THE FIRST HORSES
(BLACKFOOT LEGEND)

The legend of the first horses, told by the Blackfoot people says that a long time ago a warrior Piegan had a dream, on that dream he was on a lake, and some large animals lived around. A voice then told him that these animals were harmless and he could use them to drag travols and carry packs.

First Horse

The voice also told him to go this lake, and use a rope to catch these animals. As soon as the Piegan warrior woke up, he took a rope and made his way to the lake. Once in there he dug a hole and concealed himself there.

After some time, some animals came to drink to the lake, but still there was no sign of the animals he dream. But then, at last, a herd of large animals appeared, the animals were as large as elks, with small ears and tails really long, some of them were white, others black and others red and spotted.

While the warrior was watching them drink, he heard the voice from his dream saying: "Throw your rope and catch one". The Piegan did this and caught one of the largest animals, but the animal was stronger and after struggling and some pulling, the rope pulled out from the warrior's hand.

The herd and the animal escaped, feeling sad, the Piegan walked back to the camp. Once in his lodge, he prayed for help, and at that moment he heard the voice again that said: "You have four more times to try to catch them, if in these chances you can't catch them, you will never see them again."

The legend of the first horses goes on saying that the warrior before going to sleep that night, he asked for advice to the Old Man, who told him on his sleep that he should catch one of the young animals, because he wasn't strong enough to catch one fo the big ones.

The next morning the Piegan went back to the lake, digging a hole again, laid hidden, then the elk, the coyote and the deer came to drink. When the wind began to raise the waves, the herd of the strange animals came to drink as well. Again the Piegan threw his rope, but this time to one of the young animals, and he was able to hold it.

The warrior was able to catch the young animals and took them back to his camp. After some time, the mothers of the colts came trotting into the camp. The people gave them milk to drink, and then the stallions (fathers of the colts) came to the camp as well.

Thanks to the warrior Piegan, and after some time, the animals were tame and followed the people around the camp. And then the Piegans started to put packs on them and called the animals Po-No-Kah-Mita, or elk dog, because they were big and shaped like an elk, but could carry packs like a dog.

And this is the Blackfoot legend of the First Horses

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