[020] My First Buffalo Hunt

My First Buffalo Hunt

My First Buffalo Hunt [G]


I went three times on the buffalo hunt. When I was there the first time, I was small; therefore, I did not shoot the buffaloes. But I used to take care of the pack horses for those who surrounded the herd. When they surrounded the herd at the very first, I spoke of shooting at the buffaloes. But my father said, "Perhaps the horse might throw you suddenly, and then the buffalo might gore you." And I was in a bad humor.

My father went with me to the hill. We sat and looked on them when they attacked the buffaloes. And notwithstanding my father talked to me, I continued there without talking to him. At length one man was coming directly toward the tents in pursuit of a buffalo bull. And the buffalo bull was savage. He attacked the man now and then.

"Come! Go thither," said my father. I tied a lariat on a large red mare that was very tall. And taking a very light gun which my father had, I went over there. When I arrived the buffalo bull was standing motionless. The man said he was very glad that I had come. The buffalo bull was savage. The man shot suddenly at him with a bow and wounded him on the back. And then he attacked us. The horse on which I was seated leaped very far four times, and had gone off, throwing me suddenly. When the buffalo bull had come very close, he wheeled around and departed. So I failed to shoot at him before he went. I reached home just as my mother was scolding my father about me. When the horse reached home with the bridle sticking to it, she knew that I had been thrown. My father said nothing at all, but sat laughing. Addressing me, he said, "Did you kill the buffalo bull?" And I did not speak.

[G] The author, Frank La Flèche, an Omaha Indian, was about twelve years old when this occurred.