The crocodile and the donkey (as told by Fundi Ziqubu)
The crocodile and the donkey were stealing mealies when the donkey said, ‘Now I must cry.’ ‘The farmer will hear you,’ the crocodile said. ‘It is time,’ the donkey said and cried: ‘Hee-haw.’ The farmer heard and chased them to the river. ‘I can’t swim,’ said the donkey. ‘Stand on top of me,’ said the crocodile. He swam across the river with the donkey on his back. Suddenly the crocodile said ‘Now I must sleep.’ ‘I will drown,’ cried the donkey. ‘It is time,’ said the crocodile. He sank to the bottom of the river and the donkey drowned.
The hares and the goats (as told by Sthembile Hadebe)
The hares and the goats were very different. The hares lived in the forest, away from people, and the goats lived with people. When people saw the hares, they chased them and wanted to kill them. But they never chased the goats, who lived peacefully with them. One day some of the hares decided to go and visit the village, to see how it was that the goats could live there without people chasing them away. They went quietly, making sure that the people didn’t see them, but they weren’t afraid of the goats and went near them. They heard the goats talking about a big party that they were going to have. ‘We’re going to have a wonderful goat’s party’, said the goats. ‘It will only be for us goats – not for the sheep or the cows or any other animals’. The hares went back to the forest and told their friends. They all wanted to go to the party, but they didn’t know how they could do that. Then one of them had a plan: Why don’t they go and collect the old horns that people put up in front of their houses. They did that, and then they all fitted horns onto their heads. ‘How do I look?’ said the one. ‘Do I look like a goat?’ They thought they looked great, but they didn’t know how to make the horns stick to their heads. Then they remembered that there were trees that had glue on their bark, and they went to collect the glue. They then attached the horns to their heads and went to the party. The hares were much smaller than the goats, and so when they got to the party they went and sat next to the small goats. The party started and it was wonderful. They ate and ate, and then they danced and danced.
The hares ate and danced with the goats, until they were very tired. They just couldn’t stay awake, and so they all fell asleep in a corner. It was very hot, and the horns were heavy. After a while the glue started to melt and the horns started to come loose. The goats saw that. ‘What is going on?’ they asked. ‘There are some goats who are losing their horns. What kind of goats are they’. Then they saw that these were not goats at all – they were hares. They woke up the hares and the old goat with the long beard spoke sternly to the hares. ‘You knew very well that this is a party of the goats, and that you are NOT goats. You tried to fool us, and we have to punish you. The hares all had to stand in a row and he got the strongest of the goats to start pulling and pulling at their ears. The ears got longer and longer, and because the hares hung their heads they flopped forward. That’s why even today the hares have very long, floppy ears.
The Donkey and the Rabbit (as told by Lindiwe Shangase)
One day Donkey was very angry. Sheep could see that Donkey was angry so he asked “What is wrong, Donkey?” “Pig told me that Rabbit said he rides me and I am stupid,” replied Donkey. Sheep laughed loudly, “ha ha ha!” And Donkey became even angrier because Sheep was laughing at him. He decided to go look for Rabbit to ask him why he had said such a thing about him. Rabbit was sitting under the tree when he saw Donkey walking very fast towards him. “Hey you, Rabbit! Why did you lie and say that I am your stupid Donkey and that you ride me?” asked Donkey angrily. When Rabbit saw the anger in Donkey’s eyes he pretended to be sick and said with a tired voice, “Can’t you see how sick I am? How could I say something like that about you?” “You are lying!“ said Donkey. And Rabbit said “Let’s go to Pig and resolve this now. But you will have to carry me because I am too weak to walk.” Donkey agreed and he put Rabbit on his back. Rabbit said “Wait! I need a sjambok so that I can chase the flies away.” Donkey gave the sjambok to Rabbit and they set off. Pig was playing on the road with the other animals. When Rabbit saw them up ahead, he started to hit Donkey with the sjambok and began shouting “Run, run!” And because of the pain of the blows of the sjambok Donkey ran so fast that he didn’t even see that they had passed Pig and the other animals on the road. But he did hear Rabbit shouting “Didn’t I tell you I ride him?” and he heard all the animals laughing.