Spider was hungry, so he started a rumor: “Spider is dead!”
Then he lay down, axe nearby, waiting.
Elephant told Buffalo who told Hartebeest who told Gazelle who told Duiker who told Rabbit who told Jerboa who told Francolin.
They came and wept over Spider’s body. “Alas, Spider is dead!”
But Francolin saw Spider’s eyeball sparkling. “Run!” she shouted.
Then she saw the axe. “Run now!”
Francolin flew up, but when Elephant ran, he trampled Buffalo who trampled Hartebeest who trampled Gazelle who trampled Duiker who trampled Rabbit who trampled Jerboa.
Spider killed and ate them all.
Only Francolin escaped.
[a Hausa story from northern Nigeria]
Inspired by: "The Spider Has a Feast" in Fifty Hausa Folktales (published in Folklore) by A. J. N. Tremearne, 1910.
Notes: You can read the original story online. The list of animals in the original is even longer, and I really like how this has the quality of a chain tale with the rumor spreading through the animals large to small.