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Main > Tanzanian folktales > Fairy tale "The Hare and the Lion"

The Hare and the Lion

” “What would be the best thing to do with you, then?” asked Simba.

“I think,” said Soongoora, “you should take me by the tail, whirl me around, and knock me against the ground. Then you may be able to eat me.”

So the lion, being deceived, took him by the tail and whirled him around, but just as he was going to knock him on the ground he slipped out of his grasp and ran away, and Simba had the mortification of losing him again.

Angry and disappointed, he turned to the tree and called to Kobay, “You come down, too.”

When the tortoise reached the ground, the lion said, “You’re pretty hard; what can I do to make you eatable?”

“Oh, that’s easy,” laughed Kobay; “just put me in the mud and rub my back with your paw until my shell comes off.”

Immediately on hearing this, Simba carried Kobay to the water, placed him in the mud, and began, as he supposed, to rub his back; but the tortoise had slipped away, and the lion continued rubbing on a piece of rock until his paws were raw. When he glanced down at them he saw they were bleeding, and, realizing that he had again been outwitted, he said, “Well, the hare has done me to-day, but I’ll go hunting now until I find him.”

So Simba, the lion, set out immediately in search of Soongoora, the hare, and as he went along he inquired of every one he met, “Where is the house of Soongoora?” But each person he asked answered, “I do not know.” For the hare had said to his wife, “Let us remove from this house.” Therefore the folks in that neighborhood had no knowledge of his whereabouts. Simba, however, went along, continuing his inquiries, until presently one answered, “That is his house on the top of the mountain.”

Without loss of time the lion climbed the mountain, and soon arrived at the place indicated, only to find that there was no one at home. This, however, did not trouble him; on the contrary, saying to himself, “I’ll hide myself inside, and when Soongoora and his wife come home I’ll eat them both,” he entered the house and lay down, awaiting their arrival.

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