A long time ago when all the animals in the forest were friends, they used to get together to talk.

Jaguar and Giant Anteater were among the animals.

One day Jaguar asked Giant Anteater: “Tell me, Giant Anteater my friend, what do you normally eat? What do you have for your meal?”

Giant Anteater answered: “I eat what carnivorous animals eat –agoutis, pacas, peccaries, all sorts of meat”.

Jaguar was very surprised at this reply so he decided to check what Giant Anteater had said and came up with a plan.

“Giant Anteater my friend,” Jaguar said, “my wife has prepared a tapir fricassee. Will you be my guest and share this meal with me?”

Giant Anteater did not know what to do, for to tell the truth he had never eaten tapir.

He said to Jaguar: “Your invitation is very kind, Jaguar my friend, but I do not wish to make a nuisance of myself in this way.”

“That’s not a problem,” Jaguar said. “My house is always open to you, so come and try this tapir.”

So Giant Anteater was obliged to accept and he sat down at the table with Jaguar. Jaguar, who was very greedy, filled up his plate and started eating without bothering about his guest.

Giant Anteater pretended to eat but threw the pieces of tapir in his plate under the table. At the same time he discreetly caught the ants running around the table with his tongue.

When Jaguar had eaten his fill he said to Giant Anteater:

“Did you eat well, my friend?”

“Very well, thank you very much,” Giant Anteater answered.

“Let us see if you are telling the truth,” Jaguar said. “Let us go and relieve ourselves.”

Giant Anteater could not carry on lying, as his droppings would betray him.

But Giant Anteater was cunning. Using his bushy tail he swapped his dung with that of Jaguar behind their backs.

Then he said: “Look, Jaguar. You can see for yourself that my dung is that of a carnivore. I told the truth when I said that I eat what other animals eat. If my belly was not already full, I would have eaten you up too, Jaguar my friend!”

Jaguar took fright and ran off without further ado.

Since that day, the jaguar is wary of the giant anteater and will not go near him.

 

Palòmarké: Jean-Albert Hilaire, soti ofon roun kont wayana.

© ASSOCIATION DES AMIS DE L’ECOLE ÉLÉMENTAIRE DE MARIPASOULA, 1991.

Ganm kréyòl -a : Franck Compper (Krakémantò association).

 

Text written by Jean-Albert Hilaire, based on a Wayana tale.

© ASSOCIATION DES AMIS DE L’ECOLE ÉLÉMENTAIRE DE MARIPASOULA, 1991.

Kréyòl text: Franck Compper (Krakémantò association).