Jackal saw Rooster up in a tree.
"Come down, Rooster!" he said. "Lion has declared a holiday of peace among all the animals."
Rooster stared into the distance and said nothing.
"Lion is our king!" Jackal shouted. "You must celebrate the holiday he has declared."
"I hear you, Jackal," Rooster replied. "I'm just watching that cloud of dust on the horizon. I think the dogs are coming to celebrate the holiday with us!"
"Did you say dogs?" yelped Jackal as he turned and started running.
"Why are you running?" Rooster said, laughing. "Stay and celebrate!"
But Jackal was long gone.
[a Ndau story from Mozambique]
Inspired by: "The Jackal and the Rooster" in Songs and tales from the dark continent by Natalie Curtis Burlin, 1920.
Notes: You can read the original story online. This is Ndau story contributed by C. Kamba Simango. The jackal is Mu'hwe, the rooster is Jo'ngwe, and the lion is Mpho'ntholo. Compare Aesop's fable about the fox and the rooster (a medieval fable not found in the extant classical corpus). Compare also this Bisharin folktale about fox and lizard with the same plot: Abu el Husseini and the lizard.