Waterhole Wednesday: A Scrub Hare (Kalulu), an African Folktale and a Craft

A Scrub Hare, an African Folktale & a Craft

We have our first pet – sort of. An adorable immature scrub hare has decided to make a home on our back porch behind our cooking gas cylinder. As scrub hares are known to be skittish this seems to be highly unusual behavior and what is even more unusual is that he doesn’t seem to mind us much.

Scrub Hare (Kalulu) - Mud Hut Mama

We have begun leaving him water, which he really seems to appreciate, and we can get to within inches of him without him running off. The littles adore him (or possibly her – I really don’t know) and have named him Kalulu which is the Chichewa word for a scrub hare. I believe kalulu is the word for scrub hare in many of the languages in this region and I know it is the same in Kikaonde spoken in northwestern Zambia. We’ve been enjoying seeing him munch on grass around the house and drink from the tiny waterhole we made to utilize the water from our air conditioner’s drip pipe.

Scrub Hare African Folktale - Mud Hut Mama

We’ve taken this opportunity to learn about the story of kalulu in the moon. In Zambia and Malawi we see kalulu in the moon rather than the man in the moon. If you look at the image below you can make out the profile of a scrub hare’s body in the moon shadows – head on the left with ears above leaning back towards the right and body underneath to the right. The story I was told in Zambia is that the scrub hare used to play naughty tricks on the other animals and so he was sent to the moon as a punishment.

Image of the Moon showing Kalulu (Scrub Hare)

Image from Wikimedia Commons

We have been showing the girls kalulu in the moon and decided to add to the story by making a craft using a white paper plate, some grey paint, an Easter bunny cookie cutter that looks a lot like a scrub hare, and some different sized circular caps.

Scrub Hare Craft Materials - Mud Hut Mama

The girls first stamped the hare onto their moon and then used the caps to make moon craters while we talked about our friend Kalulu who lives on the porch and the other naughty Kalulu who lives on the moon. The girls had great fun using the stamps and finger painting but at ages two and three art is definitely more about the process than the end result. Yes, that is the dish of paint upside down on Kook’s paper plate and she did decide to paint her face as well as her plate.

Rabbit (Kalulu) in the Moon Craft - Mud Hut Mama

I decided to make one too just so you could get an idea of what an older child’s finished product might look like.

Hare (Kalulu) in the Moon Craft - Mud Hut Mama

What is your favorite folktale?

***I had difficulties with the formating of this post and could only correct them by deleting it and reposting which means that I lost all of the lovely comments on the first post. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing from you and my sincere apologies that you are not seeing the early comments below***


About Jody Tilbury

6 Responses to “Waterhole Wednesday: A Scrub Hare (Kalulu), an African Folktale and a Craft”

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  1. Julie says:

    Loved this so much, I featured it this weeks Mom’s Library Link-Up. Hop over a grab an I was Featured on Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk button! Can’t wait to see what you have to link up this week!

    Julie @ Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk

  2. I love this! So funny that the hare is often a naughty character in folktales around the world. Great craft, and I love the pictures of the girls painting 🙂

  3. I remember you mentioning this story before in relation to the Mid-Autumn Festival in China! What a great way to teach the folktales!

  4. Elisa says:

    My girls are going to love learning about kalulu in the moon. Thanks for sharing this craft and cultural lesson.

  5. Yogamama says:

    Thank you for linking up with Say It Two Ways Thursdays at toddlefast.blogspot.com! I wish I could get a bunny like that! We got a stray cat that showed up and stayed – he lives in my house now, but no rabbits. I’d never heard of the rabbit in the moon but I think it’s easier to see than the man in the moon – someone needs to publish a picture book!


  1. […] in the midst of another culture is a great way to teach a love for and appreciation of it. Jody of Mud Hut Mama says, “We try to learn as much as we can about the culture and customs where we are living […]