Author Country :Kenya Genre Type :Folktale Location :Nairobi, Kenya Year of Publication :A long time ago/ Publication :African Stories For Preachers and Teachers (2005) Sub Theme :Animals, Cleverness/ Author Name :Kikuyu Ethnic Group, Kenya, Sr. Ephigenia Gachiri/ Author City :Nairobi
A long time ago the animal world was divided into
kingdoms. At that time the cheetah was the king of the small animals such as
rabbits, tortoises, lizards, rats, worms, snails and chameleons. The King
planned how to make his subjects more active. He called for a big marathon.
Whoever came first in this race was to marry the King’s daughter.
All the animals practised for a long time in preparation
for the race. They were all pleased with their progress except the snails, the
worms and the chameleons. These did not seem to make much progress. As months
passed by each animal planned various strategies for the big day. The chameleon
discovered during the practices that he had a special talent for grasping,
gripping and holding. When the day for the race came, all the animals were
The King flagged off the race. The rabbit started at a
fast pace and soon was ahead of all the other animals. He was winning by a large
margin. The rabbit even slept for some time beside the road to rest just for the
fun of it. When he woke, he ran straight for the chair that was specially
prepared for the winner. As soon as he reached the chair, he sat on it at once.
He was elated at the thought of marrying the King’s daughter. Then he heard a
soft voice and he felt a sottish substance on the seat of the chair. He turned
and looked. There half squeezed out of existence was the chameleon! "Friend",
the chameleon said, "do not sit on me. I arrived on this seat before you."