The Rabbit, The Hyena, And The Lioness’s Cave

The Rabbit once met the hyena and proposed that they should go for a walk. They went for a walk together and then separated, after which the rabbit went to the lioness’s cave and found it closed. She cried out, “Stone, open,” and the stone rolled away from the mouth of the cave. She entered and said, “Stone, close,” and the stone returned to its place. She then proceeded to the room where the lioness stored her fat, after which she went to the room where the meat was kept, and having enough to eat, she returned to the entrance, told the stone to open, and when she had passed out, to close once more.

Feeling hungry again later she returned to the cave. ON the road she met the hyena, who asked her where she came from and why her mouth was oily. The rabbit denied that her mouth was oily, but as the hyena persisted in his statement, she told him to rub ashes on his mouth and it would become as beautiful as hers. The hyena did as he was ¬†recommended, but no change took place in his appearance. The rabbit next suggested washing it with water and afterwards with urine: but although the hyena tried both, his mouth remained as dry as before. The hyena then said, “Please tell me where you go and feed.” At first the rabbit refused to comply with his request and said, “You are so foolish whenever you go anywhere and are sure to be caught.” But as the hyena would take no refusal, she consented to allow him to accompany her and told him about the lioness’s cave. “There are,” shae said, “five rooms. In the first the ashes are kept; in the next, the bones; inn the third, the tough meat; in the fourth, the tender meat; and in the last, the fat.” The hyena cried, “Get out of the way, take me there,” and off they started.

When they arrived at the cave, the rabbit told hyena that when he wanted the cave to open he must say, “Stone, open,” and when he wanted it to shut, “Stone, close.” The hyena cried out, “Stone, open,” and the stone rolled aside. When they were inside, the rabbit said, “Stone, close,” and it close again.

The hyena at once started on the ashes, while the rabbit went to the room where the fat was kept. when the latter had had enough to eat, she returned to the entrance and said she was going away. The hyena remonstrated with her as he was not nearly satisfied. After telling him how to gt out of the cave, the rabbit went up to the stone and said, “stone, open,” and again, when she was outside, “Stone, close.”

When the hyena was alone, he went to the place where the bones were kept, after which he proceeded to the next room, where the tough meat was stored, and ate until he was satisfied. He then returned to the entrance and said to the stone, “Stone, close,” instead of “Stone, open.” He repeated the words “Stone , close,” several times and could not understand why nothing happened.

At this point the lioness, the owner of the cave, returned and said, “Stone, open.” When the hyena heard her, he cried, “Ah! Woe is me! that is what I wanted to say. Poor fellow that I a! Stone, open!”

The lioness entered and said, “Shall I eat you, or shall I make you my servant?”

The hyena asked to be made her servant and was told to look after the lioness’s cub. He was also given a bone and instructed to break it when the lioness had crossed four rivers. The hyena counted the lioness’s footsteps and, when he calculated that she had crossed the four rivers, broke the bone. A chip flew, fracturing the cub’s skull. earing the the lioness would kill him on her return, he searched for some hornets and stuffed one up each of the cub’s nostrils so that it might be supposed that it had been stung to death.

A lioness returned to her cave a short while afterwards and called to the hyena to bring the cub. The hyena told lies for some time and invented several excuses for not doing as he was told; but the lioness was firm, and the hyena had to pick up the cub and bring it to it mother. The lioness at once saw that it was dead and told the hyena to take it outside. While he was doing this, he ate one of the cub’s legs.

A little later he was again ordered to bring the cub to its mother and then to take it away once more. He devoured another leg while carrying it away, and when the lioness called out to him a third time to bring the cub to her, he said the birds had eaten two of its legs. He then ate up the cub.

The lioness intended to punish the hyena for his misdeeds, and after tying him to a tree, went to get some sticks with which to beat him. As he was standing there, bound to the tree, some other hyenas bent  on a raiding expedition passed close by, and one of them, seeing him, asked him why he had been tied up in this manner. He replied that he was being punished for having refused to drink some oil which had flies in it. The other hyena suggested that they should exchange places and, after untying the knots, he allowed himself to be bound to the tree instead, while the first hyena followed in the wake of the raiding party.

After a time the lioness returned, and commenced to flog the heyna, who cried out, “Stop! I will drink it now.”

“Drink what?” said the lioness, and commenced to flog him again.

“Oh! Oh!” the hyena cried, “I will drink the oil with flies in it.”

The lioness then saw that this was not the hyena that had killed her cub.

The next morning the hyena on their way back from their raid passed the cave, and the one who had killed the cub saw on the ground some strips of bark, which the lioness had spread out in the sun to resemble meat. “I will go to my mistress’s kraal,” quote he, “For I see there has been a kill.” On reaching the spot, however, he was seized by the lioness, who bound him to the tree once more and then beat him to death.

After this the lioness returned to her cave and said, “Stone, open.” when the stone had rolled aside and she had entered, she said, “Stone, close,” and it closed again.

Tribe: [ MASAI ]




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