send
the rats to go and finish of coyote to teach buffalo a lesson." The greatest
spirit thought for a moment and then answered.
"Well, coyote is suffering as it is right now... alright,
you can send the rats to finish what they have already done."
That night when buffalo was certain coyote could be left alone so he
could visit wolf after his long journey, the rats snuck into the den and strangled coyote
in his sleep.
In the morning when buffalo came back from spending the night with
wolf, he stopped outside of his home. There lying on the ground was the body of
buffalo's dear friend, coyote.
The next day, all the animals came to coyote's funeral. They each
brought beautiful flowers to lay beside coyote's grave.
Buffalo said a few words about coyote and then said the words that
lifted coyote's spirit up to heaven.
After the ceremony, buffalo could not do anything for three days
because of his grief. On the third day buffalo went to the holy place where he could talk
to the spirits.
"Great spirits, why has this tragedy fallen upon me?" asked
All of the sudden there was a bright light and then a voice came.
"It happened because you had to be punished. You had made an oath
to help reduce violence but when you told wolf to kill the rats you had gone back on your
oath. So it is you fault coyote is in a grave," bellowed the spirit.
Buffalo nodded and said good-bye to the spirit and left.
On his way home, buffalo stopped at coyote's grave.
"It's not the same without you," buffalo said." I wish I
could just pull you from heaven so we could just talk one last time."
Then buffalo did a strange thing, he started to cry. The strange thing
was that when buffalo started to cry he couldn't stop. Soon he cried so much that
buffalo's tears flooded the land and washed away all the evil spirits. After buffalo
stopped crying, the flood went down until the water was gone. From that day forth, buffalo
no longer had to teach the animals. He could now rest until his days were ended.
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