On a sweltering hot day in the jungle, a day the sun prevailed and the thermostats burst, a lion perched in the shade under a coconut tree.

There, it was peaceful and serene. A breeze swung beneath his ears and he mused it was the best he had felt in years. Content and relaxed, he threw up his paws.

I’m tired and it’s hot. Who am I kidding; I can’t go hunting for hyenas today. I don’t even like hunting hyenas. It’s boring and it stopped being fun a long time ago. The hyenas just run and run until finally I sink my teeth into one and it’s over. The same thing, day in and day out.

Across town, the same thoughts subsumed the mind of a farmer. On a sweltering hot day on the farm, the sun beat down upon his back. The glass cracked from its glare.

The farmer perched in the shade under a palm nut tree. There, it was cool and refreshing. A breeze swayed the air so smoothly, he mused it was the best he had felt in years. Calm and collected, he threw up his feet.

I’m tired and it’s hot. Who am I kidding; I can’t farm today. I don’t even like farming. It’s mundane and it stopped being fun a long time ago. I just dig and plant and till and tend until finally the crops are ready to take out of the ground. The same thing, day in and day out.

In the days that passed, both the farmer and the lion abandoned their posts. And what happened next took them by surprise.

Their bellies growled and they could not satisfy them. There was no food.

The food, of course, was the hyenas and the crops. The process of obtaining the food was what they earlier denounced as unexciting, and therefore, unnecessary.

Not only were they succumbed by noisy bellies, they also grew weak and, by extension, vulnerable.

With furrowed brows, their neighbors–fellow lions and fellow farmers–grew worried.

Are you ailing, my friend?

Should we seek out a doctor?

Should we fetch those leaves from the special tree?

Oh no, that would be unnecessary. It’s not my health. I feel fine. It’s just–I’m so tired of hunting hyenas. I don’t even like hunting hyenas, that’s all.

Me? I feel great. It’s just–I’m so tired of farming. All that toiling under the hot sun. I don’t even like farming, that’s all.

To which the reply was: How are you supposed to eat if you don’t hunt hyenas?

Are you supposed to enjoy farming?

1 COMMENT

  1. A graceful story by Amara once again! It is a critique of the society we live in now – we have lost sight of life and living and of reality. Amara addresses our new-found nonchalance about taking the basic unit of life, which is to make food – farm, gather or hunt – a little more seriously! That we forget this fundamental unit of life and sustenance in a so-called ‘sophisticated society’ is foolish while at the same time we beg for aid – for food and sustenance from foreigners. This is the exact definition of madness. Our suffering stems from our ignorance and our laziness to embrace life for what it is. Now, Ghana for example, imports Pepper, Onions and Fish from China. What item don’t we import in exchange for our gold, our diamonds and all our other natural resources? We refuse to do anything but to exchange for food and other trinkets what little land/resources our ancestors fought for and died to procure. Our governments are comatose in this tiny representation of this cancer. And one has to wonder what exactly is wrong with this lion? What is wrong with this continent, this Ghana? Is the lion supposed to find joy in hunting before he goes looking for food? Should the farmer enjoy farming in order to wake up and till the land? What have we become? Are we suppose top find joy and happiness in the the day-to-day drudgery of building a better Ghana, a better continent? This is the philosophy of the story that the great heights – the food and the trinkets – obtained by great men/nations and kept, were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.

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