Friday, December 9, 2011

The Fairy Frog

In a land far away, at a time before time was measured, lived a beautiful maiden. She was taller and more beautiful than all of the king's daughters. Her sisters feared that they would never get noticed as long as Tombi-Ende (Tall Maiden) was alive.  The sisters took her to a great pit and buried her alive.  They told the king that she fell into a pit and suffocated and died.  Each girl told a different story of Tombi-Ende's death, so the king did not believe them. But Tombi-Ende was not dead.  The cracks in the ground provided her with enough air to breathe sing out.  As darkness fell a giant frog came to her rescue. He dug her out and swallowed her, and jumped out of the pit.  The frog agreed to carry the princess to her grandmothers village, because it would be safer than her own.  The journey was long and dangerous, but neither human or animal bothered the great frog and the princess inside him.  When the frog returned Tombi-Ende to her grandmother they prepared a feast.  Before the end of the feast the frog had disappeared.  The King sent his son to bring Tombi-Ende home safely.  But the three day journey was made even more difficult because the springs were drying up.  As the two searched for water a giant appeared, offering to help them find water in exchange for the princess.  Out of options they agreed.  The giant took them to a tree and stuck his spear into the ground, and out came a fountain of water.  The two drank there fill. They looked as the giant took his true form as an ogre. As Tombi-Ende cried out in fear, the giant frog leaped out of the fountain.  He opened his mouth and swallowed the ogre and drowned him in the fountain.  The frog accompanied Tombi-Ende and her brother to their father's home.  The king wanted to kill the frog, but Tombi-Ende told him how he saved her life twice.  As she looked on him with compassion, the frog turned in to a handsome prince even taller than Tombi-Ende.  The frog was the son of a great chief, and had been turned into a frog the the ogre until he could win the heart of a beautiful maiden.  Within days the two were married and lived with joy until the end of there story.

Monday, November 7, 2011


A skinny 95 lb man is tired of being picked on and seeks heavenly advice to solve his problem.  A voice speaks to the man. "Go and push the rock at the bottom of the hill."  Certain the voice was from God, the man finds the boulder and begins trying to push it up the hill.  The man pushes all day but the boulder does not move. The next morning the voice speaks to him again, "Go an push the rock at the bottom of the hill.  Again the man pushes the boulder but it does not move.  Day after day, week after week, month after month the man pushes the rock.  After a year of pushing that boulder, the man once again seeks heavenly advice. "I asked you to help me with by problem and you sent me to push a rock, I have done it without question. But I don't see why you keep telling me to push a rock that will not budge."  The voice spoke to the man again. "Look in the mirror."  In the mirror was a strong man with ripped muscles. in a year pushing that rock caused a transformation in his body.  The voice spoke again and said, "I had you push the rock not because I wanted the  rock to be changed, but that you could be changed!" Moral: Many obstacles in your life are there to transform your life, not for you to transform them.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dreaming Under The Baobab Tree

Two friends who lived in poverty decided a change in location may bring a change in their fortune as well.  The two men began their journey looking for a better future.  They traveled for many days and nights, up and down hills and valleys.  There came a time that one friend could travel no further. He stopped in a small village and decided to stay.  The other friend kept going.  That night he found shelter under the Baobab tree. As he slept the tree spoke to him in a dream.  "The King's daughter in the next village is very sick.  Take a leaf from my branches and make her a tea, when she drinks she will be healed."  The next morning the man took the leaf and traveled to the house of the King.  He told the King he was here to heal his daughter.  After many questions the King let the man enter.  He prepared a tea from the leaf of the Baobab tea, and spoon fed her until she was well.  The King rewarded the man with great wealth and also the hand of his daughter in marriage.  One day he was thinking about his traveling companion, so he paid him a visit.  His friend's fortune had not changed, he was still very poor. The rich friend told the story of the dream under the Baobab tree.  Upon leaving he gave his friend a bag of gold sharing his good fortune.  The bag of gold  was not enough for the friend.  That night he found the Baobab tree and slept under the tree hoping for a special dream.  During the night the tree spoke "Leave this place".  But the man refused.  Again the tree spoke "Leave this place!" Again, the man refused.  A third time the tree spoke "Leave this place now!  The man refused a third time. The man refused to listen to the dream that would change his fortune.  In the morning the man was found dead, killed in the night by wild animals.  Moral: Follow your Dreams!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Hunter and the Crocodile

