South African Short Stories For Kids

These are South African Short Stories for Kids that have been curated by Team Ekdali

The Story Of Why The Bat Flies By Night

Once upon a time in the jungles of Southern Africa, there lived a Bush Rat named Karoo. Karoo was very good friends with Emiong, the bat

Karoo and Emiong always ate together. They mostly ate a bowl of soup everyday. Emiong was a bit of a prankster.  He was also a bit jealous of the Bush Rats long tail. Emiong was waiting for a change to play a trick on Karoo.

One day, while having lunch Karoo mentioned that Emiong’s soup was the best he had ever tasted. He asked Emion,” Why is your soup so yummy?”.  Emiong replied, “ There is a secret ingredient, come home in the evening and I will show you.”

That evening when Karoo went to Emiong’s house, Emiong readily told him that the secret ingredient in his soup was that he himself would jump into the soup when it was boiling for 2 seconds and then jump out. To make the bush rabbit believe him, Emiong jumped into a soup pot for 2 seconds and jumped back. What Karoo did not realize was that the water was cold.

Now, Karoo really wanted his soup also to be as tasty as Emiongs.  He brought his soup to boil. Karoo was also a cautious bush rabbit, he decided to test the waters a bit, before he jumped right in. He put his right paw into the soup. His paw got burnt a lot. He took out his paw immediately.

Karoo was very angry, he bandaged his injured paw and went straight to Samba the lion. Samba was the king of the forest and his  job was to deliver justice. When Samba heard what had happened , he got angry and said the bat had to be imprisoned.

Emiong realized that he had made a mistake, but he liked his freedom and so he  and his family decided to hide in the bushes. He only came out during the night when no one was around.  This is African legend on why the bat never came out during the night

Parenting Takeaway:

In the original folk tale, the rabbit actually jumps into the pot and dies. His wife finds the dead rabbit and rushes to the king for justice. At Ekdali, our attempt is to help bring old and new tales to children. We realize that not all old folktales may be right for today’s kid’s sensibilities.  We have changed the tale a bit to make it kinder and more age appropriate for kids.

The bush vlei rat or Karoo bush rat is a species of rodent  found in Namibia and South Africa . 

Reading and learning about animals is a great way for kids to understand broader conservation themes. Please do check out our Animal Flash Cards. These are great for kids to have an immersive learning experience about animals and their habitats

Story of Thunder and Lightening:

Long long ago, humans lived along with animals.  Because they lived so close to each other, they could understand each other’s language.  They lived together and shared many spaces. 

Our story starts at a time, when Ka’diir, the human was the king of all humans and animals.  During this time the thunder and lightning lived on the earth amongst all the other people and animals.

Thunder was an old mother sheep and Lightening was the son, a ram. Whenever Lightening, the ram, got angry he would go about burning houses, knocking trees and damaging property. Whenever, Lightening did these things, his mother, Thunder would get angry. She would start shouting. Her voice was very loud and this scared the people and animals even more.

A council of people and animals went to the human king and complained about the mother and daughter duo. The king made them live at the far end of the town, as far as possible from other animal’s and people's houses.

This was not enough, when Lightening got very angry he would do a lot of damage to the forest and Thunder would scream louder. Once again the people and the animals could no longer stand them.  They went and complained to the king again. This time the king lost his temper. The King banished both Lightening and Thunder from the earth and made them live in the sky. 

To this day, when Lightening is angry he would commit damage and Thunder would rebuke him, but because they are far way no damage is caused to the people and animals.

Sometimes, however, when the mother has gone away some distance from her naughty son, you can still see that he is angry and is doing damage, but his mother's voice cannot be heard

Parenting Tips:

This is a great conversation builder. You can explain the water cycle and the scientific cause of Lightening and Thunder to children

If you like our short stories you are sure to like all our posters in the science section. Do check them out!!


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