The senior wife was called the Iyale while the junior wife was called the
Iyawo. The senior wife, the Iyale was very mean to the Iyawo. She made life
very hard for the Iyawo such that the Iyawo never had enough food to feed her
children or nice clothes to wear. The nicer the Iyawo was, the meaner the Iyale
One day, the junior wife, the Iyawo needed to get some firewood. Since the
Iyale would not help her watch her baby she had to take her baby into the
forest with her. She placed her baby under a tall tree while she went to gather
She finished gathering her firewood and returned to get her baby but the baby
was gone. Yey!? she cried. Ta lo gbo mo mi o? ?Who took my baby?? she
screamed. She ran back and forth looking for her baby, crying and yelling but
couldn’t find her baby anywhere.
Then she looked up, and she saw a bird perched high up in the tree, holding her
baby in its clutches. You bird up in tree, give me back my baby? she called to
the bird. The bird threw down a bundle and the Iyawo quickly ran to get it. But
it was not her baby. It was a bag of coral beads.
She once again appealed to the bird I want my baby, what will I do with coral
beads? Please give me back my baby?. The bird sang to her saying that corals
are worth more than her baby but the Iyawo would not hear of this. She insisted
on her baby.
The bird threw down another bundle and the Iyawo ran to get it. But again, it
was not her baby, it was a bag of gold. She cried to the bird I want my baby,
what will I do with gold? Please give me back my baby!?
This scene was repeated again with the bird throwing down precious stones, but
the Iyawo refused to take these in place of her baby.
Finally, the bird flew down and placed the baby on the ground. Here’s your
baby. And as you have proven not to be a greedy person, you can have all that I
have offered you. Now the Iyawo had not only her baby, but also the bag of
corals, the bag of gold and the precious stones.
When the Iyale saw her come home with all these items, she demanded to know how
the Iyawo had come into possession of such expensive goods. The Iyawo told her
story and the Iyale decided to get her own goods too since she could not be
satisfied with sharing these with the Iyawo. She needed to have more than the
The following morning, the mean senior wife, the Iyale, took her baby into the
forest and laid the baby under the same tall tree from which the Iyawo’s baby
had been taken. Then she went away to make as if she was gathering firewood.
When she got back, her baby was gone.
She looked up and saw her baby in the clutches of the bird perched high up on
the tree. Give me corals, gold and precious stones. And give me back my baby,
she called to the bird?. The bird threw down a bundle. The Iyale eagerly ran
towards this bundle, but instead of coral beads or gold or precious stones, she
You stupid bird, give me corals, gold and precious stones. And give me back my
baby? she called to the bird again. This time the bird threw down a bag of
rubbish. The Iyale screamed at the bird demanding corals, gold and precious
stones. But this time, the bird threw down a bag containing the bones of the