Long, long ago…in Africa
(don’t you know, it’s always long, long ago in Africa?)
Long, long ago somewhere in Africa… When the earth and all the people and animals were new… Far into the green desert, the warthog had found an old abandoned anthill. Once, it had been the home for an enormous colony of termites but the aardwolf had eaten all the termites and left the empty mound behind.
This old mound, Warthog had turned into a roomy, comfortable lair. By digging out around the opening, he had made a spacious entryway.
Warthog was very proud of his impressive home and would stand at the entrance, nose in the air as the other animals passed by, on their way to the water hole. He was very satisfied that no other animal had as magnificent a home as he.
One day Warthog was standing in the vestibule of his burrow, as was his custom, when to his horror, he saw a huge lion coming straight toward his grand foyer. Warthog began to back away but then he realized that the splendid entrance was now so big, Lion would have no problem coming inside.
“Aiy, aiy,” moaned Warthog in terror, “Bhubesi will eat me in my own lounge! What can I do?”
But then Warthog remembered an old trick he’d heard Jackal boasting about. Could it work again? I have nothing to lose… he thought to himself.
Warthog struggled and strained as he pretended to be holding up the roof of his den with his strong back, pushing up with his tusks. “Help!” he cried to the lion, “I am going to be crushed! The roof is collapsing! Flee, oh, mighty Bhubesi, before you are crushed along with me!”
Now Lion is no fool. He knew Jackal’s old trick straightaway, and he wasn’t going to be caught out again. He roared so ferociously that Warthog dropped to his knees, quaking from fear and begged for mercy.
Warthog was lucky that day, Lion was not hungry. So he forgave the warthog and left, saying, “Stay on your knees, you foolish creature!”
As he made his way to the water, Lion laughed to himself and shook his shaggy head. Imagine, slow-witted Warthog trying to copy the wily Jackal’s hoax!
Warthog took Lion’s command to heart. So that is why, to this day, you will see Warthog feeding on his knees, in a very humiliating position, with his bottom up in the air and his snout snuffling in the dust.
Moral of the story? If you act like a servant, you will be treated like a servant.
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