Baganda Tale

“Two friends, Leopard and Hare, decided to grow some millet one day. Hare, knowing Leopard would try and take more than his fair ration, made a deal with Leopard.

‘Just plant the millet, and I will weed when it is time to weed, I will harvest when it is time to harvest, I will cook when it is time to cook, and I will prepare a meal when it becomes time to enjoy our work,” Hare offered. “All I ask in return is that I get a fair portion of the meal.’

Leopard agreed, and set about planting the millet. As months went by, Hare fulfilled all that he promised to do, and soon it was time to enjoy their meal. Hare called for Leopard, and the two sat down to eat. Once Leopard tasted the millet, he immediately wanted more. He used his great strength to overpower Hare, and ate all that had been prepared for both of them, leaving Hare with nothing to eat. This story is used to show the bad effects of trust…or, uh, not tru…of trusting someone too much.”

In my opinion, this tale exerts the idea of reality and how the strong can ultimately obtain their desires over the meek. However, the roles of Hare and Leopard are reversed from what they are in other Hare and Leopard tales. Similar to Coyote in the lore of Native Americans, Hare is versatile within the Baganda culture. Kizza writes of Hare, “…very few collections of folktales would be complete without [H]are…that survivor, ever ingenious, at times annoying, but an often loveable small creature.” [1]

[1] Kizza Immaculate N., The Oral Tradition of the Baganda of Uganda, pp. 161