95. The Jackal and the Hyena

"Nothing hurts more than a sharp spear," said Hyena.
"No," said Jackal. "Lies hurt more than a sharp spear."
"Prove it!" said Hyena.
So Jackal took some honey-cakes and went to see Lion.
"O King," he said, "I offer you this treat."
Lion devoured the honey-cakes. "Delicious!" he roared. "What was that?"
"Hyena-Tears," said Jackal.
Then Lion visited Hyena. "Cry me some tears!" he said.
Hyena cried.
"These are salty!" growled Lion. "I want the sweet ones."
When Hyena couldn't produce honey-tears, Lion beat her until she was nearly dead.
Jackal was right: Lies hurt more than a sharp spear.
[a Hausa story from northern Nigeria]

Inspired by: "A Lie can give more pain than a Spear" in Hausa Superstitions and Customs  by A. J. N. Tremearne, 1913.
Notes: You can read the original story online.

No comments:

Post a Comment