JAMES A. HONE, M.D.
The Baker & Taylor Company
C. F. H. AND F. I. G.
INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . 1
ORIGIN OF THE DIFFERENCE IN MODES OF LIFE BETWEEN HOTTENTOTS
AND BUSHMEN . . . . . . . . 8
THE LOST MESSAGE . . . . . 10
THE MONKEY'S FIDDLE . . . . 14
THE TIGER, THE RAM, AND THE JACKAL 19
THE JACKAL AND THE WOLF 22
A JACKAL AND A WOLF 24
THE LION, THE JACKAL, AND THE MAN 25
THE WORLD'S REWARD 28
THE LION AND THE JACKAL 33
TINK-TINKJE . . . . . . . 412
THE LION AND JACKAL . . . . 45
THE LION AND JACKAL 48
THF, HUNT OF LION AND JACKAL 53
THE STORY OF LION AND LITTLE JACKAL 56
THE LIONESS AND THE OSTRICH 62
CROCODILE'S TREASON . . . . . 64
THE STORY OF A DAM . . . . . 73
THE DANCE FOR WATER OR RABBITS' TRIUMPH . . . . . . .79
JACKAL AND MONKEY . . . . . 84
LION'S SHARE . . . . . . . 87
JACKAL'S BRIDE . . . . . . 92
THE STORY OF HARE . . . . . 94
THE WHITE MAN AND SNAKE . . .101
ANOTHER VERSION OF THE SAME FABLE 103
CLOUD BATING . . . . . . 105
LION'S ILLNESS . . . . . . 107
JACKAL, DOVE, AND HERON . . . . 109
COCK AND JACKAL . . . . . . 111
ELEPHANT AND TORT01SE . . . .112
ANOTHER VERSION OF THE SAME FABLE 115
TORTOISE HUNTING OSTRICHES . . . 117
THE JUDGMENT OF BABOON . . . 118
LION AND BABOON 121
THE ZEBRA STALLION . . . . . 1912
WHEN LION COULD FLY . . . . IQ4
LION WHO THOUGHT HIMSELF WISER THAN HIS MOTRER . . . . . .
LION WHO TOOK A WOMAN'S SHAPE . 129
WHY HAS JACKAL A LONG BLACK STRIPE ON HIS BACK? . . . . .
HORSE CURSED BY SUN 138
LION'S DEFEAT . . . . . . 139
THE ORIGIN OF DEATH. . . . 141
ANOTHER VERSION OF THE SAME FABLE 143
A THIRD VERSION OF THE SAME FABLE . 144
A FOURTH VERSION OF THE SAME FABLE 146
A ZULU VERSION OF THE LEGEND OF THE "ORIGIN OF DEATH"
LITERATURE ON SOUTH-AFRICAN FOLK-LORE 148
IN presenting these stories, which are of deep interest and
value to South Africans, I hope they may prove of some value
to those Americans who have either an interest in animals or
who appreciate the folklore of other countries.
Many of these tales have appeared among English collections
previous to 1880, others have been translated from the Dutch,
and a few have been written from childhood remembrance. Consequently
they do not pretend to be original or unique. Care has been taken
not to spoil the ethnological value for the sake of form or structure;
and in all cases they are as nearly like the original as a translation
from one tongue to another will allow. They are all South-African
folklore tales and mainly from the Bushmen. Some are perverted
types from what were originally Bushmen tales, but have been
taken over by Hottentots or Zulus; a few are from the Dutch.
Most of these last named will show a European influence, especially
Some of the animal stories have appeared in American magazines
under the author's name, but this is the first time that a complete
collection has appeared since Dr. Bleek published his stories
in 1864. The object has been to keep the stories apart from those
which have a mythological or religious significance, and especially
to keep it an animal collection free from those in which man
appears to take a part.
There will be found several versions of the same story, and
as far as possible these will be put in the order of their importance
in relation to the original. The author does not pretend to be
an authority on South-African folklore, but has only a South-African-born
interest in what springs from that country of sunshine. It is
a difficult task to attempt to trace the origin of these stories,
as there is no country where there have been so many distinct
and primitive races dwelling together.
The Bushmen seem to trace back to the earliest Egyptian days,
when dwarfs were pictured on the tombs of the kings and were
a distinct race. From then until now it has been their pride
to say that before men were men, they were; or, to put it clearer,
before Africa was inhabited by other races, they were there.
As represented by some of these stories of the Bushmen, what
races have not, then, had their influence on the folklore? According
to Stow, they were a wandering primitive race of small men, painters
and sculptors, hunters and herdsmen, and withal a race showing
traces of won derful reasoning and adaptability, with a keen
sense of justice and a store of pride. Mythological some of their
stories are, but whether this is due to the influence of the
Hottentots, a later race, it is difficult to say. And, lastly,
there are the Kaffirs spread over the whole of South Africa,
domineering, but backward. The varied influences which may have
affected these stories before they reached us show what enormous
possibilities there are for error in tracing the origin of the
animal tales here presented. Bleek finds that a greater congeniality
exists between tbe Hottentot and European mind than is found
between the latter and any other of the black races of Africa.
Whether he means that this indicates a European origin of the
fables, I cannot say. There is no doubt in my mind that the Bushmen
came from the north and were the primitive race of south and
tropical Africa, the dwarfs of Livingstone, Stanley, and other
explorers. Considering, then, the great antiquity of this race,
it naturally follows that if these stories are not original with
the Bushmen, they are at least so modified as to bear no resemblance
to Egyptian, Plicenician, or any other ancient race which the
Bushmen may have come in contact with. Herodotus described a
race on the upper Nile which corresponds with later descriptions
of the Bushmen in tropical and southern Africa.
I agree with what the South-African Folklore Journal stated
twenty years or more ago, that with the "vast strides South
Africa is making in the progress of civilization, the native
races will either be swept away or so altered as to lose many
of their ancient habits, customs, traditions, or at least greatly
to modify them."
Knowing that by a collection of this kind these stories could
best be preserved, and feeling that others had not read them,
I began this collection ten years ago. There is so much done
now to preserve what is still Bushmen folklore that I feel this
small volume is indeed only a small addition to the folklore
"South-African folklore is," the South-African Folklore
Journal says, "in its very nature plain, and primitive in
its simplicity; not adorned with the wealth of palaces and precious
stones to be met with in the folklore of more civilized nations,
but descriptive in great measure of the events of everyday life,
among those in a low state of civilization; and with the exception
of evidences of moral qualities, and of such imagery as is connected
with the phenomena of nature, very little that is grand or magnificent
must be looked for in it."
Bain gives a story related by a Kaffir which shows "
the distribution of animals after the creation." This story
could not become typically Kaffir until after the Kaffir came
in contact with the European in the last two or three hundred
years. However, the story will serve to illustrate the people
whose stories appear in this volume and to close the Introduction.
Teco, in Kaffir, is the Supreme Being. Teco had every description
of stock and property.
There were three nations created, viz., the Whites, the Amakosa,
or Kaffirs, and the Amalouw, or Hottentots. A day was appointed
for them to appear before the Teco to receive whatever he might
apportion to each tribe. While they were assembling, a honey
bird, or honey guide, came fluttering by, and all the Hottentots
ran after it, whistling and making the peculiar noise they generally
do while following this wonderful little bird. The Teco remonstrated
with them about their behavior, but to no purpose. He thereupon
denounced them as a vagrant race that would have to exist on
wild roots and honey beer, and possess no stock whatever.
When the fine herds of cattle were brought, the Kaffirs became
very much excited-the one exclaiming, "That black and white
cow is mine!" and another, "That red cow and black
bull are mine!" and so on, till at last the Teco, whose
patience had been severely taxed by their shouts and unruly behavior,
denounced them as a restless people, who would only possess cattle.
The Whites patiently waited until they received cattle, horses,
sheep, and all sorts of property. Hence, the old Kaffir observed,
"You Whites have got everything. We Kaffirs have only cattle,
while the Amalouw, or Hottentots, have nothing."
JAMES A. HONE.
CAMBRIDGE, MASS., June, 1910.
ORIGIN OF THE DIFFERENCE IN MODES OF LIFE BETWEEN
HOTTENTOTS AND BUSHMEN
IN the beginning there were two. One was blind, the other
was always hunting. This hunter found at last a hole in the earth
from which game proceeded and killed the young. The blind man,
feeling and smelling them, said, "They are not game, but
The blind man afterwards recovered his sight, and going with
the hunter to this hole, saw that they were cows with their calves.
He then quickly built a kraal (fence made of thorns) round them,
and anointed himself, just as Hottentots (in their native state)
are still wont to do.
When the other, who now with great trouble had to seek his
game, came and saw this, he wanted to anoint himself also. "Look
here!" said the other, "you must throw the ointment
into the fire, and afterwards use it." He followed this
advice, and the flames flaring up into his face, burnt him most
miserably; so that he was glad to make his escape. The other,
however, called to him: "Here, take the kirri (a knobstick),
and run to the hills to hunt there for honey."
Hence sprung the race of Bushmen.
THE LOST MESSAGE
THE ant has had from time immemorial many enemies, and because
he is small and destructive, there have been a great many slaughters
among them. Not only were most of the birds their enemies, but
Anteater lived almost wholly from them, and Centipede beset them
every time and at all places when he had the chance.
So now there were a few among them who thought it would be
well to hold council together and see if they could not come
to some arrangement whereby they could retreat to some place
of safety when attacked by robber birds and aninials.
But at the gathering their opinions were most discordant,
and they could come to no decision.
There was Red-ant, Rice-ant, Black-ant, Wagtail-ant, Gray-ant,
Shining-ant, and many other varieties. The discussion was a true
babel of diversity, which continued for a long time and came
A part desired that they should all go into a small hole in
the ground, and live there; another part wanted to have a large
and strong dwelling built on the ground, where nobody could enter
but an ant; still another wanted to dwell in trees, so as to
get rid of Anteater, forgetting entirely that there they would
be the prey of birds; another part seemed inclined to have wings
And, as has already been said, this deliberation amounted
to nothing, and each party resolved to go to work in its own
way, and on its own responsibility.
Greater unity than that which existed in each separate faction
could be seen nowhere in the world; each had his appointed task,
each did his work regularly and well. And all worked together
in the same way. From among them they chose a king-that is to
say some of the groups did-and they divided the labor so that
all went as smoothly as it possibly could.
But each group did it in its own way, and not one of them
thought of protecting themselves against the onslaught of birds
The Red-ants built their house on the ground and lived under
it, but Anteater leveled to the ground in a minute what had cost
them many days of precious labor. The Rice-ants lived under the
ground, and with them it went no better. For whenever they came
out, Anteater visited them and took them out sack and pack. The
Wagtail-ants fled to the trees, but there on many occasions sat
Centipede waiting for them, or the birds gobbled them up. The
Gray-ants had intended to save themselves from extermination
by taking to flight, but this also availed them nothing, because
the Lizard, the Hunting-spider, and the birds went a great deal
faster than they.
When the Insect-king heard that they could come to no agreement
he sent them the secret of unity, and the message of Work-together.
But unfortunately he chose for his messenger the Beetle, and
he has never yet arrived at the Ants, so that they are still
to-day the embodiment of discord and consequently the prey of
THE MONKEY'S FIDDLE
HUNGER and want forced Monkey one day to forsake his land
and to seek elsewhere among strangers for much-needed work. Bulbs,
earth beans, scorpions, insects, and such things were completely
exhausted in his own land. But fortunately he received, for the
time being, shelter with a great uncle of his, Orang Outang,
who lived in another part of the country.
When he had worked for quite a while he wanted to return home,
and as recompense his great uncle gave him a fiddle and a bow
and arrow and told him that with the bow and arrow he could hit
and kill anything he desired, and with the fiddle he could force
anything to dance.
The first he met upon his return to his own land was Brer
Wolf. This old fellow told him all the news and also that he
had since early morning been attempting to stalk a deer, but
all in vain.
Then Monkey laid before him all the wonders of the bow and
arrow that he carried on his back and assured him if he could
but see the deer he would bring it down for him. When Wolf showed
him the deer, Monkey was ready and down fell the deer.
They made a good meal together, but instead of Wolf being
thankful, jealousy overmastered him and he begged for the bow
and arrow. When Monkey refused to give it to him, he thereupon
began to threaten him with his greater strength, and so when
Jackal passed by, Wolf told him that Monkey had stolen his bow
and arrow. After Jackal had heard both of them, he declared himself
unqualified to settle the case alone, and he proposed that they
bring the matter to the court of Lion, Tiger, and the other animals.
In the meantime he declared he would take possession of what
had been the cause of their quarrel, so that it would be safe,
as he said. But he immediately brought to earth all that was
eatable, so there was a long time of slaughter before Monkey
and Wolf agreed to have the affair in court.
Monkey's evidence was weak, and to make it worse, Jackal's
testimony was against him. Jackal thought that in this way it
would be easier to obtain the bow and arrow from Wolf for himself.
