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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."

Why 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.


The 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.


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 eat them.

Why the Bat flies by Night

A 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 tasty?"


Why the Fish lives in the Water

Many 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 him.


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.


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 Irene Salami



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?"


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 money.


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 visits.

Why the Worms live Underneath the Ground

When Eyo 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.



Why the Flies Bother the Cows

When 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.



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 everyone.


Source: "Short Plays for Juniors" by Irene Salami









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