The Sun came down to earth one day and sat beside the road.
People went walking by; they took no notice of the Sun.
When Jackal walked by, he saw the Sun sitting there.
“Oh!” he shouted. “The people have left this child behind. And what a fine-looking child he is!”
Jackal picked up the Sun. “I’ll carry you,” he said, and he put the Sun on his back.
Then the Sun burned him.
“Ouch! That hurts!” screamed Jackal. “Get down!”
But the Sun stayed stuck to Jackal’s back and kept burning him.
That is how Jackal got his stripe.
[a Khoekhoe story from Namibia]
Inspired by: "Why Has the Jackal a Long Black Stripe on his Back?" in Reynard the fox in South Africa; or, Hottentot fables and tales by Wilhelm Bleek, 1864.
Notes: You can read the original story online. Bleek got the story from a missionary, G. Kroenlein; more about Kroenlein. You can read about the black-backed jackal at Wikipedia. Here's a young black-backed jackal as photographed by Derek Keats (Flickr):
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