The Bull’s Calf
Narrated by Metekia Libri
The lion and the leopard were living together. The lion bought a bull and the leopard bought a cow. The cow of the leopard gave birth to a calf. But the lion said it was his bull’s calf. The leopard argued that it was his cow’s calf and even said that it was impossible for a bull to give birth.
And the lion, being confident of his strength, said, “It is my bull’s calf. Anyone will agree that. A bull can give birth to a calf.”
“I would like to hear these witnesses myself,” the leopard said, “and if they witness that a bull can give birth then you may take the calf.”
So the wild animals all met together. The rabbit was not present because she had been busy with getting a very hard, sharpened stake, sharp like a sword, which had a hollow bottom, in which the rabbit could hide. She had it made by a friend, so she couldn’t come till it was ready.
“Where have you been all these hours?” the lion asked, enraged. “Why are you late?” he roared.
“I was very busy putting out the fire in the swamp of my father.”
“May you shit blood!” said the lion (this is a saying meaning, ‘Why do you cheat me?’) "Your father has no land, and even if he did, swampy land cannot catch fire. You are lying.”
“How can a bull give birth to a calf? You are a cheat yourself and you only depend on your strength,” the rabbit said.
The lion was very angry. While he was trying to beat the rabbit with the palm of his hand she jumped into the hollow at the bottom of the stake and hid. Down came the lion’s paw. As we know the power of the lion is in his huge paw. He thought he’d got her but his paw was impaled on the stake and blood flowed everywhere. He licked the blood from his paws. The wild animals knew right then that it was God’s judgement on the lion, which fell on the palm of the lion, which is the symbol of his strength, and they agreed that the calf must belong to the leopard.
They said, “We have been here all day frightened by the power of the lion to be false witnesses because of his strength and power. But the rabbit has done a good thing for us. She told the truth and now we are free to go. So from today on, it is not the lion but the rabbit that is the king of the wild animals.”
And in our culture it is the rabbit who is the king of the animals.
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