In Ankole, the hare (wakame) was considered the wisest of animals and the title is how the hare married a Princess. Now figuratively,it can’t make sense but read on dear reader. This tale is adapted from the book, Nile English Course
- Once upon a time, there lived a king who had a lovely daughter. He loved her so much that he did not let any man marry her. He said to every man who came to ask to marry her, ‘if you can drink a pot of boiling water, I’ll let you marry my lovely daughter.’
- It was a hard thing for anybody to drink hot water, he would die. But because the King’s daughter was very beautiful, many men came to ask the king to let them marry her. Every man would have liked to marry the daughter, but no one was able to drink the hot water.
- One day, Mr. Hare came to the king. He was told that if he wanted to marry the lovely daughter, he had to drink a pot of boiling water. Hare asked, “is that all I have to do to marry the lovely daughter ? It’s very easy! His friends asked, “Can you drink hot water, Hare? Can you do it ? Won’t you die ? If you drink boiling water, you will die.” The Hare said to them, “Wait and you’ll see.”
- The next day, Mr. Hare went to the King’s house again. He said he wanted to speak to the King. When the king came, Mr. Hare said, “I want to marry your daughter. I’m ready to do anything you tell me to. I can drink the boiling water.”
- The King answered, “I’ll make a bargain with you. If you can drink a pot of boiling water, then I shall let you marry my daughter.” Mr. Hare asked the King to let his parents, brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, and all his cousins and neighbours be present as he drank the hot water. The King agreed.
- The following morning all Mr. Hare’s relatives and friends came to the king’s house. The drums were beaten und the king appeared. He told his servants to bring hot water. Mr. Hare bowed in front of the king He held the pot of hot water and went round. He said, “My friends, it is good for you to come here to see me drink this. Here is the hot water. Look at it. I’m going to drink it so that I may marry the lovely daughter.
- Everybody who looked at the hot water thought Mr. Hare would die Mr. Hare’s mother and his sisters cried. For twenty-five minutes he went round showing everybody the hot water. Finally, he stood in the middle of the people He drank the water without taking the pot from his lips. When it was empty. he held it up, and bowed to the king
- “My lord,” Mr. Hare said, “I’ve done what you asked me to do. Now, may I ask you to let me marry your lovely daughter?” The king was not happy, but he had to keep his side of the bargain. The daughter was brought. The King joined her hand with Mr. Hare’s. The drums were sounded again. A lot of food was prepared for the big day.
I did number the story in particular to bring out the significance because stories were not told in such a way of a long wordy story.In the oral storytelling, each part of the story had significance. The trick is that by the time Hare finished showing the pot around,he was literally buying time thereby the water cooling down and taking it finally. The hare was always portrayed as the wisest animal. Please comment,in your country, what animal tales did you have. It’s absurd that our children glorify “spiderman” when we have better tales.