“At last!” shouted Jackal as he grabbed hold of Rooster. “I’m starving!”
But before he could bite off Rooster’s head, Rooster squawked, “You must pray first, Jackal! Pray before eating me! That’s what the white man does.”
“What do you mean?” said Jackal. “How does the white man pray?”
“He folds his hands in prayer,” Rooster explained.
So Jackal folded his paws, letting go of Rooster.
“And he closes his eyes,” Rooster added.
When Jackal closed his eyes, Rooster soared to safety in a treetop.
“Well,” Jackal muttered to himself, “that’s what I get for praying like a white man.”
[a Khoekhoe story from Namibia]
Inspired by: "The Cock" in Reynard the fox in South Africa; or, Hottentot fables and tales by Wilhelm Bleek, 1864.
Notes: You can read the original story online. The emphasis on the white man's prayer is in the original story, and I re-emphasized it at the end. Bleek got the story from G. Kroenlein, a missionary; more about Kroenlein.