24. God and the Birds

In the beginning, God said to the birds, “Rise up and go!”
“If it be God’s will,” the birds chirped, “we shall rise and go.”
The other winged creatures said the same.
But Guinea-Fowl did not say the same. Guinea-Fowl was proud, so she said, “Whether God be willing or not, I shall rise and go.”
She rose to go, but she fell down; she rose again, and again she fell down.
God then said, “Guinea-Fowl, I remove my blessing from you: instead of flying, you will walk.”
That is why today Guinea-Fowl flaps her wings, but she cannot fly.

[a Hausa story from northern Nigeria] 

Inspired by: "The Story of the Guinea Hen" in Magana Hausa; Hausa stories and fables by  J. F. Schon, 1885 edition with English translation.
Notes: You can read the original story online. You can find out more about the Hausa people at Wikipedia.

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