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SOUTH AFRICAN TRIBAL BELIEF

ZULUS--A SOUTH AFRICAN TRIBE NEAR PETER'S HOME--DESPISE THE
CHAMELEON. THEY SAY THEIR GOD MADE IT ONE OF THE SLOWEST
CREATURES ON EARTH TO PUNISH IT.
ONCE, AS THE STORY GOES, THE CHAMELEON WAS SO SWIFT THE ZULUS
CALLED ON IT TO CARRY A MESSAGE TO THEIR GOD TO SAVE THEM FROM
A GREAT DISASTER. THE CHAMELEON ARRIVED TOO LATE TO PREVENT THE
TRAGEDY BECAUSE IT DAWDLED ON THE WAY.
ANOTHER STORY BLAMES THE CHAMELEON FOR ROBBING MAN OF ETERNAL
LIFE. THE CREATOR SENT THE CHAMELEON TO TELL MAN HE WOULD LIVE
FOREVER. A MISCHIEVOUS ORDINARY LIZARD OVERTOOK THE CHAMELEON
AND TOLD THE PEOPLE THEY WOULD DIE. WHEN THE CHAMELEON BROUGHT
THE TRUE MESSAGE, NO ONE BELIEVED IT.
TODAY, MANY SOUTH AFRICAN TRIBESMEN KILL THE CHAMELEONS THEY COME
ACROSS AS PUNISHMENT. ORDINARY LIZARDS ALSO ARE KILLED FOR
BRINGING THE BAD NEWS.

Submitter comment: FROM "CHAMELEON TONGUE HAS BOARDINGHOUSE REACH," IN "NATIONAL
GEOGRAPHIC SCHOOL BULLETIN," VOL. 42, NO. 15, (JAN. 27, 1964),
P. 237.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Creation and Order of Human Life
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