A lot of stories have been passed down from generation to generation, and when you sit down to think about them, you would be amazed at how naïve we were to have believed them (or you probably still do). Although I haven’t heard much about fables from other cultures around the world, Nigerian fables are just really funny and you will agree that it is a true reflection of the depth of our creativity.
Fables have been used over time for the moral and social upbringing of young people. They are often composed as convincing stories to discourage or restrain children for social vices and bad behavior and also reinforce their belief system.
How on earth could we have believed as kids that whenever a piece of biscuit or sweet drops on the ground, the devil suddenly grows an appetite for earthly food and takes a big bite out of the biscuit? If that were true, only God knows how many times you must have dined with the devil because it takes a lot of restraint and self-discipline to allow your precious biscuit or candies go to waste.
Or how could we have believed that whenever we experience rain and sunshine at the same time, it means a lioness somewhere in a distant forest had just put to bed? Maybe we need to camp in a forest and observe lions to substantiate this claim, but I’m sure you wouldn’t want to do that. Me neither.
One fable that never stops to make me laugh is the one about teeth growth during childhood. When a tooth fell out to give way for a new one, I remember being told to carefully select seven pieces of stone and throw them along with the tooth on the roof. The reason given then was that, if the tooth was thrown away without the stones and a lizard happened to swallow it, one would never growth teeth again!
Just imagine what growing up as a Nigerian kid would have been without these fables or ‘fabu’ as the Yoruba people would say. It would have been really boring I’m sure. Can you remember any other fable right now? Please do not keep them to yourself. Let’s have it in the comment box below and reminisce together.