58. King Lion and the Corn-Thief

Someone was stealing corn from the fields.
“I will catch and kill the thief!” roared King Lion.
He lay in wait… and caught Rabbit.
“I’m no thief!” protested Rabbit. “I came to give you this crown!” He showed Lion a crown. “Lean against this tree, and I’ll crown you.”
Rabbit parted Lion’s mane, pretending to make room for the crown, but he was really tying Lion’s hair to the tree.
Lion was trapped!
Then Rabbit scattered corn husks around Lion.
“Thief!” Rabbit yelled. “Come see the thief!”
All the animals came and beat Lion to death for stealing their corn.

[a Tsonga story from southern Africa] 

Inspired by: The Life of a South African Tribe by Henri A. Junod
Notes: These are stories of the Thonga people, Bantus of southern Africa, and they call the hare "Nwashisisana." You can read the original story online at Internet Archive.


  1. Poor Lion, being framed for something he didn't do and getting killed for it.

    1. The moral is, it's better to be cunning than to be gullible!