This article examines the possible role played by African folk literature, taking Setswana folktales as a case in point, in justifying and perpetuating the abusive behaviour so often witnessed and decried in postmodern society. We found some evidence that certain folktales may depict real-life child abuse by adults (male and female), and, indeed, serve to perpetuate pre-modern societal beliefs. Ideally speaking, citizens should probably be educated about the possible negative impact of that part of folk literature that serves to perpetuate negative stereotypes of children as objects to be (ab)used. Since folk literature may be serving as a potentially significant guardian of these beliefs, a possible first step would be to identify folktales and other stories that may keep alive beliefs that reinforce obsolete views about children. This is a challenge to all folklorists.