Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture

If you like honey, fear not the bees. -African Proverb

Monday, April 27, 2015

Why Hyenas Have Hind Legs Shorter Than Their Front African Folktale

Hyenas have hind legs shorter than their front legs, this popular Zulu African Folktale explains what happened to Hyenas legs.


Wolf and Hyena were together when a white cloud floated by high in the sky. Wolf jumped up, landed upon it, and ate of the cloud as if it were fresh meat.

Why Hyenas Have Hind Legs Shorter Than Their Front African Folktale photo by danheap77When wolf had his fill of the white cloud, he said to Hyena, "My cousin, I am ready to come down, if you catch me I will bring you a piece of the cloud for you to taste!" 

So Hyena caught him, and broke his fall. The cloud wolf gave her was so delicious she wanted more; she jumped up on top of a white cloud and ate until she was full. 

She told wolf, “Catch me and I’ll bring a piece of cloud for us to eat later as a snack my wolf cousin, now catch me as well." The scoundrel wolf said to hyena, "My cousin trust me, I will catch you, jump down now!"

Wolf held up his hands, and hyena jumped down from the cloud, and when she was near, Wolf started jumping around yelling, "My cousin, do not be mad at me. Ouch! Help! A thorn has pricked my foot and is hurting me!" 

As a result, hyena fell down from the white cloud above, and landed with her two back legs on the ground. Since that day, Hyenas have hind legs are shorter than their front legs.

Share this page

Trending Now

Did you know?

The eye never forgets what the heart has seen - African Proverb

A tree without roots cannot survive the wind

A tree without roots cannot survive the wind
African Proverb