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The Baboon and the Hare. “What goes around, comes around!”

Once upon a time, there was a baboon and a hare. They lived happily with their families. One day, the Hare decided to have a family party at his house. He invited Baboon and his family.

The Baboon was so excited to get the invitation. “But there is one condition,” the Hare said. “What is it?” asked the Baboon. “You have to wash your hands at the river before you come,” replied the Hare. “That is not a problem,” said the Baboon smiling.
Baboon went home happily and told his wife. They were all overly excited and looking forward to the party.

On the day of the party, Hare’s wife prepared the food. The aroma of the food could be smelt from afar. The Hare’s wife really wanted to please her guests. Meanwhile, the Hare decided to burn all the grass around his house. No one had the slightest idea of why he was burning the grass. They thought, maybe he is trying to clear the way for the guests, or he wanted to get rid of snakes, but Hare had a different plan.

The Baboon and his wife made their way to the Hare’s house. The Baboon’s wife thought she could also learn new cooking tips from her friend. They were all looking forward to a great day ahead. On their way, they had to pass through the river as they had been instructed.

When they arrived at the Hare’s place, they found the Hare waiting at the entrance as if to welcome them. They were so happy to see him, and they thought, “Oh, what a welcome!” “I knew you would come,” said Hare with a big smile, “but first, I have to check if you have washed your hands as I told you to.” “We have washed as you have asked!” they all screamed. “Let me see!” he insisted.

They all showed their hands but to their surprise, they were all covered in ashes from the burnt grass. “As you can see, your hands are all dirty, you need to go back to the river and wash them again,” said Hare. Meanwhile, Hare’s wife and kids had started enjoying the food. They seemed not to care that their guests were still outside.

Baboon and his family went back to the river grumpily. They washed their hands and came back as quickly as they could because the party had already started. When Baboon and his family returned, Hare asked to see their hands one more time.

Once again, their hands were all covered in ashes. “I cannot allow you to come in like that!” shouted Hare, “you will have to go back to the river and wash those hands!”

Though they were upset, they all made their way back to the river because they really wanted to attend the party. Walking on fours again, their hands got dirty once more. They found Hare still standing at the entrance and asking to check their hands again.

“I don’t think you really want to eat my food. You need to go wash your hands again,” he said mockingly. “It’s not worth it!” Baboon snapped, “the food is almost finished, and you expect us to come back? Never!” Disappointed and hungry, Baboon and his family left and went home. “I will surely get him one day!” muttered Baboon.

That night after dinner, Baboon’s family sat quietly thinking of the bad day they had experienced. Baboon told his wife that he was surely going to get revenge. “Time will tell,” he said.

It was now the following year and Hare had forgotten the prank he had pulled on his friend.  Baboon, however, had not forgotten, so he planned his revenge. He then visited the Hare to invite him to a birthday party
for one of his children.

Hare’s family was excited about the invitation. The children sang and danced with joy. Hare’s wife slept early so that they would wake up early to prepare for the party.

The next day they woke up early and prepared for the great day. They did not even eat breakfast as they expected to eat at the party. They left for Baboon’s place full of joy.

On arrival, they found Baboon and his family sitting in a tree. Baboon’s wife and kids were busy eating and singing merrily. Baboon knew that Hare and his family could not climb trees, yet he decided to hold
the party in a tree.

They looked up, not believing what they were seeing. How could Baboon do this to them? “Unfortunately, this is a tree house party, and you have to climb up if you are here for the party,” scoffed Baboon. Hare could not hold his anger. He lashed out at Baboon and told him how he had belittled him in front of his children. Baboon grinned and only said, “What goes around, comes around!”

Hare was so angry and ashamed of what he had done to Baboon’s family before. He told his wife and kids that they should leave. They all left with their heads hanging down with shame. (Photo: Max Pixel)

Folktale from Zimbabwe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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