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The Hen and Her Neighbours

It is evening here and I’ve a tale. Gather around, sit with me under this mango tree, warm yourself by the fire and enjoy this poetale Ifochakpi! Waa!!

Once in the animal kingdom
There lived a Hen and a Cock and
Their neighbors, the Rat and the Lizard
One day the Hen wanted to clean
“I need to clean this compound
Who will help me sweep the floor?”
“Not me!” Said the Cock
“Not me!” Said the Rat
“Not me!” Said the Lizard
“Then I’ll do the cleaning myself”

The unhappy Hen said to herself
Noon came and it was time for lunch
“Who will help me buy vegetables for soup?”
“Not me!” Said the Cock
“Not me!” Said the Rat
“Not me!” Said the Lizard
“Then I must go to the market myself”

The unhappy Hen mumbled to herself
When evening came and the sun was setting
The Hen saw that she needs some fire
“Who will help me make some fire?”
“Not me!” Said the Cock
“Not me!” Said the Rat
“Not me!” Said the Lizard
“Then I must cook this meal myself”

The unhappy Hen said to herself
When the soup aroma went around the compound
Everyone asked where this wonderful smell came from
And lo, the Cock, Rat and Lizard gathered by the fire
“This soup is very sweet and needs someone to taste it,
Who will eat this vegetable soup?”
“Me!” Said the Cock
“Me!” Said the Rat
“Me!” Yelled the Lizard

Learn more on Igbo tradition.

So the Hen took a broom and started sweeping the kitchen and when she got close to the three, chased them away from her pot of soup!

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Ifochakpi! Waa!! : An exclamation used whenever a tale is to be told in Igbo land. The story teller says Ifochakpi! while the audience replies Waa! pronounced as war!