from 'Tale Number 1: Wan Fingah No Di Tek Stone'
A long time
ago, the animals of Sierra Leone could talk.
Every evening they would gather at the base of the giant Cotton
Tree, which today stands in the center of Freetown.
They would rest between the Cotton Tree’s huge, wrinkled roots
and tell stories. These are
“In!” shouted the Chimpanzee.
“Out!” shouted the other animals in reply.
“So, Madam Chimpanzee, it is you, who have a story to tell this
night,” spoke the wise old Cotton Tree, inclining his leafy branches to
the animals gathered below.
“Yes, sir,” replied the Chimpanzee.
“And, it is a very important one, too.”
All the animals settled back to listen to the tale.
There once was a very large python who lived in a dark cave in the middle
of the forest. Everyone knew that the python’s favorite food was
(At this point in the story,
Mr. Python, who was coiled up near Mr. Bushcat and Mrs. Leopard, gave a
slight hiss and muttered to the animals nearest him that no
self-respecting python would ever eat a banana. Madam Chimpanzee chose to
ignore this slight disturbance.)
Whenever his neighbors, the
kind and generous chimpanzees, found a large bunch of ripe bananas, they
would carry the load back to their home in the forest and invite their
neighbor, the greedy python, to share their evening meal.
But the greedy python never returned their kindness.
(More hissing from the
direction of Mr. Python.)...