Specimens of Bushman Folklore, by W.H.I. Bleek and L.C. Lloyd, , at sacred-texts.com
"It is the Story of the Lions and the Ostrich."
And the Lions conspired together that they might deceive the Ostrich; for, the women were
[1. The Lion was a man, the Ostrich was also a man, at the time when the Lion kicked the Ostrich's ||hatten-ttu; when they called (in) the #gebbi-ggu. Therefore, the nail of the Ostrich decayed, while it felt that he (the Ostrich) had kicked the Lion's |una-ttu. Therefore, it decayed. Therefore, the people, with regard to the scar yonder on the Ostrich's ||hatten-ttu, they say that it is (from) the Lion's nail.
2. The women of the Ostriches and of the Lions.]
wont, with regard to the Ostrich, they only praised the Ostrich for calling finely; the women did not praise them. And they (the Lions), speaking, said: "In what manner shall I we deceive?" And another Lion answered, he said: "We must tell the women to make a (game of) #gebbi-ggu, that we may see whether the women will again do as they are wont to do; when they only admire (?) the Ostrich; that we may really see whether it be true that the women admire (?) the Ostrich. We shall see what the Ostrich will do." And another Lion spoke, be said: "Why can it be that the Ostrich calls so well (lit. does not a little call sweetly)?" And the other Lion answered, he said: "The ostrich calls with his lungs; therefore, his throat sounds in this manner; his chest's front. Thou dost call with thy mouth; therefore, thou dost not call nicely."
The other Lion answered, he said: "Ye must make a (game of) #gebbi-ggu, that ye may kill the Ostrich, that ye may take out the Ostrich's lungs,
[1. The |goo or #gebbi-ggu among the Grass Bushmen.
They (the Grass Bushmen) call [like the male ostrich]; the women clap their hands for them; they (the men) call to the women. The women are those who dance; they (the men) call. And this woman goes out (from the dance), she stands [being weary], while two other persons (i.e. two other women), they come forward in among the men, while the men call. They call more sweetly than anybody, for, their throats sound like real Ostriches; while the women are those who sing, while the men call.]
that ye may eat them; and ye will call, sounding like the Ostrich, when ye have eaten the Ostrich's lungs."
And the Lions spoke, they said to the women: "Make a (game of) #gebbi-ggu" They would listen whether it were true that the Ostrich calls finely.
And the women made a (game of) #gebbi-ggu on account of it; and the Lion called. The Ostrich was still yonder at his house; the Lion called; the women did not applaud the Lion, because they felt that the Lion did not call well; for, they continued to look at the Lion; and the Ostrich came; and the Ostrich called, sounding afar. And the women exclaimed: "I do wish that the Lion called in this manner; for, he sounds as if he had put his tail into his mouth, while the Ostrich calls in a resounding manner."
And the Lion, answering, said: "Dost thou not see that the women act in this manner towards the Ostrich? and it is only the Ostrich whom they cherish, because he possesses this sweet call. The women cherish him only."
And the other Lion became angry on account of it; namely, that the Ostrich was the one whom the women cherished; and he seemed as if he were about to move away; and he scratched the Ostrich's ||hatten-ttu; scratched, tearing it. And he called out: "is it a thing which calls sweetly?" while he kicked the Ostrich's ||hatten-ttu. And the Ostrich also quickly (?) turned back. And the Ostrich also kicked, tearing his |uan-ttu; and the Ostrich, speaking, said: "This person, it is his |uan-ttu, he is wroth with me, because he is the one who is wont to hold his tail in his mouth
when he calls; this is why the women do not praise him; while the women feel that he does not call nicely for the women. This is why the women are not willing to make a #gebbi-ggu for him; the women feel that he does not call, sounding like me; in that case the women would have praised him."
Therefore, my grandfather spoke, he said to us about it, that we should also do as the Lion formerly did to the Ostrich about it, when he had formerly killed the Ostrich; he ate the Ostrich's lungs, while he wished that he might call, sounding like the Ostrich. Therefore, he ate the lungs.
My grandfather also gave us the Ostrich's lungs to eat, that we might also resemble the Ostrich; and we spoke, we asked our grandfather, whether we should not baking cook the Ostrich's lungs; and our grandfather spoke, he said to us about it, that we should not cook the Ostrich's lungs; for, we in this manner eat the Ostrich's lungs, eat them raw. For, we should, if we were to eat the Ostrich's lungs when they were cooked, we should not call, sounding like the Ostrich, if we ate them when they were cooked. Our grandfather, speaking, told us about it, that, we should not chew the Ostrich's lungs, we should swallow them down, while they were whole. For, we should, if we had chewed the Ostrich's lungs, we should not call, sounding like the Ostrich, if we had chewed them.
And, our grandfather, speaking, said: "Ye must come and stand around, that I may be cutting off from the Ostrich's lungs, that I may be giving
[1. We who were little boys," the narrator explains.]
them to you, that ye may be swallowing them down." And we, answering, said: "O my grandfather! We do not wish to eat the Ostrich's lungs when they are raw."And our grandfather answered, he said to us about it, that we also wished to resemble the Lion; he formerly became angry with the Ostrich, about the Ostrich's fine calling. We also should be wont if we heard that our companions called, sounding very sweetly, we should become angry with our companions, when we heard that they called, sounding very sweetly; we should fight with them, if we felt that the women did not applaud (?) us. Therefore, we become angry. We are fighting with them, because we are angry that the women do not applaud(?) us.
Translation of Notes.
The Lion was a man, the Ostrich was also a man, at that time when the Lion kicked the Ostrich's ||hatten-ttu; when they were calling the #gebbi-ggu. Therefore, the nail of the Ostrich decayed; while it felt that he had kicked the Lion's |uan-ttu. Therefore, it decayed on account of it. Therefore, the people are used to say to the scar which is yonder upon the Ostrich's ||hatten-ttu, that it is the Lion's nail.
The time when the Lion had not killed the Ostrich, was the one at which they made the #gebbi-ggu's fight. He, afterwards, killed the Ostrich; and he ate the Ostrich; it was at a new time that he ate the Ostrich; and he made "a food's thing" of the Ostrich; therefore, the old people say, that, the Lion is a thing which is wont, when it has killed an Ostrich, it is not willing to go away in fear, leaving the Ostrich; for, it is wont, even if we are speaking very angrily to it, it is not willing to go away in fear, leaving the Ostrich. For, it would be very angry with us, if we even thought that we would drive it away.