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33 13 The Hare and the Hawk T he hare and the hawk were friends. There came a great famine. It was very difficult to find anything to eat. The hare went to see the hawk that was on top of a tree and asked him to come down so they could discuss ways to help each other, in order to escape the famine. The hawk told him that he was so hungry that if he came down, he would not have the strength to fly back up into the tree again. But the hare insisted. He told him he had some bulls and that he would give him one for food. The hawk accepted and came down from the tree. The hare did indeed kill a bull for the hawk and his family. Another day, the hare called the hawk and said: ‘‘Come, together we will figure out how to get something to eat; if not, it won’t be easy. I am going to make a drum; I’ll go out into the bush and call together all the animals so that you and I can find a way to defeat the famine. When all the animals are here, you will light fires all over and then fly down and pick me up. That way, they will all be burned and we will be able to pick them up and eat them.’’ The hawk accepted. The hare struck his drum and gathered together all of the animals. The hawk did what the hare had asked him to do. The fire killed many animals. The hare and the hawk collected them and divided them up. Each one took his share home to his family. 34 Alain-Joseph Sissao (Translated from the French by Nina Tanti) One day, the hyena went to get fire at the hare’s house. When she arrived, she saw a chunk of meat. The hare gave her a bit of it. The next day, the hyena went again to get some fire and the hare gave her a little more of the meat. Then, the hyena told the hare to meet her behind the house because she had something to tell him. The hare came and the hyena grabbed him; she told him to show her where he had found all that meat, or else she wouldn’t let him go. The hare told her: ‘‘It’s simple; I made friends with the hawk: I killed some bulls for him, and in return he helped me burn the wild animals.’’ After hearing this, the hyena decided to become friends with the hawk. So she went to see him. The latter saw no problem becoming friends with the hyena in exchange for a bull. But the hyena didn’t have a bull to give the hawk. One day, she made him an offer: ‘‘I am going to call all the animals of the bush together with my drum. When they get here, come and light fires all around. They will die and I’ll have something to eat.’’ Unfortunately, she did not tell the hawk to come and get her after he had lit the fires. At the sound of the drum, all the animals gathered together. When the hawk saw they were all there he set fire to the bush and disappeared. The hyena didn’t know where to go. She and the other animals burned to death in the fire. The hare came and picked them up. This is why we say that it is good to be strong, but you must also be clever, for strength alone is not enough. ...


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