118. The Dog's Medicine

Dog went to a Medicine-Man and said, "Give me medicine that kills whoever hits me!"
"I'll give it to you," said the Medicine-Man, "but it will work only if you don't put your mouth where it doesn't belong."
"I understand," said Dog. "Thank you!"
Then Dog stole food from the table as usual, and his owner hit him as usual. Nothing happened!
Dog complained, and the Medicine-Man repeated, "You mustn't put your mouth where it doesn't belong!"
But Dog keeps stealing, people keep hitting him, and he keeps running, looking back to see if maybe the medicine worked after all.
[a story from Liberia]

Inspired by: "Dog and Medicine-man" in Folktales from Liberia (in Journal of American Folklore) by Richard C. Bundy, 1919.

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