Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love folklore Pastoral

The Man Who Never Lied

Hi everyone! How was your day? I have a story to share. So bring your seats and mats to the fireplace, listen attentively and may the nightingales sing us a lullaby when we retire to bed.


Once upon a time there lived a wise man by the name of Mamad. He never lied. All the people in the land, even the ones who lived twenty days away, knew about him.

The king heard about Mamad and ordered his subjects to bring him to the palace. He looked at the wise man and asked:

” Mamad, is it true, that you have never lied?”

” It’s true.”

“And you will never lie in your life?”

” I’m sure in that.”

“Okay, tell the truth, but be careful! The lie is cunning and it gets on your tongue easily.”

Several days passed and the king called Mamad once again. There was a big crowd: the king was about to go hunting. The king held his horse by the mane, his left foot was already on the stirrup. He ordered Mamad:

“Go to my summer palace and tell the queen I will be with her for lunch. Tell her to prepare a big feast. You will have lunch with me then.”

Mamad bowed down and went to the queen. Then the king laughed and said:

“We won’t go hunting and now Mamad will lie to the queen. Tomorrow we will laugh on his behalf.”

But the wise Mamad went to the palace and said:

“Maybe you should prepare a big feast for lunch tomorrow, and maybe you shouldn’t. Maybe the king will come by noon, and maybe he won’t.”

“Tell me will he come, or won’t he?” – asked the queen.

“I don’t know weather he put his right foot on the stirrup, or he put his left foot on the ground after I left.”

Everybody waited for the king. He came the next day and said to the queen:

“The wise Mamad, who never lies, lied to you yesterday.”

But the queen told him about the words of Mamad. And the king realized, that the wise man never lies, and says only that, which he saw with his own eyes.

Categories
Africa culture/tradition Igbo culture lullaby Pastoral

Folklore: The Hippo and His Seven Wives

I heard the Wind tell this story

Storyteller: Ifochakpii!

Audience: Waa!!!

Gather my friends. It’s time to tell a story. It’s time also to hear a tale. Gather by the fireside, warm yourselves. Bring the little ones to the centre. Keep them warmer, for night and her cold hands is nigh. Sit under the branches of the mango tree. From there everyone can see streaks of moon light on the grassland. As you watch the fire lick those dry wood pay attention to this short tale of mine. I’ve heard the wind and sky tell it in different tongues, styles and climes. Listen, because there may be a lesson or two. If not, it might just be another lullaby waiting to help a good night sleep! A good day ends with a good story. Will you like to tell me the lessons you picked? Ifochakpii!! Waaaa!!!

The Hippo and his seven wives

Long time ago when things were not as it was today, there lived a proud Hippo chief. He had seven wives as was the tradition for wealthy animals then. He had a secret name known only to his wives. They knew to keep it unknown to anyone.

One day the Hippo hosted a party and when he made his speech, he put out a challenge to his village people. “I’m afraid my people, if you can’t reveal my name you have to go home hungry. The dishes here will only be available to all when you reveal my name!” The whole congregation was left aghast. All those mouth watering dishes will be left unattended to. Ah! Well some tried to guess his name but got it all wrong.

The animals dispersed hungry. And they say a hungry person is an angry person. Many weeks passed and he hosted another feast. No one was able to reveal his name. Many animals guessed and was wrong. Then the Tortoise rose to speak. “Sir,” he started. “Since you have shamed us severally, can I ask what we stand to gain apart from the feast you have here?” The chief replied him, “Well, I’ll give you my land and retire to live in the river!” It was a tough challenge. He really believed that no one could get his name right. The crowd dispersed hungry again.

Now the Hippo and his wives had a favourite bathing stream, just by the foot of the great baobab. It was a luxurious and private bathing spot acquired by the Hippo for his household.

