122. The Rabbit and the Cloud-Islands (1)

Rabbit saw clouds reflected in a pool.
“What beautiful islands!” he exclaimed. “I’ll hide from my enemies on those islands. They’ll never find me.”
Then Rabbit insulted Elephant. “Look at that big head!” he shouted. “But no brains!”
Elephant chased Rabbit, but when Rabbit jumped into the pool, there were no islands where he could hide.
Elephant grabbed Rabbit with his trunk and shook him.
“I’ve had enough of your tricks!” he shouted, squashing Rabbit deep down into the mud at the pool’s edge. “I hope it chokes you!”
Rabbit couldn’t say anything because his mouth was full of mud.

[a Tsonga story from southern Africa] 

Inspired by: "The Hare and the Lion: A. The Mud" in The Life of a South African Tribe: volume 2 by Henri Junod, 1912.
Notes: You can read the original story online. The story is continued here: Hyena and the Muddy Rabbit.

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