THE SHORT STORIES OF ZAKARIA TAMER
pouring down on you like rain?”
The bird was shocked: “What insults?” The donkey replied: “Just now I heard the gazelle say your warbling sounds like a frog croaking.”
The bird said: “I croak like a bullfrog?” The donkey said: “The rabbit and the goat both agreed with the gazelle. They said to him: ‘You speak true.’”
The bird said: “I will teach the gazelle, the rabbit, and the goat a lesson in manners that they will not forget.”
The bird flew off toward the gazelle. As he drew near he yelled: “Who do you think you are? You are no gazelle, you are a skinny cow.”
The goat spoke up: “Please do not fight. We are brothers.” The bird snapped: “Shut up, dummy.” So the rabbit told the bird: “Please do not get angry.” And the bird told him: “Back off, this does not concern you, you carrot eater.”
They agreed – the goat, the gazelle, and the rabbit – that the bird was cuckoo, that he had lost his mind. They decided to no longer speak to him.
The donkey was delighted at what had happened. He considered it proof of his intelligence.
The next day the donkey went to the goat and said to him: “I am so annoyed at the rabbit.”
The goat said: “But the rabbit is a meek and nice creature.” The donkey replied: “You are a dear friend of mine, and I hate it when mean things are said about my friends.”
The goat asked: “Who said mean things about your friends?” The donkey replied: “The rabbit said you are a stupid animal – you never stop eating, you get fat, and then people eat you as meat.”
The goat snarled: “The rabbit lied. I will ram him so hard that he will fly into the river.”
At that, the donkey left the goat and hurried to find the rabbit. He told the rabbit: “You are stupid.”
178 BANIPAL 53 – SUMMER 2015