Here is an Oromo fable I heard today told as an example for a fair verdict:
Residents of a certain locality chase a lion to kill for an offense. Incidentally the lion comes across a sole man among them who was also out looking for the killing. The lion pleads with the man to save it in the event of the threat to its life. The man wants assurance from the lion about his safety afterwards. The lion vows it won’t kill the man. The man convinced as it were saving the lion taking own initiative. When the chasing crowd arrived, there was no trace of the lion. The man had hidden it in a sack made of hide (“qalqalloo”).
Once it was saved and the ominous chill subsided, the lion turns against the man to eat [him]. The man scared of the threat suggests that there should be a process of litigation in which verdict is served. Together they move to an assembly of animals in the wild.
The man explains the case and waits for their decision. Those present in the assembly pass judgment as saying ‘it was normal for the lion to eat the man’ so he should be eaten. Fortunately, the ape which was late for the assembly arrives and asks for explanation of the case. She was told the whole story. Having heard details, she demands for excuse as saying according to custom of her community, judgment is made while in the tree so she climbs and rests in it. While up there in the top branches she inquires the lion again as to how the man saved the lion. The lion tells her the story [hiding it in the sack].
Assured of her safety then she demanded it to show how he did it, which is hiding in the sack. The lion demonstrates. Once she was sure the lion was in the sack, she ordered the man to finish the lion. The man did it instantly using the instrument in his hand he was holding from the start for the very purpose!
There are plenty of stories like this one in the oral tradition of the Oromo society. The point is, one has to have the desired morale to stick to one’s promise and be fair to own self.
The trainer used the story as a sample of a fair verdict though the issue was disputable since it was still vengeance. (Source: CDCB training Programme; funded by the USAID; trainer Obbo Eshetu Yaadata; venue Guddina Tumsa Foundation; date 14 October 2022)