"Some honored guests have arrived," the husband told his wife. "We must kill a chicken in order to prepare a meal for them."
The wife grabbed a chicken, but the husband couldn't find his knife to use to kill it, so the wife let the chicken loose again.
The chicken resumed its search for food, scratching the ground, and as it scratched, it unearthed the knife. The husband saw the glint of metal, picked up the knife, grabbed the chicken, and killed it.
The guests enjoyed their meal.
Hence the saying: The chicken uncovers the instrument of its own death.
[a Tigray story from northern Ethiopia]
Inspired by: "The Tale of a Hen" in Tales, Customs, Names, and Dirges of the Tigre Tribes by Enno Littmann, 1915.
Notes: You can read the original story online.