Skip to main content

Tortoise and Elephant African Folktale

Tortoise and Elephant is a thought-provoking African folktale. African folktales are stories forming part of an oral storytelling tradition shaped by the tongues of African elders passed down from one generation to the next. 

Tortoise and Elephant African Folktale

There was a great King who ruled in the village of Gbogan a long long time ago at a time when animals could talk. The King took very ill for a long period of time and was at the point of death. After several attempts by medicine men from within the kingdom to heal the king failed, “Ikumejakako”, the dreaded herbalist who dwelt in the evil forest was consulted. He examining the king and pronounced that the king would have to take a special brew made of elephant body parts or die within seven days.

The King and his chiefs wondered how they would capture a big and dangerous animal like an elephant. The king after consultation with his chiefs made an announcement throughout the kingdom that anyone who would capture an elephant within seven days would get half of the kingdom and his beautiful daughter as a bride.

The tortoise came forward to accept the challenge. He made a request of the King, that a very deep pit be dug and that the pit should be concealed with raffia and mats and that a throne fit for a king should be set on top of the pit. The tortoise made some “akara” balls (bean cakes) and set out into the forest in search of an elephant. The wandered through the forest making inquiries of his fellow animals until the third day when he stumbled on an elephant resting under a tree…….

Tortoise: Elephant, what are you doing here…haven’t you heard the news?

Elephant: What news? Do not disturb my siesta tortoise, I do not like gossip

Tortoise: I don’t believe my eyes, a whole King, resting in the forest under a shade!!

Elephant: A King, what King?

Tortoise: YOU!! The king is dead and the elders have decided to make you king over the people.

Elephant: (roars with laughter)….you must be a joker tortoise, who would want to make an old ugly elephant like me a king?

Tortoise: There is no time for explanations, preparations are already at an advanced stage in the kingdom for your coronation, we must make haste, see, I have proof (he brought out one of the “akara” balls and handed one over to the elephant) This akara is only a small part of the delicacies being prepared for your coronation.

Elephant: (putting the akara into his mouth) Hmmmmm….this is delicious…really delicious it must be true, lets make haste.

And so the tortoise led the elephant all the way to the village handing out the akara balls to him at intervals and singing popular coronation songs to him all the way.

As the tortoise and the elephant approached the palace, news of the capture of the elephant spread like wild fire, everybody came out of their houses and started following the duo to the palace joyous and joining in tortoise’s songs. This all created an atmosphere of festivities reinforcing the belief in the elephant’s mind that he was to be made king.

Elephant: Your story must be true…the people are really joyous to see me.
Tortoise: You know I wouldn't lie to you, can’t you see them singing that your reign shall be long?

As the throne finally came into sight, the elephant lumbered into it majestically dancing and singing. He sat on the throne and instantly the ground gave way beneath him and he fell into the pit. The king’s warriors immediately descended upon him with spears and clubs and butchered him. Once the king had taken a sip of the elephant broth made for him, he became instantly well and fulfilled his promise towards the tortoise.

Ever wonder about...
The Curse of the Chameleon an African Folktale

Wise words from the ancestors

The tongue breaks bones though it has none.

Popular posts from this blog

Nature Holds Many Secrets | Hurricanes, Angry African Ancestors

Eastern coasts of Caribbean, United States, and South America, are in danger of being blasted by hurricanes wind and rain during hurricane season from June through November. But, why?  

The scientific reason why is because of Africa’s Sahara desert dust storms and the transition of thunderstorms off the west coast of Africa. The waters in the North Atlantic Ocean are typically at their warmest while the Sahara is at its hottest from July through October, so the chances of a hurricane are highest during these months.
Hurricanes are gigantic weather systems using convection, the movement of hot and cold air, to create dangerous storms. They are rotating heat engines powered by the warmth of tropical waters having three main parts, the eye, the eyewall, and rainbands. 

Hurricanes cannot form just anywhere in the world due to the need for hot and humid air. They normally form close to the equator and move west or northwest. Hurricane Alley is a stretch of warm water through the Atlantic Ocea…

Charging Cell Phones in Rural Africa

Charging Cell Phones Rural Africa

Charging Cell Phones in Rural Africa

The simple task of charging a cell phone is no simple matter in rural African villages far from an electric grid.
With the advent of tiny rooftop solar panels electricity could be accessible to millions.
African governments are struggling to meet to electric needs of the poorest of the poor living in rural areas. 

Living off-grid may be a lifestyle choice to some and a fact of everyday living to the poorest of the poor. However, tiny rooftop solar panels and high-efficiency LED lights across the African continent could provide enough electricity to charge cell phones. 

Cell phones are vital for people in rural areas with no access to banks in order to send and receive money, access medical care and stay in contact with family and friends.
What does Off-Grid Mean? Off the grid (off-grid) means creating your own self-sufficient environment and being able to operate completely independently of all trad…

Survival of the Fattest, obese Europeans starving Africa

Survival of the Fattest

Rich get richer Survival of the Fattest, obese Europeans starving Africa
Survival of the Fattest is a sculpture of a small starving African man, carrying Lady Justice, a huge obese European woman who is a symbol of the rich world. Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture

Survival of the Fattest Meaning
The copper statue Survival of the Fattest by Jens Galschiøt and Lars Calmar was created in 2002. The fat woman is holding a pair of scales as a symbol of justice however; she is closing her eyes so the justice. Galschiot symbolized the woman as being blind, refusing to see the obvious injustice.
For the rich people of the world the main issue in life is that of overeating while people in the third world are dying every day from hunger. 
The misery of imbalanced wealth distribution is creating floods of refugees. However the rich only want to preserve their privileges and take measures so harsh against the poor, they betray their morals …