184. The Shepherd and the Sheep

There was a shepherd who took his sheep to pasture every day.
In the pasture there was a tall fruit tree. One day the shepherd climbed high into the tree, looking for fruit. He fell down from the tree and was killed.
One of the sheep returned home, singing:
My man wanted to climb the tree.
Now he has fallen down.
The people were surprised. They listened, but couldn't understand.
Finally someone said, "I think the sheep is saying the shepherd needs help!"
They followed the sheep who led them to the dead shepherd in the pasture.
[a Nyanja story from Zimbabwe]

Inspired by: "The Sheep." in Folklore of the Banyanja (published in Folklore) by Madeleine Holland, 1916.
Notes: You can read the original story online. The sheep goes "maa" in the original; I changed it to "baa" in English. It also did not say just what kind of fruit, so I picked marula since that is a tall tree.

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