How the Hare Saved the Kudu Antelope from the Field Owner

Here is a story:

There was a man that had a great field where he harvested lentils. The Hare had a provisional hut in which he lived. The Kudu always went to the man’s field to graze. When the man went to the field in the morning, he noticed the Kudu was there and eating in his field. He said: Who keeps eating the lentils in my field? One day, he saw the tracks of the Kudu and said: It was the Kudu. Everyday the same thing happened, and whenever he went there he found it had eaten and was gone.

Finally, one day, he went there and found it. He said: It is you who has been eating my lentils? Where are you going? Straight away, the Kudu began to run and the man ran after him. They were running one after the other. The Kudu reached the house of the Duiker antelope. The Duiker said: You, Kudu, where are you coming from? The Kudu explained: Listen, listen… Then the Duiker said: Oh gosh! Go away! If he comes, he won’t leave me in peace. Just after the Kudu left, the man came to the Duiker’s place. The Duiker said: He came here, but just left! The man asked: But where did he go?

The Kudu ran away to the Warthog’s place and said: My friend, listen, listen… I just came from that place… and it was just like that…. Then the Warthog said: O gosh! This man will not leave me in peace so I must leave now. He ran everywhere and visited all the animals in the area but the same thing happened.

Finally, it reached the Hare’s provisional hut. When the Hare saw it breathing deeply, he asked: What is it? What’s the situation? The Kudu said: It’s not good! Then he asked: What’s the matter? The Kudu said: Listen my friend. Everyday I go to the man’s field and eat lentils, but today he found me there and is chasing me with a rifle, an axe and a spear. He wants to kill me! The Hare said: Really? The Kudu said: Yes. The Hare said: Oh, O.K. stay here. Let me finish my work quickly before the man arrives. The Hare had a big bin full of grass. Then he said to the Kudu: My friend! It is up to you: if you are foolish, it will result in your death! You must be very clever so come here! He took the Kudu and put it in the bin with the grass. Then he sat on top of it and started covering it with grass so the Kudu could not be seen. He covered it very well with grass in the bin, leaving only the horns showing.

The man approached, stomping his feet – nse nse nse and he arrived there. The Hare said: Sir! What is going on? The man said: Oh man! It’s not good! The Hare said: What has happened? The man said: Haven’t you seen an animal passing this way? The Hare asked: What did this animal do? The man said: I have cultivated a great field and planted a lot of lentils in it, and this animal came close to nearly finishing it all. The Hare said: O.K., sit here, I will consult the spirits for you. Look carefully at what I do and listen to what I say! The man said: All right, I understand. The Hare got up, climbed on the bin and stood there, grabbing the Kudu by the horns and said: Are you the one who has been eating the lentils from the man’s field? Are you the one who has been eating the lentils from the man’s field? Answer me quickly! The man saw nothing, only the animal’s horns. Then the Hare said again: Are you the one who has been eating the lentils from the man’s field? The man didn’t understand what was going on because the Kudu was hidden in the grass. He saw only the horns. Then the Hare said: Sir, I am doing well, aren’t I? The man said: Now you are doing very well and you know what you are doing. The Hare said again: Now look where the Kudu went. He sat on the Kudu’s back, grabbed it by the horns and said: Are you the one who has been eating the lentils from the man’s field? The man didn’t see what the Hare was doing and understood nothing. Finally, the Hare said: Since you haven’t learned anything, it means I have failed in my divination. It is over then. And I do not know where this animal is either. The man left, and the Hare said: Go away, you idiot. So, the man left and the Kudu was saved.

And that is the end of our story.

The moral of the story: when in danger, we should go to our friends for security; furthermore, if we want salvation we must go to God because He can save us, He can chase away Satan. The most important thing is that we run to Him for safety.

The Mambwe proverbs say: He who despises the advice of older people (or who contradicts an elder), will never grow old (Akakana amazwi ya akalamba, asikota); Whoever contradicts an elder will never grow old (Akakanya umukulu, asyakota (or asikota); Who contradicts an elder, will never grow old (Lukanya-yakulu asikota); A bearded mouth does not deceive (Akanwa ka cilezu, kasisomba); The one who travels with his mouth never gets lost (Akapita na kanwa, asiponga); Who asks does not get poisoned by mushrooms (Kuuzya, atakoliku wowa); Go and ask the madman to show you the remedy they used to cure him (Kuzye ilyapenyile, likulangu mulembo uno yalilwazizizye kweneko).

Subjects: dangers – solitude – friendship – safety – misfortune – Satan – salvation – God


Told by Mr Daniel Daudi Simungala from Nsindano (Kasakalawe) village (recorded).