113. The Wildcats and the Chickens

The Wildcats hesitated to eat the village Chickens. "Those birds might have teeth," the Wildcats said. "They could bite us."
To find out for sure, the Wildcats decided to make music in the village, provoking the Chickens to sing along with open mouths.
When the Chickens learned of the Wildcats' plan, they resolved only to hum when the Wildcats made music. 
One Chicken, however, couldn't resist. When the Wildcats sang and danced, she also sang and danced. The Wildcats looked into her mouth and saw no teeth.
"Eat them!" shrieked the Wildcats, and ever since wildcats chase and eat chickens.
[a Bondei story from Tanzania]

Inspired by: "The Fowls and the Ngogo" in Bondei Folktales (in Folklore) by H. W. Woodward, 1925. The Bondei are a Bantu ethnic group based in northeastern Tanzania.
Notes: You can read the original story online. The author does not know how to translate ngogo, which is some kind of small carnivore; since there are servals, civets, and genets in Tanzania, I rendered it as "wildcat."

No comments:

Post a Comment