Tortoise and Porcupine were friends.
One day Tortoise got a jigger-flea in his foot. "Help me, Porcupine!" he said.
Porcupine gave him a thorn to use, and another, and another.
"They're no good!" shouted Tortoise. "Give me a quill from your back."
So Porcupine gave him a quill, although it was painful to do so.
Then Porcupine told Tortoise, "I need to grind tukula powder. Give me a bowl!"
Tortoise gave him a bowl, and another, and another.
"They're no good!" shouted Porcupine. "Give me the bowl on your back!"
When Tortoise removed the shell from his back, he died.
[a Bulu story from Cameroon]
Inspired by: "How Porcupine Got Even With Turtle" in Bulu Folk-Tales (in Journal of American Folklore) by George Schwab, 1914. The Bulu are a people who live in Cameroon.
Notes: You can read the original story online. There is a tukula mortar you can see at the The Met online.
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