Kaffir Folk-Lore by Georg McCall Theal

Barking Black-Backed Jackal by Beverly Joubert

Kaffir Folk-Lore
by Georg McCall Theal


Introductory Chapter Regarding the Kaffirs

The Story of the Bird That Made Milk

The Story of Five Heads

The Story of Tangalimlibo

The Story of the Girl Who Disregarded the Custom of Ntonjane

The Story of Simbukumbukwana

The Story of Sikulume

The Story of Hlakanyana

The Story of Demane and Demazana

The Runaway Children; or, The Wonderful Feather

The Story of Ironside and His Sister

The Story of the Cannibal's Wonderful Bird

The Story of the Cannibal Mother and Her Children

The Story of the Girl and the Mbulu

The Story of Mbulukazi

The Story of Long Snake

The Story of Kenkebe

Another Story of Kenkebe

The Story of the Wonderful Horns

The Story of the Glutton

The Story of the Great Chief of the Animals

The Story of the Hare

The Story of Lion and Little Jackal

Proverbs and Figurative Expressions


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Another Story of Kenkebe

AT a certain time, Kenkebe went to get his wife at the place of her parents. When he was on the way, he met a crow. He borrowed its eyes. Then he arrived at his wife's parents' place with the eyes of the crow.

When he arrived, his wife said: "Where are your own eyes?"

He replied: "My eyes have been taken away by the crows."

Then his wife said: "Let us go home."

When they reached home, his wife said: "Take those eyes, you silly one, to their owner, and bring back your own."

Accordingly Kenkebe went for his eyes and got them back.

Then, as he was returning, he met an ant, and exchanged stomachs with it. When he arrived at his house, his wife gave him food. After he had finished eating, he went to milk a cow.

When he was gone out, his little boy went to the place where he had been sitting. He said: "Mother, this food that is spilt here, whose is it?"

His mother replied: "Perhaps it has been spilt by your father. You must not eat it until our father comes."

When Kenkebe came in, his wife said: "Where does this food come from?"

The man replied: "My stomach has been borrowed by an ant."

His wife said: "You must go and take this stomach back to-morrow."

He went to do so. When he arrived at the ant's place, he demanded his stomach. His stomach was given to him, and then he went home.

The text came from:

Theal, Georg McCall. Kaffir Folk-Lore. London: S. Sonnenschein, Le Bas & Lowrey, 1886. Buy the book in paperback.

Available from

Kaffir Folk-Lore by Georg McCall Theal

The Orphan Girl and Other Stories: West African Folk Tales by Buchi Offodile

African Folktales (Pantheon Fairy Tale & Folklore) by Roger Abrahams

The Adventures of Spider: West African Folktales by Joyce Cooper Arkhurst

Favorite African Folktales by Nelson Mandela

The Girl Who Married a Lion and Other Tales From Africa by Alex McCall Smith


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