Fairy-Tale Files, published once weekly, feature three variations of a fairy tale chosen by one of Fairy Tale Review’s editors.
In the Swahili fairy tale, a king’s cat is allowed to roam and hunt freely, killing a calf, a cow, a horse, a child, and three of the king’s own sons, before being brought to justice. The cat became known as Nunda, Eater of People. There is also a firebird involved, hence the picture.
That tale is perhaps inspiration for, or inspired by, a mythical gray feline known as Mngwa, which is said to have stalked the country of Tanzania. With a body the “size of a donkey,” it was a feared creature among the locals and colonialists alike.
A less-feared mythical creature might be the jackalope, famous in the American West for its deer-like antlers, a love of whiskey, and its ability to mimic almost any sound—including the human voice.
This edition of Fairy-Tale Files is brought to you by Fairy Tale Review Prose Editor Joel Hans.