93. The Lion and the Mule

"My father was a lion," boasted Lion, "and my mother a lioness."
"My mother was a horse," said Mule, "but my father was a donkey."
"Miscreant!" snarled Lion. "You don't deserve to live. I'm going to eat you!"
"Wait," said Mule. "You need to read my full pedigree. Let me go get the documents!"
Mule ran to the blacksmith. "Shoe my back hooves," he said, "and leave the nails sticking out."
Then Mule returned to Lion. "All the documents are in my back hooves," he said, and when Lion bent down to examine Mule's hooves, Mule kicked and killed him.
[a Kabyle story from Algeria]

Inspired by: "The Mule, the Jackal, and the Lion" in Moorish Literature by Rene Basset, 1901.
Notes: You can read the original story online.This is a folktale of the Kabyle people. It contains some motifs familiar from Aesop's fables too. The original version has a jackal (or a camel? it's a bit confusing) who escapes the mule's hooves by pretending to not be able to read, but I just focused on the mule and the lion for this tiny version of the story.

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