The chimpanzees wanted to be farmers. They went to town and stole everything they needed — rakes, hoes, shovels — but the baskets loaded with tools were so heavy that the chimpanzees abandoned them by the roadside and never farmed.
Some chameleons found the baskets and tried to carry them away, but the baskets were too heavy. That is how chameleons got their hunched backs.
Some frogs found the baskets and tried to carry them away but they had no foreheads for the straps, so they put the straps in their mouths. It broke their teeth; that's why frogs have no teeth.
[a Temne story from Sierra Leone]
Inspired by: "Why Chimpanzees Don't Farm" in Anthropological report on Sierra Leone: Stories (Temne) by Northcote Thomas, 1916.
Notes: You can read the original story online. This is really two stories; the first part is about building a house, and the second part is about farming.
Post a Comment