THE stories about the more important animals, the lion, the elephant, the antelopes, and the hyena, usually introduce the hare as the principal character; the rhinoceros, the hippopotamus, the python, and the zebra are less often found in conjunction with him. This chapter will contain a few in which he does not figure.
The first is that of "The Horned Animals and the Hyena." A great beer-drinking was arranged, to which no animals were admitted but those having horns. Every kind of horned beast assembled at the meeting-place in the forest, and the feast went on for many days. The hyena heard of it, and wished to take part, but knew, of course, that he was disqualified. He did not, however, lose heart, but wandered about till he came across a dead buck of some kind. He detached its horns, and then searched for a deserted bees' nest, where he found a sufficient quantity of wax to stick the horns on his head. Thereupon he made his way to the meeting-place, and joined the revellers without exciting remark.
The feast had gone on all night, and the hyena arrived in the early morning, so for a time all went well. But as the sun grew hot the wax began to melt. As he felt the horns getting loose he held them on with his hands, calling on all the other animals to do the same: "Quickly! Quickly! because some of us have horns which come off! The stupid hyena seems to have thought that some of the others might be in like case with himself, and that he might escape detection along with them. But the animals were not to be taken in; they saw through the trick (which, indeed, soon became impossible to carry on): they cried, "He is cheating us, and drove him away in disgrace."
Curiously enough, in at least three variants (Ila, Lamba, and Nsenga) this exploit is credited to the hare; but it seems to me to fit the hyena much better. The Ila story,
[1. Told in Swahili by C. Velten, Märchen und Erzeihlungen, p. 2.]
however, has one or two additional touches which it is a to lose. The hare was accompanied by the ground hornbill (any sort of horn was allowed to count), who sat near the door (this beer-drinking took place under cover), while the hare imprudently (and quite out of character) chose a place near the fire. When the wax began to melt the hornbill indiscreetly (or maliciously?) announced the fact, but the guests could not hear what he said, and asked the hare, who answered "Hornbill is asking for the sediment of the beer." But he could not keep up the deception when the hot wax ran down his face, and the story ends as above.
A story from Tete  containing a similar incident is not a parallel: the invitation is issued to "all creatures wearing fur or feathers," and the hare assumes a pair of horns only as a disguise, the host being his deadly enemy, the lion.
Uncle Remus, I am sure, is much nearer the true tradition, though, to be precise, the story in question is not related by him, but by Aunt Tempy. It is too delicious to be paraphrased in its entirety: some of it, at any rate, must be given in her own words.
"Hit come 'bout one time dat all de creeturs what got hawns tuck a notion dat dey got ter meet terge'er an have a confab ter see how dey gwine take keer deyself, kaze dem t'er creeturs what got tush an claw, dey wuz des a-snatchin' um furn roun' every corrider."
Accordingly, they held a meeting in the woods.
"Ole Brer Wolf, he tuck'n year 'bout de muster, an he sech a smarty dat nothin' aint gwine do but he mus' go an see what dey doin'. . . . He went out in de timber an cut 'im two crooked sticks an tie urn on his head an start off ter whar de hawn creeturs meet at."
When challenged by Mr Bull he announced himself as
[1. Tete is on the Zambezi; the language spoken there is a form of Nyanja.
2 Nights, No. LXII. This is followed by the incident of the wolf feigning death and being exposed by Brer Rabbit.]
little sucking calf," and, though Bull was somewhat suspicious, -he got in. After a while, forgetting himself, he snapped at a horse-fly, and Brer Rabbit, hiding in the bushes, burst out laughing.
"Brer Bull, he tuck'n holler out, he did:
"'Who dat laughin' an showin' der manners?'
"Nobody aint make no answer, an terreckerly Brer Rabbit holler out:
O kittle-cattle, kittle-cattle, whar yo' eyes?
Whoever see a Sook Calf snappin' at flies?'"
The assembled animals did not know what to make of this voice from -the unseen, and presently another slip on the part of Mr Wolf caused Brer Rabbit to exclaim:
"Scritchum-scratchum, lawsy, my laws!
Look at dat Sook Calf scratchin' wid claws!"
He gave the unfortunate intruder no rest, and when at last he burst out with
One an one never kin make six;
Sticks aint hawns an hawns aint sticks
Brer Wolf turned to flee, and none too soon, for Mr Bull charged him, and would have "natally tore him in two" if he had not "des scooted away from dar."
