“Turtle of Koka,
And fire of Koka;
Fire will not kill me a bit.
On my back,
It is like stone;
Not there can
Catch on fire.”
The people said: “We will kill him with knives.” Turtle said:
“Turtle of Koka,
And knife of Koka;
Knife will not kill me a bit.”
The people said: “This fellow, how shall we do? How shall we kill him?” These said: “Let us cast him into the depth of water.” Turtle said: “Woe! I shall die there! How shall I do?” The people said: “We have it! We have found the way we can kill him!”
They carry him; they arrive with him at the river. They cast him into the depth. Turtle dives; after a while he emerges. There he is swimming and singing:
“In water, in my home!
In water, in my home!”
The people said: “Oh! Turtle has fooled us. We were going to kill him with hatchets; he says, ‘Hatchet will not kill me a bit.’ We spoke of casting him into the water; he says, ‘I am going to die.’ We came; we cast him into the water; but we saved him.”
This is what caused the Turtle to live in the water: the people were going to kill him; but he was shrewd.
Nianga Dia Ngenga and Leopard
Nianga Dia Ngenga takes up his gun, saying: “I will go a-hunting.” He has reached the bush; he has hunted; he saw not game; he says: “I will go.”
When he returns home, he finds Mr. Leopard, whom they have stuck up in the fork of a tree. When he sees Nianga, he says: “Father Nianga, help me out!” Nianga says: “What has done this to thee?” He says: “Unfork me first; I shall tell thee.”
Nianga took him out; he set him on the ground. He says: “Elephant has stuck me up in the fork of the tree. Sir, to whom one has given life, one gives more. I have been two days on the tree; give me a little food.” Nianga says: “Where shall I find food?” He says: “Anywhere.”
Nianga takes up his dog; he gives it to Mr. Leopard. Mr. Leopard ate it and said, “I am not satisfied.” Nianga takes up also the other dog; he gives it to Mr. Leopard. He has eaten, says, “Still I have not enough.” Nianga dia Ngenga took up his cartridge-box; he gives him it. Mr. Leopard, when he had eaten it, said, “Still I have not enough.”
Hare comes; he finds them talking; says: “Why are you quarrelling?” Nianga says: “Mr. Leopard, I found him in the fork of a tree. Says he, ‘Take me out!’ I took him out. Says he, ‘Give me to eat!’ I gave him both my dogs and my cartridge-box. He says, ‘Give me more to eat.’ That is what we are quarrelling about.”
Hare says: “Mr. Leopard, let him be again on the tree, where he was; that I may see.” Mr. Leopard returns to the tree, where he was. Hare moves off to a distance; he calls Nianga. He says: “Thou, Nianga, art unwise. Mr. Leopard is a wild beast, he is wont to catch people. Thou, who didst get him out of there, he wanted to devour thee. Shoot him.”