Story of the Day: Why Dogs Growl

Here is today's story: God Punishes the Dog. This is an African American folktale collected by Richard Dorson. You can read more African American folktales collected by Dorson, and also more stories about dogs and cats.


When the Lord made Adam, he put him in the Garden of Eden. And he made all beasties, and put every kind of foul dirt in there. And Adam he named them.

So the Lord put him to sleep, made them all helpmeet.

Well, Adam didn't have no helpmeet, so he put him to sleep, and cut out of his ribs.

Cat and dog was standing around there growling.

So he laid the rib down to close up the room. Dog grabbed her rib and lit out with her.

So the Lord couldn't catch him, he cut the dog's tail off, and they been growling ever since.

Story Title: God Punishes the Dog
Storyteller: James Douglas Suggs
Book Title: Negro Tales from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and Calvin, Michigan
Author: Dorson, Richard M.
Published: 1958
Rights: CC Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives
Online Source: Hathi Trust
Process: Light editing for paragraphing and punctuation.
Story Notes from Author (Dorson): A variant from Tommy Carter is in NFIM 162, "God Names the Dog," Motifs A2234, "Animal characteristics: punishment for disobedience," and A2494.1.2, "Enmity between cat and dog," apply here.

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