A lion story, in which the hare does not figure, is based on the same general idea as that of the man whose wife was caught in his trap and claimed as his share by the lion. In this story the case is decided by a different animal, and the details are so divergent that it seems quite worth while to reproduce it here.
A lion, while hunting, got caught by the leg in the noose of a spring-trap. The more he struggled the more tightly,
[1. Doke, Lamba Folklore, p. 99. The wart-hog is ngidi in Lamba, njiri in Nyanja.
2. In the original mwando, which means 'a rope'; the particular kind of trap meant appears to be called ichinsala. A rope, with a noose at the end, is laid along the path and carefully covered up; this is connected with a strong, flexible pole, of which one end is planted firmly in the ground and the other bent over. An animal stepping on the noose releases the pole, and the jerk tightens the cord round its foot.]
of course, he was held, and so he remained for some days, till quite famished and like to die. Then, as it befell, there passed by a wart-hog-that strangely ugly beast, so grotesque in his ugliness that he might well be called "jist bonnie wi' ill-fauredness." He was accompanied by his wife and his numerous family, the children trotting behind him in single file along the path. As they were searching for food they came upon the trap, and saw the lion fast in it, a mere bag of bones. He called out, "My dear Mr Wart-hog [Mwe wame Wangidij], loose me, your friend! I'm in trouble! I'm dying!" The good-natured wart-hog loosened the rope and freed the lion, saying, "All right. Let us be off!" As they were going away the lion happened to turn round, and, catching sight of the procession of little pigs, said, " Friend Wart-hog, what a crowd of children are yours! Do give me one of your children to eat! See how thin I have got with hunger!" The wart-hog answered, "Would you eat a child of mine? And it was I who loosed you to save you!" The lion still insisted, but now the wart-hog's wife interposed, saying-while at the same time conveying some private hint to her husband-"Listen, husband. We have loosed a wild beast on us, and he is demanding one of our children. There is nothing for it but to give way." So they ostensibly gave way (literally, "were weak towards him"), and promised that he should have one when they arrived "where we are going." But "first let us return to that thing that caught you and see what it is like." The lion agreed, and they went back to the trap. They asked, "How did it catch you? Where was it?" and the lion answered, "It was like this. just take hold of it and bend it down." The couple did so, and, holding the end of the pole close to the ground, asked, "But how did it catch you in this way, sir?" The lion, as always, absurdly confiding, put his foot in, the wart-hogs let go, and he was caught once more. The family scattered in all directions, the lion piteously calling after them, "O my dear Wart-hog, are you going? Won't you undo me?" The parents hardened their hearts, and called back, "No! We, your friends, loosed you, and then you begged a child of us! You are a beast: stay where you are, and free yourself as best you can!"
So he had to stay there in torment till he died. And consequently there is enmity between lions and wart-hogs to this day. "If they meet," says the narrator, "Mr Lion at once eats Mr Wart-hog." Yet one fancies in such a case the latter would be quite able to give a good account of himself.
The Baila make out a relationship between the wart-hog and the elephant, grounding it on the fact that both have tusks which are white (though differing in size) and "hair which is alike"-a less obvious resemblance. But originally, it would seem, the wart-hog had the large tusks and the elephant the small ones. The two were supposed to be uncle and nephew, and at one time had a serious quarrel, because, as the wart-hog said to his relative, "One day you said you would destroy things for me"-to supply him with food, no doubt-"but you broke your word." However, they made it up, the elephant's real motive being his desire to get hold of the wart-hog's tusks. He began by admiring them, and then proposed that they should exchange for a short time, so that he could show himself creditably turned out at a dance. He promised to return them on a certain day; but that day came and passed, and the wart-hog waited in vain. At last he went to look for the elephant, and demanded his tusks, only to be told that the exchange was a permanent one, and not a temporary loan. Finding his expostulations all in vain, he said, "From to-day I am going to sleep in a burrow; as for you, you shall travel about the whole day and go far; we shall not be friends again, because you have deceived me so." He then went to consult the ant-bear, feeling so unclothed and disreputable without his great tusks that there was nothing for it but to take refuge underground. The ant-bear
[1. This is not expressly stated in the text (Smith and Dale, The Ila-speaking Peoples, vol. ii, p. 365), but must be assumed as the reason for 'dressing up.']
received him hospitably, and therefore, to this day, "Ant-bear's custom is to dig burrows, and Wart-hog enters one and sleeps. When he has had enough of one he looks out for another. On his arrival he enters the burrow dug by Ant-bear."
