Why Warthogs Eat on Their Knees

When Aardvark moved out of his home in an old termite mound, Warthog decided this would be the perfect place for his burrow. He spent several days refurbishing his new home until it was exactly the way he’d imagined it would be when he was a young warthog. Finally, after widening the entrance he moved in.

Warthog was extremely proud of his fine burrow and could not resist showing it off to the other animals. Every morning he would stand at his wide, elaborate doorway, hoping the other animals would admire his home as they walked past him on their way to the waterhole.


“No one else has a house as fine as mine,” he thought, raising his snout in the air with great pride.

One morning, while watching the procession of animals to the waterhole, he realised a huge lion was watching him thoughtfully, his yellow eyes fixed on Warthog.


Suddenly Lion stood up, and began walking toward him. There was no escape! Warthog had made the entrance to his home so big that Lion would be able to follow him into the burrow and eat him right inside his house! And everyone knew that warthog was Lion’s favourite meal.

In the middle of his desperation he remembered a story Jackal once told him about how he had escaped from a hungry lion.  He reversed into his burrow, and stood with his back against the roof.

“Help me, Lion!” He cried out. “My roof is caving in and I am going to be crushed! Save yourself, and run away before it’s too late!”

Lion sighed. He’d heard this before. He remembered chasing the cunning Jackal into his den, and running away to save himself from certain death when Jackal claimed his home was collapsing. He was not going to fall for the same trick twice.

“Warthog, you are a fool!” Lion roared so loudly that Warthog fell to his knees in terror.


“Please don’t eat me, Lion,” Warthog begged, trembling as tears ran down his face.

Lion burst out laughing.

“You are fortunate that I am not hungry today, Warthog. I am impressed that despite your pride and your fear you tried to stand up to me. But I cannot believe you used Jackal’s trick! Stay on your knees, your foolish creature!”

Lion walked away, his magnificent mane shaking as he laughed.

Mortified, Warthog obeyed Lion’s order – after all, Lion is the King of the Beasts.


Even today, Warthog feeds on his knees, his snout in the grass and dust and his bottom in the air.

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