I first heard this story from this master story teller Jan Spies.
In Afrikaans folklore he is revered for his story telling abilities.
Hans the Cheetah.
Hans was adopted when he was just a small cub after his mother was killed and Oom Jakop found him in the veld.
Hans grew up in and around the house on Jakop's farm.
He played with the children and he soon learned that the domestic animals was out of bounds.
Jakop's neighbours warned him that this was still a wild animal and that he, Jakob, would still come to grief about this.
Jakop shrugged and said "You know that I always thought the same but now that I have raised one from very young I understand him so much better. He never learned to hunt and his food has always come from Bettie, my wife"
So life went on and Hans grew to a respectable size and still no problems.
As Jakob said "The only problem is that he lies around the house and if you are not careful you trip over die bliksem."
So Hans continued to have free reign on the farm. Some of the farmers actually came round and started to agree with Jakob. Hans accompanied Jakop around the farm on his pick-up.
Jakop and Bettie went and did some shopping and stayed over in town for a couple of days. During the trip back from town Jakop stopped to open one of the gates and he saw Hans right on the side of the road stalking some sheep that was grazing in the veld.
Jakops rage knew no bounds. He returned quietly to the car to get his gun and realised that he had left it at his brother to take to the gunsmith for some maintenance.
He grabbed a Seekoei Sjambok (hippo-hide short whip) from behind the seat and slowly walked after the intensely stalking Hans.
He was a bit surprised as he actually got within striking distance.
Jakop let loose with all the pent up fury of a man betrayed and hit all hell out of the cheetah which finally escaped at a fast run.
Still fuming and ready to kill he raced home to get another gun.
As he ran into the house he fell flat on his face after tripping over a lounging Hans.
As he looked back to see what he had tripped over, realization of what he did dawned and he fainted into a dead faint.
Bettie says that it took two buckets of water and three brandies and coke to revive the poor man.
I guess they all look alike! Great story.
LeeAnn 02.26.07 - 6:57 pm #