#FolktalesWednesday: Why The Tortoise Has A Stubbed Nose

Hello folks, welcome to our #folktalesWednesday post for this week. Today we learn another Yoruba tale of why tortoises only have stubs in place of noses like the other animals. Hope you read and enjoy it.

It was a sunny day in the land of the animals, and the market was bubbling and bustling as usual. The Tortoise sat with his wares of ceramics and waited for buyers as he usually does every day. Suddenly the regular hubbub in the market was broken by the sounds of shouting and screaming and the traders in the market who could afford to leave their stall rushed to where the shouting was coming from. It turned out that two of the traders in the market, Shrew, and Squirrel, were fighting. The fight was so serious that none of the other traders or buyers in the market could separate them and everyone could only watch helplessly as the two animals ferociously attacked each other.

   The tortoise was among those who arrived last at the scene, but because one of the two fighters, Squirrel was his friend, he did not bother to try and separate the fighters or hear what led to the fight, he just picked up a stick and began to help Squirrel beat Shrew. This made  Shrew so angry that he left Squirrel whom he had been fighting with and turned on Tortoise, sinking his sharp teeth into Tortoise’s nose. All the efforts of the other  animals  to prise him lose failed. In pain the Tortoise began to sing:

Asín t’oun t’okere             (Shrew and Squirrel)

Response   Jóó mi jó

Awon lo jo n ja                  (Were  Fighting)

Jóó mi jó

Ija ree mo wa la                (I tried to break them up)

Jóó mi jó

l’Asin ba fi mí ní’mu je    (Shrew bit my nose)

Jóó mi jó

E gba mí lowo re               (Save me from him)

Jóó mi jó

Awo mí n be loja                 (my ceramic plates are in the market)

Jóó mi jó

But the Shrew did not leave the Tortoise’s nose, He bit  Tortoise’s nose till it cut off Tortoise’s face. From that day Tortoise’s nose has remained a stub and he has had to speak in a nasal voice.




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