One day the hippos went down to the stream for a dip. The Tortoise well aware of their movement dug and hid on the soft sand with his hard shell stuck out but disguised as stone. He waited and waited. At last the hippos started back to the village. The chief led the way and was followed by the eldest wife. They went in a single file thereby leaving the youngest wife behind.

When the last wife came to the soft sands the Tortoise raised his shell a little, so that she struck her foot on the hard shell and yelled: “Nnayi ukwu dim oma my husband, come and help me. I struck my foot on a stone!” When the hippos finally left the scene, Tortoise ran back with joy.

A few weeks later the hippos hosted another feast. They had fun mocking other animals. When it was time for name revealing the Hippo marched majestically to the podium to allow animals guess his name. All the animals tried but none could get it. The Tortoise was the last to try.

“Your name is Nnayi ukwu dim oma!”

There was complete silence. Which was broken by a round of applause and sudden feasting when the Hippo’s face dropped. Without words the hippos marched to the river with their belongings. To this day my friends they lived in water. Never to return to land again!

Retold by Oke Iroegbu

Categories
Africa culture/tradition folklore Igbo culture

Tradition: Storytelling

The African Storytelling Tradition

When I, the storyteller say: Ifochakpii! You the audience will reply: Waa!! (Pronounced as ‘War!’) This is Igbo people’s storytelling tradition. There are different ways of introducing a story to the audience. To the Igbo people it starts with a chant-like ranting that tries to capture the attention of all present. So the storyteller greets his audience in that manner as they reply him in excitement. The storytelling mood is a lively one and such introit may play a role in keeping the mood so.

Storytelling is a unique culture in Africa. Storytellers are revered across the land. We may compare them to the present day actors because they actually act. I can compare storytelling to the modern day stage drama. Storytelling is respected because it passes ancient knowledge and wisdom from one generation to another. It’s a time when everybody, young and old gather to listen and learn about the tradition of a place and life’s virtues through stories told by their ancestors. Though much of these stories have been lost or modified with time, the morals, which is the crux remain intact. Sometimes they act as bedtime stories meant to aid or lull people to sleep. All over the world storytelling precedes reading.

Tortoise: Main Villain & Hero
Growing up in West Africa I came to learn that Tortoise is the dominant character in most stories. He is called Mbo or Mbe in Igbo. Some clans gave him, his wife and children other names. His wife is called Alibo in Ovim. I can’t remember his son’s name but it may not matter for now. The Tortoise play funny and shrewd roles. He is generally perceived as a cheat who goes about causing mischief for others. Sometimes he gets to win, other times he is a loser and a lesson for the little ones. The Tortoise has been featured in many stories, few I can remember myself. He has duped the Boar in one story, deceived the host of birds that lent him a feather each, cursed the spider that saved him from the ghost town and dealt with spirits. In fact he is a star in the African folklore scenario.

Yet why he was chosen for these wonderful roles is what I have not been able to understand. We have bigger, faster, smarter and funnier animals but the Tortoise was picked to play lead roles in most of West Africa’s traditional folklore. Naturally the Tortoise is a slow, lazy and seemingly dumb animal but in tales he is a kingmaker, a genius or the wise one. Looks are truly deceptive in African folklore.

Why should we preserve stories?

Apart from the Tortoise that fell from the birds’ firmament party, no one in reality and fiction had the privilege of falling from the skies. What I mean is that nothing just happens. Every story serves a purpose, be it fact or fiction. And no society is complete without a history, a story. So stories are careful documentations, written or oral. We have histories and traditions to discuss today because people had kept accounts and details of them. I’ll write more on this topic in a separate blog post.

For now, can you tell me which African story is your favourite?

Categories
folklore Pastoral

The Traveling Musicians

Gather around the fire and read this story with me. It’s a long bedtime tale.


An honest farmer had once a donkey that had been a faithful servant to him a great many years, but was now growing old and every day more and more unfit for work. His master therefore was tired of keeping him and began to think of putting an end to him; but the donkey, who saw that some mischief was in the wind, took himself slyly off, and began his journey towards the great city, ‘For there,’ thought he, ‘I may turn musician.’

