Multilingual Folk Tale Database


Author: Charles Bailleul - 2010

Translated into English
  by Maarten Janssen - 2014

Original title (Bambara):
Donokɔrɔnin ani namakɔrɔba

Country of origin: Mali


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The Rooster and the Hyena

Charles Bailleul / Maarten Janssen

One day, a rooster got up, driven by hunger. He went for a walk in search of food. Somewhere else, a hyena also got up to find something to eat. They eventually met and told each other the purpose of their walk. The hyena said to the cock:

- Ah! Little brother, you are a domestic animal, and I am a wild animal. I 'm very hungry and I think I have found my breakfast. I'll bite you in a minute and have you for breakfast.

The rooster replied:
- Hum! You have not yet caught me!

And the chase began... The hyena ran after the cock and when he thought he caught him, the rooster flew up and set down in the top of a tree. The hyena did not know what to do. He called the rooster:

- Rooster, you have to come down, your father just died.

- Even if my father died, said the cock, I still have the friend of my father. I will trust in him.

- Rooster, your father is dead as well as the friend of your father. Come down!

- Ah! You say that my father and my father's friend have died, but my mother is still down there. I can count on her.

- Little brother Rooster, also your mother has died. Will you not come down?

- Bah! There is still the friend of my mother. She will not let me down.

- Rooster, come down as the friend of your mother is no longer alive.

- Ah! I still have my big brother, he will not refuse to help me.

- Come down, rooster, because your big brother is also dead.

- Ah! There is still there the friend of my older brother. I place myself in his custody.

- The friend of your older brother also died, rooster. Will you not come down?

- I still have my uncles, I'll go home. They will welcome me.

- Rooster, I just learned that your mother's village was razed to the ground. There 's nobody there.

The rooster said:
- OK then.

He threw himself down and place himself on the ground telling the hyena:

- In that case, eat me, hyena. When someone has nobody on earth to confide in, no father or mother or uncle, what can you become on earth? Better to give up. So eat me. I will go to God, He is my last hope.

The hyena then look at the sky and the earth and said thoughtfully:

- Ah! How can you eat someone that has no more support? If you do, you will not have a place with God.

Due to his fear of God the hyena spared the little rooster.

To this day, there are still some people who know God. When they see good in the heart of people, they show them the way. And even bad people, they show them the right path.