164. The Rabbit and the Grasshopper

Grasshopper and Rabbit went shopping for cloth. Grasshopper bought beautiful cloth; Rabbit could only afford something plain.
On the way home, Rabbit killed Grasshopper and took his cloth. Then he burned Grasshopper's body, but some blood spilled and the drops of blood became a bird.
"Rabbit killed Grasshopper," sang the bird, "for Grasshopper's beautiful cloth."
Rabbit killed the bird; again, the spilled blood became a bird. And again, and again.
When Rabbit got home he said, "Grasshopper fell ill and died," but the bird sang: "Rabbit killed Grasshopper for Grasshopper's beautiful cloth."
So the people caught Rabbit and killed him.
[a Yao story from Malawi]

Inspired by: "Rabbit and Grasshopper" in Two Folk-Tales from Nyasaland (in Journal of American folklore) by A. Irving Hallowell, 1922.
Notes: You can read the original story online. The motif of the tell-tale bird is a popular one in Africa, and here in this story from Malawi it is combined with animal characters instead of the typical human characters (often two brothers).

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