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South-African Folk-Tales by James A. Honey

And then went home to her kraal


style="text-align: justify;"> 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 find 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 down, 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, Lion said:

"He 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 may have happened; go therefore to Hare, and ask him to pour out for you."


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