Should He Bite Me? – A Short Spiritual Story

One time a large stone fell upon Snake and covered her so that she could not rise. A white man, it is said, came upon her and lifted the stone, but when he had done so, she wanted to bite him. The White Man said, “Stop! Let us first go to someone wise.” They went to Hyena, and the White Man asked him, “Is it right that Snake should want to bite me, even though I helped her so much?”

Hyena (who was looking for his own share of the White Man's body) said, “If you were bitten, what would it matter?” So Snake thought that settled it, but the White Man said again, “Wait a little, and let us go to other wise people, that I may hear whether this is right.” They went and met Jackal, and the White Man put the same question to him.

Jackal replied, “I don't believe that Snake could ever be so covered by a stone that she could not rise. Unless I saw it with my two eyes, I wouldn't believe it. Take me to the place where you say it happened so I can see for myself whether it can possibly be true.”

They went together to that place, and Jackal said, “Snake, lie down, and let yourself be covered.” Snake did so, and the White man covered her with the stone; and although she tried with all her strength Snake couldn't get up.

Then the White Man wanted to let Snake go again, but Jackal stopped him saying, “Don't lift the stone. She wanted to bite you, therefore, let her get up and lift it herself.”

Then they both went away and left Snake there, just as before.

This story is from the book African Folktales by Roger D. Abrahams.

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