Taja War Profiteering African Folklore teaches attempting to get rich from evil and greedy deeds destroys communities.
Taja War Profiteering African Folklore
Gorilla wants to make a big peace drum. So he goes into the bush and cuts down a large tree. Then he asks his friends to come and help him bring it into town; but the tree is too heavy for them. Gorilla goes to the river, and asks the fish to help. Taja hears the request, and says, "My good friends, since you have no feet and the tree is not in the water, I do not see how you can help." So the fish swim away.
|Greedy Taja only cares about himself|
Gorilla calls three turtles to help him. All pushing together, they slide the tree along the ground, and bring it into town. Taja asks the turtles how they are able to move so heavy a tree. "That's our secret," they say, "and we do not intend to tell you."
Gorilla says, "Since turtles have proved to be the best men in town, I will host a big feast in their honor because of their kindness to me." Gorilla invites to the feast all the animals and dog is asked to dish out the food. The first thing he does is to eat all the hearts and livers. "If you go on at this rate, there will be nothing left to divide," say the animals.
They ask Cat to dish out the food but she begins by stealing a hindquarter and hiding it away for herself. "People always say you are a rogue, and now you prove it!" shout the animals.
Taja offers to dish out the food. He puts the part for Fish and Hook in one bowl, and orders them eat together. Fish refuses, and says, "Hook is my enemy! It is impossible for me to eat with him!"
Taja puts in one bowl the part for Deer and Leopard, and orders them to eat together. "I cannot 'food' with my mortal enemy," says Deer, leaving his part.
The part for Rat and Cat is put in one bowl, and Rat refuses to eat.
Since Taja has given each bowlful to animals’ enemy to each other, the food lies untouched so Taja takes it all for himself.
The animals are very angry!
Possum says, "I will call Wasp and Hornet to come and sting Taja for robbing us of our 'food.'" Wasp and Hornet go to Taja's house, one going in by the front door, the other by the back. They sting Taja so severely, that he rolls on the ground in pain, and cries for help. His relative, Squirrel, hears, and calls Fire to burn the house to destroy Wasp and Hornet. Cat, passing, sees the house in flames. She remembers that Taja has all the food, so she decides to help him, in hopes that he will share with her. She calls Rain to put out Fire.
All the animals call for Taja to come out of his house and atone for the great harm he has done to the village but Taja refuses. The animals send him into exile and now they say in Taja's town, "Greed should never be allowed to profit from kindness."