TALE OF THE TWO DONKEY-OWNERS.
Two men met each other on the road; and each of them had a donkey. Then
the men greeted each other: the donkeys,also, putting their mouths
together sniffed at each other. And the one man asked his fellow saying:
We have gtected each other. Why have the donkeys also put their heads
together?" The other man answered him: 'Doest thou not know this? The
donkeys have sent a strong donkey to the Lord to enter their plaint
before him, that is to say, that the Lord should free them from under
[the tyranny] of men. Now they ask each other saying: Has the
messenger-donkey returned or not'?" And it is said that all donkeys ask
each other about this matter putting their mouths together. By this tale
it is seen that every creature longs for liberty.
THE TALE OF THE BOAR AND THE ELEPHANTS.
Once upon a time a boar, who had got into the middle of a herd of
elephants, dug into the ground and ate. And there came to the elephants
a hunter, and he pointed his gun at one [of the] male[s]. When he shot,
the bullet missed the elephant, but struck the boar. And the elephants
said to him: 'Art thou struck, boar!" He said: 'If it were not an
accident why should, of all these, [the bulletl have struck me?" The
herd fled, but the boar died on the spot. And men say as a proverb when
they encounter something (evil) while in the midst of many Iconipanions]:
"It is an accident, said the boar; in the midst of a herd of elephants
he was struck."
THE TALE OF THE SCHOLAR AND THE I GUENON.
. A scholar was writing in a solitary place, and all the mistakes that
he made, he scratched out with his knife. And while he was writing in
this way, a guenon looked at him. And the scholar arose a little for
some reason. But the guenon came down from his place and trying to write
like the scholar, smeared what the scholar had written.
Thereupon when the scholar returned he found his book smeared, and he
was very sad. But he said to the guenon: "All right, if thou doest the
same that I do." And he took the knife and whetted it well. And when it
had become sharp, he rubbed the blunt [back], while the guenon was
looking, against his throat, put the knife into its place and went away
as before. Thereupon came the guenon; and taking the knife and wishing
to do the same as the scholar had done, he rubbed the sharp edge against
his throat, cut his throat and died. In this way the guenon met [his]
fate, wishing to do the same as the scholar. [This is what] they say.
This is told by the people of Kabasa
THE TALE OF A HEN.
A family had a chicken. Now (once), when guests came to them, they
wished to kill the chicken, that is to say, in ,order to give a meal to
the guests. But they did not find the knife with which to kill it; then
they set the chicken free. When the chicken was free, it scratched the
ground with its feet, and uncarthed the knife. When its masters saw the
knife, they killed the chicken with the knife which it had found itself,
and they gave a meal to their guests. And they say,as a proverb: "The
chicken scraped out the instrument that killed it."
THE TALE OF THE PURE-HEARTED ONE AND THE ONE WITH THE BLACK SOUL.
Two men, who, were called "light" and 'dark", were on the road together;
and when it grew evening, they spent the night at the same place. The
dark one thought in his heart: "If 'I sleep in a good place and the
light one on the edge, [of the road], if then the lion comes, he will
take him, but I shall be safe." And the dark one slept in a good,place,
as he had planned; but the light one slept on the side next to the road.
And when they were sleeping, the lion came to them: the lion took the
dark one and killed him; then he ate [him]. But the light one woke up
safe in the morning. And until the, present day the place is called 'the
resting place of the light and the dark." And men say as a proverb: 'Be
pure-hearted and sleep on the road!"
According to another version the place is called: "the resting place of
the wise and the stupid" (labeb wa-geul)and the proverb: "God protects
the stupid" ('egel agelul räbbi 'aqqebbo). The place is on the direct
road from Gäläb to Asmara, between Comarat and Qeruh, a large bowlder of
granit on the left of the road, as one travels southward (see fig. i).
THE TALE OF THE ELEPHANT AND THE LEOPARD AND HIS SON.
The leopard had left his son in a certain place. And to the son of the
leopard there came the elephant: the trod on him with his foot, crushed
him and killed him. And a lamenter informed the leopard saying: "Thy son
is dead!" The leopard asked the lamenter saying: 'Who has killed my
son?" He replied: 'The elephant has killed thy son." The leopard,
however, said: 'The elephant has not killed my son, the goats have
" The messenger replied : 'No, the elephant has killed thy son." The
leopard: No, no, no! It is nobody but the goats who killed my son. This
is the deed of the goats" Then the leopard went and made a slaughter
among the goats in order to avenge his son. Although, the leopard knew
that the elephant had killed his son, he took:, - because he was not so
strong as the elephant, - the goats as a pretext for his revenge and
And until the present day it is like this: if a man is wronged by some
one.who is stronger than he, and,he finds no means to overpower him, he
rises against him who is weaker than he. And they say as a proverb: 'The
goats do this, said the,leopard."