Zanzibar Tales

George W. Bateman

If you have read any accounts of adventure in Africa, you will know that travelers never mention animals of any kind that are gifted with the faculty of speech, or gazelles that are overseers for native princes, or hares that eat flesh. No, indeed; only the native-born know of these; and, judging by the immense and rapid strides civilization is making in those parts, it will not be long before such wonderful specimens of zoölogy will be as extinct as the ichthyosaurus, dinornis, and other poor creatures who never dreamed of the awful names that would be applied to them when they were too long dead to show their resentment. As to the truth of these tales, I can only say that they were told to me, in Zanzibar, by negroes whose ancestors told them to them, who had received them from their ancestors, and so back; so that the praise for their accuracy, or the blame for their falsity, lies with the first ancestor who set them going.
You may think uncivilized negroes are pretty ignorant people, but the white man who is supposed to have first told the story of “The House that Jack Built” was a mighty poor genius compared with the unknown originator of “Goso, the Teacher,” who found even inanimate things that were endowed with speech, which the pupils readily understood and were not astonished to hear; while “Puss in Boots” was not one-half so clever as the gazelle that ran things for Haamdaanee. It would be a severe task to rattle off “Goso” as you do “The House that Jack Built.” (Summary by the author)

Genre(s): Culture & Heritage Fiction, Myths, Legends & Fairy Tales, Short works

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 00 To My Readers Phil Chenevert
Play 01 01 The Monkey, the Shark, and the Washerman’s Donkey Sherri Vance
Play 02 02 The Hare and the Lion Kristel Tretter
Play 03 03 The Lion, the Hyena, and the Rabbit kandice stehlik
Play 04 04 The Kites and the Crows kandice stehlik
Play 05 05 Goso, the Teacher Venita
Play 06 06 The Ape, the Snake, and the Lion Dee Wykoff
Play 07 07 Haamdaanee Part 1 kandice stehlik
Play 08 08 Haamdaanee Part 2 kandice stehlik
Play 09 09 Haamdaanee Part 3 kandice stehlik
Play 10 10 Mkaaah Jeechonee, the Boy Hunter kandice stehlik
Play 11 11 The Magician and the Sultan’s Son Crln Yldz Ksr
Play 12 12 The Physician’s Son and the King of the Snakes kandice stehlik