Honeybadger follows bees and steals their honey, carrying away pieces of honeycomb. He then hides the honeycomb and goes back for more, building a pile of honeycombs in his hiding place.
When boys who herd cattle see Honeybadger carrying pieces of honeycomb, they follow him to discover his hiding place. Then, as Honeybadger brings back more honeycomb to add to his pile, the boys steal pieces of honeycomb for themselves.
Honeybadger is suspicious: why does the pile get smaller, not larger?
Hence the proverb for when things are not going as they should: Honeybadger is suspicious when the honeycomb disappears.
[a Tswana story from southern Africa]
Inspired by: "The Ratel Is Suspicious About the Honeycomb" in Sechuana Reader by Daniel Jones and S. T. Plaatje, 1915.
Notes: You can read the original story online, where the name "ratel" is used for the honey-badger.
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