The Lion and the Sugarcane farm: A story told by Basilius Saprapason (Tanzania)

Once upon a time, the Lion owned a very big sugarcane farm, and it was a season of draught. So, all the animals were relying on the farm of the Lion, and they always went there to ask for sugarcane. The Lion gave them permission, but he didn’t allow them to suck the sugarcane there, so he chased away many animals that sucked.

One day, the Hare and his family, his wife and four children came to ask for sugarcane, and they were given. The one who started to eat was father Hare, and since he just wanted to suck, he said to the Lion: “Isn’t it so that you, the Lion, forbid all the animals very much to suck these things?” The Lion said: “Yes, it is so”, and the Hare-father started to do just that. Mother Hare was the next and she said: “Isn’t it so that the Lion forbids all animals that come here to suck the canes?” Again, the Lion said: “Yes, it is so” overlooking the fact that she was also sucking. The oldest child then said: “Even myself, if I suck the cane like this” – and he was doing it – “will you chase me away?” The Lion answered: “Indeed I will.”

Another child of the Hare family then said: “Even the Elephant and the Buffalo were prohibited to suck?” (Meanwhile the child was sucking). Provoked like that, the Lion answered once again: “It is so.” The third child then said: “But me, I am wondering! Even a rat  is not allowed to do this?” (And he was doing it). The fourth child said: “I am thinking that we all are not allowed to do this” (and he was also doing it).

The whole family, each of them, one by one, was sucking sugarcane on the Lion’s farm, without interference by the Lion, until there were only a few canes left. When the Lion became aware of that, he asked them: “Why have you finished all my sugarcane?” Then he was chasing them away, but they went away happily, since they were already satisfied, and they had left the Lion with very little sugarcane on his farm.

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