80. The Mouse-Deer and the King

The King invited his friend Mouse-Deer to visit him.
During the night, Mouse-Deer crept into the kitchen, stole some eggs, and ran, but then he had to wait at the river for Frog to ferry him across in his canoe.
That's where the people who were chasing Mouse-Deer caught him. "You stole the eggs!" they yelled.
"Only the King may search me," insisted Mouse-Deer.
The King found the eggs in Mouse-Deer's pockets but didn't want to shame himself by declaring his friend a thief.
"No eggs here!" declared the King.
That's why they say: The King can restore any reputation.
[a story from Liberia]

Inspired by: "Reputation" in Folktales from Liberia (in Journal of American Folklore) by Richard C. Bundy, 1919.
Notes: You can read the original story online. Nymo is the name of the pygmy antelope in this story.

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