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South-African Folk-Tales by James A. Honey

CLOUD EATING Jackal and Hyena were together


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 to Hare."

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 considerately, 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."

CLOUD-EATING

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 were fat.

When he wanted to come down, he said

to Hyena, "My sister, as I am 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'S ILLNESS

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 me?"

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 ears, whilst she howled with all her might, and put it on.

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."


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