Un día un señor se decide ir al África a cazar animales. Entonces se lleva su perrito de estructura mediana, de común y corriente, no era conocido por ser bravo o atacar animales grandes. Entonces cuando llegan a la selva el señor se decide irse solo y dice, “Tu no me vas a poder ayudar ni a defender de los animales salvajes así que tu te quedas aquí.” Entonces se va el señor y de repente el perro empieza a buscar alrededor a ver que hay. Va caminando y desde a lo lejos viene una pantera negra. Y dice, “Esa pantera viene y seguro que trae hambre y me va querer comer.” Dice, “¿Qué hago, qué hago?” Entonces se dio la vuelta y al un lado del árbol había huesos de animal. Entonces corrió y se arrimó a los huesos y empezó a morderlos, y cuando se aproximó la pantera al momento que lo iba atacar, dice en voz alta el perro, “Mmm, que sabroso estaba esta pantera que me comí. Haber sabido me hubiera comido la otra que venía con ella. Mm mm deliciosa.”
Entonces la pantera cuando lo escucha le dice “¿Cómo este perro de ese tamaño– como pudo comerse uno de nosotros? Mejor me voy.” Y se fue. Entonces el perro dice, “Uy de lo que me salve.” Y encima de un árbol estaba un mono espiando, y que vio toda la escena y escucho todo lo que pasó. Entonces de chismoso, corrio con la pantera y le contó todo lo que escuchó del perro. Entonces la pantera muy enojada dice “Ahora si no se me va a escapar.” Entonces se viene la pantera hacia donde estaba el perrito con el mono trepado en su hombro y el perro los vio que venían y otra vez dice, “Ahora si viene la pantera derechito a comerme. Yo creo que no me creo nada.” Dice, “¿Qué hago que hago?” Entonces corrio otra vez a los huesos y los empezo a morder y se aproximaron la pantera y el mono y dijo, “Ay este mono tonto, ya tengo tanto tiempo esperandolo le pedi que me fuera a traer una pantera para comermela y no a regresado.” Entonces la pantera asustada y enojada se fue y se comió al mono.
One day a man decided he was going to go to Africa to hunt animals, and he brought his little dog with him, who was medium build, a common mutt, and not known for his bravery or ability to attack large animals. So when they got to the jungle the man decided to go alone and told his dog, “You can’t help or defend me from wild animals, so you will wait here.” So the man goes, and then the dog searches around him to see what there was. He’s walking and all of a sudden, far off, he sees a black panther. And he says “this panther is coming and for sure will be hungry and will want to eat me.” he says, “What do I do what do I do?” So he turns around and on the side of the tree there are animal bones. So he runs and gets close to the bones and starts to bite them, and when the panther gets close and at the moment she’s about to attack, [the dog] says in a loud voice, “Mmm, how tasty this panther that I ate is! Had I known, I would’ve eaten the one coming near me. Mm mm, delicious!”
So the panther when she heard that, said, “How could this dog so small have eaten one of us? I better go.” And she left. So the dog says, “Uy, I sure saved myself.” And above him in the tree was a monkey spying on him, and he saw the whole scene and heard what happened. So like a gossip, he runs to the panther and tells her everything that he heard from the dog. So the panther, very angry, says “Now he won’t escape me.” So the panther returns to where the little dog was with the monkey perched on her shoulder. And the dog saw them and again says, “For sure the panther is coming to eat me. I don’t think she believed me at all.” He says, “What do I do, what do I do?” So he runs again to the bones and begins to bite them, and the panther and monkey approach, and he said at that moment, “This dumb monkey, I’ve been waiting forever for him. I asked him to go and find me a panther to eat, and he hasn’t returned yet.” So then the panther, scared and angry, goes and eats the monkey.
My informant is my mother, who grew up in Mexico. She heard this narrative as a little girl when she was in school, and said that the lesson behind the story was to “not underestimate someone” or else it’ll backfire on you. It’s about using your imagination to your strengths, and learning how to use it to defend yourself, and finally “not being a gossip like the monkey.”
This came up when I was asking my mother what kinds of folklore she used to hear when she was growing up in Mexico, and this was one that she heard at school.
While this is a cautionary tale, I think another aspect of the story is to learn how to play to your different strengths. The dog is described as small and weak, and everyone underestimates him, including himself, until he realizes how to trick the panther. It’s about believing in your abilities and learning how to turn someone else’s maldoings towards you into something you can benefit from. That being said, I think this story was told to children on purpose because it seems reminiscent of how little kids can act around each other. Smaller kids are tended to be bullied the most, which leads to them being insecure, and children in general like to be tattle tales and spread rumors about each other. This story shows the consequences of what happens to those who unnecessarily snitch on each other, and to those who get picked on in school, gives them a hero (the little dog) to look up to and follow his example.