The exchange of tusks in this "Just-so" story recalls one told by the Swahili to account for the fact that the snake has no legs and the millepede (popularly supposed to be blind) an excessive number. The snake borrowed the millepede's eyes, so that he could look on at a wedding dance, and lent his legs in return; but he afterwards refused to restore the eyes to their owner, and has kept them ever since.
The monitor lizard has already been met with in a tortoise story, but also occurs in other connexions-for instance, in the story of Hlakanyana, whose whistle is borrowed-and kept-by an uxamu, and also in a good many tales from Nyasaland.
One of these is very curious, and seems to be widely distributed. I follow, in the main, a Swahili version, contributed by Mateo Vundala bin Tendwa to Mambo Leo  for January1927. I have seen at least two others in manuscript (Nyanja), and Mr Cullen Young gives a Tumbuka one in the work from which I have already quoted.
Once upon a time there was a man who had a beautiful daughter and looked after her very carefully. One day there arrived a young man who wanted to marry her; her father did not refuse, but told him to wait five days and come back on the sixth. When he returned at the appointed time he was told: "Go away and come again to-morrow."
[1. Nyanja ng'anzi, Tumbuka kawawa, Swahili kenge, Zulu uxama. I am not certain whether the Nyanja gondwa is the same or another species.
2 See ante, p. x64-
3 The Swahili monthly, published at Dar-es-Salaam. It is unfortunate that the writer gives no indication as to the part of Tanganyika Territory where the story was obtained. It is entitled "The Story of a Man and a Youth and a Kenge."
4 Tumbuka-Kamanga People, p. 217]
Next morning the girl went to the well  with her water-jar as usual, and when she got there saw a kenge drinking. As soon as it saw her it darted off and ran up a tree. She stood gazing at it for some time, never having seen such a creature before, and then filled her jar and hastened home, calling out to her father on arriving, "Father, I've seen a beast with a long tail which ran away up a tree!" He answered, "Let us go, so that I can look at it." They went together, and he recognized it at once, but it had gone up to the topmost branches, where no human climber could reach it. The father reflected for a while, and then made up his mind that when the young wooer came back he would say to him, "If you want to marry my daughter you must go and catch that kenge on the top of the tree."
It is not stated why he wanted it caught, but it seems, from other sources, that it is considered good eating-at any rate, by some people. The chief in the Tumbuka version of the story "was extremely fond of eating the flesh of the monitor lizard in preference to all other meats."
The young man was somewhat startled by this declaration, but only asked to be shown the tree. When he had looked at it he was filled with despair, and went away sorrowful.
When he reached the village the girl's father asked him,
Well, have you brought the kenge? He answered, "I am beaten as to climbing that tree!" The father said to him, "Well, then, you cannot marry my daughter." So the young man started for his own village "full of grief."
When he arrived he found some men sitting in the baraza, and one ancient asked him, "Is it all settled about your wedding?" The young man answered, "Much trouble over there! Much trouble over there!" "What sort of trouble is there yonder?" asked the old man. The youth told his story, and the old man called him aside and gave him this advice: "Go and get hold of a goat; also
[1. does not necessarily mean a well in the sense of a deep pit into which buckets have to Kisima be lowered, but may be a water-hole or reservoir where animals can drink at the edge.]
catch a dog; then take a bowl of porridge and a bundle of grass and go back. When you get to the foot of the tree tie up the goat on one side and the dog on the other; then give the porridge to the goat and the grass to the dog and sit down, and you will see the kenge come down at once."
He did as the old man had told him, and went back to the tree. Having tied up the goat and the dog as directed, he sought out the girl's father and told him that he was going to try again. The man said, "You were beaten the first time; the second time you will succeed, so go on and try again!"
The young man went once more to the tree, and held out the porridge to the goat and the grass to the dog. No sooner had he done so than he heard a laugh up in the tree, and the lizard spoke with a human voice, "Young man, you have no sense! How is it you are giving porridge to the goat and grass to the, dog?" The young man answered, "Come down and show me the right way! Please do come down and show me the right way!" Then the kenge came down, and the young man at once seized it and ran off to the village, and the people, when they caught sight of him, even before he arrived, raised cries of rejoicing. And the girl's father hurried out to meet him and carried off his kenge in triumph. The wedding took place on the same day, and, of course, " they lived happy ever after."
