How Mantis Gave the Bushman Fire

 

How Mantis Gave Bushman Fire

 

Mantis-Observing-Wildmoz.com

Wise Mantis Observing

 

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.

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.

Mantis-Bushman-Tracking-Wildmoz.com

Bushman Tracking

 

Where Did Ostrich Get His Fire?

Now Mantis had, long ago, observed that Ostrich would go a little bit away off to eat his food. And Mantis had often wondered why the food that Ostrich ate would smell so different and delicious. So one day, as Ostrich went off alone with his food, Mantis followed close behind but out of sight.
 

Mantis-Beckoning-Wildmoz.com

Mantis Beckoning to Ostrich

 

Ostrich Loves Jackalberry Fruit

Mantis knew that Ostrich would not share his fire, so he concocted a plan.  He would have to resort to trickery if he was to get any fire for the people.

So it came to pass that one day Mantis went to visit Ostrich.
 

Mantis-Ostrich-Wildmoz.com

Proud Ostrich Hiding His Fire

 

Mantis Gets Some of the Fire

“Higher, higher!” urged Mantis. “The sweetest ones are at the top!”

Ostrich struggled and strained but he just wasn’t tall enough.

“Why not stand on that stone there?” said Mantis, pointing out a rock, next to the tree.
 

Mantis-San-Bushman-Wildmoz.com

San Bushman Starting up Their Fire

 

Poor Ostrich

Ever since then, Ostrich, greatly embarrassed, has never flown. He keeps his wings pressed to his sides, to preserve the little fire he has left.
 

Mantis-Ostrich-Fire-Wildmoz.com

Unhappy Ostrich, Having Lost Some of His Fire

 

Eggs Now Keep the Mark

And as any Bushman will tell you, Ostrich and his wife have become a little absent minded and distracted since the theft of his fire. Even when she lays her beautiful, creamy eggs in a warm hollow in the sand, they place one egg out on the sand to remind them they are sitting on a clutch of eggs, lest they forget and wander off.

 

Due to popular demand, the Wildmoz collection of folktales is
being published in a variety of formats for all to enjoy.
This wonderful African folktale forms part of a new volume,
soon to be released. When the book is available for purchase,
the link will be posted on this page.

 

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Meet Our Authors: The Wildmoz team, Cari and Moz, have a lifelong passion for the Bushveld and share adventures and stories about Africa's good things. Wildmoz is Africa - the cradle of life! Travel writing about wildlife, African folklore, wildlife art, Kruger Park and wildlife safari info! Taste life as it is in Africa.
 Posted by on January 21, 2014
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