Thanks for the gloss on African folktales. But how do you square your interpretation of the snake and heron story with the contradicting (or at least tangential) interpretation that's within the tale itself?
"For so it always has been - if you see the dust of a fight rising, you will know that a kindness is being repaid!"
The gloominess suggested by Eliezer seems harder to dismiss in light of this line.
On another note, amateur cultural interpretation is one of the web's great scourges. Give me a characteristic (A) and a society (B) and I will find you some folktale or cultural trend or historical anecdote that will explain why trait (A) is in society (B), even if the truth is the opposite.
I don't mean to imply that this is what you are doing here, Eliezer. But you're certainly opening a can of very intellectually convenient/lazy worms.
/clenches anus and runs for the hills
There, pretty as a picture.
(sex and drugs, that is... not the Bonesteels. The Bonesteels is cool with me.)
They screwed me up real good. ;)