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South-African Folk-Tales by James A. Honey

McCall Theal Kafir Folk lore Geo


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.


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."



God (Unknlunkuln) 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.


Geschiedenis van Zuid Afrika Geo. McCall Theal

Kafir Folk-lore Geo. McCall Theal 1882

African Native Literature S. W. Koelle 1854

South African Folk-lore Journal Hottentot Fables and Tales W. H. I. Bleek 1864

An expedition of Discovery into the Interior of Africa James Alexander 1838

South Africa a Century Ago Anna Barnard 1901

An account of travels into the interior of South Africa John Barrow 1802

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