And so fell the sentence against Monkey. Theft was looked
upon as a great wrong; he must hang.
The fiddle was still at his side, and he received as a last
favor from the court the right to play a tune on it.
He was a master player of his time, and in addition to this
came the wonderful power of his charmed fiddle. Thus, when he
struck the first note of "Cockcrow" upon it, the court
began at once to show an unusual and spontaneous liveliness,
and before he came to the first waltzing turn of the old tune
the whole court was dancing like a whirlwind.
Over and over, quicker and quicker, sounded the tune of "Cockcrow"
on the charmed fiddle, until some of the dancers, exhausted,
fell down, although still keeping their feet in motion. But Monkey,
musician as he was, heard and saw nothing of what had happened
around him. With his head placed lovingly against the instrument,
and his eyes half closed, he played on, keeping time ever with
Wolf was the first to cry out in pleading tones breathlessly,
"Please stop, Cousin Monkey! For love's sake, please stop!"
But Monkey did not even hear him. Over and over sounded the
resistless waltz of "Cockcrow."
After a while Lion showed signs of fatigue, and when he had
gone the round once more with his young lion wife, he growled
as he passed Monkey, "My whole kingdom is yours, ape, if
you just stop playing."
"I do not want it," answered Monkey, "but withdraw
the sentence and give me my bow and arrow, and you, Wolf, acknowledge
that you stole it from me."
"I acknowledge, I acknowledge!" cried Wolf, while
Lion cried, at the same instant, that he withdrew the sentence.
Monkey gave them just a few more turns of the "Cockcrow,"
gathered up his bow and arrow, and seated himself high up in
the nearest camel thorn tree.
The court and other animals were so afraid that he might begin
again that they hastily disbanded to new parts of the world.
THE TIGER, THE RAM, AND THE JACKAL
TIGER (leopard) was returning home from hunting on one occasion,
when he lighted on the kraal of Ram. Now, Tiger had never seen
Ram before, and accordingly, approaching submissively, he said,
"Good day, friend! What may your name be?"
The other in his gruff voice, and striking his breast with
his forefoot, said, "I am Ram. Who are you?"
"Tiger," answered the other, more dead than alive,
and then, taking leave of Ram, he ran home as fast as he could.
Jackal lived at the same place as Tiger did, and the latter
going to him, said, "Friend Jackal, I am quite out of breath,
and am half dead with fright, for I have just seen a terrible
looking fellow, with a large and thick head, and on my asking
him what his name was, he answered, "I am Ram."
"What a foolish fellow you are," cried Jackal, "to
let such a nice piece of flesh stand! Why did you do so? But
we shall go to-morrow and eat it together."
Next day the two set off for the kraal of Ram, and as they
appeared over a hill, Ram, who had turned out to look about him,
and was calculating where he should that day crop a tender salad,
saw them, and he immediately went to his wife and said, "I
fear this is our last day, for Jackal and Tiger are both coming
against us. What shall we do?"
"Don't be afraid," said the wife, "but take
up the child in your arms, go out with it, and pinch it to make
it cry as if it were hungry." Ram did so as the confederates
No sooner did Tiger cast his eyes on Ram than fear again took
possession of him, and he wished to turn back. Jackal had provided
against this, and made Tiger fast to himself with a leathern
thong, and said, "Come on," when Ram cried in a loud
voice, and pinching his child at the same time, "You have
done well, Friend Jackal, to have brought us Tiger to eat, for
you hear how my child is crying for food."
On these dreadful words Tiger, notwithstanding the entreaties
of Jackal to let him go, to let him loose, set off in the greatest
alarm, dragayed Jackal after him over hill and valley, through
bushes and over rocks, and never stopped to look behind him till
he brought back himself and half-dead Jackal to his place again.
And so Ram escaped.
THE JACKAL AND THE WOLF
ONCE on a time Jackal, who lived on the borders of the colony,
saw a wagon returning from the seaside laden with fish; he tried
to get into the wagon from behind, but he could not; he then
ran on before and lay in the road as if dead. The wagon came
up to him, and the leader cried to the driver, "Here is
a fine kaross for your wife!"
"Throw it into the wagon," said the driver, and
Jackal was thrown in.
The wagon traveled on, through a moonlight night, and all
the while Jackal was throwing out the flsh into the road; he
then jumped out himself and secured a great prize. But stupid
old Wolf (hyena), coming by, ate more than his share, for which
Jackal owed him a grudge, and he said to him, " You can
get plenty of fish, too, if you lie in the way of a wagon as
I did, and keep quite still whatever happens."
"So!" mumbled Wolf.
Accordingly, when the next wagon came from the sea, Wolf stretched
himself out in the road.
"What ugly thing is this?" cried the leader, and
kicked Wolf. He then took a stick and thrashed him within an
inch of his life. Wolf, according to the directions of Jackal,
lay quiet as long as he could; he then got up and bobbled off
to tell his misfortune to Jackal, who pretended to comfort him.
"What a pity," said Wolf, "I have not got such
a handsome skin as you have!"
A JACKAL AND A WOLF
JACKAL and Wolf went and hired themselves to a man to be his
servants. In the middle of the night Jackal rose and smeared
Wolf's tail with some fat, and then ate all the rest of it in
the house. In the morning the man missed the fat, and he immediately
accused Jackal of having eaten it. "Look at Wolf's tale,"
said the rogue, "and you will see who is the thief."
The man did so, and then thrashed Wolf till he was nearly dead.
THE LION, THE JACKAL, AND THE MAN
IT so happened one day that Lion and Jackal came together
to converse on affairs of land and state. Jackal, let me say,
was the most important adviser to the king of the forest, and
after they had spoken about these matters for quite a while,
the conversation took a more personal turn.
Lion began to boast and talk big about his strength. Jackal
had, perhaps, given him cause for it, because by nature he was
a flatterer. But now that Lion began to assume so many airs,
said he, "See here, Lion, I will show you an animal that
is still more powerful than you are."
They walked along, Jackal leading the way, and met first a
"Is this the strong man?" asked Lion.
"No," answered Jackal, "he must still become
a man, O king."
After a while they found an old man walking with bowed head
and supporting his bent figure with a stick.
"Is this the wonderful strong man?" asked Lion.
"Not yet, O king," was Jackal's answer, "he
has been a man."
Continuing their walk a short distance farther, they came
across a young hunter, in the prime of youth, and accompanied
by some of his dogs.
"There you have him now, O king," said Jackal. "Pit
your strength against his, and if you win, then truly you are
the strength of the earth."
Then Jackal made tracks to one side toward a little rocky
kopje from which he would be able to see the meeting.
Growling, growling, Lion strode forward to meet the man, but
when he came close the dogs beset him. He, however, paid but
little attention to the dogs, pushed and separated them on all
sides with a few sweeps of his front paws. They bowled aloud,
beating a hasty retreat toward the man.
Thereupon the man fired a charge of shot, bitting him behind
the shoulder, but even to this Lion paid but little attention.
Thereupon the hunter pulled out his steel knife, and gave him
a few good jabs. Lion retreated, followed by the flying bullets
of the hunter.
"Well, are you strongest now?" was Jackal's first
question when Lion arrived at his side.
"No, Jackal," answered Lion, "let that fellow
there keep the name and welcome. Such as he I have never before
seen. In the first place he had about ten of his bodyguard storm
me. I really did not bother myself much about them, but when
I attempted to turn him to chaff, he spat and blew fire at me,
mostly into my face, that burned just a little but not very badly.
And when I again endeavored to pull him to the ground he jerked
out from his body one of his ribs with which he gave me some
very ugly wounds, so bad that I had to make chips fly, and as
a parting he sent some warm bullets after me. No, Jackal, give
him the name."
THE WORLD'S REWARD
ONCE there was a man that had an old dog, so old that the,
man desired to put him aside. The dog had served him very faithfully
when he was still young, but ingratitude is the world's reward,
and the man now wanted to dispose of him. The old dumb creature,
however, ferreted out the plan of his master, and so at once
resolved to go away of his own accord.
After he had walked quite a way he met an old bull in the
"Don't you want to go with me?" asked the dog.
"Where?" was the reply.
"To the land of the aged," said the dog, where troubles
don't disturb you and thanklessness does not deface the deeds
"Good," said the bull, "I am your companion."
The two now walked on and found a ram.
The dog laid the plan before him, and all moved off together,
until they afterwards came successively upon a donkey, a cat,
a cock, and a goose.
These joined their company, and the seven set out on their
Late one night they came to a house and through the open door
they saw a table spread with all kinds of nice food, of which
some robbers were having their fill. It would help nothing to
ask for admittance, and seeing that they were hungry, they must
think of something else.
Therefore the donkey climbed up on the bull, the rain. on
the donkev, the dog on the rain, the cat on the dog, the goose
on the cat, and the cock on the goose, and with one accord they
all let out terrible (threatening) noises (cryings).
The bull began to bellow, the donkey to bray, the dog to bark,
the ram to bleat, the cat to mew, the goose to giggle gaggle,
and the cock to crow, all without cessation.
The people in the house were frightened perfectly limp; they
glanced out through the front door, and there they stared on
the strange sight. Some of them took to the ropes over the back
lower door, some disappeared through the window, and in a few
counts the house was empty.
Then the seven old animals climbed down from one another,
stepped into the house, and satisfied themselves with the delicious
But when they had finished, there still remained a great deal
of food, too much to take with them on their remaining journey,
and so together they contrived a plan to hold their position
until the next day after breakfast.
The dog said, "See here, I am accustomed to watch at
the front door of my master's house," and thereupon flopped
himself down to sleep; the bull said, "I go behind the door,"
and there he took his position; the ram said, "I will go
up on to the loft"; the donkey, "I at the middle door";
the cat, "I in the fireplace"; the goose, "I in
the back door"; and the cock said, "I am going to sleep
on the bed."
The captain of the robbers after a while sent one of his men
back to see if these creatures had yet left the house.
The man came very cautiously into the neighborhood, listened
and listened, but he heard nothing; he peeped through the window,
and saw in the grate just two coals still glimmering, and thereupon
started to walk through the front door.
There the old dog seized him by the leg. He jumped into the
house, but the bull was ready, swept him up with his horns, and
tossed him on to the loft. Here the ram received him and pushed
him off the loft again. Reaching ground, he made for the middle
door, but the donkey set up a terrible braying and at the same
time gave him a kick that landed him in the fireplace, where
the cat flew at him and scratched him nearly to pieces. He then
jumped out through the back door, and here the goose got him
by the trousers. When he was some distance away the cock crowed.
He thereupon ran so that you could bear the stones rattle in
Purple and crimson and out of breath, he came back to his
"Frightful, frightful!" was all that they could
get from him at first, but after a while he told them.
"When I looked through the window I saw in the fireplace
two bright coals shining, and when I wanted to go through the
front door to go and look, I stepped into an iron trap. I jumped
into the house, and there some one seized me with a fork and
pitched me up on to the loft, there agam some one was ready,
and threw me down on all fours. I wanted to fly through the middle
door, but there some one blew on a trumpet, and smote me with
a sledge hammer so that I did not know where I landed; but coming
to very quickly, I found I was in the fireplace, and there another
flew at me and scratched the eyes almost out of my bead. I thereupon
fled out of the back door, and lastly I was attacked on the leg
by the sixth with a pair of fire tongs, and when I was still
running away, some one shouted out of the house,
Stop him, stop h-i-m!
THE LION AND JACKAL
NOT because he was exactly the most capable or progressive
fellow in the neighborhood, but because he always gave that idea-that
is why Jackal slowly acquired among the neighbors tbe name of
a "progressive man." The truly well-bred people around
him, who did not wish to hurt his feelings, seemed to apply this
name to him, instead of, for instance, "cunning scamp,"
or "all-wise rat-trap," as so many others often dubbed
him. He obtained this name of "a progressive man" because
he spoke most of the time English, especially if he thought some
of them were present who could not understand it, and also because
he could always hold his body so much like a judge on public
He had a smooth tongue, could make quite a favorable speech,
and especially with good effect could he expatiate on the backwardness
of others. Underneath he really was the most unlettered man in
the vicinity, but he had perfect control over his inborn cunningness,
which allowed him for a long time to go triumphantly through
life as a man of great ability.
One time, for instance, he lost his tail in an iron trap.
He had long attempted to reach the Boer's goose pen, and had
framed many good plans, but when he came to his senses, he was
sitting in front of the goose pen with his tail in the iron trap,
the dogs all the time coming for him. When he realized what it
meant, he mustered together all his strength and pulled his tail,
which he always thought so much of, clean off.
This would immediately have made him the butt of the whole
neighborhood had he not thought of a plan. He called together
a meeting of the jackals, and made them believe that Lion had
issued a proclamation to the effect that all jackals in the future
should be tailless, because their beautiful tails were a thorn
in the eyes of more unfortunate animals.
