Arebati, the Toad, and Death

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Arebati, the supreme being, created the world, including the first man; he continues to create every person who is born into this world.

In the beginning, death did not threaten people. They did not die: when they became old, God rejuvenated them. When they reached an advanced age, he made them into vigorous young men and women again. One day, an old woman died, and Arebati went out to bring her back to life again. He commanded a frog to move the corpse to one side. But a toad demanded the body for himself. Arebati reluctantly yielded, but said that the toad would have to sit on the edge of a pit with the body. A great misfortune would be caused if the toad fell into the pit. But the toad, refusing to accept this condition, pushed the more nimble frog to one side. But he was so clumsy that he and the corpse fell into the pit. As Arebati had warned, misfortune followed: the old woman did not return to life again, and after her all people were fated to fall into the pit—the grave. Arebati was so affected by this that he wanted to annihilate the toad, but the toad jumped into a deep pool and hid himself in the mud so that God could not see him. So death came into the world. See also: Baatsi, Epilipili, Masupa, Tore.

Subjects: Religion.

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