How Jakhals Fed Oom Leeuw
“One day in the early morning, before any people were awake, Jakhals was prowling round and prowling round, looking for something to eat. Jakhals is not fond of hunting for himself. Oh, no! he likes to wait till the hunt is over, so that he can share in the feast without having had any of the work. He had just dragged himself quietly to the top of a kopje—so, my baasjes, so—with his stomach close to the ground, and his ears moving backwards and forwards”—Outa’s little hands, on either side of the kopdoek, suited the action to the word—“to hear the least sound. Then he looked here, he looked there, he looked all around, and yes, truly! whom do you think he saw in the kloof below? No other than Oom Leeuw himself, clawing a nice big hamel he had just killed—a Boer hamel, baasjes, with a beautiful fat tail. Oh yes, Oom Leeuw had picked out a good one.
“‘Arré!’ thought Jakhals, ‘this is luck,’ and he sat still for a minute, wondering how he could get some of the nice meat for himself. He soon made a plan. A white thing fluttered in a little bush near him. It was a piece of paper. He picked it up and folded it—so—and so—and so—” the crooked fingers were very busy—“till it looked like a letter. Then he ran down the kopje in a great hurry and called out, ‘Good morning, Oom.’
“‘I see Oom has killed a Boer hamel.’
“‘Yes, Neef, a big fat one.’
“‘Well, here is a letter from Tante,’ said Jakhals, giving the piece of paper to Leeuw. ‘As I was passing she asked me to give it to Oom.’
“Leeuw took it and turned it this way, that way. He held it far from him, he held it close to his eyes, but he couldn’t make it out at all. See, baasjes, Leeuw was one of the old-fashioned sort. He grew up before there were so many schools and good teachers”—here Outa’s bright eyes winked and blinked flatteringly on Cousin Minnie and her pupils—“he was not clever; he could not read. But he didn’t want anyone to know it, so he said:
“‘Jakhals, Oom has forgotten his spectacles; you had better read it out.