Greedy Hyena ate too fast and got a bone stuck in her throat.
“Crane,” she groaned, “I’m choking! Quick! Put your head down my throat and get this bone out. I promise you a fine reward!”
So Crane stuck his head down Hyena’s throat and pulled out the bone. Then he asked, “Where’s my reward?”
“Your reward,” Hyena snarled, “is that you put your head into my mouth and got it out again. You owe me a fine reward, not the other way around!”
So the proverb warns: Nothing that enters the mouth of a hyena ever comes out again.
[a Ndau story from Mozambique]
Inspired by: "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. Here is the Ndau version of that saying: apana chilo chinopinda mukanwa mge bongo chinobudya (bongo is the name of the hyena). Compare the Aesop's fable about the wolf and the crane (or stork).
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