After he had travelled a little way, he spied a dog lying by the roadside and panting as if he were tired. ‘What makes you pant so, my friend?’ said the donkey. ‘Alas!’ said the dog, ‘my master was going to knock me on the head, because I am old and weak, and can no longer make myself useful to him in hunting; so I ran away; but what can I do to earn my livelihood?’ ‘Hark ye!’ said the donkey, ‘I am going to the great city to turn musician: suppose you go with me, and try what you can do in the same way?’ The dog said he was willing, and they jogged on together.

They had not gone far before they saw a cat sitting in the middle of the road and making a most rueful face. ‘Pray, my good lady,’ said the donkey, ‘what’s the matter with you? You look quite out of spirits!’ ‘Ah, me!’ said the cat, ‘how can one be in good spirits when one’s life is in danger? Because I am beginning to grow old, and had rather lie at my ease by the fire than run about the house after the mice, my mistress laid hold of me, and was going to drown me; and though I have been lucky enough to get away from her, I do not know what I am to live upon.’ ‘Oh,’ said the donkey, ‘by all means go with us to the great city; you are a good night singer, and may make your fortune as a musician.’ The cat was pleased with the thought, and joined the party.

Soon afterwards, as they were passing by a farmyard, they saw a cock
perched upon a gate, and screaming out with all his might and main.
‘Bravo!’ said the donkey; ‘upon my word, you make a famous noise; pray what is all this about?’ ‘Why,’ said the cock, ‘I was just now saying that we should have fine weather for our washing-day, and yet my mistress and
the cook don’t thank me for my pains, but threaten to cut off my head tomorrow, and make broth of me for the guests that are coming on Sunday!’ ‘Heaven forbid!’ said the donkey, ‘come with us Master Chanticleer; it will be better, at any rate, than staying here to have your head cut off! Besides, who knows? If we care to sing in tune, we may get up some kind of a concert; so come along with us.’ ‘With all my heart,’ said the cock: so they all four went on jollily together.

They could not, however, reach the great city the first day; so when night came on, they went into a wood to sleep. The donkey and the dog laid
themselves down under a great tree, and the cat climbed up into the
branches; while the cock, thinking that the higher he sat the safer he
should be, flew up to the very top of the tree, and then, according to
his custom, before he went to sleep, looked out on all sides of him to
see that everything was well. In doing this, he saw afar off something
bright and shining and calling to his companions said, ‘There must be a
house no great way off, for I see a light.’ ‘If that be the case,’ said
the donkey, ‘we had better change our quarters, for our lodging is not the
best in the world!’ ‘Besides,’ added the dog, ‘I should not be the worse for a bone or two, or a bit of meat.’ So they walked off together towards the spot where Chanticleer had seen the light, and as they drew near it became larger and brighter, till they at last came close to a house in which a gang of robbers lived.

The donkey, being the tallest of the company, marched up to the window and peeped in. ‘Well, Donkey,’ said Chanticleer, ‘what do you see?’ ‘What
do I see?’ replied the donkey. ‘Why, I see a table spread with all kinds of good things, and robbers sitting round it making merry.’ ‘That would be a noble lodging for us,’ said the cock. ‘Yes,’ said the donkey, ‘if we could only get in’; so they consulted together how they should contrive to get the robbers out; and at last they hit upon a plan. The donkey placed himself upright on his hind legs, with his forefeet resting against the window; the dog got upon his back; the cat scrambled up to the dog’s shoulders, and the cock flew up and sat upon the cat’s head. When
all was ready a signal was given, and they began their music. The donkey
brayed, the dog barked, the cat mewed, and the cock screamed; and then they all broke through the window at once, and came tumbling into the room, amongst the broken glass, with a most hideous clatter! The robbers, who had been not a little frightened by the opening concert, had now no doubt that some frightful hobgoblin had broken in upon them, and scampered away as fast as they could.

