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my father tell me.” Now Young-Leopard tried to seize YoungOtter, but he jumped into the river and disappeared.
Thus it happens when two friends hear the things they should not know.
5. HYRAX'S ADVICE FALLS ON DEAF EARS. It happened thus. Men planted a field of ngung. When Hyrax saw it, he called all the forest animals to his village. To them he said, “To-day I saw a large field. It was filled with the bad plant called ngung. Therefore I tell you thus: let us go and destroy the whole field."
To this they answered, “We came because you called us to talk a palaver; but this plant you call ngung, what can it do to us?"
Hyrax spoke thus: “Even though you scold me, I know that we shall perish; for I know that bad plant, and what it will do to us in the days to come.”
Then all the animals separated, and returned to their villages; but the plant ngung quickly grew to maturity.3 Men now came, cut and peeled it, and spread the bark out in the village streets that day. Then, after they had dried it, men made it into fibres, which they twisted on their thighs into strong cords. When enough cords had been made, they wove hunting-nets of them. Then said the men, "Come on! it's time to go to the forest with our nets to hunt." So they went. The nets were set up. Men and their dogs made a great noise, driving the animals before them into the nets, where other men speared them, so that they died. Then men returned to their villages laden with the bodies of animals.
Again Hyrax called a meeting of the surviving forest-dwellers. They came. “Death has come to us. Did I not say it would? Did I not tell you to come and help eat up the plant called ngung? And you all refused to listen." So said Hyrax, and broke up the meeting.
6. DO THE THINGS YOU CAN DO.4 It happened thus. Leopard and Hawk became friends. One day Leopard went to Hawk's village to pay him a visit. Hawk said to himself, "What thing is it that I'll cook for Leopard? I have nothing on hand.” Then he flew up into a tree. A fowl came into the village street, Kpwing! Hawk swooped down and caught it. He took it and gave it to Wife-Hawk to cook for Leopard.
1 Variant of JAFL 27: 272; see also pp. 410-411, 418, of this number.
* Compare p. 408 (No. 4) of this number. The present tale bears a striking resemblance to the North American stories of the bungling host.
After five nights had passed, Hawk went to Leopard's village to pay him a visit. "Woe is me! I have nothing to set before Hawk," said Leopard to himself. Now he remembered how Hawk had caught the fowl for him, so he climbed into a tree and waited. Soon a fowl came into his village street. Kpwing! Leopard jumped down to seize it. His bones were broken ne pfi! Then his wives came and made a great mourning over him. Thus it happens when one tries to do the things of another which are strange to him.
7. DOG TRIES TO DO SAME AS ELEPHANT, AND GETS BURNED. Dog went on a walk, and came to Elephant's town. Elephant went to his garden to cut a bunch of plantains to set before his guest. Then he kindled a fire in the street, set his pot on it, and waited for the plantains to cook. When they were nearly done, Elephant put his foot into the fire, took it out, and put it into the pot of plantains. Thus he filled his pot with fat. Again he did this, and called for another pot, which he filled with the fat from his foot. Then he set his food before his guest, who ate until his abdomen was distended tight as a drum-head.
After a time Dog arose, saying to his host, as he was about to depart, “In three days you'll come to see me.” So Elephant started for Dog's village on the third day, as requested. Dog went to the garden and cut plantains, which he had cooked for his guest. They also brought him another pot. Then he put his foot into the fire and burned it with a great burning, so that it fell off. Great were the cries he uttered as he drew his leg from the fire.
Then said Elephant, “You really are a foolish and deceitful fellow to invite me to a feast, and then try to provide for it in this way."
8. WHY THE SHEEP ARE ALWAYS FOUND GUILTY.3 Turtle went out walking in the forest, looking for game. He found a kola-nut under a tree, and, looking up, saw that the kola-nuts were ripe enough to pick. As he was standing under the tree, with the shells of the kola-nut pod lying near him, Leopard happened along. Turtle spoke to him thus: "Ah, Leopard! some one has been eating my kola-nuts."
So Leopard went home, beat the village-drum, calling all the forestdwellers to come to talk a palaver. As the animals were gathering for the palaver, Turtle said to Leopard, "You will know the guilty ones when you see them trembling."
1 See note 4, p. 432.
· Natives believe, that, were an elephant to put his foot on or into fire, the fatty tissue in the foot would exude oily fat. So fond of and hungry for fat meats are they, that it is next to impossible to obtain any fat animal for a zoological specimen from them.
• West African sheep, when standing still, are all of a tremble.
Now the palaver began. As Leopard looked at the assembled forest-dwellers, he noticed that all the sheep were trembling. “Eke!" said he, “and why should we continue this palaver? There are the guilty ones. See them tremble!"
So he called his children, who seized and killed the sheep.
9. WHY PANGOLIN DWELLS ALONE IN THE FOREST.1 Pangolin took a wife to himself. When she bore her child, she took an oath to eat no more real food. Nothing but meat would she eat.
So Pangolin went out. He came to a bare rocky hill, on top of which stood a dead tree. He beat his drum, calling all the animals to come and be cut to relieve their pains.
Mian 3 was the first to arrive. He spoke thus: "I have come to be cut." Pangolin thus: "First climb the dead tree.” Mian climbed it. “Now slide down upon the rock, so that the healing cuts I am going to make will properly work a cure." Mian slid down, fell upon the rock, and died.
Then Buffalo came, and said, “I have come to be cut for the curing of my pains." Pangolin thus: "Climb the dead tree.” He climbed. "Slide down the tree, so that the healing cuts will properly work a cure," said Pangolin. Buffalo slid down, fell upon the rock, and killed himself.