It may be of interest to give, in Mr Cullen Young's translation, the conclusion of the Tumbuka story. In this after the lizard had called out to the young man he paid no heed, but did the same as before. Then:
The monitor said, "Oh! what a fool that so-called human is! Goodness me! Take the porridge and give it to the dog, and take the grass and give it to the goat. Listen, can't you? and keep your ears open!" But still porridge to the goat and grass to the dog. Down came the lizard. "I tell you, take the porridge and give it to the dog take the grass and give it to the goat, and you'll see they'll eat Stand back and watch me!" Then, while the lizard was stretching out its arm to take the porridge-basket, the young fellow snatched his axe and hit the lizard on the head twice and killed it. When he had killed it, he went with it into the presence of the chief, where . . . he marvelled, saying, " You are a lad of parts, young fellow! That beast defeated a lot of people with their plans." And then he began to summon all his people and said, " It is he who is second in the chiefship; anyone making light of him as good as makes light of me."
Mateo Vundala does not say what was done with the kenge which the young man brought in alive. I have never heard of their being kept as pets.
The incident of "porridge for the groat and grass for the dog" is found in a Lamba story (Doke, Lamba Folklore, p. 151: "The Chief and his Councillors"), the opening of which is nearly identical with that of the Tumbuka "The Children and their Parents" (Cullen Young, The Tumbuka Kamanga Peoples, p. 243). All the young men of a certain tribe were ordered by the chief to kill their parents, but one disobeyed and hid his father and mother in a cave. The land was ravaged by an ogre who swallowed people and then retreated to an inaccessible chasm. When this had gone on for some time the chief called the young men together and, as no one had anything helpful to suggest, said, "Friends, who has his father here, that he may give me advice?" They answered, "No, sir, we have none, because you said, 'All of you bring your fathers and let us kill them.'" But at last the youth who had saved his parents brought forward his father; and the old man enticed the ogre out of his lair in the way already described. The monster was immediately killed by the people, who then, following the directions of the Kawandami lizard, got out of him those already swallowed. In the Tumbuka story the rescued parents help the chief in another kind of difficulty.
It is somewhat remarkable that the same number of Mambo Leo in which Mateo's story appears contains a report of what purports to be an actual occurrence, sent in by a correspondent from the Kilwa district. This man states that on October 23, 1926, he went to wash some clothes in the river, and was warned by two boys whom he met "to be careful in spreading out washing there, because there is a large lizard which carries off people's clothes." He did not believe them, and, having finished his work and spread the things out to dry, went to bathe, when he heard a rustling in the grass, and was startled to see a kenge making off with one of the sheets just washed. His shouts brought some men to his help, and by throwing stones at the reptile they induced it to drop the sheet.
Whether this be taken as fact or as fiction, it is at any rate sufficiently curious.
Frogs of various kinds abound in Africa, from the large bullfrog, whose voice is so often heard in the land, to the little shinana, which figures conspicuously in the folklore of the Baronga. It rivals the hare in astuteness; in fact, some of its exploits are those elsewhere attributed to him, and in one Ronga version of the well story it is the shinana, and not the tortoise, who traps the hare at last. Wonderful to relate, it is this same little frog who rescues the girls enticed by the honey-guide into the ogre's hut, in the story already alluded to.
In a Lamba tale the great water-snake (funkwe) is said to have changed himself into a man and married a woman from a certain village. In accordance with the usual custom he settled there and worked in the gardens, but he would never eat porridge. He would go to the river in the early morning, and there, unseen by the people, assume his proper form and feed on fish. After some time he told his wife that he wished to go home, and they set out, accompanied by her brother. On the second day they reached an enclosure which he said was his home. The wife was surprised to see no people about, and asked where were his relations. Though he had previously said that they were
[1. Breeviceps mossambicus, called haswentne at Blantyre. It is not much larger than a shilling, but can blow itself out to twice the size.
2. See ante, pp. 221 and 286.]
farther on, he now merely remarked, "No, I am left alone." He departed, saying he would go to the river and fetch water, and when out of sight changed into a water-snake and ate fish and frogs as usual, returning at night. This happened every day, and at last the brother grew suspicious, followed him to the river, and found out the truth. He came back and told his sister, and she said, "At night you kill him!" which he did by heating a knife red-hot in the fire and cutting off the snake-man's head.
Then they saw multitudes of snakes, and the snakes said, "Let us kill these people." Mr Black-mamba refused, saying, "No, first let the chief come." All the time many snakes kept coming.
