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The White Man And Snake

Source: South-african Folk-tales

A white man, it is said, met Snake upon whom a large stone had fallen
and covered her so that she could not rise. The White Man lifted the
stone off Snake, but when he had done so, she wanted to bite him. The
White Man said, "Stop! let us both go first to some wise people." They
went to Hyena, and the White Man asked him, "Is it right that Snake
should want to bite me, when I helped her as she lay under a stone and
could not rise?"

Hyena (who thought he would get his share of the White Man's body) said,
"If you were bitten what would it matter?"

Then Snake wanted to bite him, but the White Man said again, "Wait a
little, and let us go to other wise people, that I may hear whether this
is right."

They went and met Jackal. The White Man said to Jackal, "Is it right
for Snake to want to bite me, when I lifted up the stone which lay upon

Jackal replied, "I do not believe that Snake could be covered by a stone
so she could not rise. Unless I saw it with my two eyes, I would not
believe it. Therefore, come let us go and see the place where you say it
happened whether it can be true."

They went, and arrived at the place where it had happened. Jackal said,
"Snake, lie down, and let thyself be covered."

Snake did so, and the White Man covered her with the stone; but although
she exerted herself very much, she could not rise. Then the White Man
wanted again to release Snake, but Jackal interfered, and said, "Do not
lift the stone. She wanted to bite you, therefore she may rise by

Then they both went away and left Snake under the stone.

Next: Another Version Of The Same Fable

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