The People, the Cat, and the Medicine-Man

Long ago, people lived forever.
Then death came.
The people needed medicine against death, so they sent Cat to a medicine-man deep in the forest. "Cat is fast," they said. "He'll come back soon!"
Cat ran to the medicine-man, and he gave Cat the medicine.
Returning home, Cat bathed in the river, placing the medicine on a tree-stump. Then he forgot and ran home without it.
Furious, the people sent Cat back, but when he reached the stump, it had become a tree again! 
The medicine was gone. 
So trees can grow from stumps, but people who die never return.



Inspired by: "Why Death Stayed in the World" in Folktales from Liberia (Journal of American Folklore) by Richard C. Bundy, 1919.
Notes: You can read the original story online. The original story ends with the people cursing the cat.

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