In his smooth way he told them how he regretted that the king
should have the barbaric right to interfere with his subjects.
But so it was; and he thought the sooner he paid attention to
it the safer. Therefore he had had his tail cut off already and
he should advise all his friends to do the same. And so it happened
that once all jackals for a long time were without tails. Later
on they grew again.
It was about the same time that Tiger hired Jackal as a schoolmaster.
Tiger was in those days the richest man in the surrounding country,
and as he had had to suffer a great deal himself because he was
so untutored, he wanted his children to have the best education
that could be obtained.
It was shortly after a meeting, in which it was shown bow
important a thing an education was, that Tiger approached Jackal
and asked him to come and teach his children.
Jackal was very ready to do this. It was not exactly his vocation,
he said, but he would do it to pass time and just out of friendship
for his neighbor. His and Tiger's farm lands lay next each other.
That he did not make teaching his profession and that he possessed
no degree was of no account in the eyes of Tiger.
"Do not praise my goodness so much, Cousin Jackal,"
laughed he. "We know your worth well enough. Much rather
would I intrust my offspring to you than to the many so-called
schoolmasters, for it is especially my wish, as well as that
of their mother, to have our children obtain a progressive education,
and to make such men and women of them that with the same ability
as you have they can take their lawful places in this world."
"One condition," said Jackal, "I must state.
It will be very inconvenient for me, almost impossible, to come
here to your farm and hold school. My own farm would in that
case go to pieces, and that I cannot let happen. It would never
Tiger answered that it was not exactly necessary either. In
spite of their attachment to the little ones, they saw that it
would probably be to their benefit to place them for a while
in a stranger's house.
Jackal then told of his own bringing up by Wolf. He remembered
well how small he was when his father sent him away to study
with Wolf. Naturally, since then, he had passed through many
schools, Wolf was only his first teacher. And only in his later
days did he realize how much good it had done him.
"A man must bend the sapling while it is still young,"
said he. "There is no time that the child is so open to
impressions as when he is plastic, about the age that most of
your children are at present, and I was just thinking you would
be doing a wise thing to send them away for quite a while."
He had, fortunately, just then a room in his house that would
be suited for a schoolroom, and his wife could easily make some
arrangement for their lodging, even if they had to enlarge their
It was then and there agreed upon. Tiger's wife was then consulted
about one thing and another, and the following day the children
were to leave.
I have just thought of one more thing,"remarked Jackal,
"seven children, besides my little lot, will be quite a
care on our hands, so you will have to send over each week a
fat lamb, and in order not to disturb their progress, the children
will have to relinquish the idea of a vacation spent with you
for some time. When I think they have become used to the bit,
I will inform you, and then you can come and take them to make
you a short visit, but not until then. "It is also better,"
continued he, "that they do not see you for the first while,
but your wife can come and see them every Saturday and I will
see to all else."
On the following day there was an unearthly howling and wailing
when the children were to leave. But Tiger and their mother showed
them that it was best and that some day they would see that it
was all for their good, and that their parents were doing it
out of kindness. Eventually they were gone.
The first Saturday dawned, and early that morning Mrs. Tiger
was on her way to Jackal's dwelling, because she could not defer
the time any longer.
She was still a long way off when Jackal caught sight of her.
He always observed neighborly customs, and so stepped out to
After they had greeted each other, Mrs. Tiger's first question
was: "Well, Cousin Jackal, how goes everything with the
small team? Are they still all well and happy, and do they not
trouble you, Cousin Jackal, too much?"
"Oh, my goodness, no, Mrs. Tiger,"answered Jackal
enthusiastically, "but don't let us talk so loud, because
if they beard you, it certainly would cause them many heartfelt
tears and they might also want to go back with you and then all
our trouble would have been for nothing."
"But I would like to see them, Cousin Jackal," said
Mrs. Tiger a little disturbed.
"Why certainly, Mrs. Tiger," was his answer, "but
I do not think it is wise for them to see you. I will lift them
up to the window one by one, and then you can put your mind at
rest concerning their health and progress."
After Mr. and Mrs. Jackal and Mrs. Tiger had sat together
for some time drinking coffee and talking over one thing and
another, Jackal took Tiger's wife to a door and told her to look
through it, out upon the back yard. There he would show her the
children one by one, while they would not be able to see her.
Everything was done exactly as Jackal had said, but the sixth
little tiger he picked up twice, because the firstborn he had
the day before prepared in pickle for their Sunday meal.
And so it happened every Saturday until the last little tiger-which
was the youngest-had to be lifted up seven times in succession.
And when Mrs. Tiger came again the following week all was
still as death and everything seemed to have a deserted appearance
on the estate. She walked straight to the front door, and there
she found a letter in the poll grass near the door, which read
"We have gone for a picnic with the children. From there
we will ride by Jackalsdance for New Year. This is necessary
for the completion of their progressive education."
Saturday after Saturday did Mrs. Tiger go and look, but every
time Jackal's house seemed to look more deserted; and after a
while there was a spider's web over the door and the trail of
Snake showed that he, too, had taken up his abode there.
THE birds wanted a king. Men have a king, so have animals,
and why shouldn't they? All had assembled.
"The Ostrich, because he is the largest," one called
"No, he can't fly."
"Eagle, on account of his strength."
"Not he, he is too ugly."
"Vulture, because he can fly the highest."
"No, Vulture is too dirty, his odor is terrible."
"Peacock, he is so beautiful."
"His feet are too ugly, and also his voice."
"Owl, because he can see well."
"Not Owl, he is ashamed of the light."
And so they got no further. Then one shouted aloud, "He
who can fly the highest will be king." "Yes, yes,"
they all screamed, and at a given Signal they all ascended straight
up into the sky.
Vulture flew for three whole days without stopping, straight
toward the sun. Then he cried aloud, "I am the highest,
I am king."
"T-sie, t-sie, t-sie," he heard above him. There
Tink-tinkje was flying. He had held fast to one of the great
wing feathers of Vulture, and had never been felt, he was so
light. "T-sie, t-sie, t-sle, I am the highest, I am king,"
Vulture flew for another day still ascending. "I am highest,
I am king."
"T-sie, t-sie, t-sie, I am the highest, I am king,"
Tink-tinkje mocked. There he was again, having crept out from
under the wing of Vulture.
Vulture flew on the fifth day straight up in the air. "I
am the highest, I am king," he called.
"T-sie, t-sie, t-sie," piped the little fellow above
him. "I am the highest, I am king."
Vulture was tired and now flew direct to earth. The other
birds were mad through and through. Tink-tinkje must die because
he had taken advantage of Vulture's feathers and there hidden
himself. All flew after him and he had to take refuge in a mouse
hole. But how were they to get him out? Some one must stand guard
to seize him the moment he put out his head.
"Owl must keep guard; he has the largest eyes; he can
see well," they exclaimed.
Owl went and took up his position before the hole. The sun
was warm and soon Owl became sleepy and presently he was fast
Tink-tinkje peeped, saw that Owl was asleep, and z-zip away
he went. Shortly afterwards the other birds came to see if Tink-tinkje
were still in the hole. "T-sie, t-sie," they heard
in a tree; and there the little vagabond was sitting.
White-crow, perfectly disgusted, turned around and exclaimed,"Now
I won't say a single word more." And from that day to this
Whitecrow has never spoken. Even though you strike him, he makes
no sound, he utters no cry.
THE LION AND JACKAL
LION had now caught a large eland which lay dead on the top
of a high bank. Lion was thirsty and wanted to go and drink water.
" Jackal, look after my eland, I am going to get a drink.
Don't you eat any."
"Very well, Uncle Lion."
Lion went to the river and Jackal quietly removed a stone
on which Lion had to step to reach the bank on his return. After
that Jackal and his wife ate heartily of the eland. Lion returned,
but could not scale the bank. " Jackal, help me," he
"Yes, Uncle Lion, I will let down a rope and then you
can climb up."
Jackal whispered to his wife, "Give me one of the old,
thin hide ropes." And then aloud he added, "Wife, give
me one of the strong, buffalo ropes, so Uncle Lion won't fall."
His wife gave him an old rotten rope. Jackal and his wife
first ate ravenously of the meat, then gradually let the rope
down. Lion seized it and struggled up. When he neared the brink
Jackal gave the rope a jerk. It broke and down Lion began to
roll-rolled the whole way down, and finally lay at the foot near
Jackal began to beat a dry hide that lay there as he howled,
cried, and shouted: "Wife, why did you give me such a bad
rope that caused Uncle Lion to fall? "
Lion heard the row and roared, "Jackal, stop beating
your wife. I will hurt you if you don't cease. Help me to climb
"Uncle Lion, I will give you a rope." Whispering
again to his wife, "Give me one of the old, thin hide ropes,"
and shouting aloud again, "Give me a strong, buffalo rope,
wife, that will not break again with Lion."
Jackal gave out the rope, and when Lion had nearly reached
the top, he cut the rope through. Snap! and Lion began to roll
to the bottom. Jackal again beat on the hide and shouted, "Wife,
why did you give me such a rotten rope? Didn't I tell you to
give me a strong one? " Lion roared, "Jackal, stop
beating your wife at once. Help me instantly or you will be sorry."
"Wife," Jackal said aloud, "give me now the
strongest rope you have," and aside to her, "Give me
the worst rope of the lot."
Jackal again let down a rope, but just as Lion reached the
top, Jackal gave a strong tug and broke the rope. Poor old Lion
rolled down the side of the hill and lay there roaring from pain.
He had been fatally hurt.
Jackal inquired, "Uncle Lion, have you hurt yourself?
Have you much pain? Wait a while, I am coming directly to help
you." Jackal and his wife slowly walked away.
LION AND JACKAL
THE Lion and the Jackal agreed to hunt on shares, for the
purpose of laying in a stock of meat for the winter months for
As the Lion was by far the more expert hunter of the two,
the Jackal suggested that he (himself) should be employed in
transporting the game to their dens, and that Mrs. Jackal and
the little Jackals should prepare and dry the meat, adding that
they would take care that Mrs. Lion and her family should not
This was agreed to by the Lion, and the hunt commenced.
After a very successful hunt, which lasted for some time,
the Lion returned to see his family, and also to enjoy, as he
thought, a plentiful supply of his spoil; when, to his utter
surprise, he found Mrs. Lion and all the young Lions on the point
of death from sheer hunger, and in a mangy state. The Jackal,
it appeared, had only given them a few entrails of the game,
and in such limited quantities as barely to keep them alive;
always telling them that they (i. e., the Lion and himself) had
been most unsuccessful in their hunting; while his own family
was reveling in abundance, and each member of it was sleek and
This was too much for the Lion to bear. He immediately started
off in a terrible fury, vowing certain death to the Jackal and
all his family, wherever he should meet them. The Jackal was
more or less prepared for a storm, and had taken the precaution
to remove all his belongings to the top of a krantz (i. e., a
cliff), accessible only by a most difficult and circuitous path,
which he alone knew.
When the Lion saw him on the krantz, the Jackal immediately
greeted him by calling out,
Good morning, Uncle Lion."
"How dare you call me uncle, you impudent scoundrel,"
roared out the Lion, in a voice of thunder," after the way
in which you have behaved to my family?"
"Oh, Uncle! How shall I explain matters? That beast of
a wife of mine!" Whack, whack was heard, as he beat with
a stick on dry hide, which was a mere pretence for Mrs. Jackal's
back; while that lady was preinstructed to scream whenever he
operated on the hide, which she did with a vengeance, joined
by the little Jackals, who set up a most doleful chorus. "That
wretch!" said the Jackal. "It is all her doing. I shall
kill her straight off," and away he again belabored the
hide, while his wife and children uttered such a dismal howl
that the Lion begged of him to leave off flogging his wife. After
cooling down a little, he invited Uncle Lion to come up and have
something to eat. The Lion, after several ineffectual attempts
to scale the precipice, had to give it up.
The Jackal, always ready for emergencies, suggested that a
reim should be lowered to haul up his uncle. This was agreed
to, and when the Lion was drawn about halfway up by the whole
family of Jackals, the reim was cleverly cut, and down went the
Lion with a tremendous crash which hurt him very much. Upon this,
the Jackal again performed upon the hide with tremendous force,
for their daring to give him such a rotten reim, and Mrs. Jackal
and the little ones responded with some fearful screams and yells.
He then called loudly out to his wife for a strong buffalo reim
which would support any weight. This again was lowered and fastened
to the Lion, when all bands pulled away at their uncle; and,
just when he had reached so far that he could look over the precipice
into the pots to see all the fat meat cooking, and all the biltongs
hanging out to dry, the reim was again cut, and the poor Lion
fell with such force that he was fairly stunned for some time.
After the Lion had recovered his senses, the Jackal, in a most
sympathizing tone, suggested that he was afraid that it was of
no use to attempt to haul him up onto the precipice, and recommended,
instead, that a nice fat piece of eland's breast be roasted and
dropped into the Lion's mouth. The Lion, half famished with hunger,
and much bruised, readily accepted the offer, and sat eagerly
awaiting the fat morsel.