The coast once clear, our travellers soon sat down and dispatched what
the robbers had left, with as much eagerness as if they had not expected
to eat again for a month. As soon as they had satisfied themselves, they
put out the lights, and each once more sought out a resting-place to his own liking. The donkey laid himself down upon a heap of straw in the yard, the dog stretched himself upon a mat behind the door, the cat rolled herself up on the hearth before the warm ashes, and the cock perched upon a beam on the top of the house; and, as they were all rather tired with their journey, they soon fell asleep.

But about midnight, when the robbers saw from afar that the lights were
out and that all seemed quiet, they began to think that they had been in
too great a hurry to run away; and one of them, who was bolder than the rest, went to see what was going on. Finding everything still, he marched into the kitchen, and groped about till he found a match in order to light a candle; and then, espying the glittering fiery eyes of the cat, he mistook them for live coals, and held the match to them to light it. But the cat, not understanding this joke, sprang at his face, and spat, and scratched at him. This frightened him dreadfully, and away he ran to the back door; but there the dog jumped up and bit him in the leg; and as he was crossing over the yard the donkey kicked him; and the cock, who had been awakened by the noise, crowed with all his might. At this the robber ran back as fast as he could to his comrades, and told the captain how a horrid witch had got into the house, and had spat at him and scratched his face with her long bony fingers; how a man with a knife in his hand had hidden himself behind the door, and stabbed him in the leg; how a black monster stood in the yard and struck him with a club, and how the devil had sat upon the top of the house and cried out, ‘Throw the rascal up here!’ After this the robbers never dared to go back to the house; but the musicians were so pleased with their quarters that they took up their abode there; and there they are, I dare say, at
this very day.


Good night 😊

Categories
Africa culture/tradition education folklore Igbo culture lifestyle Nature Pastoral Series

Diaries of a Village Boy: The Leopard Spirit 8

That morning before the early hunters left their homes for the forest, Papa was already on his way to Ndi-Ikele to welcome the priest, newly arrived from Trinidad and Tobago. It was breezy and cloudy that morning, it seemed it would rain any moment. Trees, especially the palm took to joyful procession when I stepped out to look around. Heavy breeze shook the forest and the skies grew darker. Birds took flight, stray dogs barked. People took in laundry previously spread to dry. The wind blew dust and tree leaves about and I had to retreat back to my room. It was dark inside but I could hear Nene playing with her dog near the kitchen fire while Mama prepared breakfast. Mama knew well enough to get food ready before Papa’s return and while Papa may not bother about himself, he will definitely want to know if his first son has been fed. Men’s queer world, I shrugged.

I took a pen from my school box and started writing on an old wooden seat in my room:

I’m but a soul in a cold tumbler
I catch the wind with my palms, but my life is lived by another

I only wake to live another’s dream…

I was still scribbling and thinking of this strange rhyme when Nene walked into my room without knocking. She quickly scanned my room with her eyes and then delivered her message. I was wanted by Mama. Nene was the inspector in the house and always had something to report to our parents. She was talkative only when she wants something and had a bossy way of getting things done. She was the miniature version of my father.

“My son, your food is ready.” Mama recalled me back from my thought.

“Thank you, Mama.”

“Nene, take his bowl of water to his room.” Mama said to Nene. After a short protest and smirks she finally took the bowl to my room, mumbling and spilling some water on the way.

“Be careful Nene. Don’t spill water on my mats.” I said to her. She took a short look at me and disappeared from the door.

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***

Tinkom tinkom, tibaliba
Dadi nkem o, Dadi nkem o
I we hapu m oo, wee jewe Lagosi
Muna onye ga ebi…

Children sang and played outside our compound. The noise wouldn’t let me reason or rest. Nene and Kiri, our cousin from few compounds away were the leaders. The game was played by softly hitting the palms of your opponents in numerous styles to rhyme with the beat sang by members of the two teams. Both led a team of three followers. The game progressed peacefully for a while, and Nene’s team led in total score. Suddenly she mistakenly put out her left hand instead of the right one and lost a game. Kiri and her teammates shouted and rejoiced over their gain and Nene pained with the mistake bursted out angry.

