The Hyena and the Lion
Narrated by Iyasu Origo
Nine hyenas and a lion went hunting and caught ten cows and bulls. The lion said, “I will have nine and you will have one.”
They said, “How? We are nine. Is it fair that we have only one and you have nine?”
“Yes,” the lion said, “I am one and when I get nine that makes ten. You are nine and when you get one that also makes ten.”
The hyenas were afraid to challenge him when they saw his fiery eyes and they went to their father and told him how he gave them one and took nine and the reason, according to the lion, was that you are nine and I am one and it makes ten, and vice versa.
The father of the hyenas was very angry.
“Why does he do that? It isn’t right. I will go to him with the one cow that he gave and take her to him and demand that you deserve nine.”
So off he went with his children. But on the way the children told him that he could not convince the lion.
“He was very strong, and he wouldn’t let us have the nine cows although we demand them.”
“I’ll show you,” the father boasted.
After walking for some time he asked them, “What is this little hill we are heading for?”
They said, “It’s not a hill. It’s the lion.”
Then they went some distance.
“Look, now we have reached grassland.”
“No, it’s not grassland. It’s the lion’s mane.”
Then, after some distance, he said, “Now we are coming to a ball of fire.”
“No, it’s not a ball of fire. It’s the lion’s eyes.”
When he met the lion, the lion roared and said, “Where are you going?”
“Well, I have come to give you this cow. You deserve to have ten cows.”
And all of them went back in disgrace and the lion was happy and felt his strength all the more.
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