A thirsty hyena came to a waterhole. She bent down to drink... and then she saw something! It was only a moonbeam shining on the water, but she thought it was a bone.
The hyena yipped happily, but when she tried to grab the bone, it was just out of reach. "To get to that bone," she decided, "I must drink all the water."
So the hyena drank and drank, but there was still more water. She drank and drank and drank some more, desperate to get that bone... and finally the hyena drank so much water that she died.
[a Swahili story from eastern Africa]
Inspired by: "The Hyena and the Moonbeam" in Black Tales for White Children by C. H. Stigand and Nancy Stigand, 1914.
Notes: You can read the original story online. These are stories translated from the Swahili, with illustrations by John Hargrave. For more about Stigand, see Wikipedia.