188. The Hunter and the Deer

The Hunter’s wife gave birth; so did Deer’s wife.
For first food, the Hunter’s child needed deer-liver, and Deer’s child needed coffee-leaves.
Hunter went to the coffee tree and waited. Deer came; Hunter raised his gun.
“Stop!” shouted Deer. “We are both in need. Let me take coffee-leaves to my child so he will thrive. I’ll return tomorrow!”
Hunter agreed, and Deer ran off with coffee-leaves for his child.
The next day, Hunter went to the tree; Deer was there. Hunter shot Deer and carried the meat to the village. He fed deer-liver to his child, and the child thrived.

[an Ambundu story from Angola]

Inspired by: "The Child of Hunter and the Child of Deer" in Folktales of Angola by Heli Chatelain, 1894.
Notes: You can read the original story online. The first food of the deer is "mudia-mbâmbi," which Chatelain glosses as the leaves of the coffee-tree in the notes.

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