A pourquoi story ("pourquoi" means "why" in French), also known as an origin story, pourquoi tale or an etiological tale, is a fictionalnarrative that explains why something is the way it is, for example why a snake has no legs, or why a tiger has stripes. Many legends and folk tales are pourquoi stories.
Certain tall tales include pourquoi elements, such as Pecos Bill taming his horse, Widowmaker. The horse bucked and kicked so much that she dug out the Grand Canyon.
The Epic of Gilgamesh includes many pourquoi stories from Mesopotamian folklore: how the Beqa'a Valley was formed, why meat becomes rancid when left in the rain, and why snakes shed their skins while people (who are mortal) do not.
Alamat, very loosely translated into "legend," are stories in Philippine folk literature which explain how things came to be. They normally involve people being transformed into animals and plants because of certain untoward habits they have. An example would be the Alamat of the Pineapple where a girl who is too lazy to look for things is transformed into a fruit with numerous "eyes."
Tinga Tinga Tales include many pourquoi stories from African cultures, such as "Why Giraffe has a Long Neck," "Why Crocodile has a Bumpy Back," "Why Moles Live Underground," and lots more.