The Tortoise, the Dog and the Farmer
Once upon a time, there was a famine in the land of Kurumi in southwestern Nigeria, everyone was looking rather thin and unhealthy because very limited food was available. However the tortoise observed that his friend, the dog has looking very rosy and fat. He wondered what the secret of the dog?s well being was and decided to pay him a visit and find out:
Tortoise: My good friend, you know we have been friends for a very long time, please tell me the secret of your rosy cheeks and your fat stomach so that I do not die of hunger.
Dog: There is no secret to it my good friend, its just hard work and living a peaceful and serene life.
Tortoise: My friend, do you like as I?m looking haggard, I know that you have found a way to beat this general hunger, please tell me, I can keep a secret.
Dog: Tortoise my friend, I have told you there is no secret or do you think I?d lie to you?
The tortoise wasn?t satisfied, he knew that somehow, the dog had managed to find a source of living not known to anyone. So he decided to shadow the dog?s movements the next day. He observed the dog leave home very early in the morning with a basket and tailed him all the way to the neighboring village making sure he was at some safe distance behind the dog all the time.
The dog made way to a farm and after looking around to make sure that no one was watching started harvesting yam off the farm into his basket. The tortoise then made his presence known to the Dog:
Tortoise: (shouting) So my friend, this is the secret of your rosy living and you refused to tell me!!
Dog: (Jumping up in fright) Tortoise, why did you follow me here? Well now you know my secret. But if you want to come with me you must come only with me and leave before 6pm when the farmer comes.
Tortoise: I promise! I promise.
So did the tortoise follow the dog each day to the farm and came back with a basket full of yam. However each day the quantity of yam harvested by the tortoise increased and with the increase both the dog and the tortoise had left the farm for home a little later each day than the day before. The dog then decided to caution the tortoise:
Dog: My good friend tortoise, The quantity of yam you take home each day is becoming too much, yesterday, we left for home at 5.45pm, the farmer may catch us and then we are done for.
Tortoise: Don?t worry my friend, I?m storing enough yam at home for the rainy day. The farmer will never catch us.
Dog: I don?t think you should be greedy; you could get us killed if we harvest too much yam than we can carry easily enough to escape being caught by the farmer.
Tortoise: You dare call me greedy! I don?t? think its any of your business how much yam I carry.
So the next day, at 5.30 prompt the dog announced that he was leaving for home. But the tortoise pleaded for some more time to harvest yam. At ten minutes to six the dog put his basket on his head and started heading home. The tortoise noticed this shouted after the dog.
Tortoise: Wait for me, wait for me, I can?t carry my basket alone, it?s to heavy. I need you to assist me put it on my head.
However the dog refused to listen and made haste to avoid the farmer, then the tortoise started crying and singing asking the dog to come back to help him lift his basket or else he (the tortoise) would start a raucous that will attract he farmer?s attention which will mean the death of both of them.
But the dog by then had long gone. The farmer arrived his farm and met the tortoise with a basketful of his yam crying and singing. He promptly descended on the tortoise crying THIEF!! THIEF!!
Immediately a crowd gathered around and the tortoise was brought before the king who decreed that the tortoise be hanged in the market square.