“Nyati and the Snake”

Nyati is saved from a snake by an elderly meerkat and learns a lesson about respect.

Themes Found in This Story:

  • Respect for Elders

Possible Bible Memory Verses:

  • “Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD.”  – Leviticus 19:32 (NIV)


  • Bottlecap snake
  • Banyoka game



Nyati was walking through the bush when his foot got stuck in a hole and he tripped. “Hey! Be careful! That’s my living room you’re stepping in!” squeaked a tiny voice. An old meerkat stuck his head out of another hole, glaring up at Nyati.


“Well, you should watch where you put your holes,” snapped Nyati. “What’s the idea of putting them in the grass where people can’t see them? I really hurt my foot!”


The old meerkat sniffed. “There’s no need to take that tone, young man. And what about my living room? The roof is all caved in now, thanks to your big feet!”


“I guess you’ll just have to dig another one,” grumbled Nyati, limping off into the bush and ignoring the meerkat’s angry squeaking behind him.


Later that day, Nyati was coming back from his walk when he heard an angry hissing sound. He stopped. On the ground in front of him was a green mamba. Nyati knew you were supposed to move slowly around snakes, but he wanted nothing more than to run away. He was terrified of snakes. He started to back up, and the snake darted forward, snapping at his ankle and just missing.


“Oi! Over here!” called a voice. A few feet away, the old meerkat was peering out of one of his holes. The snake started towards him, and he disappeared, popping out of another hole by a tree. The snake darted that way, and the meerkat was gone again, popping out of a hole right underneath the snake! The snake was surprised and tried to bite him, but the meerkat dodged away. Then, quick as lightning, the meerkat shot back and punched the snake in the nose. The snake jumped back and then snapped at the meerkat’s tail. The meerkat jumped away again, landing another punch on the snake’s nose before disappearing back down the hole. He popped out of another hole behind the snake and bit him hard on the tail.


The snake decided this was too much work, and he quickly slithered away into the bushes. “Thank you,” said Nyati.


“You’re welcome,” the meerkat said, turning to head back down his hole.


“Wait!” said Nyati. “Father Meerkat, I’m sorry. I was very rude to you earlier, and you were right—there was no cause for it. I’m very sorry I broke your burrow. It was an accident. Please, can I help you fix it?”


“I would appreciate that,” said the meerkat. “These old hands of mine aren’t as quick as they used to be.”


“They looked pretty quick to me!” said Nyati. “That was quite a fight you gave that snake!”


The old meerkat smiled. “Come and help me fix the burrow. I’ll make some tea and tell you about the time I fought a cobra!”

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