Why the crocodile does not eat hens

When the river Ogoué was only known by the Akula, the Akowa, the Baka, the Bakoya, the Babongo and the Bakuy peoples, that is by those who we incorrectly call pigmies, there was a hen that would go to the river bank to feed. The hen used to go there because the river currents left behind remains of food. But it wasn't the Akula, the Akowa, the Baka, the Bakoya, the Babongo nor the Bakuy peoples that inhabited the river Ogoué — it was the crocodile who reigned there. And the crocodile was also a hungry animal.

“Oh, brother, don't do it!”, crowed the hen.

The crocodile was surprised to hear this and left the hen in peace.

“She called me brother”, said the crocodile to himself.

A few days later the hen appeared at the riverside again. And, from the middle of the river Ogoué, the crocodile suddenly surfaced, determined to eat her.

“Oh, brother, don't do it!”, pleaded the hen.

And the crocodile, once again affected, dived under the water.

“She called me brother”, said the crocodile, “but the hen lives on land and I live in the water!”

As he could not live with that uncertainty, the crocodile decided to go and visit Nzambé, the wise elder of all the Akula, the Akowa, the Baka, the Bakoya, the Babongo and the Bakuy peoples. On the road he met his friend, the lizard.

“Where are you off to, friend crocodile?”

“I'm going to ask Nzambé for some advice.”

“What's the matter? Have you got a problem?”

“Well, when I approach the hen to eat it,” she says, “Oh, brother, don't do it!” So I'm going to ask Nzambé about it.

Then the lizard said to him,

“Friend crocodile, don't be stupid. If you ask Nzambé that, you'll only be demonstrating your own ignorance. It doesn't matter if the hen lives on the land and you in the water. Ducks and tortoises live in water and they lay eggs like the hen. And doesn't the crocodile lay eggs, too?”

“Yes”, replied the crocodile, red with embarrassment.

“The hen is your sister”, declared the lizard.

And this is the reason why the crocodile never eats hens.

Text: Koldo Izagirre

Translation: Joe Linehan

Voice: Tim Nicholson

This is the story about the crocodile that wanted to eat the hen - swimming all the way from the land of the Pygmy peoples in Africa

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