THE MONSTER WHO HAD FIRE

This story took place a long time
ago at a time when fire was scarce and only those who were very skilled at
controlling fire had it whenever they wanted.

Others who needed fire would go
to such people to tap some fire from them.

But there was a little village where they only man who could control fire was
also a monster. He had huge teeth and he looked horrible. Whenever people came
to his house to tap fire, they would laugh at him and he would get so angry
that he would sometimes eat them up.

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In the same village, there lived a man who had seven children. The family
needed fire, so the man sent his first child to get fire from the
monster.

When the child arrived at the monsters house, the following exchange too
place [as a song in Yoruba]:

Monster: Kí lo wá se 
Child: Mo wá mú ná, èru bà mí 
Monster: Èru kí ni? 
Child: Èru eyín re 
Ó bá fi s’énu káló 

Monster: What do you want?
C: I’m here to tap fire but I am afraid
M: Afraid of what?
C: Afraid of your teeth
Then he swallowed the child

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The father waited for his first child and after a while, he sent his second
child to go after the first one. When the second child arrived at the monsters
house, the same exchange took place:

Monster: Kí lo wá se 
Child: Mo wá mú ná, èru bà mí 
Monster: Èru kí ni? 
Child: Èru eyín re 
Ó bá fi s’énu káló 

Then the father sent his third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh child, one
after the other but none of them returned. So the father went in search of his
children.

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When he got to the monsters house, he asked for his children and the monster
told him that his children had been naughty. The monster said they had come to
look at his teeth rather than get fire which is why he ate them. When the
father heard this, he brought out his axe, killed the monster and slit his
belly where he rescued all seven children.

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