The Tale of Toad

When Nyiswa made his children they all pretended to love him. Toad was the only one who loved the Sky-god with a deep and constant love; and the other children treated Toad very badly. Although he was the greatest hunter amongst the animals and brought meat in every day, he was only given offal and abuse, and was kicked by the larger children and pinched by the small ones. He…Keep Reading

When God Made Crabs

When God had finished creating the world he took one month to examine all the beautiful things he had made. He walked about the forests visiting the animals and birds and admiring the trees and flowers; he looked upon the rivers and the lakes, and finally he went down to the sea. He had seen many handsome creatures living on land, but when he looked into the rivers and the…Keep Reading

How Hare Lost His Tail

During Hungry season, Tortoise tied a long rope to a bag and set off to look for food, towing the bag behind him. He had not gone far, in fact not half as far as he had intended going, when he found some fruit and put it in his bag. On his way home he paused to rest. Hare came up behind him and said: “Hello, Tortoise. This is a…Keep Reading

Why Elephants Flee From Goats

Elephant and Goat went out together to work in the fields, hoeing the soil and planting cassava stems. Goat was thrifty and industrious, but elephant was lazy and ate more than he grew. By midday they were hungry, and Goat, who could not trust Elephant with food, said: “It is time to eat. Since I am the smallest, I shall prepare the meal.” “Not at all,” declared the hungry Elephant….Keep Reading

How Fire Came to Earth

Long ago only Meleka, the god who lives in the sky, possessed the gifts of fire; and in his wisdom he withheld it from Man. One day he gave a fire stick to Hawk and bade him fly through the heavens to kindle a dark star, but the fire stick fell from the mouth of hawk and dropped down to earth. It landed amid dry grass and a fire began,…Keep Reading

How Hawk Learned of the Shallow Hearts of Men

In a certain tree called the Palmolin tree, in which the palm birds live, Chameleon has his home. Men plant those trees in the center of their villages, and thus it was that chameleon lived in a tree by a village market place. People feared this animal, for although it was quite small it possessed a surprising strength. It would spring on the backs of passing men and could not…Keep Reading

How Spider’s Waist Became So Thin

Two neighboring villages planned to hold feasts on the same day. Nan-sii, the greedy Spider, wished to attend each feast, but did not know which one would start first. So he tied a rope around his waist and gave the free end to the chief of the first village, saying: “When your feast is about to commence, pull this rope.” He tied a second rope about his waist, and the…Keep Reading

How Spider’s Waist Became So Thin

Two neighboring villages planned to hold feasts on the same day. Nan-sii, the greedy Spider, wished to attend each feast, but did not know which one would start first. So he tied a rope around his waist and gave the free end to the chief of the first village, saying: “When your feast is about to commence, pull this rope.” He tied a second rope about his waist, and the…Keep Reading

How Spider’s Waist Became So Thin

Two neighboring villages planned to hold feasts on the same day. Nan-sii, the greedy Spider, wished to attend each feast, but did not know which one would start first. So he tied a rope around his waist and gave the free end to the chief of the first village, saying: “When your feast is about to commence, pull this rope.” He tied a second rope about his waist, and the…Keep Reading

A Snail and Iguana Fought and Caused the Moon to Shine

When Hungry Season came and the weaker animals were dying from starvation, Leopard found a bread-nut seed and took it to his family. It was so small that even Baby Leopard scorned to eat it. So great was the animals’ hunger that anyone who laughed or cried would die, but the family laughed at the little seed by holding their lips apart with their paws; and they cried for hunger…Keep Reading

How Spider Was Beaten, Eaten, Skinned, and Burned

Spider discovered a half-town owned by a family of rich Bush Devils. Even during Hungry Season the Bush Devils always had food, and Spider saw that just now their house was packed with good things to eat. He decided to steal as much food as he could, but since he did not know the magic words to open and close the door he hid nearby and listened carefully when the…Keep Reading

The Stupidity of Bug-A-Bug

Two orphan-brothers who were poor went to a rich man and asked for money so that they could trade. The rich man loaned them money, but instead of using it to trade they bought wine and the best food and lived happily for several days. When there were only two pieces of money left the two orphans agreed that they would have to do something. There was no longer enough…Keep Reading