JACKAL, DOVE, AND HERON
South African Folk Tale
by James A. Honey
Jackal, it is said, came once to Dove,
who lived on the top of a rock, and said,
"Give me one of your little ones."
Dove answered, "I shall not do anything of
Jackal said, "Give me it at once! Otherwise,
I shall fly up to you." Then she threw
one down to him.
He came back another day and demanded
another little one, and she gave it to him.
After Jackal had gone, Heron came, and asked,
"Dove, why do you cry?"
Dove answered him, "Jackal has taken away
my little ones; it is for this that I cry." He
asked her, "In what manner did he take them?"
She answered him, "When he asked me I refused
him; but when he said, 'I shall at once
fly up, therefore give me it,' I threw it down
Heron said, "Are you such a fool as to give
your young ones to Jackal, who cannot fly?"
Then, with the admonition to give no more, he
Jackal came again, and said, "Dove, give me
a little one." Dove refused, and told him that
Heron had told her that he could not fly up.
Jackal said, "I shall catch him."
So when Heron came to the banks of the
water, Jackal asked him: "Brother Heron,
when the wind comes from this side, how will you
stand?" He turned his neck towards him and
said, "I stand thus, bending my neck on one
side." Jackal asked him again, "When a storm
comes and when it rains, how do you stand?"
He said to him: "I stand thus, indeed, bending
my neck down."
Then Jackal beat him on his neck, and broke
his neck in the middle.
Since that day Heron's neck is bent.