STORY OF LION AND LITTLE
South African Folk Tale
by James A. Honey
Little Jackal one day went out
hunting, when he met Lion. Lion proposed
that they should hunt together,
on condition that if a small antelope was killed
it was to be Little Jackal's, and if a large one
was killed it was to be Lion's. Little Jackal
agreed to this.
The first animal killed was a large eland.
Lion was very glad, and said to Little Jackal:
"I will continue hunting while you go to my
house and call my children to carry the meat
Little Jackal replied: "Yes, I agree to
Lion went away to hunt. When he had gone,
Little 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
So Little Jackal's children carried the meat to
their home on the top of a high rock, where the
only way to get to their house was by means of
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 meat. He said:
"Did not Little Jackal bring a message to my
children to carry meat?"
His wife replied: "No, he was not here. We
are still dying with hunger."
Lion then went to Little Jackal's house, but
he could not get up the rock to it. So he sat
down by the water, waiting. After a time Little
Jackal went to get some water. He was
close to the water when he saw Lion. He at
once ran away, and Lion ran after him. He ran
into a hole under a tree, but Lion 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."
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 Lion returned he could not be found.
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 Lion. To make sure, he said:
"Ho, I see you, my master, although you are
Lion did not move from the place where he
lay concealed. Then Little Jackal went out,
and Lion pursued him, but he got away.
Lion watched for him, and one day, when Little
Jackal was out hunting, he came upon him
in a place where he could not escape. Lion was
just about to spring upon him, when Little
Jackal said softly: "Be still, 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
Lion did so, and Little Jackal made his escape.
At another time there was a meeting of the
animals, and Lion was the chief at the meeting.
Little Jackal wanted to attend, 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. Lion did not know him
on account of the horns. But he sat near the
fire and went to sleep, when the horns melted.
Lion looked at him and saw who it was. He
immediately tried to catch him, but Little Jackal
was quick in springing away. He ran under an
overhanging rock and sang out: "Help! help!
this rock is falling upon me!"
Lion went for a pole to prop up the rock
that he might get at Little Jackal. While he
was away, Little Jackal escaped.
After that they became companions again,
and went hunting another time. They killed an
ox. Lion said: "I will watch it while you carry
the pieces away."
Lion gave him the breast, and said: "Take
this to my wife."
Little Jackal took it to his own wife. When
he returned, Lion gave him a shin, and said:
"Take this to your wife."
Little Jackal took the shin to Lion's house.
Lion's wife said: "I cannot take this because
it should not come here."
Little Jackal thereupon struck Lion's wife in
the face, and went back to the place where the
ox was killed. 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 Lion arrived at his
house he found there was weeping in his family.
His wife said: "Is it you who sent Little
Jackal to beat me and my children, and is it
you who sent this shin? Did I ever eat a shin?"
When Lion heard this he was very angry and
at once went to Little 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?"
Lion replied: "I have merely come to see
you. I wish you to let down the rope."
Little Jackal let down a rope made of mouse
skins, and when Lion climbed a little way up,
the rope broke, and he fell and was hurt. He
then went home.