Jackal and Monkey


EVERY evening Jackal went to the Man’s* kraal.  He crept through the sliding door and stole a fat young lamb.  This, clever Jackal did several times in succession.  Man set a wip for him at the door.  Jackal went again and zip-there he was caught around the body by the noose.  He swung and swayed high in the air and couldn’t touch ground.  The day began to dawn and Jackal became uneasy.

On a stone kopje, Monkey sat.  When it became light he could see the whole affair, and descended hastily for the purpose of mocking Jackal.  He went and sat on the wall. “Ha, ha, good morning. So there you are hanging now, eventually caught.
What? I, caught? I am simply swinging for my pleasure; it is enjoyable.
You fibber. You are caught in the wip.
If you but realized how nice it was to swing and sway like this, you wouldn’t hesitate.  Come, try it a little.  You feel so healthy and strong for the day, and you never tire afterwards.
No, I won’t.  You are caught.


After a while Jackal convinced Monkey.  He sprang from the kraal wall, and freeing Jackal, adjusted the noose around his own body.
Jackal quickly let go and began to laugh, as Monkey was now swinging high in the air.
Ha, ha, ha,” he laughed.  “Now Monkey is in the wip.
Jackal, free me,” he screamed.
There, Man is coming,” shouted Jackal.
Jackal, free me of this, or I’ll break your playthings.
No, there Man is coming with his gun; you rest a while in the noose.
Jackal, quickly make me free.
No, here’s Man already, and he’s got his gun.  Good morning.” And with these parting words he ran away as fast as he could.  Man came and saw Monkey in the wip.
So, so, Monkey, now you are caught.  You are the fellow who has been stealing my lambs, hey?
No, Man, no,” screamed Monkey, ” not I, but Jackal.
No, I know you; you aren’t too good for that.
No, Boer, no, not I, but Jackal,” Monkey stammered.
Oh, I know you.  Just wait a little,” and Man, raising his gun, aimed and shot poor Monkey dead.

South African Folk Tales, by James A. Honey, 1910, Baker & Taylor Company. (* I replaced ‘Boer’ by ‘Man’, for generality).

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