How the Jackal Tricked the Goat

Here is a story:

One day, the Jackal was hunting in the meadow for flying termites and as he ran he fell into a very deep well. He tried to get out of the well, but he could not. The Jackal spent three days in the well without finding any way of getting out.

On the fourth day, a goat came to the well. When the Goat got to the mouth of the well where the Jackal was, he said to himself: Let me drink some water. When the Goat looked down, he saw the Jackal. The Jackal said: Welcome friend! How are you? The Goat said: I just want a drink of water. The Jackal said: That is why I am down here in this well, I like drinking the best water and the best is in this place. Come and have a drink down here and you will see for yourself.

The Goat liked what he heard very much and jumped into the well and began to drink the water. The Jackal then said: How are we going to get out of here? The Goat had no idea what to do. The Jackal said: Let me jump on your back so that I can get out, and then I will pull you out. The Goat agreed and the Jackal proceeded to do as planned. When the Jackal got out, he said: Good bye, I’m going, my friend! The Goat remained in the well until it died.

And that is the end of our story.

The moral of the story: Satan tricks us in the same way, first luring us by some promise, but then leaving us in trouble. The story encourages us to get to know God as He is and in this way avoid the snares set by Satan. Also do not believe everything you hear.

The Mambwe proverbs say: You skin me by tracing a line along the spine just as they treat the monitor lizard (Wamfundwila uku nsizi, wakwe mumbulwe); (Wamfundwila uku nsizi, wakwe mumbulwe); You can cheat your mother-in-law but your father-in-law will go to see for himself (Somba nyokovyala, sovyala alapita akailolole); The prince has given something to you, but when the prince has promised something to you, well, it may turn out that he has simply deceived you (Tembwe akupela; wakulaya wakusomba); Soft words made the hyena sleep on the rubbish heap (Ilyasi lisuma, lyalalike sukutu apa citumba); A thing in fingers – the eyes do lie (Icintu mu minwe, amanso yakasomba). English equivalent: Actions speak louder than words; Fine words butter no parsnips; Talk is cheap; A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Subjects: God – trusting and knowledge – prudence – promises – Satan – trickery


Written by Daniel England, Cikunta 9th of April 1984.