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Tshilembi and the Rat

At the edge of the forest there lived a hunter named Tshilembi. He lived alone except for his dog. Tshilembi made a good living by hunting. With his dog, bow, and arrows, he hunted for game every day to sell in the village marketplace. The villagers had been hungry for guinea birds, so Tshilembi went hunting for them. The day was hot. He knew that the guineas would stay in the shade of the forest, and so he took a path deep into the forest to find them. His dog ran around in the forest itself to look for the birds. Tshilembi stayed on the path. When the morning was nearly over, he rounded a turn in the path and found his way blocked by an army of driver ants. They were dragging and carrying a small rat which they had caught. The rat was still alive, looking miserable as the ants bit its head and legs while keeping a tight hold on its long tail. The rat saw Tshilembi and cried out, "Save me, O Great Hunter! These ants will tear me into pieces and eat me." Tshilembi did not care much for rats. He had no wish to be bitten by so many ants just to save a rat, either. He stepped off the path to go around the ants. He saw the ants' hill nearby. Behind him he heard the rat crying more loudly than ever, "Save me, Mighty Hunter! Or I shall be dragged into the hill and eaten alive!" Tshilembi was a kind man. Seeing the rat had no other way to escape the grip of the ants, he scooped up the rat and brushed off the ants while ignoring their stings. Then he gently set the rat down in the ...
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