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The Old Man & the Hyena

Storytelling time

By Lee KaranjaPublished 3 months ago 5 min read

I happened to visit the zoo once when I was a kid with my grandpa and, was very excited at the thought of getting close to wild animals that I had only seen on television. I didn’t realize how huge the elephant was and just stood there, mouth open agape staring at its trunk and the two enormous tusks. Curious as any other kid I wanted to see everything all at once and kept yanking my grandpa’s hand moving into every direction I saw a cage. I had stuffed some green peas in my pocket to feed the animals and whenever no one was looking, I threw some to the lions coz my mum always told me to eat my veggies if I ever wanted to be as strong as a lion. The giraffe and zebra were surprisingly beautiful with their prints perfectly placed against each other making a gorgeous pattern, unlike my art project where the lines on the zebra ran front to back just like I had seen a zebra crossing and, my art teacher could hardly hold his laughter and had to step outside the class to gain his composure. We had almost viewed the entire zoo, when we came across the spotted hyena. Well, it was a funny looking animal and confusing at the same time; its legs didn’t match and spotted all over with no particular pattern. I asked grandpa about the hyena and he told me the following story.

Once upon a time in a distant land called the Savannah, there was a wicked and cruel king that ruled the kingdom and its name was Hyena. It showed no mercy and worked man and animals alike without rest and when they became sick and weary, they were banished out to the forest. The king grew older and became very lonely so much that nothing pleased him anymore. Its servant squirrels were worried and had to find a way to make him happy. They searched far and wide looking for someone who could cure the king out of his strange loneliness and the monkey said it had the cure. It performed lots of tricks and acrobats but the king was not amused and all the monkeys were banished to the forest. The chameleon was next and it showcased its fabulous colors but the king was quickly bored and all the chameleons were banished to the forest. The peacock was next and before it could spread its beautiful feathers the king was hungry and ordered it for lunch. By now, none of the animals in his kingdom were willing to entertain or find a cure for the king, all afraid of his cruel nature and being banished to the forest.

One day, a squirrel was brave enough and travelled by night to the distant forest and gave word of what was happening with the king. All the forest animals thought it was a good chance for redemption and they could probably be welcomed back into the kingdom. The question was who would cure the king, after all the bad things that befell those who failed. There was a wise and frail old man full of wisdom who said he could cure the king, and even better, it was an instant cure. So they planned for the travel and the old man was carried on the elephants back accompanied by all the forest animals. The guards at the watch tower spotted the animals approaching and raised the alarm thinking it was an attack for, the forest animals were plenty in numbers. They sent out a messenger and the dove flew with the good news that they had a cure for the kings’ loneliness and, the gates flew open with the kingdom highly anticipating to seeing the miraculous cure that could heal the king instantly.

The frail old man stood in front of the king supporting himself with a cane in one hand, while, everyone gathered around in numbers never seen before, anxiously awaiting, for the wise man to pour out years of wisdom and cure the king, yet all so silent you could hear a pin drop. The king sat on the throne an amused, getting aggravated by the minute at the growing crowd. So the old man lifted up one hand motioning to the crowd to stand still as he commenced with the healing process. He lifted one foot up and stomped the ground with a weak thud, lifted the other and did the same, by now the crowd was dead silent and motionless, only the eyes moved up and down as the wise man prepared to heal the Hyena. He lifted his right foot up and set it to the ground softly then, bent his back and knees as if to squat. He then let out the loudest fart ever heard in the forest that the king fell from the throne while some animals fainted in disbelief, they were still processing what had happened when the old man ripped out another one that sounded like a bee and the king lay on the floor laughing hysterically his eyes watering up. His laughter was so contagious that all the animals broke with laughter begging the old man to stop while he made all sorts of sound. To this day, you can still hear the hyena laughing every time it remembers the old man. Laughter is indeed the best medicine.


About the Creator

Lee Karanja

Curator of stories & articles that transport you to extraordinary places.

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