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Kaffir (Xhosa) Folk-Lore, by George McCall Theal, [1886], at


HERE was once a boy whose mother that bore him was dead, and he was ill-treated by his other mothers. On this account he determined to go away from his father's place. One morning he went, riding on an ox which was given to him by his father. As he was travelling, he came to a herd of cattle with a bull.

His ox said: I will fight and overcome that bull.

The boy got off his ox's back. The fight took place, and the bull was defeated. The boy then mounted his ox again.

About midday, feeling hungry, he struck the right horn of his ox, and food came out. After satisfying his hunger, he struck the left horn, and the rest of the food went in again.

The boy saw another herd of dun-coloured cattle. His ox said: "I will fight and die there. You must break off my horns and take them with you. When you are hungry, speak to them, and they will supply you with food."

In the fight the ox was killed, as he had said. The boy took his horns, and went on walking till he came to a village where he found the people cooking a weed (called tyutu), having no other food to eat.

He entered one of the houses. He spoke to his horn, and food came out, enough to satisfy the owner of the house and himself. After they had eaten, they both fell asleep. The owner of the house got up and took away the horns. He concealed them, and put two others in their place.

The boy started next morning with the horns, thinking they were the right ones. When he felt hungry, he spoke to the horns, but nothing came out. He therefore went back to the place where he had slept the night before. As he drew near, he heard the owner of the place speaking to the horns, but without getting anything out of them.

The boy took his horns from the thief, and went on his way. He came to a house, and asked to be entertained. The owner refused, and sent him away, because his clothes were in tatters, and his body soiled with travel.

After that he came to a river and sat down on the bank. He spoke to his horns, and a new mantle and handsome ornaments came out. He dressed himself, and went on. He came to a house where there was a very beautiful girl. He was received by the girl's father, and stayed there. His horns provided food and clothing food for them all.

After a time he married the girl. He then returned home with his wife, and was welcomed by his father. He spoke to his horns, and a fine house came out, in which he lived with his wife.

Next: The Story Of The Glutton