The Man that Took A Farm Away From a Lion

Here is a story:

There was a man who prepared his field for farming by cutting down all of the trees, so the area could be farmed. The next day, the man said: I think I’ll wait with the cutting for today. He met another person, a Lion and his kids, who started to farm the same place as the man.

One day, both the Lion and the man went on cutting the trees down but in their own directions. Since it was far from home, the man built a temporary house by the field, and so did the Lion. Both of them lived together with their wives and children in these temporary homes. The Lion and the man were not on good terms. The man thought: What shall I do to chase away the Lion in order to get his farm? He decided to go and ask his good friend, the Hornbill Bird with a red beak, and explained to him the matter. The Hornbill Bird said: There is no difficulty here. Then he said to the man: Tomorrow very early in the morning, at dawn, I will come with my children. We will make a lot of noise to scare the Lion by shouting: I will burn you! I will burn you! I will burn you! And so, seeing that our beaks are red like fire, the Lion with its cubs will run away.

The next day, the Hornbill did just that and the Lion and the cubs hearing this, ran away very far so the man remained alone in the field by himself. Fraud is not a good thing.

And that is the end of our story.

The moral of the story: cruelty is bad policy and people should not abuse their positions of power over others. We should show love and compassion to each other. The tyranny of a headman makes his village disappear. The people of the village stand for its honour. Another thing: do not try to cheat your companions, or they may turn against you and there will be nobody to help you.

The Mambwe proverbs say: A tyrant is not the builder of a village: (only) a village with people is respectful (Mbombombo cintakula muzi, muzi n’antu, nga ucindama); Anyone who wants to be cleverer than his companion is stupid (Ukucenjela apa yacenjele yauzo, ukutumpa).

Subjects: cheating – punishment – cruelty – abusing one’s power – tyranny of the headman – village


Written by William Nyondanyonda, 07th of September 1994.