Africa | Honey: Another Version of the Same Fable [Elephant and Tortoise]

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Another Version of the Same Fable [Elephant and Tortoise]

GIRAFFE and Tortoise, they say, met one day. Giraffe said to Tortoise, "At once I could trample you to death." Tortoise, being afraid, remained silent. Then Giraffe said, "At once I could swallow you." Tortoise said, in answer to this, "Well, I just belong to the family of those whom it has always been customary to swallow." Then Giraffe swallowed Tortoise; but when the latter was being gulped down, he stuck in Giraffe's throat, and as the latter could not get it down, he was choked to death.

When Giraffe was dead, Tortoise crawled out and went to Crab [who is considered as the mother of Tortoise], and told her what had happened. Then Crab said:

"The little Crab! I could sprinkle it under its arm with Boochoo,1
The crooked-legged little one, I could sprinkle under its arm."

Tortoise answered its mother and said:

Have you not always sprinkled me,
That you want to sprinkle me now?

Then they went and fed for a whole year on the remains of Giraffe.


1. In token of approval, according to a Hottentot custom.
Return to place in story.

The text came from:

Honey, James ASouth African Folk-talesNew York: Baker & Taylor Company, 1910.

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