THE MAGIC MIRROR
From the Senna
A long, long while ago, before ever the White Men were seen in Senna, there lived a man called Gopani-Kufa.
One day, as he was out hunting, he came upon a strange sight. An enormous python had caught an antelope and coiled itself around it; the antelope, striking out in despair with its horns, had pinned the python's neck to a tree, and so deeply had its horns sunk in the soft wood that neither creature could get away.
'Help!' cried the antelope, 'for I was doing no harm, yet I have been caught, and would have been eaten, had I not defended myself.'
'Help me,' said the python, 'for I am Insato, King of all the Reptiles, and will reward you well!'
Gopani-Kufa considered for a moment, then stabbing the antelope with his assegai, he set the python free.
'I thank you,' said the python; 'come back here with the new moon, when I shall have eaten the antelope, and I will reward you as I promised.'
'Yes,' said the dying antelope, 'he will reward you, and lo! your reward shall be your own undoing!'
Gopani-Kufa went back to his kraal, and with the new moon he returned again to the spot where he had saved the python.
Insato was lying upon the ground, still sleepy from the effects of his huge meal, and when he saw the man he thanked him again, and said: 'Come with me now to