One night Hyena saw something shining in the waters of a lake. “It’s a bone!” she thought hungrily, but it was just the moon’s reflection.
She jumped into the water, but she couldn’t reach the bone.
She got out of the water, and again she saw the bone.
She jumped in again, and again, and again.
The water got muddy, and Hyena thought the bone was gone. But then the water cleared, and there was the bone.
At daybreak, Hyena was still there by the lake, jumping and jumping, trying to eat the moonlight that she thought was a bone.
[a Ndau story from Mozambique]
Inspired by: "Hyena and the Moon" in "Tales and Proverbs of the Vandau of Portuguese South Africa" published in the Journal of American Folklore by Franz Boas and C. Kamba Simango, 1922.
Notes: You can read the original story online. Compare this Swahili story: The Hyena and the Moonbeam.