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Main > Tanzanian folktales > Fairy tale "Mkaaah Jeechonee, the Boy Hunter"

Mkaaah Jeechonee, the Boy Hunter

But his mother said: “My son, I do not like to have you go. Those three are already dead; and if you are killed also, will not that be one wound upon another to my heart?”

“Nevertheless,” said he, “I can not help going; but do not tell my father.”

So his mother made him some cakes, and sent some attendants with him; and he took a great spear, as sharp as a razor, and a sword, bade her farewell, and departed.

As he had always been left at home, he had no very clear idea what he was going to hunt for; so he had not gone far beyond the suburbs, when, seeing a very large dog, he concluded that this was the animal he was after; so he killed it, tied a rope to it, and dragged it home, singing,

“Oh, mother, I have killed

The noondah, eater of the people.”

When his mother, who was upstairs, heard him, she looked out of the window, and, seeing what he had brought, said, “My son, this is not the noondah, eater of the people.”

So he left the carcass outside and went in to talk about it, and his mother said, “My dear boy, the noondah is a much larger animal than that; but if I were you, I’d give the business up and stay at home.”

“No, indeed,” he exclaimed; “no staying at home for me until I have met and fought the noondah.”

So he set out again, and went a great deal farther than he had gone on the former day. Presently he saw a civet cat, and, believing it to be the animal he was in search of, he killed it, bound it, and dragged it home, singing,

“Oh, mother, I have killed

The noondah, eater of the people.”

When his mother saw the civet cat, she said, “My son, this is not the noondah, eater of the people.” And he threw it away.

Again his mother entreated him to stay at home, but he would not listen to her, and started off again.

This time he went away off into the forest, and seeing a bigger cat than the last one, he killed it, bound it, and dragged it home, singing,

“Oh, mother, I have killed

The noondah, eater of the people.”

But directly his mother saw it, she had to tell him, as before, “My son, this is not the noondah, eater of the people.

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