The Hunter of Rats

Once upon a time, there was a man who lived near a forest where many rats were. The man liked to eat rats and therefore made daily trips using sticks folding them as a half-moon. Rats felt threatened and so they decided to meet to take revenge on the man who was killing them.

‘What can we do?’, said the rats asking each other. One of them suggested to include other animals in the meeting such as snakes, bees and scorpions. Everyone agreed and they decided to invite the suggested animals. So, they left the meeting for the following day.

The next day all rats, snakes, bees and scorpions gathered under a shady tree. Some argued that the man should be killed; others argued that the man should be punished and others preferred to be in silence.

After a long discussion, they decided that the man should be punished. To do this they made a plan to catch the man. Each snake would be hidden near the hole of rats. The bees would surround the entire forest swarming over the trees. The scorpions and rats would be hidden in the grass of the forest.

Next day, the man went to the forest with his traps. He began to search the holes of rats to place his traps. ‘Aaahhh!!! Here is the hole’, cried the man while he was bending himself to put one of the traps around the hole. In less than ten seconds the man was surprised by a strong bite in one of his legs. It was the snake. The man began to cry while he was running. The bees came out to meet and bite him. Rats and scorpions left the grass and also punished the man. The man fell down and all those animals surrounded him.

Minutes later the man woke up and saw that he was surrounded by animals. ‘Forgive me please. Don’t kill me,’ cried the man. ‘Do you swear that you will not threaten us anymore?’ asked the animals showing angry faces. ‘I swear. You will not see me again here. Trust me,’ replied the man while he was crying. ‘Go away,’ ordered the animals. ‘Don’t come back here or you will die.’ The man came out of the forest with a swollen body and he never returned to hunt rats again.

Written by Anselmo Sebastião Muvale

Anselmo studied English at the Universidade Pedagógica in Maxixe, Mozambique