Ethnography and Condition of South Africa before A.D. 1505/Chapter 6

Chapter VI.

Specimens of Hottentot Folklore.

The first of the tales given here is one which with slight variants is told by Hottentots wherever they live in South Africa. It was taken down in the corrupt Dutch used by those people and translated into English by the late Mr. Thomas Bain, and was first published in the Folklore Journal of July 1879. The second is taken from the late Dr. Bleek's Reynard the Fox in South Africa or Hottentot Fables and Tales, published in London in 1864. It was taken down by the reverend G. Krönlein, Rhenish missionary in Great Namaqualand, from narrators in the Nama dialect, and was presented by him to the Grey Library in Capetown, where it was translated into English by Dr. Bleek. The third and fourth were collected with many others by myself from people of the Xosa tribe between 1860 and 1879. The Xosas are of mixed Bantu and Hottentot descent, and the Hottentot women who during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were forced to become the consorts of Bantu men must have introduced these stories, for they are not current among pure Bantu elsewhere. They have a very slight Bantu colouring but not more than sufficient to bring them into line with Xosa comprehension. The fifth is one of several taken down in Dutch by Captain Alexander in Little Namaqualand, and translated by him into English. The others are English translations by Dr. Bleek from Namaqua stories collected by the reverend Mr. Krönlein.

The Animals and the Dam of Water.

There was a great drought in the land, and the lion called together a number of animals, that they might devise a plan for retaining water when the rains fell. The animals which attended to the lion's summons were the baboon, the leopard, the hyena, the jackal, the hare, and the mountain tortoise. It was agreed that they should scratch a large hole in some suitable place to hold water; and the next day they all began to work, with the exception of the jackal, who continually hovered about in that locality, and was overheard to mutter that he was not going to scratch his nails off in making water-holes.

When the dam was finished, the rains fell, and it was soon filled with water, to the great delight of those who had worked so hard at it. The first one, however, to come and drink there was the jackal, who not only drank, but filled his clay pot with water, and then proceeded to swim in the rest of the water, making it as muddy and dirty as he could. This was brought to the knowledge of the lion, who was very angry, and ordered the baboon to guard the water the next day, armed with a huge knobkerie. The baboon was concealed in a bush close to the water; but the jackal soon became aware of his presence there, and guessed its cause. Knowing the fondness of baboons for honey, the jackal at once hit upon a plan, and marching to and fro, every now and then dipped his fingers into his clay pot, and licked them with an expression of intense relish, saying in a low voice to himself, “I don't want any of their dirty water when I have a pot full of delicious honey.” This was too much for the poor baboon, whose mouth began to water. He soon began to beg the jackal to give him a little honey, as he had been watching a long time and was very hungry and tired.

After taking no notice of the baboon at first, the jackal looked round, and said in a patronising manner that he pitied such an unfortunate creature, and would give him some honey on certain conditions, viz. that the baboon should give up his knobkerie and allow himself to be bound. He foolishly agreed, and was soon tied in such a manner that he could not move hand or foot. The jackal now proceeded to drink of the water, to fill his pot, and to swim, in the sight of the baboon, from time to time telling him what a foolish fellow he had been to be so easily duped, and that he (the jackal) had no honey or anything else to give him, excepting a good blow on the head every now and then with his own knobkerie. The animals soon appeared, and found the poor baboon in this sorry plight, looking very miserable. The lion was so exasperated that he caused the baboon to be severely punished and to be denounced as a fool.

The tortoise hereupon stepped forward and offered his services for the capture of the jackal. It was at first thought that he was merely joking, but when he explained in what manner he proposed to catch him, his plan was considered so feasible that his offer was accepted. He proposed that a thick coating of the sticky black substance found on beehives should be spread all over him, and that he should then go and stand at the entrance of the dam, on the water level, so that the jackal might tread upon him and stick fast. This was accordingly done, and the tortoise posted there.

