THE LITTLE HARE1
A long, long way off, in a land where water is very scarce, there lived a man and his wife and several children. One day the wife said to her husband, ' I am pining to have the liver of a nyamatsane for my dinner. If you love me as much as you say you do, you will go out and hunt for a nyamatsane, and will kill it and get its liver. If not, I shall know that your love is not worth having.'
' Bake some bread,' was all her husband answered, ' then take the crust and put it in this little bag.'
The wife did as she was told, and when she had finished she said to her husband, ' The bag is all ready and quite full.'
' Very well,' said he, ' and now good-bye; I am going after the nyamatsane.'
But the nyamatsane was not so easy to find as the woman had hoped. The husband walked on and on and on without ever seeing one, and every now and then he felt so hungry that lie was obliged to eat one of the crusts of bread out of his bag. At last, when he was ready to drop from fatigue, he found himself on the edge of a great marsh, which bordered on one side the country of the nyamatsanes. But there were no more nyamatsanes here than anywhere else. They had all gone on a hunt-
1 Contes ]>opulaires des Bassoutos. TJeeueillis et traduits par E. Jacottct. Paris: Leroux, Editeur.