The First Bushman - African Safari Campfire Stories
Water in the African desert regions is so precious that for those who depend on it, it can assume divine properties.
To the Bushman water is the ancient symbol of life. In it he can revitalize himself and make a fresh start. His legendary hero, Mantis, appears at the time of the beginning of the world, when the face of the earth was covered with water.
Mantis was carried over the tumult of the dark and turbulent waters by a bee (bees, as honey makers, are an image of wisdom).
The bee, however, became wearier and colder as he searched for solid ground, and Mantis felt heavier and heavier. He flew slower and sank down towards the water. At last, while floating on the water, the bee saw a great white flower, half-open, awaiting the sun's first rays.
He laid Mantis in the heart of the flower and planted within him the seed of the first human being. Then the bee died.
But as the sun rose and warmed the flower, Mantis awoke, and there, from the seed left by the bee, the first Bushman was born.