Giraffe went out walking one day and crossed paths with Tortoise.
“Out of my way!” Giraffe said. “Or I’ll trample you to death.” Giraffe stomped his hooves to show he was serious.
Tortoise said nothing.
“Or I might just swallow you!” Giraffe shouted.
“Beware!” Tortoise replied. “Others have tried to swallow me. Go right ahead; you’ll see what happens.”
Giraffe laughed, bent down, and swallowed Tortoise… and then Giraffe choked to death on the spot.
Tortoise slowly but surely ate his way out of Giraffe’s corpse, and then he feasted for a whole year on Giraffe meat.
“Delicious!” he said.
[a Khoekhoe story from Namibia]
Inspired by: "The Giraffe and the Tortoise" in Reynard the fox in South Africa; or, Hottentot fables and tales by W. Bleek, 1864.
Notes: You can read the original story online. In that story, Tortoise then goes to the Crab, "mother of the Tortoise," and obtains her blessing and shares the meat with her; I left the Crab part out of my version. This is another of the Khoekhoe stories recorded by the missionary J. G. Kroenlein.