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

The Hare and the Lion

Pretty soon along came the hare with his wife, not thinking of any danger; but he very soon discovered the marks of the lion’s paws on the steep path. Stopping at once, he said to Mrs. Soongoora: “You go back, my dear. Simba, the lion, has passed this way, and I think he must be looking for me.”

But she replied, “I will not go back; I will follow you, my husband.”

Although greatly pleased at this proof of his wife’s affection, Soongoora said firmly: “No, no; you have friends to go to. Go back.”

So he persuaded her, and she went back; but he kept on, following the footmarks, and saw—as he had suspected—that they went into his house.

“Ah!” said he to himself, “Mr. Lion is inside, is he?” Then, cautiously going back a little way, he called out: “How d’ye do, house? How d’ye do?” Waiting a moment, he remarked loudly: “Well, this is very strange! Every day, as I pass this place, I say, ‘How d’ye do, house?’ and the house always answers, ‘How d’ye do?’ There must be some one inside to-day.”

When the lion heard this he called out, “How d’ye do?”

Then Soongoora burst out laughing, and shouted: “Oho, Mr. Simba! You’re inside, and I’ll bet you want to eat me; but first tell me where you ever heard of a house talking!”

Upon this the lion, seeing how he had been fooled, replied angrily, “You wait until I get hold of you; that’s all.”

“Oh, I think you’ll have to do the waiting,” cried the hare; and then he ran away, the lion following.

But it was of no use. Soongoora completely tired out old Simba, who, saying, “That rascal has beaten me; I don’t want to have anything more to do with him,” returned to his home under the great calabash tree.

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