Whose Cows?

A rich man had many fine cows. Employed a poor man to look after them.

Each day that herdsman drove the cows to the grasslands.

Other herders looked admiringly. Called out, “Whose cows are these?”

Replied, “They are a rich man’s cows.”

After some years the rich man decided to reward the herdsman for his long service – gave him a new-born calf. “This calf is yours. It can run with my herd.”

Poor man overjoyed.

Next morning when other herdsman asked whose cows, he replied, “They are our cows!”

I heard this tale during a workshop in Ethiopia. Tewodros Gebreezgiaber, a participant, told the group of how he had heard the story told at a workshop during a land-management project in Tigray.

Tewodros also told us Calf with the Fattened Ear.

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Permission to tell outlines my views on copyright

For those who are teachers: Telling stories in the classroom: basing language teaching on storytelling