In the mean time, the Jackal had a round stone made red-hot,
and wrapped a quantity of inside fat, or suet, round it, to make
it appear like a ball of fat. When the Lion saw it held out,
he opened his capacious mouth to the utmost extent, and the wily
Jackal cleverly dropped the hot ball right into it, which ran
through the poor old beast, killing him on the spot.
It need hardly be told that there was great rejoicing on the
precipice that night.
THE HUNT OF LION AND JACKAL
LION and Jackal, it is said, were one day lying in wait for
Eland. Lion shot (with a bow) and missed, but Jackal hit and
sang out, "Hah! hah!"
Lion said, "No, you did not shoot anything. It was I
Jackal answered, "Yea, my father, thou hast hit."
Then they went home in order to return when the eland was
dead, and cut it up. Jackal, however, turned back, unknown to
Lion, hit his nose so that the blood ran on the spoor of the
eland, and followed their track thus, in order to cheat Lion.
When he had gone some distance, he returned by another way to
the dead eland, and creeping into its carcass, cut out all the
Meanwhile Lion followed the blood-stained spoor of Jackal,
thinking that it was eland blood, and only when he had gone some
distance did he find out that he had been deceived. He then returned
on Jackal's spoor, and reached the dead eland, where, finding
Jackal in its carcass, he seized him by his tail and drew him
out with a swing.
Lion upbraided Jackal with these words:
"Why do you cheat me?"
Jackal answered: "No, my father, I do not cheat you;
you may know it, I think. I prepared this fat for you, father."
Lion said: "Then take the fat and carry it to your mother
" (the lioness) ; and he gave him the lungs to take to his
own wife and children.
When Jackal arrived, he did not give the fat to Lion's wife,
but to his own wife and children; he gave, however, the lungs
to Lion's wife, and he pelted Lion's little children with the
"You children of the big-pawed one!
You big-pawed ones!"
He said to Lioness, "I go to help my father (the lion)
; but he went far away with his wife and children.
STORY OF LION AND LITTLE JACKAL
LITTLE JACKAL one day went out hunting, when he met Lion.
Lion proposed that they should hunt together, on condition that
if a small antelope was killed it was to be Little Jackal's,
and if a large one was killed it was to be Lion's. Little Jackal
agreed to this.
The first animal killed was a large eland. Lion was very glad,
and said to Little Jackal: "I will continue hunting while
you go to my house and call my children to carry the meat home."
Little Jackal replied: "Yes, I agree to that."
Lion went away to hunt. When he had gone, Little Jackal went
to his own house and called his own children to carry away the
meat. He said: "Lion takes me for a fool if he thinks I
will call his children while my own are dying with hunger."
So Little Jackal's children carried the meat to their home
on the top of a high rock, where the only way to get to their
house was by means of a rope.
Lion caught nothing more, and after a time he went home and
asked his wife where the meat was. She told him there was no
meat. He said: "Did not Little Jackal bring a message to
my children to carry meat? "
His wife replied: "No, he was not here. We are still
dying with hunger."
Lion then went to Little Jackal's house, but he could not
get up the rock to it. So he sat down by the water, waiting.
After a time Little Jackal went to get some water. He was close
to the water when he saw Lion. He at once ran away, and Lion
ran after him. He ran into a hole under a tree, but Lion caught
his tail before he got far in. He said to him: "That is
not my tail you have hold of; it is a root of the tree. If you
do not believe me, take a stone and strike it, and see if any
Lion let go the tail, and went for a stone to prove what it
was. While he was gone for the stone, Little Jackal went far
into the hole. When Lion returned he could not be found. Lion
lay down by the hole and waited. After a long time Little Jackal
wanted to come out. He went to the entrance and looked round,
but he could not see Lion. To make sure, he said: "Ho, I
see you, my master, although you are in hiding."
Lion did not move from the place where he lay concealed. Then
Little Jackal went out, and Lion pursued him, but he got away.
Lion watched for him, and one day, when Little Jackal was
out hunting, he came upon him in a place where he could not escape.
Lion was just about to spring upon him, when Little Jackal said
softly: "Be still, do you not see that bushbuck on the other
side of the rock? I am glad you have come to help me. Just remain
here while I run round and drive him toward you."
Lion did so, and Little Jackal made his escape.
At another time there was a meeting of the animals, and Lion
was the chief at the meeting. Little Jackal wanted to attend,
but there was a law made that no one should be present unless
he had horns. So Little Jackal took wax out of a nest of bees,
and made horns for himself with it. He fastened the horns on
his head, and went to the meeting. Lion did not know him on account
of the horns. But he sat near the fire and went to sleep, when
the horns melted.
Lion looked at him and saw who it was. He immediately tried
to catch him, but Little Jackal was quick in springing away.
He ran under an overhanging rock and sang out: "Help! help!
this rock is falling upon me!"
Lion went for a pole to prop up the rock that he might get
at Little Jackal. While he was away, Little Jackal escaped.
After that they became companions again, and went hunting
another time. They killed an ox. Lion said: "I will watch
it while you carry the pieces away."
Lion gave him the breast, and said: "Take this to my
Little Jackal took it to his own wife. When he returned, Lion
gave him a shin, and said:
"Take this to your wife."
Little Jackal took the shin to Lion's house. Lion's wife said:
"I cannot take this because it should not come here."
Little Jackal thereupon struck Lion's wife in the face, and
went back to the place where the ox was killed. Lion gave him
a large piece of meat and said: "Take this to my wife."
Little Jackal took it to his own wife. This continued till
the ox was flnished. Then they both went home. When Lion arrived
at his house he found there was weeping in his family.
His wife said: "Is it you who sent Little Jackal to beat
me and my children, and is it you who sent this shin? Did I ever
eat a shin? "
When Lion heard this he was very angry and at once went to
Little Jackal's house. When he reached the rock, Little Jackal
looked down and said: "Who are you, and what is your name,
and whose son are you, and where are you from, and where are
you going to, and whom do you want, and what do you want him
Lion replied: "I have merely come to see you. I wish
you to let down the rope."
Little Jackal let down a rope made of mouse skins, and when
Lion climbed a little way up, the rope broke, and he fell and
was hurt. He then went home.
THE LIONESS AND THE OSTRICH
IT is said, once a lioness roared, and the ostrich also roared.
The lioness went toward the place where the ostrich was. They
met. The lioness said to the ostrich, "Please to roar."
The ostrich roared. Then the lioness roared. The voices were
equal. The lioness said to the ostrich, "You are my match."
Then the lioness said to the ostrich, "Let us hunt gaine
together." They saw eland and made toward it. The lioness
caught only one; the ostrich killed a great many by striking
them with the claw which was on his leg; but the lioness killed
only one. When they had met after the hunting they went to the
game, and the lioness saw that the ostrich had killed a great
Now, the lioness also had young cubs. They went to the shade
to rest themselves. The lioness said to the ostrich, "Get
up and rip open; let us eat." Said the ostrich, "Go
and rip open; I shall eat the blood." The lioness stood
up and ripped open, and ate with the cubs. And when she had eaten,
the ostrich got up and ate the blood. They went to sleep.
The cubs played about. While they were playing, they went
to the ostrich, who was asleep. When he went to sleep he also
opened his mouth. The young lions saw that the ostrich had no
teeth. They went to their mother and said, "This fellow,
who says he is your equal, has no teeth; he is insulting you."
Then the lioness went to wake the ostrich, and said, "Get
up, let us fight"; and they fought. And the ostrich said,
"Go to that side of the anthill, and I will go to this side
of it." The ostrich struck the anthill, and sent it toward
the lioness. But the second time he struck the lioness in a vulnerable
spot, near the liver, and killed her.
CROCODILE was, in the days when animals still could talk,
the acknowledged foreman of all water creatures and if one should
judge from appearances one would say that he still is. But in
those days it was his especial duty to have a general care of
all water animals, and when one year it was exceedingly dry,
and the water of the river where they had lived dried up and
became scarce, he was forced to make it plan to trek over to
another river a short distance from there.
He first sent Otter out to spy. He stayed away two days and
brought back a report that there was still good water in the
other river, real sea-cow holes, that not even a drought of several
years could dry up.
After he had ascertained this, Crocodile called to his side
Tortoise and Alligator.
"Look here," said he, "I need you two tonight
to carry a report to Lion. So then get ready; the veldt is dry,
and you will probably have to travel for a few days without any
water. We must make peace with Lion and his subjects, otherwise
we utterly perish this year. And he must help us to trek over
to the other river, especially past. the Boer's farm that lies
in between, and to travel unmolested by any of the animals of
the veldt, so long as the trek lasts. A fish on land is sometimes
a very helpless thing, as you all know." The two had it
mighty hard in the burning sun, and on the dry veldt, but eventually
they reached Lion and handed him the treaty.
"What is going on now?" thought Lion to himself,
when he had read it. "I must consult Jackal first,"
said he. But to the commissioners he gave back an answer that
he would be the following evening with his advisers at the appointed
place, at the big vaarland willow tree, at the farther end of
the hole of water, where Crocodile had his headquarters.
When Tortoise and Alligator came back, Crocodile was exceedingly
pleased with himself at the turn the case had taken.
He allowed Otter and a few others to be present and ordered
them on that evening to have ready plenty of fish and other eatables
for their guests under the vaarland willow.
That evening as it grew dark Lion appeared with Wolf, Jackal,
Baboon, and a few other important animals, at the appointed place,
and they were received in the most open-hearted manner by Crocodile
and the other water creatures.
Crocodile was so glad at the meeting of the animals that he
now and then let fall a great tear of joy that disappeared into
the sand. After the other animals had done well by the fish,
Crocodile laid bare to them the condition of affairs and opened
up his plan. He wanted only peace among all animals; for they
not only destroyed one another, but the Boer, too, would in time
destroy them all.
The Boer had already stationed at the source of the river
no less than three steam pumps to irrigate his land, and the
water was becoming scarcer every day. More than this, he took
advantage of their unfortunate position by making them sit in
the shallow water and then, one after the other, bringing about
their death. As Lion was, on this account, inclined to make peace,
it was to his glory to take this opportunity and give his hand
to these peace-making water creatures, and carry out their part
of the contract, namely, escort them from the dried-up water,
past the Boer's farm and to the long sea-cow pools.
"And what benefit shall we receive from it?" asked
"Well," answered Crocodile, "the peace made
is of great benefit to both sides. We will not exterminate each
other. If you desire to come and drink water, you can do so with
an easy mind, and not be the least bit nervous that I, or any
one of us will seize you by the nose; and so also with all the
other animals. And from your side we are to be freed from Elephant,
who has the habit, whenever he gets the opportunity, of tossing
us with his trunk up into some open and narrow fork of a tree
and there allowing us to become biltong."
Lion and Jackal stepped aside to consult with one another,
and then Lion wanted to know what form of security he would have
that Crocodile would keep to his part of the contract.
"I stake my word of honor," was the prompt answer
from Crocodile, and he let drop a few more long tears of honesty
into the sand.
Baboon then said it was all square and honest as far as he
could see into the case. He thought it was nonsense to attempt
to dig pitfalls for one another; because he personally was well
aware that his race would benefit somewhat from this contract
of peace and friendship. And more than this, they must consider
that use must be made of the fast disappearing water, for even
in the best of times it was an unpleasant thing to be always
carrying your life about in your bands. He would, however, like
to suggest to the King that it would be well to have everything
put down in writing, so that there would be nothing to regret
in case it was needed.
Jackal did not want to listen to the agreement. He could not
see that it would benefit the animals of the veldt. But Wolf,
who had fully satisfied himself with the fish, was in an exceptionally
peace-loving mood, and he advised Lion again to close the agreement.
After Lion had listened to all his advisers, and also the
pleading tones of Crocodile's followers, lie held forth in a
speech in which he said that he was inclined to enter into the
agreement, seeing that it was clear that Crocodile and his subjects
were in a very tight place.
There and then a document was drawn up, and it was resolved,
before midnight, to begin the trek. Crocodile's messengers swam
in all directions to summon together the water animals for the
Frogs croaked and crickets chirped in the long water grass.
It was not long before all the animals had assembled at the vaarland
willow. In the meantime Lion had sent out a few despatch riders
to his subjects to raise a commando for an escort, and long ere
midnight these also were at the vaarland willow in the moonlight.
The trek then was regulated by Lion and Jackal. Jackal was
to take the lead to act as spy, and when he was able to draw
Lion to one side, he said to him:
"See here, I do not trust this affair one bit, and I
want to tell you straight out, I am going to make tracks! I will
spy for you until you reach the sea-cow pool, but I am not going
to be the one to await your arrival there."
