Sacred Texts  Africa  Index  Previous  Next 

Specimens of Bushman Folklore, by W.H.I. Bleek and L.C. Lloyd, [1911], at


The Mason Wasp[2] formerly did thus as he walked along, while (his) wife walked behind him, the wife said: "O my husband! Shoot for me that hare!" And the Mason Wasp laid down his quiver; the Mason Wasp said: "Where is the hare? And (his) wife said: The hare lies there."

And the Mason Wasp took out an arrow; the Mason Wasp in this manner went stooping along.[3] And the wife said: "Put down (thy) kaross! Why is it that thou art not willing to put down (thy) kaross?" Therefore, the Mason Wasp, walking along, unloosened the strings of the kaross; he put down the kaross. Therefore the wife said: "Canst thou be like this?[4] This must have been why thou wert not willing to lay down the kaross."

Therefore, the Mason Wasp walked, turning to one side; he aimed at (his) wife, he shot, hitting the (head of) the arrow on (his) wife's breast[5] (bone).

[1. The Mason Wasp resembles the Palpares and Libellula. It has a small body. The Mason Wasp flies, and is to be seen in summer near water; |hang#kass'o has seen it in our garden at Mowbray. it is rather smaller than the Palpares and Libellula.

2. He was formerly a man; therefore, he had a bow; therefore, he shot his wife, when he had not shot the hare.

3. We are accustomed to go along stooping, when we wish that the hare may quietly lie hidden (knowing that people are at hand; lying still, thinking that it will be passed by).

4. She mocked at the man on account of the middle of the man's body, which was slender; hence she mocked at the man.

5. i.e. breaking her breastbone.]

And (his) wife fell down dead on account of it. Then he exclaimed: "Yi ii hihi! O my wife hi!" (crying) as if he had not been the one to shoot (his) wife. He cried, that he should have done thus, have shot his wife; his wife died.

Next: The Young Man Of The Ancient Race, Who Was Carried Off By A Lion; When Asleep In The Field.