The Dog and his Master
Narrated by Okok Ojulo
The dog is a respected domestic animal in Anuak society because it’s used for hunting and can catch small wild animals. Also at night it guards the home.
Once upon a time, there was a man in Pokedi village called Obang. He had a very strong dog which hunted wild pigs and brought food for his relatives and community. When this dog was taken into the forest, it never came back without catching a wild animal.
One day, as Obang went hunting, the dog ran ahead and Obang followed. At last he found a lion eating a waterbuck. When the lion saw the dog, it was about to kill it, but the dog escaped and ran back to Obang. Just before he reached Obang, the lion turned back to his prey without seeing Obang.
Obang thought, “Who chased my dog?” and he went to look what it was.
Obang saw the lion and the dog went up to the lion and tried to take its meat away. The lion was angry with the dog and chased the dog back, and Obang saw the lion running towards him and ran away, and the dog raced past him, leaving the man behind. So Obang was between the lion and the dog, and Obang tried to fly like a bird, but he couldn’t and fell into the mud, but he got up and ran again and the lion was still chasing him.
When the lion was very near, again he tried to fly but accidentally he fell into the reeds beside the river, then he slipped into the water and dived into Alworo river (a narrow river) and climbed out on the other side and was safe.
When he went home he told everyone that his dog had put him in danger, and said, “I must kill it.”
He was asked by his relatives, “What happened?”
They said, “No, don’t kill it. It may help us in the future.”
So he didn’t.
Another time he went hunting in the forest with his dog. Accidentally, Obang was caught by a python which tied itself round him, trying to kill him. When he was about to die, the dog came and caught the tail of the python and pulled it, so the python let go of the man, and when it fell off he recovered from his paralysis. The dog had pulled the snake away.
When he recovered, the python came back to try again, so Obang took out his knife and killed the python, now weakened by the dog. He cut it into pieces and brought firewood from the forest and burnt it to ashes.
When he went home, he told everyone that the dog had saved him and that he’d burnt the python to ashes.
People said, “You see, it was good that you didn’t kill the dog.”
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