124. The Old Leopard and the Goats

When the leopard grew old, he lost his teeth and couldn't kill animals to eat, not even goats. The leopard grew thin, shrinking with hunger, while he saw goats roaming nearby.
As the leopard thought about the delicious food he used to eat when he was young, he sang this song:
Woe is me! I am too old.
Too old for the meat of the goat,
For the liver, kidneys, heart, flesh...
As the leopard sang, the goats danced around him and laughed.
Then the leopard died.
So says the proverb: When the leopard grows old, the goats mock him.
[a Tigray story from northern Ethiopia]

Inspired by: "The Tale of the Leopard in his Old Age" in Tales, Customs, Names, and Dirges of the Tigre Tribes by Enno Littmann, 1915.
Notes: You can read the original story online.

No comments:

Post a Comment