“It seemed that you’re happy for nothing. I still lead the total score… See your tummy like that of a pregnant frog.” She yelled at Kiri, hands akimbo.

“See this one, she is angry that she lost a game. You’re a loser!” Kiri retorted when she learned her rival was bitter.

“If you don’t close your mouth, I’ll help you deliver that foetus in your tummy.” Nene shouted again. Their team members were enjoying the scenario when Mama walked in from the back.

“Who are those children that won’t let us drink water and rest in this compound. Ssshussh children, run away!” She shouted and clapped her hands. The fighting parties disengaged and ran away from the compound to regroup somewhere else and continue with their game.

To be continued…

Categories
Africa culture/tradition Nature Pastoral Poetry

Another Tale of the WildWoods

image

There’s a land behind those hills
Hidden in the forest,
One mighty foliage; of brushes & roots
At all times, Cloud is blue
And King of the Forest
Do fall in love with it
When the Cloud blush
It rains softly; mildly
And little creatures
Which live in the land
Look up to the smiling Forest King
‘Oh, see how handsome his face is’
A little dark Cricket say
‘He is really in love with the Cloud
But we don’t understand
Why she always refuses
To love the Forest King back!’
A group of Pigeons answered
‘I tell you that she is possessed
Who should resist the Forest king?’
The Wolf added, as he looked up
‘The Forest King hadn’t said anything yet
All he does is to stare and smile
How savagely awful!’
Some Pine trees whined
‘If for nothing but admiration
Is the reason to love
I choose not to love’
The philosophical Woodpecker concluded.

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Categories
Africa culture/tradition folklore Igbo culture Pastoral

The Animal King

Do you know why there is no king in the animal kingdom? Here is a story narrating why. I wrote this poetale a longtime ago. Have fun.

Once upon a time
In a land far away,
Across seven rivers
And seven hills
Lived a clan of animals
They knew no strife
No envy, no rivalry
Between the animal clans
For then there was no king
No ruler, no master of any sort
But animals who lived freely,
Tilled their land as they wished
And lived as they wanted…
Suddenly some stronger animals
Felt they could bully the little ones
So many animals started trespassing
On the rights of others, taking others lands
Destroying harvest of crops
And even hijacking others wives!
So Anarchy spread
Her blanket of no good
Upon the animal clan
Until the Cricket suggested
That all animals should meet
To resolve this…

