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Main > Tanzanian folktales > Fairy tale "Mkaaah Jeechonee, the Boy Hunter"

Mkaaah Jeechonee, the Boy Hunter

To them he said, “Come on; get down; the noondah is dead.” So they got down quickly and hunted around until they found their master. When they told him the news, he came down also; and after a little the attendants had all gathered together and had picked up their guns and their clothes, and were all right again. But they were all weak and hungry, so they rested and ate some food, after which they went to examine their prize.

As soon as Mkaaah Jeechonee saw it he said, “Ah, this is the noondah! This is it! This is it!” And they all agreed that it was it.

So they dragged the elephant three days to their town, and then the youth began singing,

“Oh, mother, this is he,

The noondah, eater of the people.”

He was, naturally, quite upset when his mother replied, “My son, this is not the noondah, eater of the people.” She further said: “Poor boy! what trouble you have been through. All the people are astonished that one so young should have such a great understanding!”

Then his father and mother began their entreaties again, and finally it was agreed that this next trip should be his last, whatever the result might be.

Well, they started off again, and went on and on, past the forest, until they came to a very high mountain, at the foot of which they camped for the night.

In the morning they cooked their rice and ate it, and then Mkaaah Jeechonee said: “Let us now climb the mountain, and look all over the country from its peak.” And they went and they went, until after a long, weary while, they reached the top, where they sat down to rest and form their plans.

Now, one of the attendants, named Shindaa′no, while walking about, cast his eyes down the side of the mountain, and suddenly saw a great beast about half way down; but he could not make out its appearance distinctly, on account of the distance and the trees. Calling his master, he pointed it out to him, and something in Mkaaah Jeechonee’s heart told him that it was the noondah. To make sure, however, he took his gun and his spear and went partly down the mountain to get a better view.

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