Winter evenings are a magical time at Intundla especially if you are here with your colleagues as part of a conference or Team Building Event. After a productive day spent conferencing or building the team, guests can gather around the fire in one of our bomas and reflect on the day’s events. We have 2 bomas one for large groups and another for more intimate groups.
Staring into the fire surrounded by the night-time bush sounds the conservation can easily turn to traditional fireside stories, myths and legends. Storytelling is a great way to build on the interpersonal relationships of a group, giving people (especially the shy ones) a chance to talk in front of a group but in a more fun and social setting. The crackle of the fire and the low lighting of being outside lends itself perfectly to reducing the stage fright and enhancing the imagination of the audience.
Honouring this ancient practice of combining storytelling with life lessons we have found a few tales to tell that can spark a conservation, create a pause for thought or simply entertain.
The Lions Share
One day the lion, the wolf, and the fox went out hunting together. They caught a wild ass, a gazelle, and a hare. The lion spoke to the wolf, “Mr. Wolf, you may divide the venison for us today.” The wolf said, “I would have thought it best, Sire, that you should have the ass and my friend the fox should take the hare; as for me, I shall be content to take only the gazelle.” On hearing this the lion was furious. He raised his mighty paw and struck the wolf on the head. The wolf’s skull was cracked, so he died.
Whereupon the lion spoke to the fox, “Now you may try and divide our meal better. ” The fox spoke solemnly, “The ass will be your dinner, Sire, the gazelle will be your Majesty’s supper and the hare will be your breakfast for tomorrow morning.” Surprised, the lion asked him, “When did up learn so much wisdom?” the fox answered, “When I heard the wolf’s skull cracking.”
Two Roads Overcame the Hyena
A very hungry hyena went out on the Tanzanian plains to hunt for food. He came to a branch in the bush road where the two paths veered off in different directions. He saw two goats caught in the thickets at the far end of the two different paths. With his mouth watering in anticipation, he decided that his left leg would follow the left path and his right leg the right path. As the two paths continued to veer in different directions he tried to follow them both at once. Finally, he split in two.
As the well-known African proverb says: Two roads overcame the hyena
How the Monkeys Saved the Fish
The rainy season that year had been the strongest ever and the river had broken its banks. There were floods everywhere and the animals were all running up into the hills. The floods came so fast that many drowned except the lucky monkeys who used their proverbial agility to climb up into the treetops. They looked down on the surface of the water where the fish were swimming and gracefully jumping out of the water as if they were the only ones enjoying the devastating flood.
One of the monkeys saw the fish and shouted to his companion: “Look down, my friend, look at those poor creatures. They are going to drown. Do you see how they struggle in the water?” “Yes,” said the other monkey. “What a pity! Probably they were late in escaping to the hills because they seem to have no legs. How can we save them?” “I think we must do something. Let’s go close to the edge of the flood where the water is not deep enough to cover us, and we can help them to get out.”
So the monkeys did just that. They started catching the fish, but not without difficulty. One by one, they brought them out of the water and put them carefully on the dry land. After a short time, there was a pile of fish lying on the grass motionless. One of the monkeys said, “Do you see? They were tired, but now they are just sleeping and resting. Had it not been for us, my friend, all these poor people without legs would have drowned.”
The other monkey said: “They were trying to escape from us because they could not understand our good intentions. But when they wake up they will be very grateful because we have brought them salvation.”