The Child of the Roan Antelope who has No Ears

Here is a story:

There once was a she Roan Antelope who lived in the bush on the summit of a big hill. This Roan Antelope gave birth to her only child.

When the family lived there, the mother would always tell her child: The place where we live right now is a very safe place. So whenever I go for a walk, do not go down the hill to eat grass because the Lion lives right at the bottom of the hill. Do you understand?

In fact, when the Roan Antelope Mother went for a walk, the child stayed on the summit of the hill. One day, the child Roan Antelope began to complain: Why does my mother not let me go down to the bottom of the hill to eat some of the fresh grass down there? The child of the Roan Antelope constantly complained in this fashion.

An old Mambwe proverb says: He left the peace and bartered for misfortune. The Antelope child disregarded its mother’s advice and went down to the bottom of the hill to graze on the grass. It began to graze, carelessly disregarding its surroundings.

When it finished eating and was full, the Lion stumbled upon the Antelope. The child of the Roan Antelope tried to escape, but the Lion pinned it down to the ground and killed it. When it was dead, the Lion called to his friend, the Hyena, who was nearby, and said to him: I want you to guard this Antelope. I don’t want to find anything has been eaten.

The Lion left the Hyena and went home. And soon after the Lion turned back from where he was going and reached the place where the game meat was, he found that the Hyena had eaten the Antelope’s ears. The Lion asked the Hyena about it but he denied it saying: This animal has no ears. The Lion was surprised and said: Is there any animal that doesn’t have ears? Let’s go and ask the Mother Roan Antelope who is on the top of the hill if her child had any ears. They asked the Mother Antelope and she said: My child had no ears because if it did it would have heard what I told it.

And that is the end of our story.


Written by Edward Mwimbe, 7 of September 1994. It is a second version of a folk-tale (3) The Lion and the Hare: does the child of the Antelope Bushbuck have ears? written by Kleto Kaputu.