The Complete Teacher


Nalibali story

Wolf’s supper


By Griselda Jacobs


Illustrations by Vian Oelofsen

A loud howl echoed across the bushveld as Wolf woke up from a very good night’s sleep.

“What a glorious day,” said Wolf. “Good morning, all my little friends and all my big friends,” he greeted the other animals. “You must enjoy the sunshine today. Take a deep breath of the fresh air. Search high and low until you find the juiciest food,” he added in an overly friendly voice.


You see, Wolf was going to put one of the animals on his menu for supper that night! He decided to eat nothing all day. Then, in the afternoon, he would be very hungry and he would go on the prowl to hunt for a juicy piece of meat. Finally, he shouted, “Enjoy the day, friends! See you later.” He gave a sly laugh as he walked away.

Wolf hummed a cheerful tune as he jogged to the animals’ watering hole. The water was clear and cool. He drank as much as he could. Then he found a place to sleep in the lush grass under a large, green shady tree.

Wolf had a lovely dream about the delicious meal he would eat later that day. Surely it would be a piece of roasted meat just as big as King Lion’s! Wolf smiled broadly in his sleep.

The sun was setting when Wolf finally woke up from his nap. He stretched and stretched and shook the sleep from his hungry body. Then he opened and closed his mouth a few times to exercise his jaw so that he would be able to bite his prey in just the right spot.

“Well, it’s time to find my supper,” Wolf said. “I’m as hungry as a wolf, hee-hee-hee,” he laughed until his body shook.

For a moment, Wolf wondered in which direction he should go. Should he go left or right when he reached the tall trees? He noticed a flat stone in the soft grass. One side was grey, and the other side was black. “Ahaaaaa!” he shouted. “I will throw the stone up in the air, and then I will choose grey for left and black for right.” The stone fell on black. So, without delay, Wolf turned right when he reached the tall trees. He bounced up and down on his paws as he jogged through the trees.

Not long after, Wolf spotted his first possible victim – a small, grey field mouse. “No, it’s too tiny,” thought Wolf. “It’s not even enough for an appetiser.” Wolf jogged further, and then he saw a blue-grey turtle dove. The dove was sitting in front of a big tree, pecking the soft ground and looking for worms. “Mmmm, rather not,” thought Wolf. “That is still too small, and I am very hungry! I’ll be patient. Let’s rather see what I can find at the watering hole.”

As Wolf neared the watering hole he gave a happy howl. It was almost too loud! There, in front of his eyes, he saw a scene that seemed too good to be true. Animals of all shapes and sizes were drinking water. “Now,” thought Wolf, “I will have to be crafty.” He crept forward very quietly and waited. Then he slowly crawled even closer on his stomach. He had to be careful because animals can smell extremely well and he didn’t want anyone to notice him. Wolf pulled himself along through the last stretch of tall grass. He was breathless with excitement because right in front of him, a young springbok was calmly drinking water.

“Just right,” Wolf whispered. “Now it is only that sharp rock in the shiny water between me and my meal.”

As Wolf pounced, he closed his eyes, opened his mouth wide and bit down hard. But at the very same moment, a bee stung him on the tip of his nose.


“Aaaawhooo!” Wolf howled in pain. The bee sting hurt so much! But the pain in his throat was even worse. “What is going on? The bee didn’t sting me in my throat!”

Then Wolf realised that the sharp rock was stuck in his throat. He had missed the springbok and swallowed the rock instead!

“I should have kept my eyes open!” he groaned angrily as he trotted off with his tail between his legs.

On the other side of the watering hole, all the animals were sitting in a row like spectators who had paid for a show. They enjoyed every moment of Wolf’s predicament. They roared with laughter. Some of the little ones rolled back and forth from pure pleasure.

“A stone for supper!” roared King Lion, highly amused. “This time, Wolf learnt his lesson the hard way!”

Then the jungle rumbled as all the animals laughed out loud. They laughed until the ground shook. The ground shook so much under Wolf’s body that the stone came loose and shot out of his mouth. The animals at the watering hole heard a faint howl in the distance. They all smiled at each other, and then the bushveld was quiet and peaceful once more.

Get story active!

  • How do you feel about what happened to Wolf? Do you feel sorry for him or not? Would you feel differently if Wolf had caught the young springbok?
  • King Lion says that Wolf has learnt a lesson. What lesson do you think Wolf has learnt?
  • Have you ever had to learn a tough lesson? How did you feel when you learnt the lesson?

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