Elephant had to act as advance guard because he could walk
so softly and could hear and smell so well. Then came Lion with
one division of the animals, then Crocodile's trek with a flank
protection of both sides, and Wolf received orders to bring up
Meanwhile, while all this was being arranged, Crocodile was
smoothly preparing his treason. He called Yellow Snake to one
side and said to him: "It is to our advantage to have these
animals, who go among us every day, and who will continue to
do so, fall into the hands of the Boer. Listen, now! You remain
behind unnoticed, and when you hear me shout you will know that
we have arrived safely at the seacow pool. Then you must harass
the Boer's dogs as much as you can, and the rest will look out
Thereupon the trek moved on. It was necessary to go very slowly
as many of the water animals were not accustomed to the journey
on land; but they trekked past the Boer's farm in safety, and
toward break of day they were all safely at the sea-cow pool.
There most of the water animals disappeared suddenly into the
deep water, and Crocodile also began to make preparations to
follow their example. With tearful eyes he said to Lion that
he was, oh, so thankful for the help, that, from pure relief
and joy, he must first give vent to his feelings by a few screams.
Thereupon he suited his words to actions so that even the mountains
echoed, and then thanked Lion on behalf of his subjects, and
purposely continued with a long speech, dwelling on all the benefits
both sides would derive from the agreement of peace.
Lion was just about to say good day and take his departure,
when the first shot fell, and with it Elephant and a few other
"I told you all so!" shouted Jackal from the other
side of the sea-cow pool. "Why did you allow yourselves
to he misled by a few Crocodile tears? "
Crocodile had disappeared long ago into the water. All one
saw was just a lot of bubbles; and on the banks there was an
actual war against the animals. It simply crackled the way the
Boers shot them.
But most of them, fortunately, came out of it alive.
Shortly after, they say, Crocodile received his well-earned
reward, when he met a driver with a load of dynamite. And even
now when the Elephant gets the chance he pitches them up into
the highest forks of the trees.
THE STORY OF A DAM
HERE was a great drought in the land; and Lion called together
a number of animals so that they might devise a plan for retaining
water when the rains fell.
The animals which attended at Lion's summons were Baboon,
Leopard, Hyena, Jackal, Hare, and Mountain Tortoise.
It was agreed that they should scratch a large hole in some
suitable place to hold water; and the next day they all began
to work, with the exception of Jackal, who continually hovered
about in that locality, and was overheard to mutter that he was
not going to scratch his nails off in making water holes.
When the dam was finished the rains fell, and it was soon
filled with water, to the great delight of those who had worked
so bard at it. The first one, however, to come and drink there,
was Jackal, who not only drank, but filled his clay pot with
water, and then proceeded to swim in the rest of the water, making
it as muddy and dirty as he could.
This was brought to the knowledge of Lion. who was very angry
and ordered Baboon to guard the water the next day, armed with
a huge knobkirrie. Baboon was concealed in a bush close to the
water; but Jackal soon became aware of his presence there, and
guessed its cause. Knowing the fondness of baboons for honey,
Jackal at once hit upon a plan, and marching to and fro, every
now and then dipped his fingers into his clay pot, and licked
them with an expression of intense relish, saying, in a. low
voice to himself, "I don't want any of their dirty water
when I have a pot full of delicious honey." This was too
much for poor Baboon, whose mouth began to water. He soon began
to beg Jackal to give him a little honey, as he had been watching
for several hours, and was very hungry and tired.
After taking no notice of Baboon at first, Jackal looked round,
and said, in a patronizing manner, that he pitied such an unfortunate
creature, and would give him some honey on certain conditions,
viz., that Baboon should give up his knobkirrie and allow himself
to be bound by Jackal. He foolishly agreed; and was soon tied
in such a manner that he could not move hand or foot.
Jackal now proceeded to drink of the water, to fill his pot,
and to swim in the sight of Baboon, from time to time telling
him what a foolish fellow he had been to be so easily duped,
and that he (Jackal) had no honey or anything else to give him,
excepting a good blow on the head every now and then with his
The animals soon appeared and found poor Baboon in this sorry
plight, looking the picture of misery. Lion was so exasperated
that he caused Baboon to be severely punished, and to be denounced
as a fool.
Tortoise hereupon stepped forward, and offered his services
for the capture of Jackal. It was at flrst thought that he was
merely joking; but when he explained in what manner he proposed
to catch him, his plan was considered so feasible that his offer
was accepted. He proposed that a thick coating of "bijenwerk"
(a kind of sticky black substance found on beehives) should be
spread all over him, and that he should then go and stand at
the entrance of the dam, on the water level, so that Jackal might
tread upon him and stick fast. This was accordingly done and
Tortoise posted there.
The next day, when Jackal came, he approacbed the water very
cautiously, and wondered to find no one there. He then ventured
to the entrance of the water, and remarked how kind they had
been in placing there a large black stepping-stone for him. As
soon, however, as he trod upon the supposed stone, he stuck fast,
and saw that he had been tricked; for Tortoise now put his head
out and began to move. Jackal's bind feet being still free he
threatened to smash Tortoise with them if he did not let him
go. Tortoise merely answered, "Do as you like." Jackal
thereupon made a violent jump, and found, with horror, that his
hind feet were now also fast. "Tortoise," said he,
"I have still my mouth and teeth left, and will eat you
alive if you do not let me go." "Do as you like,"
Tortoise again replied. Jackal, in his endeavors to free himself,
at last made a desperate bite at Tortoise, and found himself
fixed, both head and feet. Tortoise, feeling proud of his successful
capture, now marched quietly up to the top of the bank with Jackal
on his back, so that he could easily be seen by the animals as
they came to the water.
They were indeed astonished to find how cleverly the crafty
Jackal had been caught; and Tortoise was much praised, while
the unhappy Baboon was again reminded of his misconduct when
set to guard the water.
Jackal was at once condemned to death by Lion; and Hyena was
to execute the sentence. Jackal pleaded hard for mercy, but finding
this useless, he made a last request to Lion (always, as he said,
so fair and just in his dealings) that he should not have to
suffer a lingering death.
Lion inquired of him in what manner he wished to die; and
he asked that his tail might be shaved and rubbed with a little
fat, and that Hyena might then swing him round twice. and dash
his brains out upon a stone. This, being considered sufficiently
fair by Lion, was ordered by him to be carried out in his presence.
When Jackal's tail had been shaved and greased, Hyena caught
hold of him with great force, and before he had fairly lifted
him from the ground, the cunning Jackal had slipped away from
Hyena's grasp, and was running for his life, pursued by all the
Lion was the foremost pursuer, and after a great chase Jackal
got under an overhanging precipice, and, standing on his hind
legs with his shoulders pressed against the rock, called loudly
to Lion to help him, as the rock was falling, and would crush
them both. Lion put his shoulders to the rock, and exerted himself
to the utmost. After some little time Jackal proposed that he
should creep slowly out, and fetch a large pole to prop up the
rock, so that Lion could get out and save his life. Jackal did
creep out, and left Lion there to starve and die.
THE DANCE FOR WATER OR RABBIT'S TRIUMPH
THERE was a frightful drought. The rivers after a while dried
tip and even the springs gave no water.
The animals wandered around seeking drink, but to no avail.
Nowhere was water to be found.
A great gathering of animals was held: Lion, Tiger, Wolf,
Jackal, Elephant, all of them came together. What was to be done?
That was the question. One had this plan, and another had that;
but no plan seemed of value.
Finally one of them suggested: "Come, let all of us go
to the dry river bed and dance; in that way we can tread out
Good! Everyone was satisfied and ready to begin instantly,
excepting Rabbit, who said, "I will not go and dance. All
of you are mad to attempt to get water from the ground by dancing."
The other animals danced and danced, and ultimately danced
the water to the surface. How glad they were. Everyone drank
as much as he could, but Rabbit did not dance with them. So it
was decided that Rabbit should have no water.
He laughed at them: "I will nevertheless drink some of
That evening he proceeded leisurely to the river bed where
the dance had been, and drank as much as he wanted. The following
morning the animals saw the footprints of Rabbit in the ground,
and Rabbit shouted to them: "Aha! I did have some of the
water, and it was most refreshing and tasted fine."
Quickly all the animals were called together. What were they
to do? How were they to get Rabbit in their hands? All had some
means to propose; the one suggested this, and the other that.
Finally old Tortoise moved slowly forward, foot by foot: "I
will catch Rabbit."
"You? How? What do you think of yourself?" shouted
the others in unison.
"Rub my shell with pitch, and I will go to the edge
of the water and lie down. I will then resemble a stone, so that
when Rabbit steps on me his feet will stick fast."
"Yes! Yes! That's good."
And in a one, two, three, Tortoise's shell was covered with
pitch, and foot by foot he moved away to the river. At the edge,
close to the water, he lay down and drew his head into his shell.
Rabbit during the evening came to get a drink. "Ha!"
he chuckled sarcastically," they are, after all, quite decent.
Here they have placed a stone, so now I need not unnecessarily
wet my feet."
Rabbit trod with his left foot on the stone, and there it
stuck. Tortoise then put his head out. "Ha! old Tortoise!
And it's you, is it, that's holding me. But here I still have
another foot. I'll give you a good clout." Rabbit gave Tortoise
what he said he would with his right fore foot, hard and straight;
and there his foot remained.
[1. Black beeswax.]
"I have yet a hind foot, and with it I'll kick you."
Rabbit drove his bind foot down. This also rested on Tortoise
where it struck.
"But still another foot remains, and now I'll tread you."
He stamped his foot down, but it stuck like the others.
He used his head to hammer Tortoise, and his tail as a whip,
but both met the same fate as his feet, so there he was tight
and fast down to the pitch.
Tortoise now slowly turned himself round and foot by foot
started for the other animals, with Rabbit on his back.
"Ha! ha! ha! Rabbit! How does it look now? Insolence
does not pay after all," shouted the animals.
Now advice was sought. What should they do with Rabbit? He
certainly must die. But how? One said, "Behead him";
another, "Some severe penalty."
"Rabbit, how are we to kill you?"
"It does not affect me," Rabbit said. "Only
a shameful death please do not pronounce."
"And what is that?" they all shouted.
"To take me by my tail and dash my head against a stone;
that I pray and beseech you don't do."
"No, but just so you'll die. That is decided."
It was decided Rabbit should die by taking him by his tail
and dashing his head to pieces against some stone. But who is
to do it?
Lion, because he is the most powerful one.
Good! Lion should do it. He stood up, walked to the front,
and poor Rabbit was brought to him. Rabbit pleaded and beseeched
that he couldn't die such a miserable death.
Lion took Rabbit firmly by the tail and swung him around.
The white skin slipped off from Rabbit, and there Lion stood
with the white bit of skin and hair in his paw. Rabbit was free.
JACKAL AND MONKEY
EVERY evening Jackal went to the Boer's kraal. He crept through
the sliding door and stole a fat young lamb. This, clever Jackal
did several times in succession. Boer set a wip for him at
the door. Jackal went again and zip-there he was caught aroumd
the body by the noose. He swung and swayed high in the air and
couldn't touch ground. The day began to dawn and Jackal became
On a stone kopje, Monkey sat. When it became light he could
see the whole affair, and descended hastily for the purpose of
mocking Jackal. He went and sat on the wall. "Ha,
[1. Wip: A Dutch word for springle, consisting of a bent green
stick, to which a noose is attached at one end; the trap is delicately
adjusted by a cross stick, which when trod on releases the bent
bough, pulling the noose quickly around the animal and into the
ha, good morning. So there you are hanging now, eventually
"What? I caught? I am simply swinging for my pleasure;
it is enjoyable."
"You fibber. You are caught in the wip."
"If you but realized how nice it was to swing and sway
like this, you wouldn't hesitate. Come, try it a little. You
feel so healthy and strong for the day, and you never tire afterwards."
"No, I won't. You are caught."
After a while Jackal convinced Monkey. He sprang from the
kraal wall, and freeing Jackal, adjusted the noose around his
own body. Jackal quickly let go and began to laugh, as Monkey
was now swinging high in the air.
"Ha, ha, ha," he laughed. "Now Monkey is in
"Jackal, free me," he screamed.
"There, Boer is coming," shouted Jackal.
"Jackal, free me of this, or I'll break your playthings."
"No, there Boer is coming with his gun; you rest a while
in the noose."
"Jackal, quickly make me free."
"No, here's Boer already, and he's got his gun. Good
morning." And with these parting words he ran away as fast
as he could. Boer came and saw Monkey in the wip.
"So, so, Monkey, now you are caught. You are the fellow
who has been stealing my lambs, hey? "
"No, Boer, no," screamed Monkey, " not I, but
"No, I know you; you aren't too good for that."
"No, Boer, no, not I, but Jackal," Monkey stammered.
"Oh, I know you. Just wait a little," and Boer,
raising his gun, aimed and shot poor Monkey dead.
LION and Jackal went together a-hunting. They shot with arrows.
Lion shot first, but his arrow fell short of its aim; but Jackal
hit the game, and joyfully cried out, "It has hit."
