The Talking Beasts eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 215 pages of information about The Talking Beasts.

  “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.”

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Project Gutenberg
The Talking Beasts from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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