During this interval a frog arrived, and asked the man and woman, "If I save you, what will you give me?"
They answered, "We are your slaves!" Then he swallowed them, and immediately after took a great drink of water. The snakes did not see him do it, but presently missed the people and asked where they were. The frog said, "They have gone to drink water," and set off for their village. On the way he met many snakes, who noticed that he seemed unusually corpulent, and asked, "What are you filled with?" He said, "Water that I have just drunk." They were suspicious, however, and would not be satisfied till he had brought up some water to prove the truth of his words. This happened more than once, but he reached his destination in safety, and the people exclaimed, "What a huge frog!" He said, "I am not a frog; I am a man. Did not some people leave here?" Explanations followed, and the woman's mother began to cry. The frog said, "If I bring your children, what will you give me?" She offered him slaves, but he said he did not want them. "What do you want, then?" "I want beans." So they gave him two granaries full. And,
[1. This is not a usual touch. More commonly animals are simply taken for granted as being what they appear to be. But the man transformed by witchcraft into the shape of a beast (usually a snake) appears in several Zulu stories, and is disenchanted (like Tamlane) by fearless true love.]
making a great effort, he produced the brother and sister safe and sound.
Another story about a frog, heard in Nyasaland, was at first extremely puzzling; but with the help of parallel versions it becomes quite coherent.
A frog who had some difficulty in finding a wife at last carved the trunk of a tree into the shape of a woman, and fixed a mpande shell  in the place where her heart should be. This, we are to understand, brought her to life; he then married her. Her name was Njali, and she was very beautiful. They lived happily enough in his hut in the depths of the forest, till one day in his absence some of the chief's men happened to pass by and saw her sitting outside. They asked for fire and water, which she gave them, and on their return told the chief about her. He shortly afterwards sent the men back to the same place, and they, finding the husband again absent, carried her off. She cried out, "Mother! I am being taken away!" but there was none to hear, and when the husband came back he found her gone.
Here the tale, as I took it down, becomes difficult to follow, and there is evidently a gap, but the variants (in some ways hard to reconcile with this and with each other) suggest that he made ineffectual efforts to get her back. When these had failed he sent a pigeon, and told her to bring back the mpande shell, but she could not get it. He sent the pigeon again, and this time she brought it back; but as soon as it was taken out the wife died and was
[1. Doke, Lamba Folklore, P. 247. The Mpongwe tortoise (Nasdau, Where Animals Talk, P. 33) swallows. his wife and servants to save them from the leopard, and eats some mushrooms after them.
2. A disk cut from the base of a particular kind of white spiral shell. It is highly valued by many tribes, and in some is the emblem of chieftainship, or (as among the Pokomo) the badge worn by the highest order of elders: Father Torrend, who gives the Mukuni (Lenje) version of this story, says "he put a cowry on the head of his block of wood," but the word in his original text is mpande. See a note by Major Orde-Browne in the Journal of the African Society for April 1930, P. 285.]
changed back to a block of wood. In Father Torrend's version the husband takes the shell off her head, and
she is already transformed into a simple block of wood, no, she has become but a bush standing at the door. . . . Then the little husband comes home humming his own tune, while the king and those who had seized the woman remain there with their shame.
Both this and a Swahili version recorded by Velten  make the husband a human being-indeed, the Swahili title is "The Carpenter and the Amulet." Father Torrend comments in a note: " Another version, in which the hero is a hare, has been published by Jacottet in 'Textes Louyi,' pp. 8-11. The substitution of a hare for a man seems hardly to improve the story." But it appears to me that the learned writer has entirely missed the point in supposing that the hare has been substituted for the man. Surely both hare and frog belong to the more primitive form.
The Luyi variant is interesting, but, as we have already had sufficient hare stories, I have preferred the frog for this chapter. The Lenje and Swahili ones, not being in any sense animal stories, are hardly in place here; but it may be noted that the Lenje husband, instead of sending the pigeon, carves himself some drums and goes about beating them and singing, till he finds the place where his wife is detained. Both here and in the Nyanja version it seems to be implied that in the end (though at first carried off against her will) she was unwilling to come back to him.
Among birds introduced into folk-tales the cock, the fish-eagle, the guinea-fowl, and doves or pigeons are perhaps the most frequently mentioned, apart from the unnamed birds which reveal the secret of a murder. A favourite incident is the sending of birds with messages, as the pigeon was sent by the frog in the story just given. It will be remembered that Murile, when about to return home from
[1 Bantu Folklore, p. 44.
