How the waterbuck got its white ring

African Folk Tales African Safari

One dark night, when there was no moon, a waterbuck mother and her young ones grazed very close to a tribesman's hut. This man had been busy whitewashing the walls of his hut in preparation for a visit by a relative, and he had left the pots of whitewash outside.

One of the waterbuck accidentally knocked over the pots in the dark, making such a noise that the tribesman woke up. He ran outside and was very angry to see that all of his nice white paint had been spilled. He shouted at the buck, and chased them. The waterbuck scattered and ran in all directions.

In his anger, the tribesman picked up a pot and threw it at the mother waterbuck. It struck her firmly on the hindquarters, and left a large white circle on her rump. Now this was very useful because it showed up nicely in the dark, and her young ones were able to follow her to the safety of the forest.

When the waterbuck realized how useful it was to have a white ring around their bottom, they decided to keep it. From that day to this, no self-respecting waterbuck has been seen without one.