Wednesday, 13 May 2015


Many years back the hippopotamus, whose name was idongesit, was one of the biggest kings on the land; he was second only to the elephant. The hippo had two fat wives, of whom he was very fond. As the custom of the land , there was always feasting at the end of every month. The  hippo tends to be an outright bully as he  takes undue advantage to ripoff the peoples benefit on every feast. holding that any beast who will find out what his name was would be served food in the feast, otherwise, they go home empty.
 A curious thing was that, although every one knew the hippo, no one, except his two wives, knew his name.

At one of the feasts, just as the people were about to sit down, the hippo said, "You have come to feed at this table, but none of you know my name. If you cannot tell my name, you shall all go away without your dinner." As they could not guess his name, they had to go away and leave all the good food and tombo( native wine) behind. 
"Not again" the tortoise lamented,  "there must be a way out", he muttered to himself. Before they left, the tortoise stood up and asked the hippopotamus what he would do or give in return to any who found out his name at the next feast? The hippo laughed wickedly and said "impossible". Peradventure, any one got to know my name, "I would be so ashamed of myself, that I and my whole family would leave the land for all the beast to reside in the water permanently".

Now it was the custom for the hippo and his two wives to go down every morning and evening to the river to wash and have a drink. Of this custom the tortoise was aware. As the head, the hippo would be at the front, while the two wives gossip and followed suit. One day when they had gone down to the river to bathe, the tortoise made a small hole in the middle of the path, and then waited. Immediately he saw the hippo and his wives approaching, he quickly plunge into the hole and half buried himself, leaving his greater part of his shell exposed. Shortly after the hippo passed, the tortoise raised his hard shell so that one of the wives  knocked her foot against the tortoise's shell, and immediately called out to her husband, "Oh! idongesit , my husband, I have hurt my foot." At this the tortoise was very glad, and went joyfully home, as he had found out the hippo's name.

When the next feast was fixed, the hippo made the same condition about his name; so the tortoise got up and said, "You made a promise to the hearing of every one here that whoever would tell your name, you will not kill the person but pack your belongings to the water. The tortoise then shouted as loud as he was able, "Your name is Idongesit," at which a cheer went up from all the animals waiting for this day to come, and then they sat down to their dinner  and was happy that the bully in their midst would finally leave.

When the feast was over, the hippo and his family, in accordance with his promise, went down to the river and made it their home, and they have always lived in the water from that day till now; although they come on shore to feed at night, you never find a hippo on the land in the daytime.

Do not pose a threat to others as they would want your downfall soon.

For more WHY and HOW tales visit this link below


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