119. The Rabbit and the Tortoise

Rabbit’s wife had cooked porridge.
Then Rabbit saw Tortoise coming; he didn’t want to share. So Rabbit invited Tortoise in and seated him up on a high chair. Tortoise couldn’t reach the food with his short arms; he didn’t get any porridge.
Tortoise’s wife cooked porridge, and Tortoise invited Rabbit to dinner, but he scattered ashes all around his house. Rabbit came in, covered with ashes.
“You’re dirty,” said Tortoise. “Go wash!”
Rabbit went to the river and washed; he walked back over the ashes.
“You’re dirty; go wash!” said Tortoise, again and again.
Rabbit didn’t get any porridge.

[a Mwanga story from Zambia] 

Inspired by: "The Rabbit and the Tortoise" in Chinamwanga Stories by Emmeline H. Dewar, 1900.
Notes: You can read the original story online, and the original Chinamwanga text is here. The rabbit is Kalulu and the tortoise is Mukokwa. You can read more about the Mwanga people at Wikipedia.

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