In this Mongolian animal legend we learn how the chipmunk got its stripes and what the bear has got to do with it. It might not be the tale you expect from this short intro.
How the Chipmunk Got Its Stripes
A long, long time ago, when the seasons had just turned spring, a bear crawled out of his cave. The winter had been hard and the bear had lost a lot of weight so he was really hungry now. But there were no berries yet and since the ground was still frozen, he also could not dig for roots.
“Oh, I will surely starve!” the bear thought to himself, pondering his situation. “What am I going to do?” But just then he remembered the chipmunk.“Maybe the chipmunk can give me something to eat,” the bear thought and went to the chipmunk’s house. There, he called: “Dear friend, will you give me something to eat?”
And the chipmunk answered: “But of course, I will share my winter stock with you.” And he led the bear to his little pantry and gave him some of the nuts, he had gathered during the fall.
The bear was very excited because he liked nuts even better than berry or honey. And so he ate from the buts until he was completely full and very satisfied. The chipmunk was just glad that it could help a friend.
“Thank you so much, my friend”, the bear said. And he was so grateful that he hugged the small chipmunk and with his paws gently stroked its back. But no matter how gentle he was, the claws on his paws still left bloody welts in his friend’s coat. The blood dried. And ever since, the chipmunk has got five dark stripes in his coat.
Copyright for translation and narration: TaleTellerin
Copyright for image: AndiW @ Commons WikiMedia
Have a great weekend everybody! Enjoy the sun and the smell of spring – hopefully – and make the most of the time off – definitely!