African Folktale - The Horse Who Likes To Dance

Published on: December 5, 2021 (Updated on: April 22, 2024)

African folktales are an integral part of the African tradition and culture. The folktales are usually passed down orally from generation to generation. To date, Africans traditionally use folktales to teach moral lessons, the most popular audience being kids. Adults however can also benefit from African folktales.

I will share with you an African folktale entitled 'The horse who likes to dance'

Once upon a time, there was a wealthy king in Africa who had a big very big palace. The king also had a farm within his palace with lots of animals.

Farm animals in African folktale

The animals in the king's farm always had more than enough food to eat. There was never a shortage of food or water. There was a particular horse in the king's farm who liked to dance after eating. He moved his front leg in a swing motion and kicks his rear legs in the air.

Horse moving its leg
the horse who likes to dance

Then one day, the tortoise who had been observing the horse for a long time, asked the following question:

tortoise in African folktale

"We all eat well in this farm everyday and and none of us has never skipped a meal. Tell me why is it that you are always kicking your legs in the air as if it were your first meal on earth?."


The horse became still and silent but the big cow retorted:


"Why does it bother you that horse likes to dance after eating? Mind your own business little tortoise. Keep dancing horse."


So the horse continued his habit of dancing after every meal. Then one day after lunch, he ate his food as usual and started to dance. First with the front leg swing motion, then next with the rear leg kicks in the air. But little had the horse known that the king's mother was passing behind him. His kicks hit the kings mother in the arm causing her to fall and hit her head on a brick. She died on the spot.

Upon hearing the sad news, the king said to his messenger.

Go and announce in town that the king's mother is dead and we shall have a very big funeral. Let the big cow be slaughtered so we may have plenty of meat to serve the guests.

Hope you understood the moral of the story. You can find more interesting African folktales here and you might also be interested in African proverbs and their meanings.


Michael Akerele

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