Grasshopper and Toad appeared to be good friends.
People always saw them together. Yet they had never dined at each
other's houses. One day Toad said to Grasshopper, "Dear friend,
tomorrow come and dine at my house. My wife and I will prepare a
special meal. We will eat it together."
a Hawk kills Chickens
One day a hawk was hovering round, about eleven o'clock in the
morning, as was his custom, making large circles in the air and
scarcely moving his wings. His keen eyes were wide open, taking in
everything (for nothing moving ever escapes the eyes of a hawk, no
matter how small it may be or how high up in the air the hawk may be
circling). This hawk saw the pretty hen picking up some corn near
her father's house. He therefore closed his wings slightly, and in a
second of time was close to the ground; then spreading his wings out
to check his flight, he alighted close to the hen and perched
himself on the fence, as a hawk does not like to walk on the ground
if he can help it.
Story of the Leopard, the Tortoise, and the Bush Rat
At the time of the great famine all the animals were very thin
and weak from want of food; but there was one exception, and that
was the tortoise and all his family, who were quite fat, and did not
seem to suffer at all. Even the leopard was very thin, in spite of
the arrangement he had made with the animals to bring him their old
grandmothers and mothers for food.
At that time it was the universal custom to destroy twins
immediately at birth, and the mother with them. But the king had not
the heart to put this cruel law into execution, and he secretly
charged one of his nobles to conduct the royal mother and her babes
to a remote place where they might live in safety.
ANANSI AND TURTLE
One day Anansi the spider picked some very fat and
tasty yams from his garden. He baked them with much care and they
came out smelling quite delicious. He could not wait to sit down and
the Bat flies by Night
BUSH rat called Oyot was a great friend of Emiong, the bat; they
always fed together, but the bat was jealous of the bush rat. When
the bat cooked the food it was always very good, and the bush rat
said, "How is it that when you make the soup it is so
the Fish lives in the Water
years ago, when King Eyo was ruler of Calabar, the fish used to live
on the land; he was a great friend of the leopard, and frequently
used to go to his house in the bush, where the leopard entertained
One day Firefly came to Anansi the Spider's house
and invited him to go egg hunting. "If you would like to go
with me, then come to my house late this evening." Anansi was very excited and immediately agreed to go.
THE BABOON AND THE TORTOISE
There was a time when the baboon and the tortoise
were friends, stealing figs from the farmers tree, braving the
terrors of the farmer's gun and his fierce snarling dogs.
This exciting way of life did not appeal to the tortoise who
suggested to the baboon one day that they would plant their own fig
trees, far away from the farmer, his gun, and his fierce snarling
dogs. The baboon agreed that this was a splendid idea but being a
lazy animal he neglected his tree once he had planted it, while the
tortoise watered his every day.
Source: "Short Plays for Juniors" by
The chief sent out messengers to announce that he would give a feast
and asked that each guest bring one calabash of palm wine. One man
wanted to attend very badly but he had no wine to bring.
His wife suggested that he buy the wine, but he said, "What?!
Spend money so that I can attend a feast that is free?"
WHY THE CAT KILL RATS
Source: Elphinstone Dayrell, Folk Stories from
Southern Nigeria, West Africa
(London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1910)
The rat, who was very poor, fell in love with one of the king's
servant girls, but was unable to give her any presents, as he had no
A long time ago, Anansi Spider had a friend Tiger.
He had another friend Goat who had all her little kids.
All of them lived in the same house. Anansi lived on the roof, Tiger
lived inside the house, and Goat lived under the house.
Many years ago, the sun and water were great
friends, and they both lived on the earth togther. The sun very
often used to visit the water, but the water never returned the
the Worms live Underneath the Ground
III. was ruling over all men and animals, he had a very big palaver
house to which he used to invite his subjects at intervals to feast.
After the feast had been held and plenty of tombo had been drunk, it
was the custom of the people to make speeches. One day after the
feast the head driver ant got up and said he and his people were
stronger than any one, and that no one, not even the elephant, could
stand before him, which was quite true. He was particularly
offensive in his allusions to the worms (whom he disliked very
much), and said they were poor wriggling things.
the Flies Bother the Cows
Adiaha Umo was Queen of Calabar, being very rich and hospitable, she
used to give big feasts to all the domestic animals, but never
invited the wild beasts, as she was afraid of them.
WHY WISDOM IS EVERYWHERE
A long time ago, Anansi the spider, had all the
wisdom in the world stored in a huge pot. Nyame, the sky god, had
given it to him. Anansi had been instructed to share it with
Source: "Short Plays for Juniors" by
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