Unusual summer

It was an unusual summer.  The days were extremely hot.  The trees were barren and their trunks were cracking from the blistering sun.  The ground was gaping like open mouths wanting a drop of precious water.  The air was dry that not even the slightest sweat would come out of one’s skin.  The rivers, the creeks, and the springs all have gone dry.  Only the stones on their beds can be seen from what used to be clear, inviting waters.

All the animals have all dropped their tasks that day and have been up and about from dawn until dusk.  They have gone here and there, and everywhere in search of even just a drop of water.  They all searched in vain, and they were alarmed.

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Something has to be done, they all agreed.  A meeting was called to discuss the issue.  All the animals came.  Grrr, Owww, Hrrum, Arrrkk, all sounds came from each one during the discussions.  Each one wanted to know where and how to get water they all need for this scorching summer.  It was getting very late and they still have not come up with a solution to their problem.  Hopeless, they were all about to go home, resigned for another day without water.

Somebody mumbled that they might as well all go to the river bed and do the water dance.  With nothing else to do anyway, rather than mope, they all figured they might as well have fun that night.  So off went the animals to the river bed, except for Stubborn Hare, who thought all the other animals have gone crazy.  Stubborn Hare went the opposite way.

The other animals dragged their feet to the river bed out of sheer exhaustion from the terrible heat and days without water.  The moment they got to the river bed they began to stomp their feet, swing their bodies, sway their heads to the beat of the drums.  They went faster and louder by the moment.  They danced until early dawn.  Before the sun would shine its hottest once more, water began to spring from the river bed.  Sparkling, cool and refreshing water once again covered the river bed.           The animals were ecstatic with joy. They drank and bathed to their heart’s content.

When Stubborn Hare heard, he was just as joyful.  He knew that he will have some of the water for himself, too.  That night he slyly crept to the river to drink and bathe.  He was happy and refreshed.

The other animals knew what Stubborn Hare did from the footprints by the bank.  They were so mad that they agreed to punish him.  Initially, they did not know how to catch him.  Turtle Slow volunteered to do the part!  The other animals were all in agreement that he was the last person who could ever do that.  Turtle Slow explained that if they were to rub his back with beeswax, he would lay by the bank and pretend to be a stone.  Stubborn Hare would step on him and get stuck.  The animals understood and they all agreed to try Turtle Slow’s bright idea.

Turtle Slow inched his way to the bank.  In no time, Stubborn Hare came for his drink and bath.  True enough he stepped on Turtle Slow and all his  four paws stuck on the turtle’s shell.  Turtle Slow inched his way back to the other animals with his captive.

Stubborn Hare was to be tried for not joining the rain dance and for using the water from that dance.  Stubborn Hare’s last request was that he be given a decent death by not bashing his head on stone.  All the other animals instead agreed that his head be bashed on stone.  The task of bashing the hare’s head was to be for the high and mighty, Strong Lion.

Strong Lion dashed forward, grabbed Stubborn Hare by the tail.  With all his might and strength Strong Lion swung the Stubborn Hare, around and around, stronger and faster, higher and longer.  At the right moment, Strong Lion unleashed the fury of all that he has.  At that precise second Stubborn Hare went up, up and away.  Free at last was Stubborn Hare and all that has been left on Strong Lion’s grip was a tiny patch of skin and hare’s hair stuck on the bees wax.