The Man, the Lion and the Hare

Here is a story:

There was a hunter who would go to the bush daily and would hunt animals everyday out of habit. On a regular day, he killed a king rat, a guinea fowl and afrancolin. When he was still in the bush hunting, and since it was the rainy season, a sudden rain hit the ground with a loud sound of: Chappa chappa chappa. Since this man was in the bush, and the particular region was uninhabited, there were no villages around where he could run for shelter. The man began to run in the rain which just kept falling harder until he reached a grotto in a termite hill where all the animals from the whole surrounding area would come to lick salt. And that is where the hunter hid himself along with his hunted animal. In the same place there was also a Lion who was hungry because he had not hunted anything that day. With a heavy step, the Lion came up to the man and said: There is the scent of a human in this grotto. The man said to himself: There is a Lion here. In great shock, he grabbed his own lips and said: What am I going to do? But, there was nothing the man could do.

The two sat there together for some time and the Lion felt his stomach yearning for food. Finally the Lion said: My friend, I am hungry. The man said: Are you hungry? What can I do about that? The Lion said: Give me something to eat. The man said: What can I give you to eat? The Lion said: You can give me some of the meat you have hunted today. The man pulled out the meat of the francolin and gave it to him. Heh, he just swallowed it as if it were a tiny piece of mush and you did not notice where it went. Next, the Lion said: Have a seat, have a seat. Then he said: My friend, do it again. I am hungry. What I have just eaten was nothing. So, the man gave the Lion a guinea fowl and he ate it. Now you know what kind of an appetite a Lion has? Only enormous pieces of mush would appease his hunger. The proverb says: To satiate a great man, one must start early – to prepare a lot of things. So he ate another thing and it was gone in no time. Give me a king rat. He gave one to him and he ate it. After eating all of it, he stared at the man.

When the Lion thought about eating the man, a small Hare appeared. Oh my, this is something, here! – the Hare said to himself, knowing the behaviour of a Lion. Then he said: What is the situation here? How are you all doing? And you, old chap, what brings you here? The man replied: Sir, I was hunting, I killed some animals: a cane rat and two birds: a francolin and a guinea fowl. But this ‘great man’ said: I am very hungry, and he had come from somewhere, you see, and I gave him everything I had to eat and he ate it. Now what can we do? I have no idea. The Hare said to himself: That’s fine. It is our luck that during the rainstorm there were some thunderbolts. It seems as though the termite hill is going to fall apart because there were some cracks. Immediately, the Hare said to the Lion: Quickly, hold the ceiling up so that it doesn’t fall on us and kill us all down here. We will go outside and get some support beams! The Hare and the man went outside, and as they were going, the Hare said: Quickly run away, I am not coming back either. The Lion was left to support the ceiling until he eventually died of hunger.

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 because he always helps a man when he is in trouble.

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).