The next day, when the jackal came, he approached the water very cautiously, and wondered to find no one there. He then ventured to the entrance of the water, and remarked how kind they had been in placing there a large black stepping-stone for him. As soon, however, as he trod upon the supposed stone he stuck fast, and saw that he had been tricked, for the tortoise now put his head out and began to move. The jackal's hind feet being still free, he threatened to smash the tortoise with them if he did not let him go. The tortoise merely answered, “Do as you like.” The jackal thereupon made a violent jump, and found with horror that his hind feet were now also fast. “Tortoise,” said he, “I have still my mouth and teeth left, and will eat you alive if you do not let me go.” “Do as you like,” the tortoise again replied. The jackal, in his endeavours to free himself, at last made a desperate bite at the tortoise, and found himself fixed both head and feet. The tortoise, feeling proud of his successful capture, now marched quietly up to the top of the bank with the jackal on his back, so that he could easily be seen by the animals as they came to the water. They were indeed astonished to find how cleverly the crafty jackal had been caught, and the tortoise was much praised, while the unhappy baboon was again reminded of his misconduct when set to guard the water.

The jackal was at once condemned to death by the lion, and the hyena was to execute the sentence. The jackal pleaded hard for mercy, but finding this useless he made a last request to the lion (always, as he said, so fair and just in his dealings) that he should not have to suffer a lingering death. The lion inquired of him in what manner he wished to die; and he asked that his tail might be shaved and rubbed with a little fat, and that the hyena might then swing him round twice and dash his brains out upon a stone. This being considered sufficiently fair by the lion, was ordered by him to be carried out in his presence. When the jackal's tail had been shaved and greased, the hyena caught hold of him with great force, but before he had fairly lifted him from the ground, the cunning jackal had slipped away from his grasp and was running for his life, pursued by all the animals. The lion was the foremost pursuer, and after a great chase the jackal got under an overhanging precipice, and standing on his hind legs with his shoulders pressed against the rock, called loudly to the lion to help him, as the rock was falling and would crush them both. The lion put his shoulders to the rock, and exerted himself to the utmost. After some little time the jackal proposed that he should creep slowly out, and fetch a large pole to prop up the rock, so that the lion could get out and save his life. The jackal did creep out, and left the lion there to starve and die.

The Lion that 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 the 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 (the lion) and I alone may drink.”

She asked again: “hare, draw water for me that I may drink.” But the 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 departed the lion came down, and, seeing her in the distance, pursued her on the path. 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 the lion at last came up with the woman, they hunted each other round a shrub. She wore many beads and armrings, and the lion said, “let me put them on.” So she lent them to him, but he afterwards refused to restore them to her. Then they hunted each other again round the shrub, till the lion fell down, and the woman jumped upon him and kept him there. The lion 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 the lion jumped upon her. She then addressed him:

“My uncle! it is morning, and time to rise;
Pray rise from me!”

He rose, and they hunted each other again, till the 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, the 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 the 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 the hare, and ask him to pour out for you.”

So the hare gave her some milk; but her elder sister said, “come and share it with me.” The little child then went to her sister with her bamboo (cup), and they both sucked the milk out of it. Whilst they were doing this, some milk was spilt on the little one's hand, and the elder sister licked it up with her tongue, the roughness of which drew blood; this, too, the woman licked up. The little child complained to her mother: “Mama, sister pricks holes in me, and sucks the blood.” The mother said, “with what lion's nature your sister went the way that I forbade her, and returned, I do not know.”

Now the cows arrived, and the elder sister cleansed the pails in order to milk them. But when she approached the cows with a thong (in order to tie their fore legs), they all refused to be milked by her. The hare said, “why do you not stand before the cow?” She replied, “hare, call your brother, and do you two stand before the cow.” Her husband said, “what has come over her that the cows refuse her? these are the same cows she always milks.” The mother (of the kraal) said, “what has happened this evening? These are cows which she always milks without assistance. What can have affected her that she comes home as a woman with a lion's nature?”