During the meeting
Every animal sat quietly,
Waiting for others to talk, first
Mumblings filled the arena
Guilt of crimes wont let anyone speak
So the mosquitoes, carefree buzzed aloud
“Wait!” the Cricket yelled
“I greet you all”, he began politely
“The way to solve this problem
Is to appoint a King who will rule us
Someone who will bring justice
And fairness to all, big and small”
“Nice idea”, his relatives called after him
“Now I am the brain of the meeting
I should be allowed to nominate
My humble self as the King of the clan!”
“What?” an angry Elephant trumpeted
“You little thing, so minute, so irrelevant!
How dare you even think of that
When someone like me is here?
I should be the King undisputed!”
“You all must be joking!” the Giraffe laughed
“How can you be the King
When you are round like a football
And can barely move a leg?”
The Giraffe made fun of the Elephant
“No no no, it just doesn’t fit you
Well, take a look at my height,
I even interact with the moon
And when angry I eat her half!
I should be the King instead!”
The whole clan went dead with silence
They thought the Elephant would retaliate
So they waited for the worst to happen
But nothing happened…
“Let me be the King”, the ape called out
“None of you is capable of tree climbing
And infact I can dance up the skies
Do you know this feeling of tree dwelling?
The skies are my playground… Can’t you see?”
“Talking about playground, you don’t belong!”
The bald Eagle whined…
“I live in mountain peaks
Where none of you can reach
Or dare to reach, I am the master-
Master of the blue clouds and wind
Make me your King!” he demanded
“Talking about flying you are not alone in it”
A feeble mosquito stood to talk
“How many of you can sing in a human ear
And make him mad so that he slaps himself?”
“No way, who speaks now?” the Lion growled
“The kingship belongs to I and the pride
The pride is strong and courageous
And can defend and take care of the clan
My roars frighten our enemies
My claws are perfect killing machines!”
“No sir”, a scared animal said
“Was it not one of your pride members
That ate an innocent sheep the other day?
We can’t let you be our King”
Someone supported from the crowd
“So what do we do right now?”
Let us then nominate from those
Who showed interest in the position”
An elderly Parrot suggested
“Please everyone should pick a candidate”
To the crowds surprise
Everyone pointed to their kith
The Giraffes to the Giraffes
The Apes to their kind
The Pride to the Lions
And so on…
And when no progress was made
Everyone nominated himself for Kingship
Since everyone wants to be King
They all left fighting and arguing
And so is the animal clan to this day
In much disagreement and confusion!

Categories
Africa culture/tradition education folklore Igbo culture Pastoral Uncategorized

African Folktale: the Crows and the Cuckoo

It is evening here and I feel like telling you a story. Bring your mat, come sit with me outside, by the fireside and let us enjoy the night breeze.

Once upon a time there lived a set of Crows which plundered farms. Each day the farmers try to catch the Crows to no avail, for the Crows moved in droves. In this same town lived a timid Cuckoo. The Cuckoo became friends with a Crow who introduced him to his group. Now the Cuckoo ate the groups food but whenever they went to plunder he seldom followed.

One day, a traveller arrived the town and during his stay, observed the Crows and offered to help the town. He got a big white net and with the help of farmers tied it on several tall trees which surrounded many farms. It was a trap.

As the Crows planned the next attack, they convinced the Cuckoo to join them. Off they all flew. When they settled to eat, the hidden farmers dropped the nets and it came crashing down on the birds. None could escape!

As the farmers caught the Crows they saw a Cuckoo among them. ‘How come?’ They asked in surprise. But all the Cuckoo could do was cry and beg for mercy. The angry farmers won’t even listen. They destroyed the Crows with the Cuckoo.

Morals : It is wise to know who we call a friend. If a thief is your friend, you might be mistaken as one. So being cautious and careful of our company is important.

Categories
culture/tradition folklore Pastoral Poetry

African tales by Moonlight

Living in the countyside was fun. I can’t forget the numerous activities/events I participated in. I remember the rodent hunting, farm work, fruit catching, swimming in the streams, wrestling fights and the night tales. My favorite was the night tales which was something else. How I love to sit in the warmth of other kids, out in the open space, under the tree shed and moon light. Ah! Words can’t describe the feeling. Don’t take my word for it. Come to Africa and try to find yourself a story telling community. There’s so much to learn from the tales. Much morals and old world wisdom are lost because most of the youth nurture other dreams. The modern youth think the countryside is not a nice place to settle in. So country life is not meant for them. I really think otherwise. I was born and brought up in the town, but I feel more attached to the countryside. I feel lost in the crowd and towns are places of pollution and noise, right?

Moon light tales are told in the late evening or nights. I call it ‘the African theater’. Major spectators are children, sometimes stray adults join. Usually the tales finish off as moral lessons and other times just a fun story, which may act as a lullaby for the night. We need to encourage and revive this culture of story telling.

So if you love folktales and happen to visit rural Africa. From Safari to Palm wine to melon cakes and weird but nice food, be rest assured you will have a great time.

