A long time ago, according to the myth, there lived two animals that were very good friends; wherever they went they were never separated. If the lion stalked an animal, the myth says the rabbit would frighten it towards the lion for an easy prey.
When the lion had caught the prey, the rabbit in turn, says the myth, searched for the best grass and dug for wild tubers beside the eating lion, making the lion an insurance for safety. Nobody could touch the rabbit while it enjoyed munching food without any care in the world, the myth adds. It was an almost perfect partnership.
One day, the myth says, an animal disease plagued the forest. Almost all of the animals died save the crocodiles. The myth says that saddened by the tragedy, the lion and the rabbit were in mourning. But gradually, the lion looked hungrily at the rabbit and began seeing the rabbit in a different light. This prompted the rabbit to doubt the lion and fearfully withdrew to the river, the myth adds.
“I think I need some fresh air. I’ll take a walk over there,” the rabbit said, pretending not to notice the ravenous look of the lion. The myth says that the lion in turn said,”Okay, go ahead.” But the lion followed the rabbit. According to the myth, the lion suddenly announced to the rabbit, “Good idea. Rest, for tomorrow I will eat you.”
That night, according to the myth, the rabbit pretended to be dead near a river infested by crocodiles. At dawn, the lion checked the rabbit. Seeing the rabbit dead—mouth rotten and filled with flies—the lion left the river dispirited, the myth says. When the lion had gone, the rabbit hastily asked a crocodile, “How many are you?” The myth says the crocodile answered, “Many.” The rabbit shook his head. “I don’t believe unless you all fall in line. That way I can count you all one by one as I jump over your backs till I get to the other side of the river.”
According to the myth, the crocodiles agreed and the rabbit reached the other side of the river safely. The rabbit lived but the lion eventually died of starvation, the myth concludes.
Some friendships can easily be destroyed by selfish and predatory interests, and as such, this myth shows that it’s best to get out of such relationship as early and as safely as possible.