"Whoever wins the race will marry my daughter!" proclaimed the King.
Mongoose realized Deer was sure to win. "We must tie up Deer so he can't compete," said Mongoose.
Together, the animals caught Deer and tied him.
"Help!" shouted Deer, and Spider came.
"Untie me, Spider. When the princess and I have a daughter, she'll be your wife."
Spider agreed and untied Deer.
When the race began, Spider grabbed hold of Deer's antler, and Deer outpaced all the other animals. Then, just at the finish-line, Spider jumped and crossed the finish-line first.
Spider won! Spider, not Deer, married the princess.
Inspired by: "The Race for a Wife" in Negro Culture In West Africa by George W. Ellis, 1914.
Notes: You can read the original story online. This is a Vai story from Liberia. The original story just has "a man and his daughter" but I changed it to King, since the king is often the father character in this type of story. The story has "Fox" organizing the plot against Deer, but there are no foxes in Liberia; I replaced it with mongoose; there is a species of mongoose specific to Liberia: Liberian mongoose, along with other mongoose species.