An Alternate Eagles Exclusive (In other words Matabele won't survive this going up at ME or OEE!) Hoppa the Hyena ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Âœ An African parable: Buzu discovered Hoppa the hyena one day when walking the goats home. HoppaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s mother had been too close to the paw of lion. Feeling sorry for the hungry pup, Buzu took Hoppa home to the village. HoppaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s arrival caused much consternation and comment. A council was called and the wise men sat in a circle, smoked their pipes and considered the problem. Eventually Chief Arku called for Buzu and spoke thus: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Buzu, it is a thing of little wisdom to bring a thing of the wild into the home of the tameÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?. However, Buzu argued the case for his puppy and the village chiefs reluctantly agreed to let Hoppa stay. Immediately Hoppa began to cause the village much sorrow. There were many other dogs in the village and Hoppa became the bully of the other pups. No other pup could get near to Hoppa without a bite on the ear or a swipe of the paw. As Hoppa grew taller and stronger he began to turn his attention to the people of the village. Many of the women of the village grew wary as they walked from the river balancing a bucket of water on their head for Hoppa grew fond of biting their bottoms as they walked past. Most days there would be a loud screech, the crash of metal and splash of water and then yelping as Hoppa was punished with a stick. The stick was of little use. Again the leaders met and called Buzu to them. Arku sucked on his pipe and spat into the dirt. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Truly Buzu, you have bought much distress into our lives. This Hoppa is a thing of the wild and can never be made tame. It is better to put him in the wild from where he came.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? Buzu cried and pleaded with the men of the village until they relented and allowed Hoppa one last chance. But the last chance grew to two, and then many more as Hoppa continued his wild ways. The men of the village grew to hate Hoppa and sneered at him as he strutted past. The herd boys would throw rocks whilst Hoppa would growl and bark at everyone that he saw. The town bard Medui would make up songs ridiculing the dog and the people listened to his stories each night at the camp fire, hugging themselves with mirth and all the while growing in their hate for the dog that caused so much trouble. All this time Hoppa grew bigger and stronger. He was now the biggest dog in the village and his jaws were capable of cracking through the biggest bone. It was at this time that he met Red, the pride of the village. Red was a dog as old as Africa itself. He was named for his deep red coat and the ridge that ran down the middle of his back was close to ochre in colour. He was gentle but firm with the goats, the livelihood of the village and protected them from their attackers. He was father of many pups in the village and the people loved him. Hoppa observed Red walking past with regal pose and was overwhelmed with the instinctive hatred of the hyena. Now full grown and powerful, Hoppa furiously launched himself at Red, his instincts overriding every social grace and custom of the village. Hoppa collided with Red, his shoulder crashing into the side of RedÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s face and his powerful jaws slashing at his throat. Red was so surprised and overcome that he meekly fell to the dirt. HoppaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s teeth quickly severed the throat of the other dog. RedÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s arterial blood, as dark as the colour of his coat, pumped into the dirt and congealed, a swarm of flies quickly descending. And it was Medui who found Red and saw Hoppa crouched in the dirt nearby, a gleam in his eye and a victorious smirk twisting his grotesque jaws. And Medui set upon Hoppa with his knobkerrie, caving in his skull with one savage hit. By now the people of the village had arrived and they too set upon the hyena, beating at his body until it was ground into the dirt and nothing was left. And the question of this parable is - who is to blame for the death of Red? Is it the wild Hoppa? Or the people of the village who tolerated his behaviour and celebrated the funny songs of Medui?