The elder daughter then said to her mother, “I shall not milk the cows.” With these words she sat down. The mother said therefore to the hare, “bring me the bamboos that I may milk. I do not know what has come over the girl.” So the mother herself milked the cows, and when she had done so, the hare brought the bamboos to the young wife's house, where her husband was, but she (the wife) did not give him (her husband) anything to eat. But when at night time she fell asleep, they saw some of the lion's hair, which was hanging out when he had slipped on the woman's skin, and they cried, “verily, this is quite another being. It is for this reason that the cows refused to be milked.”

Then the people of the kraal began to break up the hut in which the lion lay asleep. When they took off the mats, they said (conjuring them), “if thou art favourably inclined to me, o mat, give the sound sawa” (meaning making no noise). To the poles they said, “if thou art favourably inclined to me, o pole, thou must give the sound ǂgara.” They addressed also the bamboos in a similar manner.

Thus gradually and noiselessly they removed the hut and all its contents. Then they took bunches of grass, put them over the lion, and lighting them, said, “if thou art favourably inclined to me, o fire, thou must flare up, boo boo, before thou comest to the heart.” So the fire flared up when it came towards the heart, and the heart of the woman jumped upon the ground. The mother (of the kraal) picked it up, and put it into a calabash. The lion, from his place in the fire, said to the mother (of the kraal), “how nicely I have eaten your daughter.” The woman answered, “you have also now a comfortable place.”

Now the woman took the first milk of as many cows as calved, and put it into the calabash where her daughter's heart was; the calabash increased in size, and in proportion to this the girl grew again inside it.

One day, when the mother (of the kraal) went out to fetch wood, she said to the hare, “by the time that I come back you must have everything nice and clean.” But during her mother's absence, the girl crept out of the calabash, and put the hut in good order, as she had been used to do in former days, and said to the hare, “when mother comes back and asks who has done these things, you must say, I, the hare, did them.” After she had done all, she hid herself.

When the mother (of the kraal) came home, she said, “hare, who has done these things? they look just as they used to when my daughter did them.” The hare said, “I did the things.” But the mother would not believe it, and looked at the calabash. Seeing it was empty, she searched and found her daughter. Then she embraced and kissed her, and from that day the girl stayed with her mother, and did everything as she was wont in former times; but she now remained unmarried.

Story of the Hare.

Once upon a time the animals made a kraal and put some fat in it. They agreed that one of their number should remain to be the keeper of the gate. The first one that was appointed was the coney. He agreed to take charge, and all the others went away. In a short time the coney fell asleep, when the inkalimeva (a fabulous animal) went in and ate all the fat. After doing this, he threw a little stone at the coney.

The coney started up and cried out: “the fat belonging to all the animals has been eaten by the inkalimeva.” It repeated this cry several times, calling out very loudly. The animals at a distance heard it, they ran to the kraal, and when they saw that the fat was gone they killed the coney.

They put fat in the kraal a second time, and appointed the muishond to keep the gate. The muishond consented, and the animals went away as before. After a little time the inkalimeva came to the kraal, bringing some honey with it. It invited the keeper of the gate to eat honey, and while the muishond was enjoying himself the inkalimeva went in and stole all the fat. It threw a stone at the muishond, which made him look up. The muishond cried out: “the fat belonging to all the animals has been eaten by the inkalimeva.” As soon as the animals heard the cry, they ran to the kraal and killed the muishond.

They put fat in the kraal a third time, and appointed the duiker to be the keeper of the gate. The duiker agreed, and the others went away. In a short time the inkalimeva made its appearance. It proposed to the duiker that they should play at hide and seek. The duiker agreed to this. Then the inkalimeva hid itself, and the duiker looked for it till he was so tired that he lay down and went to sleep. When the duiker was asleep, the inkalimeva ate up all the fat. Then it threw a stone at the duiker, which caused him to jump up and cry out: “the fat belonging to all the animals has been eaten by the inkalimeva.” The animals, when they heard the cry, ran to the kraal and killed the duiker.