Lion looked at him with his two large eyes; Jackal, however,
did not lose his countenance, but said, "No, uncle, I mean
to say that you have hit." Then they followed the game,
and Jackal passed the arrow of Lion without drawing the latter's
attention to it. When they arrived at a crossway, Jackal said:
"Dear uncle, you are old and tired; stay here." Jackal
went then on a wrong track, beat his nose, and, in returning,
let the blood drop from it like traces of game." I could
not find anything," he said, "but I met with traces
of blood. You had better go yourself to look for it. In the meantime
I shall go this other way."
Jackal soon found the killed animal, crept inside of it, and
devoured the best portion; but his tail remained outside, and
when Lion arrived, he got hold of it, pulled Jackal out, and
threw him on the ground with these words:
"You rascal! "
Jackal rose quickly again, complained of the rough handling,
and asked, " What have I now done, dear uncle? I was busy
cutting out the best part."
"Now let us go and fetch our wives," said Lion,
but Jackal entreated his dear uncle to remain at the place because
he was old. Jackal then went away, taking with him two portions
of the flesh, one for his own wife, but the best part for the
wife of Lion. When Jackal arrived with the flesh, the children
of Lion, seeing him, began to jump, and clapping their hands,
cried out: "There comes cousin with flesh!" Jackal
threw, grumbling, the worst portion to them, and said, "There,
you brood of the big-eyed one!" Then he went to his own
house and told his wife immediately to break up the house, and
to go where the killed game was. Lioness wished to do the same,
but he forbade her, and said that Lion would himself come to
When Jackal, with his wife and children, arrived in the neigliborhood
of the killed animal, he ran into a thorn bush, scratched his
face so that it bled, and thus made his appearance before Lion,
to whom he said, "Ah! what a wife you have got. Look here,
how she scratched my face when I told her that she should come
with us. You must fetch her yourself; I cannot bring her."
Lion went home very angry. Then Jackal said, "Quick, let
us build a tower." They heaped stone upon stone, stone upon
stone, stone upon stone; and when it was high enough, everything
was carried to the top of it. When Jackal saw Lion approaching
with his wife and childrcn, he cried out to him:
"Uncle, whilst you were away we have built a tower, in
order to be better able to see game."
"All right," said Lion; "but let me conie up
Certainly, dear uncle; but how will you manage to come up?
We must let down a thong for you."
Lion tied the thong around his body and Jackal began drawing
him up, but when nearly to the top Jackal cried to Lion, "My,
uncle, how heavy you are!" Then, unseen by Lion, he cut
the thong. Lion fell to the ground, while Jackal began loudly
and angrily to scold his wife, and then said, " Go, wife,
fetch me a new thong"-"an old one," he said aside
Lion again tied himself to the thong, and, just as he was
near the top, Jackal cut the thong as before; Lion fell heavily
to the bottom, groaning aloud, as he had been seriously hurt.
"No," said Jackal, "that will never do; you
must, however, manage to come up high enough so that you may
get a mouthful at least." Then aloud he ordered his wife
to prepare a good piece, but aside he told her to make a stone
hot, and to cover it with fat. Then he drew Lion up once more,
and complaining how heavy he was to hold, told him to open his
mouth, and thereupon threw the hot stone down his throat. Lion
fell to the ground and lay there pleading for water, while Jackal
climbed down and made his escape.
JACKAL, it is said, married Hyena, and carried off a cow belonging
to the ants, to slaughter her for the wedding; and when he had
slaughtered her, he put the cowskin over his bride; and when
he had fixed a pole (on which to bang the flesh), he placed on
the top of the pole (which was forked) the hearth for the cooking,
in order to cook upon it all sorts of delicious food. There came
also Lion, and wished to go up. Jackal, therefore, asked his
little daughter for a thong with which he could pull Lion up;
and he began to pull him up; and when his face came near to the
cooking-pot, he cut the thong in two, so that Lion tumbled down.
Then Jackal upbraided his little daughter with these words: "Why
do you give me such an old thong?" And he added, "Give
me a fresh thong." She gave him a new thong, and he pulled
Lion up again, and when his face came near the pot, which stood
on the fire, he said, "open your mouth." Then he put
into his mouth a hot piece of quartz which had been boiled together
with the fat, and the stone went down, burning his throat. Thus
There came also the ants running after the cow, and when Jackal
saw them he fled. Then they beat the bride in her brookaross
dress. Hyena, believing that it was Jackal, said:
"You tawny rogue! have you not played at beating long
enough? Have you no more loving game than this?"
But when she had bitten a hole through the cowskin, she saw
that they were other people; then she fled, falling here and
there, yet made her escape.
THE STORY OF HARE
ONCE upon a time the animals made a kraal and put some fat
in it. They agreed that one of their number should remain to
be the keeper of the gate. The first one that was appointed was
the coney (imbila). He agreed to take charge, and all the others
went away. In a short time the coney fell asleep, when the inkalimeva
(a fabulous animal) went in and ate all the fat. After doing
this, he threw a little stone at the coney.
The coney started up and cried out: "The fat belonging
to all the animals has been eaten by the inkalimeva."
It repeated this cry several times, calling out very loudly.
The animals at a distance heard it, they ran to the kraal, and
when they saw that the fat was gone they killed the coney.
They put fat in the kraal a second time, and appointed the
muishond (ingaga) to keep the gate. The muishond consented, and
the animals went away as before. After a little time the inkalimeva
came to the kraal, bringing some honey with it. It invited the
keeper of the gate to eat honey, and while the muishond was enjoying
himself the inkalimeva went in and stole all the fat. It threw
a stone at the muisbond, which caused him to look up.
The muishond cried out: "The fat belonging to all the
animals has been eaten by the inkalimeva."
As soon as the animals beard the cry, they ran to the kraal
and killed the muishond.
They put fat in the kraal a third time, and appointed the
duiker (impunzi) to be the keeper of the gate. The duiker agreed,
and the others went away. In a short time the inkalimeva made
its appearance. It proposed to the duiker that they should play
hide and look for. The duiker agreed to this. Then the inkalimeva
hid itself, and the duiker looked for it till he was so tired
that he lay down and went to sleep. When the duiker was asleep,
the inkalimeva ate up all the fat.
Then it threw a stone at the dulker, which caused him to jump
up and cry out: "The fat belonging to all the animals has
been eaten by the inkalimeva."
The animals, when they heard the cry, ran to the kraal and
killed the duiker.
They put fat in the kraal the fourth fline, and appointed
the bluebuck (inputi) to be the keeper of the gate. When the
aninials went away, the inkalineva came as before.
It said: "What are you doitig by yourself?"
The bluebuck answered: "I am watching the fat belonging
to all the animals."
The inkalimeva said: "I will be your companion. Come,
let us scratch each other's heads."
The bluebuck agreed to this. The inkalimeva sat down and scratched
the head of the other till he went to sleep. Then it arose and
ate all the fat. When it had finished, it threw a stone at the
bluebuck and awakened him.
The bluebuck saw what had happened and cried out: "The
fat belonging to all the animals has been eaten by the inkalinieva."
Then the animals ran up and killed the bluebuck also.
They put fat in the kraal the fifth time, and appointed the
porcupine (incanda) to be the keeper of the gate. The animals
went away, and the inkalimeva came as before.
It said to the porcupine, "Let us run a race against
It let the porcupine beat in this race.
Then it said, "I did not think you could run so fast,
but let us try again." They ran again, and it allowed the
porcupine to beat the second time. They ran till the porcupine
was so tired that he said, "Let us rest now."
They sat down to rest, and the porcupine went to sleep. Then
the inkalimeva rose up and ate all the fat. When it had finished
eating, it threw a stone at the porcupine, which caused him to
He called out with a loud voice, "The fat belonging to
all the animals has been eaten by the inkalimeva."
Then the animals came running up and put the porcupine to
They put fat in the kraal the sixth time, and selected the
hare (umvundla) to be the keeper of the gate. At first the hare
would not consent.
He said, "The coney is dead, and the muisbond is dead,
and the duiker is dead, and the bluebuck is dead, and the porcupine
is dead, and you will kill me also."
They promised him that they would not kill him, and after
a good deal of persuasion he at last agreed to keep the gate.
When the animals were gone he laid himself down, but he only
pretended to be asleep.
In a short time the inkalimeva went in, and was just going
to take the fat when the hare cried out: "Let the fat alone."
The inkalimeva said, "Please let me have this little
The hare answered, mocking, "Please let me have this
little bit only."
After that they became companions. The hare proposed that
they should fasten each other's tail, and the inkalimeva agreed.
The inkalimeva fastened the tail of the hare first.
The hare said, "Don't tie my tail so tight." Then
the hare fastened the tail of the inkalimeva.
The inkalimeva said, "Don't tie my tail so tight,"
but the hare made no answer. After tying the tail of the inkalinieva
very fast, the hare took his club and killed it. The hare took
the tail of the inkalimeva and ate it, all except a little piece
which he hid in the fence.
Then he called out, "The fat belonging to all the animals
has been eaten by the inkalimeva."
The animals came running back, and when they saw that the
inkalimeva was dead they rejoiced greatly. They asked the hare
for the tail, which should be kept for the chief.
The hare replied, "The one I killed had no tail."
They said, "How can an inkalimeva be without a tail?
They began to search, and at length they found a piece of
the tail in the fence. They told the chief that the hare had
eaten the tail.
He said, "Bring him to me!"
All the animals ran after the hare, but he fled, and they
could not catch him. The hare ran into a hole, at the mouth of
which the animals set a snare, and then went away. The hare remained
in the hole for many days, but at length he managed to get out
without being caught.
He went to a place where he found a bushbuck (imbabala) building
a hut. There was a pot with meat in it on the fire.
He said to the bushbuck, Can I take this little piece of meat?
The bushbuck answered, "You must not do it."
But he took the meat and ate it all. Afterwards he whistled
in a particular manner, and there fell a storm of hail which
killed the bushbuck. Then he took the skin of the bushbuck, and
made for himself a mantle.
After this the hare went into the forest to procure some weapons
to fight with. While he was cutting a stick the monkeys threw
leaves upon him. He called to them to come down and beat him.
They came down, but he killed them all with his weapons.
THE WHITE MAN AND SNAKE
A WHITE MAN, it is said, met Snake upon whom a large stone
had fallen and covered her so that she could not rise. The White
Man lifted the stone off Snake, but when he had done so, she
wanted to bite him. The White Man said, " Stop! let us both
go first to some wise people." They went to Hyena, and the
White Man asked him, "Is it right that Snake should want
to bite me, when I helped her as she lay under a stone and could
Hyena (who thought he would get his share of the White Man's
body) said, "If you were bitten what would it matter?"
Then Snake wanted to bite him, but the White Man said again,
"Wait a little, and let us go to other wise people, that
I may hear whether this is right."
They went and met Jackal. The White Man said to Jackal, "Is
it right for Snake to want to bite me, when I lifted up the stone
which lay upon her?"
Jackal replied, "I do not believe that Snake could be
covered by a stone so she could not rise. Unless I saw it with
my two eyes, I would not believe it. Therefore, come let us go
and see the place where you say it happened whether it can be
They went, and arrived at the place where it had happened.
Jackal said, "Snake, lie down, and let thyself be covered."
Snake did so, and the White Man covered her with the stone;
but although she exerted herself very much, she could not rise.
Then the White Man wanted again to release Snake, but Jackal
interfered, and said, "Do not lift the stone. She wanted
to bite you, therefore she may rise by herself."
Then they both went away and left Snake under the stone.
ANOTHER VERSION OF THE SAME FABLE
A DUTCHMAN was walking by himself and saw Snake lying under
a large :stone. Snake implored his help; but when she had become
free she said, "Now I shall eat you."
The Man answered, "That is not right. Let us first go
When Hare had heard the affair, he said, "It is right."
"No," said the Man, "let us ask Hyena."
Hyena declared the same, saying, "It is right."
"Now let us ask Jackal," said the Man in his despair.
Jackal answered very slowly and consider ately, doubting the
whole affair, and demanding to see first the place, and whether
the Man was able to lift the stone. Snake lay down, and the Man,
to prove the truth of his account, put the stone again over her.
When she was fast, Jackal said, "Now let her lie there."
JACKAL and Hyena were together, it is said, when a white cloud
rose. Jackal descended upon it, and ate of the cloud as if it
When he wanted to come down, he said to Hyena, "My sister,
as I ain going to divide with thee, catch me well." So she
caught him, and broke his fall. Then she also went up and ate
there, high up on the top of the cloud.
When she was satisfied, she said, "My greyish brother,
now catch me. well." The greyish rogue said to his friend,
"My sister, I shall catch thee well. Come therefore down."
He held up his hands, and she came down from the cloud, and
when she was near, Jackal cried out (painfully jumping to one
side), "My sister, do not take it ill. Oh me! Oh me! A thorn
has pricked me and sticks in me."Thus she fell down from
above, and was sadly hurt.
