Long ago, the animals had no horns.
Then Creator called them to come get their horns.
Buffalo and Bushbuck, Eland and Antelope, all the animals who wanted horns stopped grazing and ran to receive Creator’s gifts.
But Zebra didn’t run. He stayed where he was, grazing. He ate and ate and ate.
Then, when he finally arrived to get his horns, there weren’t any left.
There were only long ears, stripes, a mane, and a big mouth.
Then all the horned animals laughed at Zebra. “It’s your own fault,” they said, “because you were so greedy for food.”
[an Ila story from Zambia]
Inspired by: "Why Zebra Has no Horns" in The Ila-Speaking Peoples Of Northern Rhodesia, Volume 2 by Edwin Smith and Andrew Murray Dale, 1920.
Notes: You can read the original story online.
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