The Hare and Lion a Zimbabwean Folklore.

Once upon a time there was a boastful Hare who insisted that he was the most intelligent of all the animals in the jungle.

Even though lion was the presiding King of the jungle, Hare was known for his cunning mannerism. He had mastered proficiency in practising feigned charm so much that he managed to win over and marry the most beautiful lady Hare in the land.

 Secretly everybody wondered how long it would take his wife to discover his deceitful ways. They were curious to know how he was getting on with his new wife.

 When Gazelle and Impala met Hare in the forest, they were quick to congratulate him for getting married. “How is married life?”  They asked.

“Fantastic!” He answered. “My lovely wife, who is very lucky to have me, is convinced that l could replace the King and take charge of all the animals in this forest.”  “l am the wisest.”  “l retain that she is correct and l agree with her!” Gazelle and Impala couldn’t hide their disdain, for obvious reasons they completely disagreed with hare. Lion is the most powerful and mighty of all of us, he is the king of the jungle they argued.

This provoked the hare and immediately he crafted an idea to contradict them. The hare confounded that, in the afternoon when they converged at the water hole, he will have a surprise ready waiting for them!

With a walk of determination, Hare went up to lion and avowed, “my lord, l possess great respect for you and I would like to honour you for being the king of the jungle.”

 Lion was very suspicious he wanted to find out what plan the shrewd Hare, had up his sleeve? The lion responded with a misgiving voice, “and how would you like to do that he asked?”   Hare yielded in front of the lion, my lord after observing you, I am bothered that all these flies are incessantly ruffling your feathers, stinging you carelessly and l feel that l can help you with that my lord.”

Instantaneously the lion’s interest was piqued! Coincidentally he was at his wits end, infuriated by the flies. Frustrated that he couldn’t reach his back were the flies would land and sting him! He was gagging to hear how the hare proposed to help.

Hare sounding sincere and polite, spoke respectively,” with your permission my king, l would like to climb on your back, and utilize a stick to disperse all the flies away.”  He looked at the lion with pleading eyes full of expectation.

The Lion couldn’t believe his luck, how he had never thought of this fantastic way of getting rid of the annoying pests. He was excited, of course that’s very kind! He quickly asked Hare to climb onto his back as he couldn’t wait for the relief of being free of those little annoying pesky flies!

Swiftly the hare jumped up, he was feeling elated and triumphant.  Ostentatiously sat on the lion with his titchy stick. Crack! he flogged the lion to scatter the flies, so the lion thought.

As they approached the waterhole, the animals there were flabbergasted! Gazelle and impala had alerted all the animals of the preposterous claim made by hare. They watched in shock as the lion drew nearer, a hare riding on the back of the most intimidating animal of them all.   They noticed that, Hare was cracking a whip, he was perfectly controlling the king of the jungle, they were gobsmacked!

 All animal stood still looking at the deviant sight! As they reached closer still, the hare, decided to blow his own trumpet. He flogged the lion vigorously and bellowed a command for lion to hasten his speed!

Lion couldn’t believe his ears, at all the animals were gawking at him. Quickly he worked out what was going on. He had been tricked. Enraged he roared loudly, jumped high to shake off the hare! The hare briskly jumped off the back of the lion and like a whirlwind skipped and hopped like crazy far away from the lion and went to hide in the bush. The lion looked hi and lo for the hare to no avail. The rest of the animals laughed and applauded the hare for fooling the most intimidating animal of them all, the king of the jungle.

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