Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Alu Jon Jonki Jon

One of the earliest stories I posted is the story about how Dog hid his mother in the sky during a famine. There's a song that goes with that story and I can't remember why I left it out. I've now updated the story to include the song.

Fela Anikulapo Kuti (late Nigerian Afrobeat musician) used it in one of his songs and you can listen to that clip on BBC. The story is narrated on that page, but it is the Tortoise who hides his mother in heaven. Perhaps this is a different version but Fela and I both agree that it was the Dog who hid his mother in heaven. He sings "Aja gbe ti e, o d'orun" (meaning "Dog has taken his mother to the sky.") Oh, don't ask me what "Alu jon jonki jon" means. I have no idea.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Not quite slow and steady

The Aesop story of the Tortoise and the Hare is a very popular one and it teaches us that "Slow and steady wins the race". However, when I was growing up, there was another version that was also popular where Tortoise won by tricking Hare.

I tried to come up with a short phrase/adage/wise words that perhaps explains the moral of this 'win by trickery' version (which I also think predates the Aesop's version). So I've got,

"Never say never"

"It's not over till it's over"

"It's not brawn but brains"

"Cross all your 'T's and dot all your 'I's" (obviously running out at this point)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mosquito and Ear

I was told the story of why mosquitos buzz in people's ears over a year ago but I didn't want to post it until I read the book that goes by the same title (by Verna Aardema). After all, I didn't want to be accused of plagiarism in case the stories were the same. Well, how could they be the same? I ordered the book and read it and it's a very interesting story but completely different from my mine. Oh well, except for the title.

Just like the multitude of stories about the tortoise's broken back, I wonder if there's a similar multitude about the mosquito and its ferocious habit of buzzing in people's ears. (Perhaps the habit can be logically explained: the mosquito's buzz is only heard when it's near the ears. But this is a folktale site - logic out.)

I forgot to ask the person who told me this story who Ear married after ridiculing Mosquito. If you know, please share.