THE TORTOISE AND THE DRUM
One day, the
tortoise was walking along a forest path when he came across a palm tree that
had plenty of palm kernel fruits. The tortoise was hungry and the fruits
looked juicy and ripe to eat, if only he could reach one of them. He got hold
of a long stick and successfully shook some of the fruits off the tree.
Unfortunately, before he was able
The tortoise then decided to follow the fallen fruits and find them wherever
As he looked around, he found a spirit happily chewing on one of his palm
The spirit led the tortoise into a building where there were several rows of
When the tortoise returned to the forest, he stopped to rest under a tree.
The following morning, he woke up, picked up his drum and went to his house.
The following day, every animal was at the tortoise’s house again. The
The tortoise would have to return to the spirit world to get a new drum and
When he arrived in the spirit world, he found the same spirit at the same
This time, the tortoise picked the biggest drum he could find. He needed a
He picked up his new drum stick and beat the drum. Instead of food, a
Narrators comments: I had a feeling that this folktale may be not
be of Yoruba origin. This story of the King’s magic drum from Calabar (South Eastern Nigeria) somewhat validates
that feeling. It’s a different story but contains similar elements – the
magic drum, palm kernels, spirits and of course, the greedy tortoise.