All the animals mocked Gorilla. “You are so ugly!” they shouted, laughing. “Broken-Face! Broken-Face!”
This made Gorilla mad, so he went to Monkey and asked, “Tell me, friend: is my face really broken as they say?”
Monkey was afraid to answer. “Let me go get us some fruit,” he said, “and then we can talk.” Monkey quickly scrambled up a tamarind tree, and from the very highest branch he shouted down to Gorilla, “Look up here!”
Gorilla looked up.
Monkey laughed and said, “It’s true, Broken-Face, it’s true, it’s true.”
Then Monkey scampered away through the tree-tops, leaving Gorilla behind.
[a Fang story from Gabon]
Inspired by: "Candor" in Where animals talk: west African folk lore tales by Robert H. Nassau, 1912.
Notes: You can read the original story online. This is a story from the Fang, a Bantu people of Equatorial Guinea, northern Gabon, and southern Cameroon; find out more at Wikipedia. In Fang, Ngiya is the gorilla, and the monkey in this story is Ingenda.