We all know Aesop's tale of how the tiny mouse saved the mighty lion by gnawing him free from a trapper's rope. But stories of the king of the beasts abound in African folklore, but rather than illustrating a moral point this one simply explains how the lion's more fearsome feature - his roar - was acquired.
The lion is a proud beast but according to folklore did not always have his fearsome roar. This was in fact very dangerous to the other animals, as they could not hear where the lions were and, as most were potential dinners, get as far away as possible.
But - as in many African tales - the cunning hare was the creature who came to all their aid. One day he came up with a plan to make the lion's gentle voice as deep as thunder. He gingerly woke the lion in his morning nap.
"Come quickly," said the sneaky hare, "your brother is hurt and needs you!"
The lion got up at once. The scampering hare led him around a merry dance across the plains, until the lion was exhausted and fell asleep once more. The hare then, working with a songbird, stole some honey from a hive of bees. He covered the lion's face and throat in the sticky stuff, then made himself scarce. Sure enough, the bees went looking for the beast who has stolen their nectar and finding the lion covered, took their revenge.
As he was stung more and more by the swarm of bees the lion's cries became deeper and deeper, until his voice did indeed sound as deep as thunder. And that is how the lion got his roar.
Daniel's Lion design is available as a greetings card or art print
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With the exception of artists, inventors, and teenagers - we humans are diurnal daytime creatures on the whole, and although it’s one thing to be out and about during the night in a street lit urban environment, it’s a very different scenario if you find yourself in, say… oh, I don’t know, a forest per se. Where, if you’re lucky, you may hear the unmistakable cry or hoot of an Owl: natures very own nocturne, a stark reminder of the unknown peril of night, and a creature that has featured heavily in myth and folklore throughout the ages.