The Talking Beasts eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 288 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.”

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