How the hyena got its laugh

Nugget had never seen anything like it before


How the hyena got its laugh
by Jina Falahati

Some of the stories written by my 10-year-old daughter, Jina, have been published in the British magazine for kids, Aquila. -- Mehdi Falahati

In the largest and most famous pack of hyenas in South Africa, lived over 90 dull, dangerous aggressive spotted hyenas…OK, maybe they weren’t so famous, and there wasn’t so many of them, but one thing is true though, and that is, that this story is very ancient, and that is exactly why you should hear it now, before it is lost in the mist of time.

Now among them lived a playful and happy baby hyena. Now be prepared for a shock. These hyenas did not have a laugh, they never even imagined having one. But one day, as the pack was relaxing by the river, and the baby hyena was playing along, the strangest creature fluttered past him.  

Nugget had never seen anything like it before. It had two wings, it was about 3 cm long and all colourful. Can you guess what it was? Nugget followed the butterfly, forgetting completely about the rest of the pack, around the lake, just where he could see his parents. (So he had not gone far) when he stopped, to his amazement the butterfly landed right on top of his nose. He sniffed and then sneezed. The butterfly ‘s little legs tickled him. He had no way of showing his emotions to himself apart from a strange and awkward noise through his nose. It made the butterfly jump off. So, he followed it back all the way around the other side of the water to his pack. His mother the alfa-female was not even tempted to ask where her son had been. Neither was his father, the alfa male. Mind you, no one saw him, anyway, following that insect around. Nugget went round tapping all the other hyenas for attention. When he got back, he showed them the strange creature he had discovered.

Once more, it landed right on top of Nugget’s nose. Nugget gave the hyena’s first giggle. But this time, unlike when he was on the other side of the lake, the giggle did not stay a giggle. It grew into a chuckle, and then a hesitation, and then a laugh, and what a laugh it was, the loudest any one has ever heard in the world’s history, or even in any ones loudest nightmares.

When Nugget had dried his eyes, and came back from his own laughing planet, he, and all the other hyenas, realised that the butterfly had gone. That however, did not matter the least bit to them. The LAUGH had been discovered.

After a week or two, all hyenas were doing it. It had sort of even become a fashion from then on. Now they are all laughing, so it has finally become a tradition.  



Har bejy Jina

by Jinalina (not verified) on

My sweet Jina
Now you know why I love Charlies nose so much! and why it reminds me of your everytime. That is why when butterfly's little legs tickled Nugget,s nose the strange noise, the laugh came out of his nose?
And you know what? you have the most beautiful nose and eyes in the world. Your face resembles the most stunning butterfly and brings love and laughter to my heart each time I look at it.
I am very proud of you.


fascinating creatures

by Mir Ahamd Fakhraie (not verified) on

Readers not only learn an enormous amount about these fascinating creatures but they are also challenged to try to figure out photograph puzzles and much more. The result is a truly interactive experience which is both fun and educational.


You are a great writer

by Mehdi K (not verified) on

And will be! I liked the story very much.


Jina Jan you're the best

by Amou Ahmad (not verified) on

Please never leave the laughing planet


That was a cute story Gina !

by samsam1111 on

 Nugget  is a good name for her.I am 10 too.Guess 10 year olds are cool writers.take care



Ari Siletz

More stories please

by Ari Siletz on

Hi Jina,

Now that you told us a story about how the hyena got its laugh, I'm curios to know how the giraffe got its long neck, and why the hippopotamus is so fat. Would you write stories about those please?


Wonderful Story

by Feshangi on

Dear Jina, you are a great storyteller with a great imagination. I hope you will tell us more stories.  



Bravo Jina!

by farrad02 on

Keep writing! 

Azarin Sadegh

Beautiful story!

by Azarin Sadegh on

Dear Jina,

Such a lovely story! I am amazed by your imagination. Great job and keep on writing...You're a natural writer!

Actually, I had heard that the origin of laughter was the fear, but now...I prefer to change my mind :)


Mona 19

Dear Jina , May Success shine on You always :)

by Mona 19 on


Follow your dreams and reach out for the stars....Keep up the GREAT work Jina Jan ...Hezaran afarin bar shoma ;)

P.S.You're not only Beautiful but also a very Talented Girl.



Niki Tehranchi

A wonderful story

by Niki Tehranchi on

just like the last one. I love discovering the world (and other planets) through your eyes.


Laughing planet!

by Anonymouse on

I laugh but not a as much some people I know on a daily basis.  "Laughing planet" sounds like a good basis and a good new catch phrase!

Thanks Jina, I'm going to have to remember the "laughing planet" for the next encounter!

Nazy Kaviani

Jina's Galaxy

by Nazy Kaviani on

Aaaahhh, Jina Jan, you beautiful child of Iran!

This was really, really good! Truth be told, I never wondered much about where the hyena’s laughter came from, but your described image of a “laughing planet” was so sweet and convincing! I think I visit the laughing planet routinely myself, but I didn’t know its name, so I couldn’t explain to everyone else why I was laughing so much! Now I know and my friends will just have to believe me when I show them your story. Thank you! Please keep on writing, growing, shining, and sparkling as only Jina can.