Hare’s Harelip

Mother Moon watched over the people of the planes. She saw their joy, their dancing, their love of and comfort in their communities, but she knew that they carried a weight in their hearts, for they feared death.

“I must comfort them,” she said to herself. “I must send them a message of hope that that they will never again be unhappy.”

She searched the night, looking for a messenger.

Owl was no help. He was hungry and the night was his time to hunt. Jackal was equally unhelpful as the hungry beggar wanted nothing but to complain of his plight. But Hare! Hare, fleet of foot, he looked like he might help.

“Hare, will you deliver a message to the people of the planes for me?” she asked.

“Yes, Mother Moon! Yes!” he cried with enthusiasm.

“Tell the people of the planes,” she said “that they need not fear death. Tell them to look to Mother Moon. For as I rise and fall, as I grow and shrink from a mighty glowing orb to the smallest sliver only to rise again, so shall they. For even though man grows from a child to a man and succumbs to old age and dies, he shall live again - just as i do.”

“Yes, Mother Moon.” Said Hare. “I shall deliver the message at once!”

Hare, fleet of foot, faster than the wind itself, went crashing through the veld in search of the people of the planes until- CRASH - he ran straight into something much larger and stronger than he. It was one of the man of the planes!

“Oh!” said Hare, a little dazed from his crash, “I’ve been looking for you. I have a message for you from Mother Moon. She says that your people are children. No… no, that’s not it. She said that your people must fear old age. No! Death! She says that you must fear death, for you will all die in your old age.”

The man hung his head in sadness and went on his way to deliver the message to his people.

Hare stared after him, still dazed. Maybe, he thought, it was the other way around. But it was too late. Teh man had disappeared into the veld on his sad mission.

“Fool!” Cried Mother Moon as she rose red and angry from behind the distant mountains. “You ruined the message! Now man shall live with a weight in his heart for he shall indeed die.”

“But, Mother, I…” began Hare. But before he could finish Mother Moon reached down and struck the little beast so hard that his lip split open.

“There. Now you shall forever be marked by a harelip as a sign that you failed in the task that I set you.” siad Mother Moon angrily. “Now go!” she cried “And set things straight.”

Once again, Hare dashed off into the veld, his cut lip searing with pain, searching for the men of the men of the planes to right his wrong.