They put fat in the kraal the fourth time, and appointed the bluebuck to be the keeper of the gate. When the animals went away, the inkalimeva came as before. It said: “what are you doing by yourself?” The bluebuck answered: “I am watching the fat belonging to all the animals.” The inkalimeva said: “I will be your companion, come, let us sit down and scratch each other's heads.” The bluebuck agreed to this. The inkalimeva sat down; it scratched the head of the other till he went to sleep. Then it arose and ate all the fat. When it had finished, it threw a stone at the bluebuck and awoke him. The bluebuck saw what had happened, and cried out: “the fat belonging to all the animals has been eaten by the inkalimeva.” Then the animals ran up and killed the bluebuck also.

They put fat in the kraal the fifth time, and appointed the porcupine to be the keeper of the gate. The animals went away, and the inkalimeva came as before. It said to the porcupine: “let us run a race against each other.” It let the porcupine beat in this race. Then it said: “I did not think you could run so fast, but let us try again.” They ran again, and it allowed the porcupine to beat the second time. They ran till the porcupine was so tired that he said: “let us rest now.” They sat down to rest, and the porcupine went to sleep. Then the inkalimeva rose up and ate all the fat. When it had finished eating, it threw a stone at the porcupine, which caused him to jump up. He called out with a loud voice: “the fat belonging to all the animals has been eaten by the inkalimeva.” Then the animals came running up, and put the porcupine to death.

They put fat in the kraal the sixth time, and selected the hare to be the keeper of the gate. At first the hare would not consent. He said: “the coney is dead, and the muishond is dead, and the duiker is dead, and the bluebuck is dead, and the porcupine is dead, and you will kill me also.” They promised him that they would not kill him, and after a good deal of persuasion he at last agreed to keep the gate.

When the animals were gone he laid himself down, but he only pretended to be asleep. In a short time the inkalimeva went in, and was just going to take the fat when the hare cried out: “let the fat alone.” The inkalimeva said: “please let me have this little bit only.” The hare answered, mocking: “please let me have this little bit only.”

After that they became companions. The hare proposed that they should fasten each other's tails, and the inkalimeva agreed. The inkalimeva fastened the tail of the hare first. The hare said: “don't tie my tail so tight.” Then the hare fastened the tail of the inkalimeva. The inkalimeva said: “don't tie my tail so tight;” but the hare made no answer. After tying the tail of the inkalimeva very fast, the hare took his club and killed it. The hare took the tail of the inkalimeva and ate it, all except a little piece which he hid in the fence. Then he called out: “the fat belonging to all the animals has been eaten by the inkalimeva.”

The animals came running back, and when they saw that the inkalimeva was dead they rejoiced greatly. They asked the hare for the tail, which should be kept for the chief. The hare replied: “the one I killed had no tail.” They said: “how can an inkalimeva be without a tail?” They began to search, and at length they found a piece of the tail in the fence. They told the chief that the hare had eaten the tail. He said: “bring him to me.” All the animals ran after the hare, but he fled, and they could not catch him. The hare ran into a hole, at the mouth of which the animals set a snare, and then went away. The hare remained in the hole many days, but at length he managed to get out without being caught.

He went to a place where he found a bushbuck building a hut. There was a pot on the fire with meat in it. He said to the bushbuck: “can I take this little piece of meat?” The bushbuck answered: “you must not do it.” But he took the meat and ate it all. After that he whistled a particular tune, and there fell a storm of hail which killed the bushbuck. Then he took the skin of the bushbuck, and made for himself a mantle.

After this the hare went into the forest to get for himself some weapons to fight with. While he was cutting a stick the monkeys threw leaves upon him. He called to them to come down and beat him. They came down, but he killed them all with his weapons.

The Lion and the Jackal.

