The King showed Tortoise a magic breadfruit-tree. “Every morning, the tree produces breadfruit, but you may harvest only once each day, no more.”
Tortoise gathered breadfruit each morning, and his family ate happily.
Tortoise’s son asked where the food came from, but Tortoise wouldn’t say.
So, the son poked a hole in Tortoise’s sack and filled it with ashes. After Tortoise returned with breadfruit, his son followed the trail to the breadfruit-tree. But when he reached for a breadfruit, the tree turned into a thornbush.
When Tortoise came back the next morning, there was no more breadfruit, just a thornbush.
[a story from southern Nigeria]
Inspired by: Folk Stories From Southern Nigeria by Elphinstone Dayrell.
Notes: This is a continuation of Tortoise and the King's Drum. Also, in the original story, the tree drops cooked foo-foo; I made it a breadfruit tree, since foo-foo is not a familiar term for some readers. The thorn-bush at the end is called "prickly tie-tie palm" and that is where tortoises supposedly live today.
Breadfruit: also called ukwa.
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