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The Hunter's Bargain

Published January 6, 2018
Countries: None
Age Levels: 8 and up

Simba, the lion, watched Gatunga, the hunter, as the hunter walked out to check his traps.  Usually Simba paid very little attention to the hunter because the lion had a full stomach.  But this time, the hunter had caught an antelope, and Simba had caught nothing. 

"Jambo, great hunter," said Simba.  "What a fine catch we will share today."

"My family will enjoy the meat I have caught," said Gatunga.  "But where is your kill?"

"We are sharing your antelope," growled Simba.

"But you are the greatest hunter.  You can catch your own dinner.  You should not be begging for my meal."

"I am not begging.  I am demanding," said Simba.  "I have had bad luck.  You will share your meat with me or I will eat you and the antelope too.  Your children will be forever hungry without a father to hunt for them."

"Let's make a deal," said the hunter.  "I will give you the heart an the liver and the inside parts of the antelope without fighting you.  But you must let me take the rest of the meat home to my family."

Simba was hungry and tired after hunting for a long time.  He did not want to fight for his meal.   "That is better," said Simba.  "But because you defied me, you will share every meal with me from now on.  You will give me the insides of everything you catch from now on.  I will be watching your traps.  Do not try to cheat me, or I will eat you and whatever you catch."

Gatunga quickly agreed and gave the lion the insides of the antelope to eat and quickly went home.  At home, Gatunga's wife began to prepare the antelope to feed their family.  She opened the animal and was disappointed to not find the heart and the liver.  They were her favorite parts to eat.   "Where are the heart and liver?" she asked.

"I must have dropped them on the way home," said her hunter husband,  He had not wanted t tell her about the lion and cause her to be afraid.  This started something new.  Every animal Gatunga brought home was missing its heart and liver. 

The hunter's wife grew curious and suspicious.  "My husband is hiding something from me," she thought.  "The insides of all the animals he catches do not just disappear.  I am going to see what is happening."  She left the children with her mother and left home to travel to the area where her husband hunted.  She thought she heard something and stepped behind a bush to hide.  Just then she tripped and fell into one of her husband's animal traps.  Her foot was caught, and she was caught like an animal.

Just then, Simba came by to check the trap.  "So, something new is on the menu tonight," said the lion.

"What do you mean?" asked the Hunter's wife.  "Help me get free from this trap."

"Oh no," said Simba.  "I will wait for your husband so I can get my share.  He gives me the inside parts of every animal he catches."

"Now I know where all my hearts and livers have gone," she said.

"That's right," said Simba, "And I will eat well today also,"

Just then Gatunga arrived to check his traps.  "What is going on?" He asked.  "Why are you caught in the trap?"

"I came to find out why all the animals were missing their insides," she said.

"Now that you know I will release you," said Gatunga.

"Not yet," growled Simba.  "Cut out her heart and liver for me!  Remember our bargain.  I get the insides of everything you catch."

"Not this time!" shouted the hunter.  "This is the woman I love and the mother of my children.  He stood with his spear facing the lion who bared his teeth.

"A bargain is a bargain," said Simba.  The two were about to clash. 

Just then a hare jumped out of the tall grass.  "What is going on?" asked the hare.  Why are you about to fight over the hunter's wife?  What is the argument about?"

"The lion wants to eat my wife," said the hunter as he cut the rope holding his wife's leg. As he talked, the wind blew loudly.

"A bargain is a bargain," shouted the lion over the sound of the wind.

"I cannot hear either of you," said the hare.  "Come with me into the cave over there," he said pointing.  "Then we can talk."

Simba, the hunter, and his wife walked with the hare into the cave.  There the lion and hunter stated their positions and faced off once more to fight.  "I see," said the hare.  "Gatunga is breaking his bargain with you.  But, it is a bad bargain that you forced upon him."  As the hare talked, the wind made a terrible howling sound and blew dirt all around the cave.  "Quick, Simba, the roof of the cave is falling in.  Hold it up with your paws and powerful head.  Gatunga, you and your wife run into the woods and find sticks to hold up the roof."  He winked at the hunter as he talked then ran out of the cave.

The hunter and his wife ran out of the cave to their home in the village.  The hare ran away laughing how he had fooled the lion.  The lion stood holding up the roof of the cave until he realized it was not falling.  His own greed had caused the hunter to break his bargain with the lion.   Simba would have to do his own hunting from that day on.