#FolktaleWednesdays: Tortoise and the Three Brothers

 Hello folks, it is nice to have you on the blog this Wednesday. Today we are kicking off with our first #FolktalesWednesday story for the year. This year, Ijapa the tortoise is back with another of his shenanigans which is designed by the Yoruba to teach everyone, both old and young life lessons . Today’s story is titled Tortoise and the Three Brothers. Read and enjoy it as usual.

Once upon a time in small town, Tortoise and three brothers lived together as friends. Because the brothers were orphans, they regarded Tortoise as a father figure, and often went to him for advice.

One day the three brothers went to Tortoise for advice as usual. It was the eldest brother who spoke for the group. He said to Tortoise “As you can see, we are old enough to decide on the careers we want to pursue, so we have come to you for advice, given that you are the nearest person we have to a father now.” Tortoise was impressed with the brothers, so he said: “Thank you all for the honour the three of you have accorded to me, coming to me for advice. It is because you know that I can never mislead you. I am also happy that like good people of our community, you are also thinking about getting jobs.  However As you can see. I, Tortoise, do not have a farm to go to or any trade that I engage in or any goods that I sell, yet I get enough to eat and  toeven give out. I will teach you how I do it, you will be my agents, I will send you out to work, and you will bring back returns.” The three brothers promised to go home and think about it.

When they got home the middle brother called the remaining two brothers and said ” if Tortoise has neither farm, nor trade he has learnt nor goods that  he sells, yet he has so much,  he must be doing something illegal. Whatever he is doing, We should not be part of it. I suggest we all  disregard his advice and instead find legal jobs to do instead.” the other two brothers agreed, so they sat down to think. For days they sat together to think. At last they managed to make their decisions. The first brother decided that he wanted to be a palmwine tapper and seller, the second decided that he would be a boatman, ferrying villagers across the nearby river for a fee, the third wanted to be a hunter. Happy with their choices, they went to Tortoise to tell him about it. However, instead of Tortoise to be happy for them, He flew into a rage “You impudent children! You think you are smart by refusing to listen to my advice? Because you refused to heed my advice, all of you will fail.” With that he sent them out of his house.

The three brothers were not deterred by Tortoise’s threats, and each faced his chosen vocation and worked hard at it. The brothers’ dead parents in heaven seeing how hard they were working, started to lend them supernatural aid. Soon the brothers started to prosper. This made Tortoise extremely angry and jealous, so he started spreading malicious rumours about the three brothers, but when nothing stuck, he went to the King himself and said “ Your majesty, may you live long and may your rule over us be peaceful. As a concerned citizen I have come to report an issue to you. I have noticed that there are three brothers living in this town. These brothers have been going around boasting about the superhuman feats they have achieved, one a palmwine tapper, says he can climb the tallest palm tree in this town without a support rope, the second, a boatman, says he once swam the length of the entire sea in one day, while the third a hunter say he has in his possession an arrow which can hit the sky.” The king looked at the Tortoise incredulously “But there is no way a normal human being can do any of those things? Are you sure that these brothers said these things, knowing fully well that the penalty for lying in this town is death? “I am sure they said it, I can even call witnesses,” Tortoise declared with confidence

The king summoned the three brothers, who of course denied that they said any such thing. The king didn’t believe them, he said ” The three of you have seven days to prove that you can achieve those superhuman feats you boasted about or you will be beheaded at the grove of Ogun.”



If you want to know how the story ended, watch out for part two of the story coming to the blog next week. In the meantime, follow this space for more quality content coming in 2018.



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