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Monday, August 3, 2015

No Heart No Ears Donkey African Folktale

What is a washer man’s donkey? Washer man’s donkey is a creature that has no ears or heart. No ears to listen and understand and no heart to stand up and think for themselves but are easily lead into danger.


No Heart No Ears Donkey Zanzibar African Folktale


A washer man owned a donkey, of which he was very fond. One day, however, it ran away, and took up its abode in the forest, where it led a lazy life, and consequently grew very fat.

“At length Obare, the hare, by chance passed that way, and saw Nane, the donkey.
No Heart No Ears Donkey African Folktale
Be careful who you trust Nane

“Now, the hare is the most cunning of all beasts if you look at his mouth you will see that he is always talking to himself about everything.

“So when Obare saw Nane he said to himself, ‘My, this donkey is fat!’ Then he went and told Tozun, the lion.

“As Tozun was just recovering from a severe illness, he was still so weak that he could not go hunting. He was consequently pretty hungry.

“Said Mr. Obare, ‘I’ll bring enough meat tomorrow for both of us to have a great feast, but you will have to do the killing.’

“‘All right, good friend,’ exclaimed Tozun, joyfully; ‘you are very kind.’

“So the hare scampered off to the forest, found the donkey, and said to her, in his most courtly manner, ‘Miss Nane, I am sent to ask your hand in marriage.’

“‘By who?’ smiled the donkey.

“By Tozun, the lion.”

“The donkey was greatly elated at this, and exclaimed: ‘Let’s go at once!

“They soon arrived at the lion’s home, were cordially invited in, and sat down. Obare gave Tozun a signal with his eyebrow, to the effect that this was the promised feast, and that he would wait outside. Then he said to Nane: ‘I must leave you for a while to attend to some private business. You stay here and talk with your future husband.’

“As soon as Obare got outside, the lion sprang at Nane, and they had a great fight. Tozun was kicked very hard, and he struck with his claws as well as his weak health would permit him. At last the donkey threw the lion down, and ran away to her home in the forest.

“Shortly after, the hare came back, and called, ‘Haya! Tozun! Have you got it?’

“‘I have not got it,’ growled the lion; ‘she kicked me and ran away; but I warrant you I made her feel pretty sore, though I’m not strong.’

“‘Oh, well,’ remarked Obare; ‘don’t put yourself out of the way about it.’

“Then Obare waited many days, until the lion and the donkey were both well and strong, when he said: ‘What do you think now, Tozun? Shall I bring you your meat?’

“‘Ay,’ growled the lion, fiercely; ‘bring it to me. I’ll tear it in two pieces!’

“So the hare went off to the forest, where the donkey welcomed him and asked the news.

“‘You are invited to call again and see your lover,’ said Obare.

“‘Oh, dear!’ cried Nane; ‘that day you took me to him he scratched me awfully. I’m afraid to go near him now.’

“‘Ah, pshaw!’ said Obare; ‘that’s nothing. That’s only Tozun’s way of caressing.’

“‘Oh, well,’ said the donkey, ‘let’s go.’

“So off they started again; but as soon as the lion caught sight of Nane he sprang upon her and tore her in two pieces.

“When the hare came up, Tozun said to him: ‘Take this meat and roast it. As for me, all I want is the heart and ears.’

“‘Thanks,’ said Obare. Then he went away and roasted the meat in a place where the lion could not see him, and he took the heart and ears and hid them. Then he ate all the meat he needed, and put the rest away.

“Presently the lion came to him and said, ‘Bring me the heart and ears.’

“‘Where are they?’ said the hare.

“‘What does this mean?’ growled Tozun.

“‘Why, didn’t you know this was a washer man’s donkey?’

“‘Well, what’s that to do with there being no heart or ears?’

“‘For goodness’ sake, Tozun, aren’t you old enough to know that if this beast had possessed a heart and ears it wouldn’t have come back the second time?’


“Of course the lion believed what Obare, the hare, said was true and walked back to his home hungry and tired.”

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