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Help Me Find This Fable About Cheetahs
June 6, 2012 6:51 PM   Subscribe

Trying to identify a myth/fairy tale I read in an issue of Highlights back in the 1990s. It has to do with how animals got their spots/colors, and how the cheetah, who was vain, waited too long and had to use the leftover paint colors to create its yellow coat, black spots, and black "tears".

The only comparable story I can find is one about how the Zebra got its stripes.

Hadithi, Mwenye & Kennaway, Adrienne. (2004). Greedy Zebra. London: Hodder Children’s Books.
While all the African animals are selecting their colorful coats and horns, Greedy Zebra is obsessed with eating. By the time he notices the striking features of the other animals, only leftover black strips of cloth remain.

Any ideas? I've searched through varying combos of "cheetah fairytale paint" etc but no luck. Would love to share this with my students as they're reading about cheetahs this week. Thank you!
posted by These Birds of a Feather to Writing & Language (7 answers total)
 
All I can think of is Kipling's How The Leopard Got His Spots, which tbh doesn't seem to fit.
posted by elizardbits at 7:04 PM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


"How Come the Cheetah"?
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:09 PM on June 6, 2012


Leopard
Gretchen Kreps

Eons ago, when the earth was still yeasty,
The leopard, my love, was an unspotted beasty,
Unsullied as sunlight, not one spot or two spots.
Alas! He was snared for the simmering stew pots!
But too many cooks shaking shakers of spices
Created a much needed moment of crisis.
He leaped for his life while the cooks were kerchooing
And fled, all the fleet-footed natives pursuing.
He escaped! But his fur was still salted and peppered,
And that's how there came to be spots on the leopard.
posted by mattdidthat at 7:09 PM on June 6, 2012


Well the Cheetah conservation fund has a few stories on its website. It might have been Tinga Tinga Tales? I couldn't find that one online but there is a Cheetah one. Good luck. :)
posted by Zen_warrior at 7:14 PM on June 6, 2012


It's specifically one that addresses the tears on their faces. I remember it having this illustration of a cheetah applying lipstick like makeup to its face, not to its body.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 7:46 PM on June 6, 2012


MonkeyToes, that's it! Now to find a complete copy. Thank you so much!!!
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 7:47 PM on June 6, 2012


I Memailed you.
posted by oceano at 8:51 PM on June 6, 2012


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