For generations, Ethiopian stories such as this, with their perceptive wit and useful lessons, have been used to entertain and instruct young children.
I am sharing these folk-tales from the collection of stories by author Shlomo Bachrach, 1967.
A folk tale always starts with the teller saying “Teret Teret” and the kids saying “YeLam Beret“.
The Greedy Dog
Tadesse lived near the town of Ambo. He lived with his parents. He took care of his father’s sheep. Every day, he took the sheep to the field. His dog went with him. The dog was a good companion. He was very helpful. He helped Tadesse take care of the sheep. In the morning, the dog helped take the sheep to the field. In the evening, he helped bring the sheep home. The dog was a good worker, but he was also very greedy. He wanted everything for himself.
One day, the dog stole some meat from the house. He ran away with it. Soon he came to a river. Over the river there was a bridge. As the dog crossed the bridge, he looked down at the water. He noticed his reflection in the water. He thought that it was another dog with more meat. At first, he was frightened by it. Then the greedy dog wanted the other piece of meat. He jumped into the water to get it. When he jumped into the water, he dropped his own piece of meat. He couldn’t find the other dog or the other piece of meat in the water.
“Oh!” he said. “It was a trick. There is nothing here.” Then he said happily, “I still have my own piece of meat.”
He looked for it but it was gone. “Now I have nothing,” he cried. In this way the dog learned a lesson. It is not good to be greedy.