The Hare and the Mucakaili Tree

Here is a story:

There once was a huge village where a great king lived and ruled over all of the animals. Then famine gripped all of the animals of this country, all of the grass dried up. One day, the Hare went for a walk to the king’s home. On his way, the Hare noticed a tree that was edible which was called the Mucakaili tree. The Hare told the other animals: There is food where the king lives, so let’s go and ask him about it. The antelope Duiker decided to go and ask: What kind of a tree is it? The king told him: Mucakaili, go and tell the others. The Roan Antelope, the Warthog, the Monkey and all of the other animals failed to remember the name of the tree. Then the Hare finally went to the king and asked him: Is the tree edible? He then tied bells to his feet that made the noise: cha cha. The king told him: The tree is called Mucakaili. The Hare did not forget it because he rang the bells which made the sound: cakaili and he sang a song:

The king says, come and eat, Mucakaili, come and eat it.

When the animals heard the song, they all became very happy to hear what he was singing; and by the time he arrived, the animals had eaten everything. Then the Hare went to the river and dried it up. Afterwards, the animals were consumed with thirst and went to the river and saw that it was dried up and this made them suffer severely in their search for water. The Hare told them: Thump, one after the other and we will see that animals have different feet. They thumped their feet in order to get water, but they failed. Then they said to the Hare: Save us and we will make you our king. He tried it and water appeared. Thus the Hare saved the animals from thirst and hunger.

And that is the end of our story.


Written by an unknown author. It is a second version of a folk-tale (12) told by Daniel Simungala (Should one eat the fruit of the umucakaili tree?).