69. The Elephant and the Frog

Elephant and Frog were courting the same woman.
“Elephant is my horse,” Frog told her one day.
When Elephant found out, he was furious.
“We’ll go see her together,” Elephant told Frog, “and you’ll take back your words!”
They started walking, but after a while Frog collapsed. “I’m sick,” he gasped. “No strength for walking.”
“I’ll carry you,” Elephant said, using his trunk to lift Frog onto his back.
When they reached the woman’s house, Frog bit Elephant’s ear, and Elephant bolted. As they ran by the house the woman saw them. “Elephant really is Frog’s horse!” she said, laughing.

[an Ambundu story from Angola] 



Inspired by: "Elephant and Frog" in Folktales of Angola by Heli Chatelain, 1894.
Notes: You can read the original story online, and the Kimbundu text is also available. This motif of making someone else your "riding horse" is a very popular African folktale type. In the original story, Frog also needs a twig to keep the mosquitoes away, but I changed it to him biting Elephant in the ear to make him run.




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