The Tortoise and His Meal Ticket

The Tortoise and His Meal Ticket

In ancient times there lived a young greedy, playful, and troublesome tortoise in the animal kingdom. He was always going around the kingdom causing troubles with his friend; Johnbu. Asides rough plays, he loved food so dearly.

One morning as his mother started preparing food, he came to sit by her and started disturbing her. So, she told him to go to the village market square to worship the gods and come back to eat later. However, he must not forget the word owasigbo as that would be his meal ticket.

Tortoise then went ahead with Johnbu to play in the kingdom and cause more trouble. After some time, he became hungry and went back home. 

On getting home he couldn’t remember the word his mother told him. His mother then advised him to go back to the market square and plead with the gods to jolt his memory. The problem is, he didn’t worship them earlier that day and as such, they won’t hear his plea.

Tortoise then snuck into his mother’s kitchen to steal from the food pot. But his hand couldn’t reach the pot for it was placed on the roof top.

TheHearth however, offered to tell Tortoise the word and asked that Tortoise also feed him with some logs of wood in exchange. Tortoise promised he would do so as soon as the Hearth tells him.

Your food ticket is owasigbo, said the Hearth.

Tortoise ran and told his mother and she gave him the food. But, he didn’t fulfil his end of the bargain to the Hearth.

As it is a taboo in the kingdom for anyone to eat while standing, Tortoise begged Apoti (a stool) to allow him sits on him. Apoti refused him because he saw what just happened between the Tortoise and the Hearth.

Tortoise turned to the tree and begged the tree to let him sit on her. The tree refused as well.

Now, the Ground offered himself to Tortoise in exchange for a morsel of the meal. Tortoise agreed that he would remain some for Ground. But he never did. As soon as the Ground sees him taking the last morsel of the meal, the Ground opened and swallow Tortoise whole.

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