West African Folktales
Stories, folk tale collectionsGlossary of West African termsLinks to useful African folktale resources Contact UsAbout allFolkTales.com

How the chimpanzee?s bottom got swollen and red

Tortoise and Monkey were having a discussion when Monkey began to boast about how he would become king of all the animals saying ?Of all the animals, I am most like Man so I should be king?. Tortoise replied, ?You cannot be king for Lion is king and is very powerful?. Monkey replied ?Yet, Man has power over Lion and I am most like Man?.

Tortoise felt threatened by this claim, not knowing what might happen if Monkey decided to start acting like Man. You see, Tortoise was not powerful, but what he lacked in strength, he made up in wit. And he knew and understood every animal?s behavior so that he could outwit them all. But if the monkey was going to start acting in unpredictable ways, he did not want any of that. Tortoise decided to act quickly to put Monkey back in his place.

Tortoise went home to prepare some akara into which he added some fresh honey. When he was done, he put the akara in a basket and took it to Lion?s house where he placed it just outside his door and left to hide behind a tree. The akara was warm and its aroma hung in the air so that Lion soon came out to see where it was coming from. He picked one ball of akara and ate it and this akara was sweeter than any akara he had ever eaten before. He ate another one, and then another one until all the akara was gone.

Lion had a huge appetite and this was the best akara he had ever had, so he wanted some more. ?Who brought these akara?? he bellowed but there was no answer. He searched the surrounding area and quickly found Tortoise. He grabbed Tortoise by the neck and asked him ?How did these akara get here?. Tortoise quivered and shook and frighteningly said ?I promised not to tell?. But Lion insisted he tell ?or else??, so Tortoise confessed that it came from Monkey but it is a secret. He told Lion that that was no akara at all but Monkey?s feces which he keeps a secret.

Lion immediately headed to Monkey?s house. When he saw Monkey, he asked him ?Give me sweet feces?. Monkey was confused and gave Lion a blank stare. Lion roared at him ?I said give me sweet feces!? Monkey was terrified and defecated on the spot. It was not sweet and Lion was mad. He started to beat Monkey while ordering him to make sweet feces until Monkey?s bottom was all swollen and red.

Since then, Monkey has shelved his ambition to become king of all the animals.



allFolkTales.com 2006 - 2009
About | Stories | Reviews | Glossary | Links | Contact Us