How Vain Antelope Was Humbled
Antelope grew lonely living in the forest by himself, so he went to Deer to ask if he could have Deer’s daughter as a wife. When he arrived at the house he was well received, and his request met with the approval of both Deer and his wife. They were quite willing to let Antelope marry their only daughter.
As was the custom, the prospective son-in-law was called on during the farming season to help clear the bush. Antelope arrived as night was falling, and Mother Deer offered him some beans. During the farming season when there is no rice, beans are the staple food; but Antelope was vain, and would not eat the beans. He said he only ate white rice, and that common beans were not fit food for such superior animals as himself. Good Mother Deer apologized.
“I’m sorry, Antelope, we have nothing else.”
Antelope went to bed hungry; and when he rose in the morning he was much hungrier. He was in the kitchen early, watching Mother Deer preparing food. She put a pot of beans on the fire with palm oil, pepper, salt and leaves for seasoning, and then she went to fetch water with her little iron anklets singing ‘clink-clank.’
Antelope crossed to the fire, quietly lifted the palm-butter strainer off the pot, and sucked up bones as fast as he could, even though they were not properly cooked. In a little while he heard Mother Deer’s anklets singing ‘clink-clank, clink-clank’ as she returned. Quickly he clapped his hat on the pot and put the palm-butter strainer on his head. He was so nervous he did not notice what he had done. Mother Deer came in and he sat quietly and seriously opposite her with the palm-butter strainer on his head.
Mother Deer saw this, and was amazed.
“But my son!” she cried, “what do you have on your head?”
Suddenly Antelope realized what he had done. Such a fool he had made of himself! He ran out of the door and into the forest, and he never returned.
Those who put themselves in high places are in danger of falling down.