Since that day, it is said that Hyena's hind feet have been
shorter and smaller than the front ones.
LION, it is said, was ill, and they all went to see him in
his suffering. But Jackal did not go, because the traces of the
people who went to see him did not turn back. Thereupon, he was
accused by Hyena, who said, "Though I go to look, yet Jackal
does not want to come and look at the man's sufferings."
Then Lion let Hyena go, in order that she might catch Jackal;
and she did so, and brought him.
Lion asked Jackal: "Why did you not come here to see
Jackal said, "Oh, no! when I heard that my uncle was
so very ill, I went to the witch (doctor) to consult him, whether
and what medicine would be good for my uncle against the pain.
The doctor said to me, 'Go and tell your uncle to take hold of
Hyena and draw off her skin, and put it on while it is still
warm. Then he will recover.' Hyena is one who does not care for
my uncle's sufferings."
Lion followed his advice, got hold of Hyena, drew the skin
over her cars, whilst she howled with all her might, and put
JACKAL, DOVE, AND HERON
JACKAL, it is said, came once to Dove, who lived on the top
of a rock, and said, "Give me one of your little ones."
Dove answered, "I shall not do anything of the kind."
Jackal said, "Give me it at once! Otherwise, I shall
fly up to you." Then she threw one down to him.
He came back another day and demanded another little one,
and she gave it to him. After Jackal had gone, Heron came, and
Dove, why do you cry? "
Dove answered him, "Jackal has taken away my little ones;
it is for this that I cry." He asked her, In what manner
did he take them?" She answered him, "When he asked
me I refused him; but when he said, 'I shall at once fly up,
therefore give me it,' I threw it down to him."
Heron said, "Are you such a fool as to give your young
ones to Jackal, who cannot fly?" Then, with the admonition
to give no more, he went away.
Jackal came again, and said, "Dove, give me a little
one." Dove refused, and told him that Heron had told her
that he could not fly up. Jackal said, "I shall catch him."
So when Heron came to the banks of the water, Jackal asked
him: "Brother Heron, when the wind comes from this side,
how will you stand?" He turned his neck towards him and
said, "I stand thus, bending my neck on one side."
Jackal asked him again, "When a storm comes and when it
rains, how do you stand?" He said to him: "I stand
thus, indeed, bending my neck down."
Then Jackal beat him on his neck, and broke his neck in the
Since that day Heron's neck is bent.
COCK AND JACKAL
COCK, it is said, was once overtaken by Jackal, and caught.
Cock said to Jackal, "Please, pray first (before you kill
me), as the white man does."
Jackal asked, "In what manner does he pray? Tell me."
"He folds his bands in praying," said Cock. Jackal
folded his hands and prayed. Then Cock spoke again: "You
ought not to look about you as you do. You had better shut your
eyes." He did so; and Cock flew away, upbraiding at the
same time Jackal with these words, "You rogue! do you also
There sat Jackal, speechless, because he had been outdone.
ELEPHANT AND TORTOISE
TWO powers, Elephant and Rain, had a dispute. Elephant said,
"If you say that you nourish me, in what way is it that
you do so?" Rain answered, "If you say that I do not
nourish you, when I go away, will you not die? And Rain then
Elephant said, "Vulture! cast lots to make rain for me."
Vulture said, "I will not cast lots."
Then Elephant said to Crow, "Cast lots! who answered,
"Give the things with which I may cast lots." Crow
cast lots and rain fell. It rained at the lagoons, but they dried
up, and only one lagoon remained.
Elephant went a-hunting. There was, however, Tortoise, to
whom Elephant said, "Tortoise, remain at the water!"
Thus Tortoise was left behind when Elephant went a-hunting.
There came Giraffe, and said to Tortoise, "Give me water!"
Tortoise answered, "The water belongs to Elephant."
There came Zebra, who said to Tortoise,
"Give me water!" Tortoise answered, "The water
belongs to Elephant."
There came Gemsbok, and said to Tortoise,
"Give me water!" Tortoise answered, "The water
belongs to Elephant."
There came Wildebeest, and said, "Give me water!"
Tortoise said, "The water belongs to Elephant."
There came Roodebok, and said to Tortoise,
"Give me water!" Tortoise answered, "The water
belongs to Elephant."
There came Springbok, and said to Tortoise,
"Give me water!" Tortoise said, "The water
belongs to Elephant."
There came Jackal, and said to Tortoise,
"Give me water!" Tortoise said, "The water
belongs to Elephant."
There came Lion, and said, "Little Tortoise, give me
water!" When little Tortoise was about to say something,
Lion got hold of him and beat him; Lion drank of the water, and
since then the animals drink water.
When Elephant came back from the hunting, he said, "Little
Tortoise, is there water?" Tortoise answered, "The
animals have drunk the water." Elephant asked, "Little
Tortoise, shall I chew you or swallow you down?" Little
Tortoise said, "Swallow me, if you please!" and Elephant
swallowed him whole.
After Elephant had swallowed Little Tortoise, and he had entered
his body, he tore off his liver, heart, and kidneys. Elephant
said, "Little Tortoise, you kill me."
So Elephant died; but little Tortoise came out of his dead
body, and went wherever he liked.
ANOTHER VERSION OF THE SAME FABLE
GRAFFE and Tortoise, they say, met one day. Giraffe said to
Tortoise, "At once I could trample you to death." Tortoise,
being afraid, remained silent. Then Giraffe said, "At once
I could swallow you." Tortoise said, in answer to this,
" Well, I just belong to the family of those whom it has
always been customary to swallow." Then Giraffe swallowed
Tortoise; but when the latter was being gulped down, he stuck
in Giraffe's throat, and as the latter could not get it down,
he was choked to death.
When Giraffe was dead, Tortoise crawled out and went to Crab
(who is considered as the mother of Tortoise), and told her what
had happened. Then Crab said:
"The little Crab! I could sprinkle it under its arm with
The crooked-legged little one, I could sprinkle under its arm."
Tortoise answered its mother and said:
Have you not always sprinkled me,
That you want to sprinkle me now?
Then they went and fed for a whole year on the remains of
[1 (In token of approval, according to a Hottentot custom.)]
TORTOISES HUNTING OSTRICHES
ONE day, it is said, the Tortoises held a council how they
might hunt Ostriches, and they said, "Let us, on both sides,
stand in rows near each other, and let one go to hunt the Ostriches,
so that they must flee along through the midst of us." They
did so, and as they were many, the Ostriches were obliged to
run along through the midst of them. During this they did not
move, but, remaining always in the same places, called each to
the other, "Are you there?" and each one answered,
"I am here." The Ostriches hearing this, ran so tremendously
that they quite exhausted their strength, and fell down. Then
the Tortoises assembled by-and-by at the place where the Ostriches
had fallen, and devoured them.
THE JUDGMENT OF BABOON
ONE day, it is said, the following story happened:
Mouse had torn the clothes of Itkler (the tailor), who then
went to Baboon, and accused Mouse with these words:
"In this manner I come to thee: Mouse has torn my clothes,
but will not know anything of it, and accuses Cat; Cat protests
likewise her innocence, and says, 'Dog must have done it; but
Dog denies it also, and declares Wood has done it; and Wood throws
the blame on Fire, and says, 'Fire did it'; Fire says, ' have
not, Water did it'; Water says, 'Elephant tore the clothes';
and Elephant says, 'Ant tore them.' Thus a dispute has arisen
among them. Therefore, 1, Itkler, come to thee with this proposition:
Assemble the people and try them in order that I may get satisfaction."
Thus he spake, and Baboon assembled them for trial. Then they
made the same excuses which had been mentioned by Itkler, each
one putting the blame upon the other.
So Baboon did not see any other way of punishing them, save
through making them punish each other; he therefore said,
"Mouse, give Itkler satisfaction."
Mouse, however, pleaded not guilty. But Baboon said, "Cat,
bite Mouse." She did so.
He then put the same question to Cat, and when she exculpated
herself, Baboon called to Dog, "Here, bite Cat."
In this manner Baboon questioned them all, one after the other,
but they each denied the charge. Then he addressed the following
words to them, and said,
Wood, beat Dog.
Fire, burn Wood.
Water, quench Fire.
Elephant, drink Water.
Ant, bite Elephant in his most tender parts."
They did so, and since that day they cannot any longer agree
with each other.
Ant enters into Elephant's most tender parts and bites him.
Through this judgment Itkler got satisfaction, and addressed
Baboon in the following manner:
"Yes! Now I am content, since I have received satisfaction,
and with all my heart I thank thee, Baboon, because thou hast
exercised justice on my behalf and given me redress."
Then Baboon said, "From to-day I will not any longer
be called Jan, but Baboon shall be my name."
Since that time Baboon walks on all fours, having probably
lost the privilege of walking erect through this foolish judgment.
LION AND BABOON
BABOON, it is said, once worked bamboos, sitting on the edge
of a precipice, and Lion stole upon him. Baboon, however, had
fixed some round, glistening, eyelike plates on the back of his
head. When, therefore, Lion crept upon him, he thought, when
Baboon was looking at him, that he sat with his back towards
him, and crept with all his might upon him. When, however, Baboon
turned his back towards him, Lion thought that he was seen, and
bid himself. Thus, when Baboon looked at him, he crept upon him.
When he was near him Baboon looked up, and Lion continued to
creep upon him. Baboon said (aside), "Whilst I am looking
at him he steals upon me, whilst my hollow eyes are on him."
When at last Lion sprung at him, he lay (quickly) down upon
his face, and Lion jumped over him, falling down the precipice,
and was dashed to pieces.
[1. Whilst Baboon did this, Lion came close upon him.]
THE ZEBRA STALLION
THE Baboons, it is said, used to disturb the Zebra Mares in
drinking. But one of the Mares became the mother of a foal. The
others then helped her to suckle (the young stallion), that he
might soon grow up.
When he was grown up and they were in want of water, he brought
them to the water. The Baboons, seeing this, came, as they formerly
were used to do, into their way, and kept them from the water.
While the Mares stood thus, the Stallion stepped forward,
and spoke to one of the Baboons, "Thou gum-eater's child!"
The Baboon said to the Stallion, "Please open tby mouth,
that I may see what thou livest on." The Stallion opened
his mouth, and it was milky.
Then the Stallion said to the Baboon, "Please open thy
mouth also, tbat I may see," The Baboon did so, and there
was some gum in it. But the Baboon quickly licked some milk off
the Stallion's tongue. The Stallion on this became angry, took
the Baboon by his shoulders, and pressed him upon a hot, flat
rock. Since that day the Baboon has a bald place on his back.
The Baboon said, lamenting, "I, my mother's child, I,
the gum-eater, am outdone by this milkeater!
WHEN LION COULD FLY
LION, it is said, used once to fly, and at that time nothing
could live before him. As he was unwilling that the bones of
what he caught should be broken into pieces, he made a pair of
White Crows watch the bones, leaving them behind at the kraal
whilst he went a-hunting. But one day Great Frog came there,
broke the bones in pieces, and said, "Why can men and animals
live no longer?" And he added these words, "When he
comes, tell him that I live at yonder pool; if he wishes to see
me, he must come there."
Lion, lying in wait (for game), wanted to fly up, but found
he could not fly. Then he got angry, thinking that at the kraal
something was wrong, and returned home. When he arrived, he asked,
"What have you done that I cannot fly?" Then they answered
and said, "Some one came here, broke the bones into pieces,
and said, 'If he want me, he may look for me at yonder pool!"'
Lion went, and arrived while Frog was sitting at the water's
edge, and he tried to creep stealthily upon him. When he was
about to get hold of him, Frog said, "Ho!" and, diving,
went to the other side of the pool, and sat there. Lion pursued
him; but as he could not catch him he returned home.
From that day, it is said, Lion walked on his feet, and also
began to creep upon (bis game); and the White Crows became entirely
dumb since the day that they said, "Nothing can be said
of that matter."
LION WHO THOUGHT HIM SELF WISER THAN HIS MOTHER
IT is said that when Lion and Gurikhoisip (the Only man),
together with Baboon, Buffalo, and other friends, were playing
one day at a certain game, there was a thunderstorm and rain
at Aroxaams. Lion and Gurikhoisip began to quarrel. "I shall
run to the rain-field," said Lion. Gurikhoisip said also,
"I shall run to the rain-field." As neither would concede
this to the other, they separated (angrily). After they had parted,
Lion went to tell his mother those things which they had both
His Mother said to him, "My son! that Man whose head
is in a line with his shoulders and breast, who has pinching
weapons, who keeps white dogs, who goes about wearing the tuft
of a tiger tail, beware of him!" Lion, however, said, "Why
need I be on my guard against those whom I know?" Lioness
answered, "My Son, take care of him who has pinching weapons!"
