Once upon a time, when men conversed with animals, a rainbow appeared in the sky. God used it to descend to earth in the company of the lizard, his most trusted companion.
So pleased was God with the lizard that he made him a coat of many colors from the rainbow. The chameleon, who was watching in the distance however wasn’t. Which is why he asked God to consider another option.
“The lizard is only your most trusted companion because he is ever at your side. Perhaps if you were to give us both a task and reward the one who finishes first, then it shall be fair.”
God agreed and sent them both to tell men that they shall live forever. Then he went back up to heaven to await their return.
Now the chameleon was cunning and knew that if they raced, the lizard would get there first. Therefore he devised a way to slow the lizard down enough to steal his coat.
“Brother Lizard, look and see, the earth is hot and hungry today and she wants to feed.” The chameleon began.
The lizard jumped back onto the rainbow in fright, staring warily down at the ground. Pleased at the reaction, the chameleon continued.
“See the cracks on the ground made by the heat from her boiling pot beneath the ground? If you do not walk carefully, you will fall inside it before you reach the men.”
“What are we to do then?” The lizard asked.
“The earth is my friend and will not harm me, but she may not be so kind to you. Let me go before you. Here, take my tail and follow me, but shut your eyes lest she be offended by your gaze.” The chameleon added.
The lizard obeyed, shut his eyes and stretched out his hand to take the chameleon’s tail. When he did, the chameleon pulled away and the lizard stumbled.
While the lizard fumbled on the ground, the chameleon stole a strip of his colored coat.
“Brother chameleon where are you?” The lizard called, groping the air like a blind man.
“Here I am, here I am, take my tail.” The chameleon said giving the lizard his tail.
“Shall I step here?” The lizard asked taking it.
“Yes.” The chameleon said leading him towards a tree stump.
When the lizard slipped and fell, the chameleon stole two colored strips from his coat.
This went on for a while, the chameleon stealing a strip of the coat each time the lizard fell.
When they finally arrived at the men’s homestead, the chameleon told the lizard to open his eyes and deliver the message. Unfortunately, the men tried to stone him, sure that the lizard was a snake, for he had been stripped down to the bland color of his scaly skin.
Quickly, the lizard ran up the nearest tree and hid among the leaves, startled.
Satisfied that he had attained the coat of many colors, the chameleon camouflaged himself with the ground and sneaked away.
From that day, the lizard has always been on the lookout for the chameleon to get his coat back. Men have on the other hand thus died of old age for they did not receive the lizard’s message from God.
The lizard, ashamed, has never returned to heaven at the right hand of God.
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