This Ghanaian fable about these four creatures will teach you how to make friends. 

This article is written in loving memory of Mrs Mary Mensah, who affectionately told this story with so much love. We love you so much.

How many friends do you have? We have all of you, and you are our bestie. We’ll do anything for you (just learning with you), but how cute! Of all the friends you’ll ever make, have you made the ones worth dying for, or they’re simply ungrateful? Whatever! Dear friends, what if you travel and left your kids behind at your besties place, would they care for them? Or, what if you got into a trouble with bestie, would you risk your lives for each other? Is it so, or not? The story of these four creatures would really advice you on the kind of person you should have as a buddy. Do you care for a booze?



The Ungrateful Egg Sitter

Once upon a time, the crocodile and the tortoise were very good friends, until one fateful day when the crocodile told the tortoise that she is embarking on an ill-fated journey and might take a very long time. She had just laid her eggs and wouldn’t be around to tend to them. “I will travel to my family at the far end of the river, take good care of my eggs for me.” the crocodile told the tortoise. “No problem my dear friend,” the tortoise assured, “what are we friends for.”

The next day, the tortoise kept to her word, and kept all the eggs in good condition. And so she did every day until the baby crocs were hatched. Eventually, the crocodile returned and saw all her babies alive. “What would I have done without you,” the crocodile said with so much happiness. “Thank you so much. I’ll do the same for you, too,” she promised.

The tortoise also laid her eggs and had to travel, too. She asked her friend to take good care of her eggs, especially away from the river — since eggs of tortoises get damage with water. “I want to travel to visit my family,” said the tortoise to the crocodile,“would you take good care of …” and as the tortoise was about to asked, the crocodile interrupted. “Don’t mention it my friend, I got you,” the crocodile assured the tortoise in good faith.

But unfortunately, the crocodile didn’t keep her word, and never took care of the eggs even when it rained, so all the eggs failed to hatch. And when the tortoise returned, she didn’t meet any. “Where are my babies?” she asked the crocodile what happened. “Well…, I’m no expert with tortoise eggs, so they couldn’t hatch,” the crocodile replied with no shame. “You’re really ungrateful,” the tortoise cried out to the crocodile. “I thought you had my back, but you betrayed me.” The tortoise became very sad.



The Boozing Buddies

Once there lived a hunter who tapped wine from fallen palm trees. For so long, an intruder was tapping his wine, and didn’t know who that was. This was the monkey and the salmon, who were best friends, and had been preying his palm wine. He then intoxicated the wine with a potion, that when taken, you’ll fall asleep. One fateful day, as the buddies were drinking, they realized they’ve been drugged. “Hey buddy, I feel too weak to move,” the monkey said to the salmon. “I feel so, too,” the salmon replied. They fell asleep until the hunter returned.

And when he was back, he caught them red-handed. “Oh my word, I’ve finally got you,” he said in relief. “What shall I do with these two?,” he thought to himself, “Uh, I’ll cook and eat them for dinner.” Yummy! So he picked them up and headed home. On his way, he came across some ripped palm nuts. “Oh my goodness, these palm nuts look good,” he thought to himself again. “I will enjoy a good palm nut soup made with a monkey and a salmon. But who will fetch it for me?” Meanwhile, the monkey and the salmon had awaken, and noticed his plan on cooking them. That’s when they planned their escape.

Silently, the monkey whispered to the salmon:

“I’ll convinced the hunter to release me so I fetch the palm nuts, and as I do so, I’ll deliberately push it into the river nearby. Then you tell him you’re a good swimmer, so you’ll fetch it, and when you get released, swim away. I’ll also climb away through the tree until we meet again safely.”

The monkey told the hunter that he was going to fetch it for him. “Okay!” He agreed. “But won’t you escape?,” he told the monkey. “Never, I promise,” the monkey promised. So as he was fetching it, he pushed it into the river and told the hunter that his friend was a good swimmer, and can fetch it back. “I am a good swimmer, let me fetch it for you,” the salmon said. “No, you’ll escape,” the hunter replied. “Not at all,” the salmon affirmed. So the hunter let loose of the salmon, and immediately, both of them escape from the hunter. That’s genius.



So What Are Friends For?

Dear friends, which of these friends do you wish to befriend? Of course, that of the monkey and the salmon. These friends really did exhibit a sense of mutual companionship. And that’s what friends are, and also being there for each other. As for the tortoise, she was so unfortunate, the crocodile was very ungrateful and couldn’t help her in times of need, even though the tortoise did her a favor she had to pay back. The morale of the story is clear, be a good friend to your friend, and never betray them at all cost. You don’t know when you’ll need them.

Who’s your best friend? Give them a shoutout if they will, too.


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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Sun, Aug 01, 2021.

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