Little Jackal one day went out hunting, when he met a Lion. The lion proposed that they should hunt together, on condition that if a small antelope was killed it was to be the jackal's, and if a large one was killed it was to be the lion's. The jackal agreed to this. The first animal killed was a large eland. The lion was very glad, and said to the jackal: “I will continue hunting while you go to my house and call my children to carry the meat home.” The jackal replied: “yes, I agree to that.” The lion went away to hunt. When he had gone, the jackal went to his own house and called his own children to carry away the meat. He said: “lion takes me for a fool if he thinks I will call his children while my own are dying with hunger.” So the jackal's children carried the meat to their home on the top of a high rock. The only way to get to their house was by means of a rope.

The lion caught nothing more, and after a time he went home and asked his wife where the meat was. She told him there was no
Portrait of a Hottentot woman, the wife of Jan Jonker Afrikaner, showing strong traces of Bushman blood, in European dress.
(From a Photograph in the South African Public Library.)
meat. He said: “did not Little Jackal bring a message to my children to carry meat?” His wife replied: “no, he has not been here. We are still dying with hunger.”

The lion then went to he jackal's house, but he could not get up the rock to it, so he sat down by the water and waited. After a time the jackal came to get water. He was close to the water when he saw the lion. He at once ran away, and the lion ran after him. He ran into a hole under a tree, but the Hon caught his tail before he got far in. He said to him: “that is not my tail you have hold of, it is a root of the tree. If you do not believe me, take a stone and strike it, and see if any blood comes.” The lion let go the tail, and went for a stone to prove what it was. While he was gone for the stone, Little Jackal went far into the hole. When the lion returned, he could not be found, so the lion lay down by the hole and waited. After a long time Little Jackal wanted to come out. He went to the entrance and looked round, but he could not see the lion. To make sure, he said: “ho! I see you, my master, although you are in hiding.” The lion did not move from the place where he lay concealed. Then Little Jackal went out, and the lion pursued him, but he got away.

The lion watched for him, and one day, when the jackal was out hunting, he came upon him in a place where he could not escape. The lion was just about to spring upon him, when Little Jackal said softly: “hush! do you not see that bushbuck on the other side of the rock? I am glad you have come to help me. Just remain here while I run round and drive him towards you.” The lion did so, and the jackal made his escape.

At another time there was a meeting of the animals, and the lion was the chief at the meeting. Little Jackal wanted to go too, but there was a law made that no one should be present unless he had horns. So Little Jackal took wax out of a nest of bees, and made horns for himself with it. He fastened the horns on his head, and went to the meeting. The lion did not know him on account of the horns. But he sat near the fire and went to sleep, when the horns melted. The lion looked at him and saw who it was. He immediately tried to catch him, but the jackal was quick and sprang away. He ran under an overhanging rock and sang out: “help, help, this rock is falling upon me!” The lion went for a pole to prop up the rock, that he might get at the jackal. While he was away Little Jackal escaped.

After that they became companions again, and went hunting another time. They killed an ox. The lion said: “I will watch it while you carry the pieces away.” The lion gave him the breast, and said, “take this to my wife.” Little Jackal took it to his own wife. When he returned, the lion gave him a shin, and said: “take this to your wife.” Little Jackal took the shin to the lion's house. The lion's wife said: “I cannot take this, because it should not come here.” Little Jackal thereupon struck the lion's wife in the face, and went back to the place where the ox was killed. The lion gave him a large piece of meat, and said: “take this to my wife.” Little Jackal took it to his own wife. This continued till the ox was finished. Then they both went home.

When the lion arrived at his house he found there was weeping in his family. His wife said: “is it you who sent the jackal to beat me and my children, and is it you who sent this shin? Did I ever eat a shin?” When the lion heard that, he was very angry, and at once went to the jackal's house. When he reached the rock, Little Jackal looked down and said: “who are you, and what is your name, and whose son are you, and where are you from, and where are you going to, and whom do you want, and what do you want him for?” The lion replied: “I have merely come to see you. I wish you would let the rope down.” Little Jackal let down a rope made of mouse skins, and when the lion climbed a little way up, the rope broke, and he fell and was hurt. He then went home.

The Ram, the Tiger, and the Jackal.