Categories
Poetry

Folk: Under the Mango tree

1

Breezes and dreams are gifts of Nature to the hardworking villagers, 

After a days heavy toil in the fields of corn, yam and sweet cassava

The men gather to drink the palm wine in the inn located by the mango tree, 

Heavy talks lead to soft talks as the beer sank into the days cramps and pain

Women pound away, some fresh vegetable and chilli hissing through pot lids

The boys and girls play in the dusty sand after their mandatory chores

And the dogs and livestock ran home for the night has no friend or foe

The clouds gather above the village, birds fly away yelling a farewell

And in the distance, the wild prepare for the growing black blanket 

Monkeys called out to their young, the parrots hooted and wild dogs barked

2

From the banks of the flowing stream, mild breezes graze the clan

The wooden gates leading to the forest and big river were closed

With a fire burning to keep the wild cats and spotted hyena away

The livestock are carefully shepherded to the barns for the days rest

As the nights cold grew with the gathering clouds and strong breezes

Yet drunk men paid little attention to the weather, savoring their tasty wine 

The strong breezes brought the scent of cooking to the village inn 

And the men argued delightfully, hoping that the scent was theirs

With some claiming ownership to this steaming soup from somewhere

3

But before it all ends, before the day and man slept

The children gather away from the inns and kitchens

The moon happily bright above all and the village much alive

Then a play or tale must be told to welcome the airy night; 

Tales of the old wise hare and tortoise or the young proud maiden, 

The tale of the ocean and hills or the women who lived beneath the sea

And so the evening tales with the breezes became a lullaby for everyone 







Image: Painted by me… 

Categories
Poetry

Folklore: Let’s play under the Moon light

I. 

Breezes of your presence come to me each evening, with mild rosy fragrance 

The voice of the wind sing with you when you sang of the Nightingale and her lover 

And now it is our tryst, one we waited upon, the one we craved when the sun was here

II. 

Now we make haste, for the night will be cold and we must stay near the fire, 

Under the baobab tree our love will blossom and there our tryst play our fancy

The mild air mix with your fragrance and the Night herself has come for a sniff 

Merry evening, one of love, beneath the tree with the moon shining long and bright

But the evening is still young and so will our tales be and the ones others will tell

III. 
Let’s play hide and seek as other youth gather for the nights tale

Let’s wait for the youth, lovers to gather

And this night there will be no timidity

Ah!  It must not be this night, no no no… 

And if my wit tries to run I will hold it back… 

IV. 
But I have not come to watch anyone but you

My jewel, I am your Lion, your forest King! 

And before the night tales are spent

We would have lived our Romeo and Juliet! 

Categories
Uncategorized

Poetale: The Tortoise and The Dove

Before I tell this poetale let me describe the nature of the Tortoises character in African cultures. The tortoise is a reptile that lives on land. In African tales the tortoise is perceived as a cunny creature that finds a way to trick others. Now in Africa we sit beneath a trees shade listening and looking up anxiously to the tale teller on a moon lit night. Now your task, dear reader is to pick the moral(s) and make sure you don’t sleep off before the end of the tale. Nice reading.

Once in a land far away
There lived a Tortoise and a Dove
The two became friends
Living together, feeding together
And the friendship grew more
Now, it came to pass
On a quite sunny day
The tortoise made a law
“Before you eat, you must say your name”
Now the dove was a stammerer
And for this he couldn’t say his name
So the night came
And it was porridge
The tortoise called out his name
Rushed to the table and started eating
The dove tried saying his name
And it came out funny
“Dovovo, dovosk, dovod and all
“Oh try harder” tortoise jeered
Till he ate up all
On the next day
The dove came with his own law
“If one must eat, hands must be washed”
On the night it was soup
So the dove washed and flew up
To the foods stand
The tortoise rushed to wash his hands
He did, but alas!
He soiled them as he walked back
He tried again and again
But all was the same
He sat back and cried
After that day, they lived peacefully

Oiroegbu Halls