The Lioness And The Ostrich
Source: South-african Folk-tales
It is said, once a lioness roared, and the ostrich also roared. The
lioness went toward the place where the ostrich was. They met. The
lioness said to the ostrich, "Please to roar." The ostrich roared. Then
the lioness roared. The voices were equal. The lioness said to the
ostrich, "You are my match."
Then the lioness said to the ostrich, "Let us hunt game together." They
saw eland and made toward it. The lioness caught only one; the ostrich
killed a great many by striking them with the claw which was on his leg;
but the lioness killed only one. When they had met after the hunting
they went to the game, and the lioness saw that the ostrich had killed a
Now, the lioness also had young cubs. They went to the shade to rest
themselves. The lioness said to the ostrich, "Get up and rip open; let
us eat." Said the ostrich, "Go and rip open; I shall eat the blood." The
lioness stood up and ripped open, and ate with the cubs. And when she
had eaten, the ostrich got up and ate the blood. They went to sleep.
The cubs played about. While they were playing, they went to the
ostrich, who was asleep. When he went to sleep he also opened his mouth.
The young lions saw that the ostrich had no teeth. They went to their
mother and said, "This fellow, who says he is your equal, has no teeth;
he is insulting you." Then the lioness went to wake the ostrich, and
said, "Get up, let us fight"; and they fought. And the ostrich said, "Go
to that side of the ant-hill, and I will go to this side of it." The
ostrich struck the ant-hill, and sent it toward the lioness. But the
second time he struck the lioness in a vulnerable spot, near the liver,
and killed her.
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