Now Turtle said to himself, "What is going on there? All the animals have gone at the call of Pangolin's drum, but none do I see returning.” He went out, picked up a large fruit and put it into his bag. Then he went to see Pangolin. "I've come to be slashed for healing," he said, his eyes searching the rocks where he saw the hair of animals scattered everywhere. "Climb the tree," said Pangolin. Turtle climbed up. “Jump!" Turtle threw the fruit from his bag. It made a great noise, nekpwik'l as it hit the rock. Pangolin came from his shelter to pick up Turtle, as he had picked up the other animals. He searched and searched, but did not find him.
Turtle called down from the tree thus: "Ekél so that's the way you kill the animals!” Pangolin began to climb the tree to seize Turtle, who slid down and reached the forest. When he reached his village, he called a great meeting of the forest-dwellers, telling them to keep away from Pangolin, as he was trying to get meat for his wife. From that day to this they have avoided Pangolin, leaving him to dwell alone.
See JAFL 27: 266; also p. 417 (No. 17) of this number. ? Real food, substantial food, in contrast to food which helps the heart, which we would call "dessert."
: Mian, the antelope Cephalophus leucocastec. The Bulu is je bo ("what makes" or "what does").
10. YOUNG OKPWENGLEARNS OBEDIENCE AT THE COST OF HIS LIFE.
Mother Okpweng told her youngest child thus: “My child, walk not thus! the earth will open under you." Child Okpweng answered, “How can the ground open? Whoever heard of the ground's opening underneath one?" — “It will,” said Mother Okpweng, and she went out to get food for her family.
When she returned, she found that Child Okpweng had gone out, but he soon returned. She said, “Eké! My child, do not go walking thus! Do not close your ears to me!” But Child Okpweng refused to listen, and disobeyed every day.
One day, when Mother Okpweng had gone as usual to hunt food for her children, Child Okpweng went walking, and fell into a pit, in the bottom of which spears had been set up. So he died from the wounds. "Woe is me!" said Mother Okpweng, "my child has died because he refused to listen to my voice." 2
II. HOW PIGEON LEARNED THAT NO MAN STANDS ALONE. Pigeon and Branch-of-Tree had been friends for many years. Truly, their friendship was great. Then one day Pigeon insulted Branch-ofTree's wife. "Let us adjust this thing that has come between us, lest our friendship be broken,” said he to Pigeon. "No, the matter will rest as it stands," answered Pigeon, and then he flew away. Up high into the air he flew, looking down scornfully at Branch-of-Tree. “Who are you? Why don't you follow me? See how you must remain just where you are! And do I need your friendship?" These and many other taunting and insulting remarks he made as he flew by Branch-of-Tree from time to time that day.
The latter had for answer only the words, “Come, let us renew our friendship!"
As the afternoon went on, Pigeon's flights by Branch-of-Tree became less frequent. After a time he ceased looking at his former friend as he passed him. Not even a single word did he speak. But every time he came within sight, Branch-of-Tree repeated, “Let us settle this matter!” Slower and slower became Pigeon's flight. His wings refused to bear him along. "When I get to Branch-of-Tree this time, I'll stop and rest, and talk over this matter," he finally said, as he started towards the place where his friend was. But before he reached there, his wings refused to longer carry him, and down Pigeon flew, ne bim dying as he struck the earth.
Thus it happens when a person despises and forsakes his friends.
12. HOW TURTLE GOT ALL LEOPARD'S FOOD. Turtle and Leopard went to the forest and dug pits to kill animals. After a time, Turtle left Leopard, went to another part of the forest, and began digging pits alone. He not even told Leopard that he was going, but just left him. As he went home, he looked into Leopard's pits, where he found Hyrax in one of them. So he called Leopard, saying, “Come, let us look into our pits!" So they went. They found Hyrax in one of Leopard's pits. “Wait, I want to tell you about it." Turtle answered him, “And do animals talk palavers and tell us about themselves?" Then he wounded Hyrax with his spear, so that Hyrax died. Then they cut him up to carry him home.
Now Turtle said to Leopard, “Let us first roast the liver and eat it, before we go home!" Leopard agreed. So Turtle left the gallbladder in with the liver, and also took many other bad-tasting and bitter herbs, putting them with the liver,' because he wished to eat it all himself. When it had finished cooking, Turtle took it over to Leopard, who tasted it. “That thing you have cooked surpasses anything in the forest for bitterness," he said. Turtle replied, “Your saying is true; give it to me, and I'll throw it all away." So Leopard gave him the bundle, because he did not know Turtle was deceiving him. Thus he spoiled the whole animal, Leopard not being able to eat a morsel.
13. HOW MEN FIRST LEARNED TO QUARREL. It happened thus, that man dug pits to kill animals. Then he sent Son out into the forest to see if anything had fallen into the pits. Son found an animal which was called Bijo (Blame). So Son returned home and called the men of the village. They found the animal in the pit. “Those who have spears, come and kill me!" said Bijo. They came and threw their spears at him. “Do you see any wounds in me?" asked Bijo. "No."
"Now those who have bow-guns come and kill me!" said Bijo. So they came and shot arrows into him. “Do you see any wounds?" asked Bijo. “Now let those who have clubs come and kill me!" he said. So they who had clubs came and beat him. “Do you see any wounds?” he asked. "Now which party is to blame that you will eat no meat to-day?" Having spoken thus, he leaped out of the pit and disappeared in the forest.
The men now began to accuse and blame one another for having let the animal called Bijo get away; and soon there was a great quarrel, many men being wounded and even killed. Thus it happened that
1 Tortoises and turtles are believed to have a decided preference for bitter and badtasting things.