Popo the hare set out looking for her meal for the day. As she walked through the forest she saw honey up high on the Mutunguruni tree. She could not get to it herself so she went looking for someone to help her climb up the tree. Popo found Wira the squirrel munching away at a nut. “Hi Wira are you hungry for something sweet?" “Sure, What do you have" replied Wira. "Nothing on me right now but the Mutunguruni tree by the river has plenty of honey. If you help me get up the tree we can both enjoy it” Wira the Squirrel not one to miss an opportunity to eat something sweet went with Popo. Up the tree they climbed.
Paka the lion passing by heard jovial chatter and laughter. Ahh finally he had his meal. He followed the chatter up the tree. "Hello, who is up there?" Popo and Wira stopped their laughter. Maybe if they kept quiet he would go away. "I heard you laughing. Who is up there? What are you doing?” Too scared to keep silent any longer Wira the Squirrel answered "we are eating honey." "Ohh how wonderful, I too want to enjoy your stories. Come eat the honey down here and I will tell you of my adventures in the forest across the river”
Popo the hare sensed that Paka’s intentions were not genuine. She whispered to Wira “If we go down he will eat us." Popo came up with a plan they would throw down the beehive and run away. Paka heard movement and smiled finally his meal was coming down.
Paka felt a huge blow on his heard and then the stings began. He ran off kicking the hive as he went. Popo wasted no time jumping off the tree and running away. Wira overcome by fear took his time getting down making sure that Paka was nowhere to be seen. Just as he was about to make a run for it he felt Paka's claws on his neck. "Ahh so you thought you could deceive me?" Tell me who was up there with you and I won’t eat you. I was with Popo the Hare. Ahh so Popo thinks she is clever huh. No-one ever saw Wira the squirrel again.
A few days later remembering the honey Popo convinced Nuru the tortoise to come climb the mutunguruni tree with her. Paka the lion heard jovial chatter again and thought this time I will have that Hare. "Hello, Who is up there?" Silence. "Popo I know you are up there. I want some honey too. Come share your honey and I will tell you of my adventures in the forest across the river”. Popo whispered to Nuru “ its a lie, we will end up like Wira. Nuru the tortoise grew terrified. How would they make it home without ending up as Paka’s dinner?
Popo thought Nuru you must get into your shell I will throw you down and make a run for it. Paka cannot eat you while you are in your shell. Nuru was not sure about this plan but agreed that her shell could not be cracked by a lions teeth.
Paka felt a thump on his head but this time he was prepared the bees would not distract him from catching Popo as they came down the tree. They were no stings no buzzing sounds. A little confused Paka searched for what fell on him. Then he saw Nuru the tortoise on the ground upside down.
Grabbing her by the legs he shook her. "Where is Popo?” Stop shaking me she yelled. Then Paka heard it, the rusting of the grass as Popo made her get away from the other side of the tree. Well I guess you are my dinner. Nuru asked Paka “Will you just eat my leg? If you want me to come out of my shell you will have to spin around a 100 times". Paka took Nuru's leg span around as fast as he could. Out slipped Nuru the tortoise’s leg from his hand into the forest. Dizzy from the spin Paka realised he had been tricked and his meal was gone. Paka was angry that the silly hare had tricked him twice.
"Where is Popo?" a roar was heard in the village. All the animals fell silent when they realised who was asking. Topi the antelope pointed to the hut at the end of the village as all the animals scamped. Paka went in and settled himself. Today Popo will not escape me.
Singing from a successful day out Popo noticed lion's paws near the village. Lion’s never come to this village what is going on. As she got close to her house she shouted "My house how are you today?" Silence. "House I said how are you today?" Silence. Well this is strange she thought out loudly. Everyday I come home greet the house it replies what is happening today? Something must be wrong in there. Paka not wanting to be found answered "Am well, come in.” "Aha I thought it was you in there Paka. My house does not speak" and off she ran. Paka the lion gave out a frustrated roar that Popo, that hare had outsmarted him again.
From this tale we learn that not everything that appears good at first is always good. That honey cost Popo her friend and had her running from Paka the lion for the rest of her life.
This tale is adapted from a Kenyan tale about the hare and the lion.
Till next time. Shalenipo, Stay wise, Stay connected.