Beverley Naidoo

cover - The Great Tug of War

The Great Tug of War

'We command you, Chief of Police,' King Lion growled, 'to stand on the very highest cliff and to swing that cheeky little hare around your head twelve times. Once for each hour that he made a fool of Tlou and Kubu. Swing him slowly so that he can see just how far he will be going.' King Lion bared his teeth. His tail rose up behind him. THWACK! He slapped his tail down on the rock.
'Do it!' he ordered.

Mmutla the hare is a mischievous trickster, but when Tswhene the baboon is vowing to throw you off a cliff, you need all the tricks you can think of!

Mmutla tricks Tlou the elephant and Kubu the hippo into having an epic tug of war, and soon every other creature is laughing at their foolishness. However small animals should not make fun of big animals and King Lion sets out to teach cheeky little Mmutla a lesson…

These tales of Mmutla, the clever hare, echo the African origins of America’s Brer Rabbit.
Beverley has laughed at his tricks since she was a child.

Of course, tales change with the teller. That is the freedom of the storyteller. I hope you enjoy how I have used my freedom to tell these tales my way!

- in Note from the Author

The stories, set within the grassy landscapes of southern Africa, are filled with a wry and gentle humour and richness of language. The author's note...is invaluable. It sets the stories in context as ancestor of the African American Brer Rabbit tales and shows the power of storytelling as an expression of freedom.

Books for Keeps ****

Readers are allowed a privileged position whereby they see the unravelling of the chaos Mmutla creates leading to a wonderful sense of anticipation...The language of the book is beautifully lyrical... here is a masterpiece made in miniature!

Achuka

These stories are a real treat for children and adults alike... The black and white illustrations add a unique humour of their own. Perfect for reading aloud, these stories are a great resource on retelling fables.

WriteAway