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South-African Folk-Tales by James A. Honey

Jackal cut the thong as before


Jackal, with his wife and children, arrived in the neighborhood 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 children, 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 come up to you."

"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 to her.

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 hang 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 died Lion.

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