A tiger (leopard) was returning home from hunting on one occasion, when he lighted on the kraal of a ram. Now the tiger had never seen a ram before, and accordingly, approaching submissively, he said, “Good day, friend! what may your name be?”

The other, in his gruff voice, and striking his breast with his fore foot, said, “I am a ram. Who are you?”

“A tiger,” answered the other, more dead than alive; and then, taking leave of the ram, he ran home as fast as he could.

A jackal lived at the same place as the tiger did, and the latter, going to him, said, “Friend jackal, I am quite out of breath, and am half dead with fright, for I have just seen a terrible looking fellow, with a large and a thick head, and on my asking him what his name was, he answered roughly, ‘I am a ram.’ ”

“What a foolish tiger you are!” cried the jackal, “to let such a nice piece of flesh stand! Why did you do so? but we shall go to-morrow, and eat it together.”

Next day the two set off for the kraal of the ram, and as they appeared over a hill, the ram, who had turned out to look about him, and was calculating where he should that day crop a tender salad, saw them, and he immediately went to his wife and said, “I fear this is our last day, for the jackal and tiger are both coming against us. What shall we do?”

“Don't be afraid,” said the wife, “but take up the child in your arms, go out with it, and pinch it, to make it cry as if it were hungry.” The ram did so, as the confederates came on.

No sooner did the tiger cast his eyes upon the ram than fear again took possession of him, and he wished to turn back. The jackal had provided against this and made the tiger fast to himself with a leathern thong, and said, “come on!” when the ram cried in a loud voice, and pinching his child at the same time, “You have done well, friend jackal, to have brought us the tiger to eat, for you hear how my child is crying for food!”

On these dreadful words the tiger, notwithstanding the entreaties of the jackal to let him go, to let him loose, set off in the greatest alarm, dragged the jackal after him over hill and valley, through bushes and over rocks, and never stopped to look behind him, till he brought back himself and the half-dead jackal to his place again. And so the ram escaped.

The Lion's Defeat.

The wild animals, it is said, were once assembled at the lion's. When the lion was asleep the jackal persuaded the little fox to twist a rope of ostrich sinews in order to play the lion a trick. They took ostrich sinews, twisted them, and fastened the rope to the lion's tail and the other end of the rope they tied to a shrub. When the lion awoke and saw that he was tied up, he became angry and called the animals together. When they had assembled, he said (using this form of conjuration)—

“What child of his mother and father's love,

Whose mother and father's love has tied me?”

Then answered the animal to whom the question was first put:

“I, child of my mother and father's love,

I, mother and father's love, I have not done it.”

All answered the same; but when he asked the little fox the little fox said:

“I, child of my mother and father's love,

I, mother and father's love, have tied thee.”

Then the lion tore the rope made of sinews, and ran after the little fox. But the jackal said:

“My boy, thou son of the lean Mrs. Fox, thou wilt never be caught.”

Truly the lion was thus beaten in running by the little fox.

The Dove and the Heron.

The jackal, it is said, came once to the dove, who lived on the top of a rock, and said, “give me one of your little children.” The dove answered, “I shall not do anything of the kind.” The jackal said, “give it to me at once, otherwise I shall fly up to you.” Then she threw one down to him.

He came back another day, and demanded another little child, and she gave it to him. After the jackal had gone, the heron came, and asked, “dove, why do you cry?” The dove answered him, “the jackal has taken away my little children; it is for this that I cry.” He asked her, “in what manner can he take them?” She answered him, “when he asked me I refused him; but when he said, I shall at once fly up, therefore give it to me, I threw it down to him.” The heron said, “are you such a fool as to give your children to the jackal, who cannot fly?” Then, with the admonition to give no more, he went away.

The jackal came again, and said, “dove, give me a little child.” The dove refused, and told him that the heron had told her that he could not fly up. The jackal said, I shall catch him.

