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An African Folktale of Mantis Giving Bushman Fire
Long, long ago somewhere in Africa… When the earth and all the people and animals were new… There lived a people, amongst all the creatures. They were skilful hunters, crafty and clever and as they would hunt only what they needed for food, their labours were always fruitful. But when they would take the meat back to the tribe, it was eaten as the lion and the leopard would eat, always raw. You see… the people had no fire, nothing to light the dark of a moonless night or warm them when the cold came and certainly no fire to cook their food.
The clever Mantis would go about and everywhere he went, he would watch, observing all he saw. He was very curious, ponderously pondering problems encountered by his fellow creatures for hours. Sometimes Mantis would dream the dreams that wise-ones dream and in those dreams, he would see remedies for many dilemmas encountered by his fellows. Mantis oft would ponder on the plight of the people and how their lives might be brightened.
Does Jackal Fool Lion… Once Again?
Long, long ago somewhere in Africa… When the earth and all the people and animals were new… Jackal was moseying along through a narrow, rocky passage between the hills. As was his habit, he kept his nose to the track as he ambled along, checking for interesting smells.
“Never know when or where my next meal could turn up,” he thought to himself, although it was highly unlikely that a rat or a fat little mouse would be out in this heat. But possibly there would be a lizard or a rabbit out and about, for his snack.
All of a sudden, he became conscious of movement up ahead of him on the path.
“Oh, no!” Jackal moaned and froze in his tracks. Lion was coming straight towards him. Realizing that he was too close to escape, Jackal was terrified. He had played so many tricks on the great Lion in the past, it was certain that Lion would take every chance to get his revenge.