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9 4 The Warthog and the Lion T he warthog and the lion did not get along. It was even said that the warthog was not easy to beat. BonY ênga, the lion, ended up taking offense at this: ‘‘What? I am called king of the bush and someone in this bush dares to say that he is not easy to beat?’’ The day came when they were to meet. It was quite a confrontation. Réôgo, the warthog, began to dig up roots with his teeth. Meanwhile, the lion tore out grass1 with his claws. When they met up, God gave the lion courage and he was able to catch the warthog. He grabbed him, but he escaped; the warthog bolted and the lion charged after him. The warthog went and hid down a hole. The hyena was put in charge of guarding the hole. Meanwhile, they started digging. Another warthog was brought over in order to dig out the one hidden in the hole. The hare, informed of the news, went and got some salt and put it in his sack. While they were digging, the hare said: ‘‘Wait a minute; I will go inside to see if he’s still there.’’ Inside the hole he found the warthog and told him: 1. Grasses whose straw is used to make mats. 10 Alain-Joseph Sissao (Translated from the French by Nina Tanti) ‘‘You see, they are waiting outside to catch you. Take this salt and put it in your mouth! When the one who is digging gets close to you, spit the salt into his eyes. If you spit the salt into his eyes, he will fall down and you can get away.’’ The hare came out and announced that the warthog was still far down the hole. The warthog at the bottom of the hole put the salt into his mouth, and finding it tasty, swallowed it. When the first warthog got very close to the second, the hare thought he was going to spit out the salt. But nothing happened. He asked again to go down into the hole and see. Once inside, he asked: ‘‘What did you do with the salt? Didn’t you put it in your mouth so that you could spit it out?’’ ‘‘I tasted it and since it tasted good, I swallowed it!’’ ‘‘You swallowed it? Then you’re going to die!’’ ‘‘If you give me some more, I won’t swallow it again!’’ The hare gave him some more and left. The warthog kept the salt in his mouth and waited. When the warthog who was digging got close, his eyes wide open, the one inside the hole spit the salt into his face and the other fell flat on his back. The hare then said: ‘‘Where is the lion? Look! You told this warthog to dig a hole to catch your enemy, and he swallowed him! See! He’s lying on his back, laughing!’’ Meanwhile, the warthog who had been digging had very sore eyes, and the other was running off into the bush. This is how the hare saved the first warthog. But the war between the lion and the warthog is not over yet. That is why when the lion kills a warthog, he tears off his feet and abandons him. ...


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