The Leopard and the Bushbuck
Narrated by Magabi Enyew Gessesse
The leopard and the bushbuck were living together in the forest and the leopard tried to trap the bushbuck but he couldn’t.
So the leopard called out to the bushbuck one day and said to him, “My friend bushbuck! Why do you run away from me? We could be friends. What you eat, I don’t eat. There is nothing that makes us enemies. Let’s made an oath (mahala) so that you may not be afraid of me all your lifetime and so that I may be your friend.”
The bushbuck agreed. So after that the bushbuck slept under the tree while the leopard slept on the tree.
But before that, the bushbuck asked, “What shall the oath be?”
And the leopard said, “If either of us breaks this oath his child will die and be killed by God.”
So they both agreed. The bushbuck did not fear the leopard, so he became fat and more attractive to the leopard. The leopard was tempted by the fat bushbuck. He became tempted to break his vow and devour the bushbuck.
The leopard said, “Come what may, I don’t care about the oath, I won’t be the one to die. It’s my son, and I don’t have a son.”
So the leopard jumped down to catch the bushbuck, but he got stuck on a branch and it stuck in his stomach and he was hanging in the tree. He was about to die.
The bushbuck jumped up and said, “Beh! Beh!” to the leopard.
The leopard, expiring, “Why, my friend, are you leaving me in this condition? Didn’t we have an oath that our child will die if we break our oath?”
And the buck replies, “Maybe your father made the vow. It was destined for you.”
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