175. The Boys and the Singing Tree

A woodworm sang while gnawing a dead tree: "The tree is now wood, woody-goody-goody, woody-good-good-good!"
A boy heard the tree singing and ran to tell his brothers. "Come!" he said. "The tree is singing!"
The brothers listened to the singing tree all day and wanted to listen all night too, so they lay down beside the tree.
A lion came. "Go away!" he growled. "Or I'll eat you!"
But the boys didn't leave, and the lion ate them, all except the first boy.
"I can't swallow you," the lion said. "Your head is too big."
The boy went home alone.
[a Nyanja story from Zimbabwe]

Inspired by: "The Dead Tree" in Folklore of the Banyanja (published in Folklore) by Madeleine Holland, 1916.
Notes: You can read the original story online.

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