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27 11 The Friendship between the Hare and the Dog M ba-Soâmba, the hare, and Mba-Bâga, the dog, were true friends. But one day the hare left the dog and went to make friends with the hyena. His strategy was this: one day he would chat in the dog’s yard, the next day he would chat in the hyena’s yard. He repeated this trick for a long time so that one day, the dog asked him: ‘‘Mba-Soâmba, will everything turn out all right? You come to my house one evening; the next day, you are at the hyena’s. Won’t you one day say bad things about us?’’ But the hare assured him that everything was fine, that there was no friction between them. One day, the hare went to find the dog and asked him to accompany him to the funeral of a member of his wife’s family. It so happens that the road which led to the hare’s in-laws passed through the hyena’s field. Worried, the dog told the hare: ‘‘I wouldn’t mind accompanying you to the funeral, but you see the road to the village cuts through the hyena’s field, and you know that the hyena and I are enemies. I would like to come with you but I am sorry; in these conditions it’s impossible.’’ 28 Alain-Joseph Sissao (Translated from the French by Nina Tanti) The hare was not discouraged in the least and made the dog this offer: ‘‘On the day of the journey I will bring a deep basket for you to hide in. What’s more, I will carry you across the hyena’s field.’’ On the day of departure, the dog put on a large, longsleeved robe and a bonnet, and climbed into the basket. As planned, the hare carried him across the hyena’s field. It was sowing season. The hyena and his wife were in the process of sowing when the two friends passed by. When the hare was close to the hyena and his wife, he left the road and started to walk across the seedbeds. The hyena commanded him to get back on the road. So he returned to the road and moved a ways off. Then, once more he trampled the hyena’s field, who again insisted that he leave his field. Then the hare told the hyena that in that case he would lay his basket on the ground so that the hyena could come see for himself if anyone was able to carry such a heavy load without zig-zagging back and forth. No sooner said than done. He emptied the contents of the basket in front of the hyena and his wife. The dog took off running and the hyena and his wife chased after him. In his rush, the dog lost everything he was wearing. He arrived home with no robe or bonnet. Luckily, he survived. This is why it is recommended that everyone watch out for bad friends. If you have a friend who gets along with your enemy, it is better to leave him. ...


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