Yu.E. Berezkin, E.N. Duvakin

Thematic classification and distribution of folklore and mythological motifs by area

Analytical catalogue

Ethnicities and habitats

M173. He pretends to be dead several times .12.13.17.


zoomorphic character pretends to be dead where a traveler carrying luggage must pass. The traveler passes by, but the deceiver quietly runs ahead and repeats his trick. The traveler puts his luggage on the ground and returns to pick up the first person who dies (for skin or meat), the deceiver takes the luggage.

Fulbe (Fula of Guinea-Bissau), Mosi, Ela, Nubians, Palestinians.

West Africa. Fulbe (Guinea-Bissau's fula) [during the famine, the Hare offered Jackal to change his wives for grain; led his own on a rotten rope, his Jackal on a strong rope; the Hare cut off the rope and ran away; The Jackal exchanged his wife for grain; The hare pretends to starve to death; lags behind, then overtakes the Jackal, lies down on the road pretending to be dead; then again; when the Jackal sees the third dead hare, he leaves the bag, goes to pick up the first two; The hare jumps up, carries the grain; the Jackal finds neither hares nor grain]: Mendelssohn 1971:157-159; mosi [during hunger, the Hare offers Hyena to sell them mothers, buy millet; tied her mother with a rotten rope, and Hyena tied her with a strong rope; Hyena sold hers, and Hare's mother tore the rope and ran away; Hyena carried bags of millet on the donkey, on the road saw a dead hare; then another one; decided to go back and pick up the first one to take the second one; the hare poured millet on himself, filled Hyena's bags with sand; Hyena found that both hares were somewhere disappeared; when she saw her husband, Hyena's wife threw away the food that was there, and when she found only sand, she began to pick it up; Hyena's wife came to the Hare for fire, saw his mother there, she was fed porridge; she deliberately let the fire go out to come again and get porridge; the hare said she was starving because of her husband's stupidity]: Sissao 2010, No. 9:22-24; ela [the hare doesn't have cowrie to buy sorghum; he lies down on the road where women walk with baskets of sorghum, pretends to be dead; when they see a dead hare for the fifth time, women leave the baskets, go pick up the others, the hare carries sorghum; since then, people they eat sorghum, not meat]: Nicolas 1952, No. 6:86-87.

Sudanâ€"East Africa. The Nubians [the crocodile bet Neil would drink it, but Neil threw the crocodile far on land; the man agreed to take the crocodile ashore on a camel; the crocodile grabbed a man who asks the fox for help; the fox pretends to find out everything from the very beginning; let the person tie the crocodile, take it back to its original place; tells him to take it home and eat it; the man promises to give the fox two at a time chickens a day; gives for the first time, then the wife drives the fox away; he comes back at night, strangles 6 chickens; husband and wife decide to go to live elsewhere; the fox lies down on the road, pretends to be dead; then runs go again; the man decides to go back to pick up the first dead fox; the wife waits, falls asleep; the fox eats the chickens, rides the camel]: Reinisch 1879, No. 4:206-211.

Western Asia. Palestinians [the peasant woman carried the chickens to the bazaar; the fox ran ahead of her three times, lay down on the road as if dead; after the third time, the peasant woman left the chickens and went to pick up all the foxes; the fox took the chickens]: Hanauer 2009:252-253.

(Wed. Guiana. Wapishana [a man raises a baby caiman; he grows up, a man rides it; the caiman swam along the river intending to eat a rider; the fox pretends not to hear, asks the caiman to swim closer, the man jumps ashore; the fox runs ahead, pretends to be dead; the man buries it in the ground, leaves her head outside; so three times; the person realizes that it is still the same fox, hits it; Fox says she saved him in vain; at home, his mother advises a person not to raise caimans anymore]: Wirth 1950:204-205).