So when the heron came to the bank of the water, the jackal asked him: “brother heron, when the wind comes from this side, how will you stand?” He turned his neck towards him, and said, “I stand thus, bending my neck on one side.” The jackal asked him again, “when a storm comes, and when it rains, how do you stand?” He said to him, “I stand thus, indeed, bending my neck down.” Then the jackal beat him on his neck, and broke his neck in the middle.

Since that day the heron's neck is bent.

The Elephant and the Tortoise.

Two things, the elephant and the rain, had a dispute. The elephant said, “if you say that you nourish me, in what way is it that you do so?” The rain answered, “if you say that I do not nourish you, when I go away will you not die?” And the rain then departed.

The elephant said, “vulture! cast lots to make rain for me.” The vulture said, “I will not cast lots.”

Then the elephant said to the crow, “cast lots,” who answered, “give the things with which I may cast lots.” The crow cast lots, and rain fell. It rained at the lagoons, but they dried up, and only one lagoon remained.

The elephant went a-hunting. There was, however, the tortoise, to whom the elephant said, “tortoise, remain at the water.” Thus the tortoise was left behind when the elephant went a-hunting.

There came the giraffe, and said to the tortoise, “give me water.” The tortoise answered, “the water belongs to the elephant.”

There came the zebra, who said to the tortoise, “give me water.” The tortoise answered, “the water belongs to the elephant.”

There came the gemsbok, who said to the tortoise, “give me water.” The tortoise answered, “the water belongs to the elephant.”

There came the wildebeest, and said, “give me water.” The tortoise said, “the water belongs to the elephant.”

There came the roodebok, and said to the tortoise, “give me water.” The tortoise answered, “the water belongs to the elephant.”

There came the springbok, and said to the tortoise, “give me water.” The tortoise answered, “the water belongs to the elephant.”

There came the jackal, and said to the tortoise, “give me water.” The tortoise answered, “the water belongs to the elephant.”

There came the lion, and said, “little tortoise, give me water.” When the little tortoise was about to say something, the lion got hold of it and beat it; the lion drank of the water, and since that time the animals drink water.

When the elephant came back from the hunting, he said, “little tortoise, is there water?” The tortoise answered, “the animals have drunk the water.” The elephant asked, “little tortoise, shall I chew you or swallow you down?” The little tortoise said, “swallow me, if you please,” and the elephant swallowed it whole.

After the elephant had swallowed the little tortoise, and it had entered his body, it tore off his liver, heart, and kidneys. The elephant said, “little tortoise, you kill me.”

So the elephant died; but the little tortoise came out of his dead body, and went wherever it liked.

The Flying Lion.

The lion, it is said, used once to fly, and at that time nothing could live before him. As he was unwilling that the bones of what he caught should be broken into pieces, he made a pair of white crows watch the bones, leaving them behind at the kraal while he went a-hunting. But one day the great frog came there, broke the bones in pieces, and said, “why can men and animals live no longer?” And he added these words, “when he comes, tell him that I live at yonder pool; if he wishes to see me he must come there.”

The lion, lying in wait (for game), wanted to fly up, but found he could not fly. Then he got angry, thinking that at the kraal something was wrong, and returned home. When he arrived, he asked, “what have you done that I cannot fly?” Then they answered and said, “some one came here, broke the bones into pieces, and said, ‘if he wants me he must look for me at yonder pool.’ ” The lion went, and arrived while the frog was sitting at the water's edge, and he tried to creep stealthily upon him. When he was about to get hold of him, the frog said, “ho!” and diving went to the other side of the pool, and sat there. The lion pursued him, but as he could not catch him he returned home.

From that day, it is said, the lion walked on his feet, and also began to creep upon (his game); and the white crows became entirely dumb since the day that they said, “nothing can be said of that matter.”

It will be observed that these tales are of a different class from those of the Bushmen. They differ also greatly in style from those of the Bantu, as can be seen by comparing them with the tales given in succeeding chapters. They show the power of the Hottentot mind, but are not of the great value that the Bantu tales are in tracing the migrations of these people.