During a visit to the Chamarel coloured earths I saw this very dirty water pool in which a tortoise was peacefully sitting.
It reminded me of a story my mum used to tell us when we were kids which I really loved. She herself, was told the story from her maidservant in the very colourful and visual creole. Today, my mum tells this story to her grand-children, much to their delight!
As it is a very old Mauritian tale, I thought I’d tell the story here of the hare, the tortoise and the king’s pond.
“It is the story of a king in the island of Mauritius who had a big pond in which he bathed every morning. One morning he arrived at his pond and it was dirty. He scolded his watchman and threatened him, but every morning the pond was still dirty. A hare was actually coming every evening to swim in the pond. When he finished swimming, he took a big stick and stirred the mud to make it dirty. The king finding his pond dirty one more morning jumped on his watchman in anger hitting him with a stick. The watchman ran off never to be seen again. The king announced that he needed a new guard for his pond, but if the guard failed to keep watch, he would have his head cut off. Nobody wanted the job. Until some days later, a tortoise came for the position, who was very sure to be able to guard the pool. The king, quite skeptical, gave him the job. The tortoise had his shell covered in tar and went to the king’s pond to keep watch. When the hare arrived that evening, he was very surprised and suspicious of this new item by the pond. After inspection though, he calmed his fears and decided it was a rock nicely put here by the king. He sat on it to get undressed and got stuck. The tortoise slowly came back to the king with the culprit on his back and the poor hare had his head cut off!”
Links to the complete stories:
English version: The hare, the tortoise and the king’s pond
French version: Le lièvre et la tortue au bord du bassin du roi
Creole version (Recommended!!!): Ièv ek tourtie dans bord bassin léroi
Tell us if you knew this story. Did you enjoy revisiting it? Do you know any other Mauritan tales? Leave a comment below or share with us on our Facebook page.