The Skull of the Elephant

Some men killed an elephant. They put the elephant's skull on the wall and then feasted on the meat.
When they laughed, the skull laughed too. 
Then it asked, "Why are you laughing?"
The men shouted in fear, "The skull speaks!"
Then the skull began gnawing on meat hung up to dry.
"It's eating!" they shouted.
One man sang:
"You mock me, 
But I am alive, 
And I eat your flesh.
Who's dead? You are!"
The skull sang in reply:
"You eat my flesh, but I'll eat yours.
Who's dead? Not me.
I live in my bones.
I am alive!"


Inspired by: "The Hunter and the Elephant" in Ethiopian Folktales collected by Elizabeth Laird (website).
Notes: You can read the original story online. The storyteller is Belay Makura.

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