But Lion would not follow his Mother's advice, and the same morning,
when it was still pitch dark, he went to Aroxaams, and laid himself
in ambush. Gurikhoisip went also that morning to the same place.
When he had arrived he let his dogs drink, and then bathe. After
they had finished they wallowed. Then also Man drank; and, when
he had done drinking, Lion came out of the bush. Dogs surrounded
him as his Mother had foretold, and he was speared by Gurikhoisip.
Just as lie became aware that he was speared, the Dogs drew him
down again. In this manner he grew faint. While he was in this
state, Gurikhoisip said to the Dogs, "Let him alone now,
that he may go and be taught by his Mother." So the Dogs
let him go. They left him, and went home as he lay there. The
same night he walked towards home, but whilst he was on the way
his strength failed him, and he lamented:
"Mother! take me up!
Grandmother! take me up! Oh me! Alas!"
At the dawn of day his Mother heard his wailing, and said-
"My Son, this is the thing which I have told thee:
"Beware of the one who has pinching weapons,
Who wears a tuft of tiger's tail,
Of him who has white dogs!
Alas! thou son of her who is short-eared,
Thou, my short-eared child!
Son of her who eats raw flesh,
Son of her whose nostrils are red from the prey,
Thou with blood-stained nostrils!
Son of her who drinks pit-water,
LION WHO TOOK A WOMAN'S SHAPE
SOME Women, it is said, went out to seek roots and herbs and
other wild food. On their way home they sat down and said, Let
us taste the food of the field." Now they found that the
food picked by one of them was sweet, while that of the others
was bitter. The latter said to each other, "Look here! this
Woman's herbs are sweet." Then they said to the owner of
the sweet food, "Throw it away and seek for other."
So she threw away the food, and went to gather more. When she
had collected a sufficient supply, she returned to join the other
Women, but could not flnd them. She went therefore down to the
river, where Hare sat lading water, and said to him, "Hare,
give me some water that I may drink." But he replied, "This
is the cup out of which my uncle (Lion) and I alone may drink."
She asked again: "Hare, draw water for me that I may
drink." But Hare made the same reply. Then she snatched
the cup from him and drank, but he ran home to tell his uncle
of the outrage which had been committed.
The Woman meanwhile replaced the cup and went away. After
she had departed Lion came down, and, seeing her in the distance,
pursued her on the road. When she turned round and saw him coming,
she sang in the following manner:
"My mother, she would not let me seek herbs,
Herbs of the field, food from the field. Hoo!"
When Lion at last came up with the Woman, they hunted each
other round a shrub. She wore many beads and arm-rings, and Lion
said, "Let me put them on!" So she lent them to him,
but he afterwards refused to return them to her.
They then hunted each other again round the shrub, till Lion
fell (town, and the Woman jumped upon him, and kept him there.
Lion (uttering a form of conjuration) said:
"My Aunt! it is morning, and time to rise;
Pray, rise from me!"
She then rose from him, and they hunted again after each other
round the shrub, till the Woman fell down, and Lion jumped upon
her. She then addressed him:
"My Uncle! it is morning, and time to rise;
Pray, rise from me!"
He rose, of course, and they hunted each other again, till
Lion fell a second time. When she jumped upon him he said:
My Aunt! it is morning, and time to rise;
Pray, rise from me!"
They rose again and hunted after each other. The Woman at
last fell down. But this time when she repeated the above conjuration,
"Hè Kha! Is it morning, and time to rise?"
He then ate her, taking care, however, to leave her skin whole,
which he put on, together with her dress and ornaments, so that
he looked quite like a woman, and then went home to her kraal.
When this counterfeit woman arrived, her little sister, crying,
said, "My sister, pour some milk out for me." She answered,
"I shall not pour you out any." Then the Child addressed
their Mother: "Mama, do pour out some for me." The
Mother of the kraal said, "Go to your sister, and let her
give it to you!" The little Child said again to her sister,
"Please, pour out for me!" She, however, repeated her
refusal, saying, "I will not do it." Then the Mother
of the kraal said to the little One, "I refused to let her
(the elder sister) seek herbs in the field, and I do not know
what mav have happened; go therefore to Hare, and ask him to
pour out for you."
So then Hare gave her some milk; but her elder sister said,
"Come and share it with me." The little Child then
went to her sister with her bamboo (cup), and they both sucked
the milk out of it. Whilst they were doing this, some milk was
spilt on the little one's hand, and the elder sister licked it
up with her tongue, the roughness of which drew blood; this,
too, the Woman licked up.
The little child complained to her Mother:
"Mama, sister pricks holes in me and sucks the blood.
The Mother said, "With what Lion's nature your sister went
the way that I forbade her, and returned, I do not know."
Now the Cows arried, and the elder sister cleansed the pails
in order to milk them. But when she approached the Cows witha
thong (in order to tie their fore-legs), they all refused to
be milked by her.
Hare said,"Whey do not you sand before the Cow?"
She replied, "Hare, call your brother, and do you two stand
before the Cow." Her husband said, "What has come over
her that the Cows refuse her? These are the same Cows she always
milks." The Mother (of the kraal) said, "What has happened
this evening? These are Cows that she always milks without assistance.
What can have affected her that she comes home a woman with a
The elder daughter then said to her Mother, I shall not milk
the Cows." With these words she sat down. The Mother said
therefore to Hare, "Bring me the bamboos, that I may milk.
I do not know what has come over the girl."
So the Mother herself milked the cows, and when she had done
so, Hare brought the bamboos to the young wife's house, where
her husband was, but she (the wife) did not give him (her husband)
anything to eat. But when at night time she fell asleep, they
saw some of the Lion's hair, which was hanging out where he had
slipped on the Woman's skin, and they cried, "Verily! this
is quite another being. It is for this reason that the Cows refused
to be milked."
Then the people of the kraal began to break up the hut in
which Lion lay asleep. When they took off the mats, they said
(conjuring them), "If thou art favourably inclined to me,
O Mat, give the sound 'sawa'" (meaning, making no noise).
To the poles (on which the but rested) they said, " If
thou art favourably inclined to me, O Pole, thou must give the
They addressed also the bamboos and the bedskins in a similar
Thus gradually and noiselessly they removed the hut and all
its contents. Then they took bunches of grass, put them over
the Lion, and lighting them, said, "If thou art favourably
inclined to me, O Fire, thou must flare up, 'boo boo,' before
thou comest to the heart."
So the Fire flared up when it came towards the heart, and
the heart of the Woman jumped upon the ground. The Mother (of
the kraal) picked it up, and put it into a calabash.
Lion, from his place in the fire, said to the Mother (of the
kraal), "How nicely I have eaten your daugher." The
Woman answered, "You have also now a comfortable place!"
Now the Woman took the first milk of as many Cows had calves,
and put it into the calabash where her daughter's heart was;
the calabash increased in size, and in proportion to this the
girl grew again inside it.
One day, when the Mother (of the kraal) went out to fetch
wood, she said to Hare, "By the time that I come back you
must have everything nice and clean." But during her Mother's
absence, the girl crept out of the calabash, and put the hut
in good order, as she had been used to do in former days, and
said to Hare, "When Mother comes back and asks, 'Who has
done these things?' you must say, 'I, Hare, did them.' "After
she had done all, she hid herself on the stage.
When the Mother of the kraal caine home, she said, "Hare,
who has done these things? They look just as they used when my
daughter did them." Hare said, "I did the things."
But the Mother would not believe it, and looked at the calabash.
Seeing it was empty, she searched the stage and found her daughter.
Then she embraced and kissed her, and from that day the girl
stayed with her Mother, and did every thing as she was wont in
former times; but she now remained unmarried.
WHY HAS JACKAL A LONG, BLACK STRIPE ON HIS BACK?
THE Sun, it is said, was one day on earth, and the men who
were travelling saw him sitting by the wayside, but passed him
without notice. Jackal, however, who came after them, and also
sitting, went to him and said, "Such a fine little child
is left behind by the men." He then took Sun up, and put
it into this awa-skin (on his back). When it burnt him, he said,
"Get down," and shook himself; but Sun stuck fast to
his back, and burnt Jackal's back black from that day.
HORSE CURSED BY SUN
IT is said that once Sun was on earth, and caught Horse to
ride it. But it was unable to bear his weight, and therefore
Ox took the place of Horse, aud carried Sun on its back. Since
that time Horse is cursed in these words, because it could not
carry Sun's weight:
From to-day thou shalt have a (certain) time of dying.
This is thy curse, that thou hast a (certain) time of dying.
And day and night shalt thou eat,
But the desire of thy heart shall not be at rest,
Though thou grazest till morning and again until sunset.
Behold, this is the judgment which I pass upon thee," said
Since that day Horse's (certain) time of dying commenced.
The wild animals, it is said, were once asembled at Lion's.
When Lion was asleep, Jackal persuaded Little Fox to twist a
rope of ostrich sinews, in order to play Lion a trick. They took
ostrich sinews, twisted them, and fastened the rope to Lion's
tail, and the other end of the rope they tied to a shrub. When
Lion awoke, and saw that he was tied up, he became angry, and
called the animals together. When they had assembled, Lion said
(using this form of conjuration)-
"What child of his mother and father's love,
Whose mother and father's love has tied me? "
Then answered the animatl to whom the question was first put-
I, child of my mother and father's love,
I, mother and father's love, I have not done it.
All answered the same; but when he asked Little Fox, Little
I, child of my mother and father's love,
I, mother and father's love, have tied thee!
Then Lion tore the rope made of sinews, and ran after Little
Fox. But Jackal said:
"My boy, thou son of lean Mrs. Fox, thou wilt never be
Truly Lion was thus beaten in running by Little Fox.
THE ORIGIN OF DEATH
THE Moon, it is said, sent once an Insect to Men, saying,
"Go thou to Men, and tell them, 'As I die, and dying live,
so ye shall also die, and dying live.'" The Insect started
with the message, but whilst on his way was overtaken by the
Hare, who asked: "On what errand art thou bound? "The
Insect answered: "I am sent by the Moon to Men, to tell
them that as she dies, and dying lives, they also shall die,
and dying live." The Hare said, "As thou art an awkward
runner, let me go" (to take the message). With these words
he ran off, and when he reached Men, he said, "I am sent
by the Moon to tell you, 'As I die, and dying perish, in the
same manner ye shall also die and come wholly to an end."'
Then the Hare returned to the Moon, and told her what he had
said to Men. The Moon reproached him angrily, saying, "Darest
thou tell the people a thing which I have not said? With these
words she took up a piece of wood, and struck him on the nose.
Since that day the Hare's nose is slit.
ANOTHER VERSION OF THE SAME FABLE
THE Moon dies,and rises to life again. Tlie Moon said to the
Hare, " Go thou to Men, and tell them,'Like as I die and
rise to life again, so you also shall die and rise to life again.'"
The Hare went to the Men, and said, "Like as I die and do
not rise to life again, so you shall also die, and not rise to
life again." When he returned the Moon asked him, "What
hast thou said?" "I have told them, 'Like as I die
and do not rise to life again, so you shall also die and not
rise to life again."' "What," said the Moon, "
hast thou said that?" And she took a stick and beat the
Hare on his mouth, which was slit by the blow. The Hare fled,
and is still fleeing.
A THIRD VERSION OF THE SAME FABLE
THE Moon, on one occasion, sent the Hare to the earth to inform
Men that as she (the Moon) died away and rose again, so mankind
should die and rise again. Instead, however, of delivering this
message as given, the Hare, either out of forgetfulness or malice,
told mankind that as the Moon rose and died away, so Man should
die and rise no more. The Hare, having returned to the Moon,
was questioned as to the message delivered, and the Moon, having
heard the true state of the case, became so enraged with him
that she took up a hatchet to split his head; falling short,
however, of that, the hatchet fell upon the upper lip of the
Hare, and cut it severely. Hence it is that we see the "Hare-lip."
The Hare, being duly incensed at having received such treatment,
raised his claws, and scratched the Moon's face and the dark
spots which we now see on the surface of the Moon are the scars
which she received on that occasion.
A FOURTH VERSION OF THE SAME FABLE
THE Moon, they say, wished to send a message to Men, and the
Hare said that he would take it. "Run, then," said
the Moon, "and tell Men that as I die and am renewed, so
shall they also be renewed." But the Hare deceived Men,
and said, "As I die and perish, so shall you also."
A ZULU VERSION OF THE LEGEND OF THE "ORIGIN
GOD (Unknlunkulu) arose from beneath (the seat of the spiritual
world, according to the Zulu idea), and created in the beginning
men, animals, and all things. He then sent for the Chameleon,
and said, "Go, Chameleon, and tell Men that they shall not
die." The Chameleon went, but it walked slowly, and loitered
on the way, eating of a shrub called Bukwebezane.
When it had been away some time, God sent the Salamander after
it, ordering him to make haste and tell Men that they should
die. The Salamander went on his way with this message, outran
the Chameleon, and, arriving first where the Men were, told them
that they must die.
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