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Why Weasels Have a Bad Reputation African Folklore

African Folklore of a Weasel and his Wife explains why weasels have a bad reputation to this very day.



African Folklore of a Weasel and his Wife explains why weasels have a bad reputation to this very day.
The wife of a weasel gave birth to a baby, and then called her husband and said, "Go out and find some clothes I would like for the baby and bring them to me." The husband listened to his wife's word, and said to her, "What kind of clothes do you like?" The wife replied to her husband, "I like the hide of an elephant."

The husband attended to his wife's wish, arose, and went to a fowl, saying, "Sister fowl, listen, and I will tell you something which my wife told me." The fowl replied to the weasel, "Tell me what you have to say!"

The weasel said to the fowl, "Sister fowl, yesterday, when my wife gave birth to our first child, she said to me that she does not like any kind of clothes, except an elephant's hide: now what shall I do to obtain an elephant's hide?"

The fowl said to the weasel, "Stop and I will teach you a trick get an elephant's hide.  Go call the muckworm, the fowl, the cat, the dog, the hyena, the leopard, the lion, and the elephant, call them all and ask them to 'Please come to my farm, it is overgrown with grass,' and when they come, you can obtain the elephant's hide."

The weasel listened to what the fowl said and he called the muckworm, the fowl, the cat, the dog, the hyena, the leopard, the lion, and the elephant.

Next morning the muckworm arose first, took his hoe and went to the farm of the weasel and began to hoe. The weasel was sitting in the midst of his farm, while the muckworm hoed, and the fowl came. The fowl having come, she said to the weasel, "Who came before me?" The weasel replied, "The muckworm has come and is at work." As soon as the fowl had seen the muckworm, she chased and swallowed it, and then began to work.

When the cat arose and went to the farm, she asked the weasel, "Brother weasel, who came before me?" When the weasel replied, "The muckworm came," the cat asked, "Where is the muckworm?" and being told that the fowl had swallowed it, she asked, "Where is the fowl?" The answer was, "Yonder the fowl is at work." The cat went, seized and swallowed the fowl, and then fell to work alone.

The dog arose, and on arriving at the farm, asked the weasel, "Brother weasel, who came before me?" The weasel replied, "The muckworm came." He asked the weasel, "Where is the muckworm?" The weasel replied, "The fowl swallowed the muckworm." He asked again, "Where is the fowl?" The answer was, "The cat has swallowed the fowl." Next question, "Where is the cat?" Answer, "There is the cat at work." The dog took and swallowed the cat, and then began to work alone on the farm.

The hyena arose, and when he came to the farm, asked the weasel, "Who came before me?" The weasel answered, "The muckworm came before you." He asked again, „Where is the muckworm?" Answer, "The fowl swallowed the muckworm." "Where is the fowl?" asked the hyena. The weasel said "The cat swallowed the fowl."  "Where is the cat?" asked the hyena.  The weasel said "The dog swallowed the cat." "Where is the dog?" The weasel answered to the hyena, "Yonder the dog is at work." When the hyena saw the dog, he went, seized and swallowed him, and then went, and began to work alone.

Next the leopard arose, took his hoe, and went to the farm. When he had come and asked the weasel, the weasel said, "The muckworm came first." He asked, "Where is the muckworm?"  "The fowl swallowed it." "Where is the fowl?" "The cat swallowed it."  "Where is the cat?" "The dog swallowed it."  "Where is the dog?" "The hyena swallowed it."  "Where is the hyena?" "Yonder he is at work."  As soon as the leopard saw the hyena, he went, seized, killed, ate it, and then began to work alone.

Next the lion arose, took his hoe and went to the farm. When he came, and saw the weasel sitting, he asked him, "Brother weasel, who came first, before me? "The weasel replied, "The muckworm came." He asked again, "Where is the muckworm?" "The fowl swallowed it."  "Where is the fowl?" "The cat swallowed it."  "Where is the cat?" "The dog swallowed it." "Where is the dog?" "The hyena swallowed it." "Where is the hyena?" "The leopard swallowed it." "Where is the leopard?" The weasel answered to the lion, "Yonder the leopard is at work." When the lion looked before him, he saw the leopard at work. Then he went, seized the leopard, and, after some wrestling, killed him, upon which he went and began to work alone.

Next, the elephant arose, took his hoe, and went to the farm. When the elephant asked the weasel, "Brother weasel, who came before me?" The weasel replied, "The muckworm came." The elephant asked again, "Where is the muckworm?" The weasel said, "The fowl swallowed it." "Where is the fowl?" "The cat swallowed it" "Where is the cat?" "The dog swallowed it." "Where is the dog?"  "The hyena swallowed it." "Where is the hyena?" "The leopard swallowed it." "Where is the leopard?" "The lion swallowed it." "Where is the lion?" The weasel replied to the elephant, "The lion is working yonder."

The elephant listened to what the weasel said, but did not know that the weasel was cunning. The weasel dug a large hole, fastened many pointed sticks inside it, covered the hole with a mat, and covered the mat with dirt.

The elephant did not see the hole, so when he went and attacked the lion, and they fought and wrestled, they came near the hole, and the elephant fell in. When the elephant had fallen in the hole, the lion ran back to his home.

Then the weasel crept up to the hole, peeked in and he saw the elephant inside speared to death. As soon as he saw this, he fetched his knife, flayed the elephant's skin, and brought it to his wife, saying, "As you
said to me, that you did not like any clothes, except an elephant's hide. Behold wife! Here it is!" Smiling with joy, the weasels wife took the hide from her husband, and covered the child with the elephant's hide.

The animals did not know that the weasel was more cunning than all of them. Now, to this day, it is said of any one who is a cunning and sneaky person, they are as tricky as a weasel.


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