(As recalled by Anote Ajeluorou)
Omo vra nobe ravre, te’ero uvu me te’ero aso!
Kene, marie warie; uje t’edejo, Ogbei ote wo’no obi nya’eze ireghe evao obo awho igheghe. Oje’ru no, ote fi’ereghe ho evao ukoko oyegbe ulogbo o te muho enyavre be nya ze ereghe.
No o nya tha’abo no evao edhere, ote to oria no urhe’ulogbo jo ukie fiho gbere edhere na. Ogbei oteje gwolo epano ore ro eza urhe na zre, reki yo orie epano ore rue he. Avo ukoko’oyegbe rie no okru ho’obho, ateje rova fikino obesai gadie urhe ulogbo na vre he. Oteke rova gaga. Ote gadie, ove kie avo ukoko’oyogbe rie.
Ko’ere Ogbei avo ukoko’oyogbe rie aje rova, Ogbei no obe’nya nyai ze ereghe!
Koyeho, omovra jo no obe ravre oye ruere Ogbei no obe rova begwolo epano orero gadie opkure fiho abobe kere orue edhere nyavre nyai ze ereghe.
Omovra na ote nwruo’to ze ote se ogbei, no’no ko, gbove whe’obe nya kpoho no whojebe rova epano who’be ro gadie urhere na?
Ogbei ote dime gaga, ote warie take omovra na no, ‘Ima oniovo; mebe gwolo kpoho obo’awho no iwho’ereghehe nya ze ireghe kai. Reko, okpo’ure nana ute kie gbere edhere no me nya. Ko’ure na mebe gwolo gadie fiho abo’obe re mesa nya vre’.
Omovra na ote kie fiho oto, ote whe owhe gaga. Ute gbe Ogbei uno, no fiki em omovra na obe ro whe me owhe? Oje zunu, Omovra na ote teke Ogbei no, ‘Ko fiki eme who gbe fi ukoko’yogbe ra fiho enu’o ure na re wh o mara kake gadie ruo abo’be tao re who tete tolo ukoko’yogbe ra ha?’
Uyo no Omovra na yo ke Ogbei ute gbei unu gaga! Ogbei, ote gine fio ukoko’yogbe na fiho enu ure na rene oye omarie otete gadie fiho abo’be rene otete tolo ukoko’yogbe rie. Onya rie ote vere gaga. Oma ote loho Ogbei gaga. Ote bo no, ‘Uzeme, owho’vo no’wo ereghe reno evao akpo na oro’ho!’
Ete Ogbei oje siobo no ukoko’yogbe rie fiho oto, te zihe kpo, no eki ereghe no oje nya na u who’toho, keme na owho’vo no owo ereghereno orie he!
Tortoise and the Calabash of Wisdom!
(As translated by Anote Ajeluorou)
Bird that is flying by, tell your tale by noonday so I can tell mine by night! (if the tale session is by night), or
Bird that is flying by, tell your tale by night while I tell mine by noonday!
So it was, and men, women and living beings lived together.
One day, Tortoise set out to go and sell wisdom in the land of foolishness. He filled a big calabash with wisdom and cocked it tight to go and sell; and then he started on his journey.
After walking a while, he came upon a huge tree that fell across the path on his way to sell wisdom. Tortoise would have to climb through to go on his journey, but he could not as he clutched tightly onto his calabash of precious wisdom. He would climb and fall back flat on the same side and could not climb over. Tortoise struggled the better part of the day trying to climb the tree to get on his way to sell wisdom.
That was the case with Tortoise and his calabash of wisdom, as he struggled to get through the tree to the other side to sell his Calabash of Wisdom!
Then at that moment after Tortoise had struggled without success, a certain bird passing by saw him toiling to climb to the other side of the huge tree across his path with his Calabash of Wisdom to go and sell wisdom but could not.
The bird then came down and hailed Tortoise and called out to him saying, ‘Where are you going that you are struggling to climb this tree across your path with this big calabash?’
Tortoise heaved a sigh of frustration and said to the bird, ‘The trouble in this life, my brother. I’m on my way to the land of foolishness with this Calabash of Wisdom to go and sell wisdom to them. But this tree fell and blocked my path; so, it is this tree I am trying to climb so as to get to my destination.
The bird fell to the ground and laughed heartily. The bird’s laughter puzzled Tortoise a great deal as he wondered at it. When he recovered from his mirth, the bird said, ‘Why not put your calabash on top of the tree and climb over first, then you can pick up your calabash and go your way!’
The bird’s solution to Tortoise’s toiling almost all day long silenced him to the point of wonderment. Then Tortoise put his calabash on top of the tree and climbed over and picked up his calabash. It became so simple a task to him. He simply sat down, exhausted.
He then exclaimed, ‘Indeed, there’s no single one that has all the wisdom in this world!’
Tortoise then left his calabash of wisdom and turned round and went back home from his mission of selling wisdom in the land of foolishness even before he got there because he realised that no one has all the wisdom in the whole world!