This is a retelling of a famous Sudanese folktale from northern Sudan. The three characters were much maligned in the past due their prey on livestock. Hunted down as “vermin”, the only place that most of us can see them today is behind bars at the zoo in Khartoum North.
The Lion, the Hyena and the Fox.
There was once a lion, a hyena and a fox who agreed to go hunting together. The hunt was a great success and within no time at all they had killed a donkey, a gazelle and a hare. The three hunters dragged their prey to a shady spot under a tree. By now, their stomachs had begun to rumble with hunger and their eyes grew wide with the thought of the feast before them.
“Hyena, I would like you to divide up our kill among us,” announced the lion flicking his tail.
The hyena thought for a moment before replying, “The donkey is for you, I will eat the gazelle and the the fox can have the hare.”
No sooner were words out of the hyena’s mouth than the lion flew into a terrible rage. He leapt up and knocked down the hyena with one swipe of his powerful paw. She gave a great yelp and was dead within an instant.
The lion then turned to the fox and said, “This treacherous hyena did not know how to divide the food fairly. You should divide it between us.”
The fox replied without a moment’s hesitation, “The donkey is for your breakfast, the gazelle is for your lunch and the hare is for your supper.”
Upon hearing this, the lion roared with laughter and said to the fox, “You are a fair divider. How did you learn such wisdom?”
The fox, who was already scampering away, looked over his shoulder and replied, “I learned this wisdom from the death of the hyena!”