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The Rat and the Bat

A rat made friends with a bat
And they always fed together
But then the bat was jealous of the rat
When the bat cooked the food
It was always very good
And the bush rat will always ask
“How is it that when you make soup
It is so tasty?”
The bat will always hide in one excuse
Finding a way to do harm to his friend
But one day the bat decided to trick the rat
So when the rat asked after the soup
The bat replied, “I always boil
Myself in the water, and my flesh
Is so sweet, that the soup is good.”
He then told the bush rat that he
Would show him how it was done;
So he got a pot of warm water,
Which he told the bush rat was
Boiling water, and jumped into it,
And shortly afterwards came out again
When the soup was brought
It was as sweet and good as usual
As the bat had prepared it beforehand
The bush rat then went home and
Told his wife that he was going to
Make good soup like the bat’s
He therefore told her to boil some water
Which she did hurriedly
Then, when his wife was not looking
He jumped into the pot, and was very soon dead. When his wife looked into the pot
And saw the dead body of her
Husband boiling she was very
Angry and reported the matter to the king
Who gave orders that the bat should be caught
And made a prisoner for misleading the rat
Every one turned out to catch the bat
But as he expected trouble
He flew away into the bush and hid himself
All day long the people tried to catch him
So he had to change his habits,
And only came out to feed when it was dark
Perhaps that is why you
Never see a bat in the daytime.

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Masquerades

Strings of flax fall from your stress
Hides carved from animal skin
And strange cloth embellish you

You swerve around like a drunk
Scaring children and younger folk
Caring for nothing but for asunder
The masks on you remind of the hyena
Your whip draggin behind you as you walk
As you seek peoples’ doors to knock
The dogs are scared of your appearance
For they cant stop your uninvited attendance
At homes, mothers yell for their kids
But you only care for your needs

Learn Igbo language here.

Now palm beer is brought before you
And some lobes of finest of kola nut
For appeasing of the spirits which is come
Unto men from the ancient hills and caves
Let the kettle see the pot as a friend
And not as a foe for they two are black
Let the Eagle perch and the Kite as well
None should forbid the other from perching
Now have your fill of your beer
For your next bus stop
The wine might not be as good as this