|The Leopard and the Baboon|
1995 – 1997
Start of Series
I am Rafiki, the baboon, as old as the hills. I wander over the African plains, going my own way, singing my own songs. But when the time is right, I am where I need to be. My time has been long, and I have many stories to tell, going back to the beginning of time...I remember them all.
Rafiki informs the audience that the baboon has always been the most clever of the creatures, despite its small stature. A long time ago, a baboon and a leopard were friends, always there to help the other out. One day, the leopard chased a hare into a hollow tree and asked her friend the baboon to watch the hare while she went to get a drink.
Upon returning to the hollow tree after a long drink, the leopard saw the hare making its escape through the savanna grass. Enraged, she pounced on her friend, who was asleep below the tree, and yelled at him for letting her catch go. With her stomach growling, she proclaimed that she would eat him instead. In a hurry, the baboon advised his friend to toss him into the air so that he would be smashed into pieces when he fell back to the earth. Thinking this a good idea, the leopard tossed him into the air, and the baboon caught hold of a tree branch.
No longer in danger, the baboon laughed at the leopard and hurled insults at her until more animals gathered round, their laughter chasing her away with her pride no longer intact. Since this incident, leopards have tried their hardest to hunt baboons to make up for their ancestor's humiliation.