2. Märchen und Erzälungen, p. 149.]
the Moon country, sent the mocking-bird to announce his coming, after questioning several other birds and finding their replies unsatisfactory.
Gutmann  gives the same story with less detail, mentioning of birds only the eagle (whose cry of Kurui! Kurui! is nearly the same as that attributed in Raum's version to the raven), the raven (who here says Na! Na!), and the mocking-bird, though "all the birds" are said to have been called upon. The mocking-bird's note is rendered as Chiri! Chiri! which she amplifies into a song of ten or twelve lines.
So, too, Mlilua, in the Iramba  story, called the birds. "Crow, if I send you to my mother's, what will you say? " "Gwe! Gwe!" The crow was rejected. None of the birds he called up pleased him, till at last came one known as the shunta. "If I send you home, what will you go and say?" "We shall say, Chetu! Chetu! I have seen Mlilua and his cattle."
It will have been noticed how important is the part assigned in these stories to small and insignificant creatures, such as the hare, the tortoise, the frog, the chameleon, mice, and others. I do not think this fact is fully accounted for by McCall Theal, who writes:
There was nothing that led to elevation of thought in any of these stories, though one idea, that might easily be mistaken on a first view for a good one, pervaded many of them: the superiority of brain power to physical force. But on looking deeper the brain power was always interpreted as low cunning: it was wiliness, not greatness of mind, that won in the strife against the stupid strong.
To my mind, it is nearer the mark to say that much of African folklore is inspired by sympathy with the underdog,
[1. Ante, p. 74.
2 Volksbuch, p. 155.
3 Johnson, Kiniramba, P. 343.
4 The chameleon, quite apart from the legend related in Chapter II, often plays a part resembling that of the hare. The Pokomo, for instance, tell how he beat the dog in a race, by holding on to his tail and getting carried to the goal.
5. People of Africa, p. 275.]
arising from a true, if crude and confused, feeling that "the weak things of the world" have been chosen "to confound the things which are mighty."
M. Junod expresses much the same thought:
Why does this theme of the triumph of wisdom over strength reappear so frequently and under so many aspects in this popular literature? Doubtless because the thought is natural and eminently satisfying to the mind of man.
It is also brought out very fully in the chapter of his earlier work which is entitled "La Sagesse des Petits."
The idea is well illustrated by a little story from the northern part of Nyasaland, which may fitly conclude this chapter. Incidentally, it shows a curious coincidence of thought between primitive Africa and rural England, in the belief that a shrew must die if it crosses a road.
A Namwanga man one day went hunting with his dogs, and came upon a shrew (umulumba) by the roadside. It said to him, "Master, help me across this swollen stream" (i.e., the path, which for him was just as impassable). He refused, and was going on, but the little creature entreated him again: "Do help me across this swollen stream, and I will help you across yours." The man turned back, picked it up, and carried it across, "very reluctantly." (Why? Is there a feeling against touching a shrew, as Africans certainly shrink from touching a chameleon or some kinds of lizards?) It then disappeared from his sight, and he went on with his dogs and killed some guinea-fowl. Then, as it came on to rain, he took refuge in one of the little watch-huts put up in the gardens for those whose business it is to drive away monkeys by day and wild pigs by night. The shrew, which had followed him unseen, was hidden in the thatch. Presently a lion came along, and thus addressed the
[1. Life of a South African Tribe, vol. ii, p. 223; Chants et contes, p. 143.
2. Chinamwanga Stories, p. 19.]
hunter: "Give your guinea-fowl to the dogs, let them eat them, you eat the dogs, and then I'll eat you!"
The man was terrified, and could neither speak nor move. The lion roared out the same words a second time. Then came a little voice out of the thatch.
"Just so. Give the guinea-fowl to the dogs, let them eat them, you eat the dogs, the lion will eat you, and I'll eat the lion."
The lion ran away without looking behind him.
The Lamba have a somewhat similar story, in which the hunter is saved from two ogres by a lizard in the wall of the house and the white ants. They seem to have acted out of pure good-nature, as there is no hint of his having rendered them a service.
[1. Doke, Lamba Folklore, p. 143: " The Story of the Man, the Lizard, and the Termites." Compare, outside the Bantu area, the story of the caterpillar who frightened away all the animals except the frog, who in the end "called his bluff" (Hollis, The Masai, p. 184).]