Origin of Death
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.
The text came from:
Honey, James A. South African Folk-tales. New York: Baker & Taylor Company, 1910.