Donso the hunter was coming back from a hunt when he came across Bamba the Crocodile and his family returning from vacation.  The Crocodiles had been out of the water far too long and needed help to return to the river.  "Can you return us to our home in the river?', asked Bamba.  "I cannot, you crocodiles have a reputation for biting people in the river.  That is a chance I dare not take."  Bamba and his family began to cry.  Moved by the crocodiles tears Donso finally agreed to carry them to river.  He stacked all five crocodiles on top of each other.  Bamba was on the bottom and the baby was on the top. He tied them together and carried them to the river on his head.  Bamba asked Donso to carry them deeper into the river where the current was strongest.  Now in the deep water Bamba took Donso's arm in his mouth and refused to let it go.  The Donso and Bamba both argued for a long time about right and wrong.  Soon Cow,  Horse, Guinea Fowl came to the river to drink.  Donso asked them for help, but each had been disrespected by Man and refused to help.  Finally the clever Hare came to the river.  He listened to Donso's plea for help and explanation for his predicament.  The Hare rounded over on the ground laughing.  "No one your size could put a load of crocodiles on his head. I don't believe it."  "It is true", Bamba insisted.  "Bamba show me how he did it", said Hare.  They all came out of the river and Donso stacked and tied them up just like before.  Hare said to the hunter, "Now take your crocodiles home to your family and make a great feast.  Grateful, Donso invited Hare come his village for the celebration. As Donso entered the village a man told him that his wife had become very ill, and only the tears of a crocodile could save her. Donso then turned to Bamba and promised to free his family in exchange for a few of their tears.  The crocodiles begin to cry tears of joy which the hunter collected and ran home to save his wife. Moral: We must live in harmony each other because need one another to survive.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Healer

A man shows up in a small town, but the people there had already heard about this man.  He was said to be a healer, he could place his hands on someone and instantly they would be healed.  As soon as the people of this town heard he was in town, they began to line up hoping for a miracle.  The man soon came out to the crowd, healing those who asked.  A homeless man asks the Healer to touch him and give him the ability to read.  The man told the Healer because he couldn't read he couldn't get any work, and his life had no hope with out being able to read. The Healer reached out and placed his hand on his head and prayed for the man to recieve the ability to read.  Grateful the man went away.  A year passed and the Healer returned to same small town.  Once again crowds began to gather to be healed.  The Healer was praying and healing those who were sick, when a voice cried out "HE IS A FAKE!" The voice declared "This man is a Charlatan, he can't heal anyone."  The Healer was looking through out the crowd for man behind the voice.  In the back was a well dressed man.  "Do I know you Sir? "asked the Healer?  "A year ago I came to you for prayer, I asked you to give me the ability to read.  Since that time I have read all kinds of magazine and newspaper articles, and scientific research available about divine healing.  According to all I have read You are a fake!  Moral: Real life can be more amazing and difficult to believe than made-up stories.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Feast

A Great Warrior Chief wanted to add to his empire.  The problem was there were only a few kingdoms left that had never been conquered by him.  The Chief turned to his Griot for advice on which kingdom to conquer next.  After singing praises of all the King's victories, the Griot sets down his ngoni and advises the king.  "Have a festival for the princes of the three kingdoms.  Offer them food, wine and women in excess.  Let the servants use vulgar language and encourage the princes to do the same.  By the end of the festival I will know which kingdom you should conquer."  The Chief agrees and orders the festival.  At the end of the festival he calls his Griot in to tell him his findings.  "The kingdom from the North will be the easiest to conquer, because their prince was easily corrupted by the food, wine and women the first night of the festival.  The kingdom to the South will be more difficult but can be conquered as well.    Their prince gave in to the temptations after two days into the festival.  Chief, what ever you do, never attack the kingdom to the East.  The prince from the East never gave in to the temptations set before him.  When I asked why he did not give into his desires, he told me,  I am the son of a chief, and no matter where I am or what I do I will always behave as a future Chief.  Moral: No matter how sharp the ax it will never cut it's own handle

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Possum and the Snake


Possum was traveling down the highway looking for a place to cross.  He was distracted by all of his fellow possums who didn't make it across the road.  He was so distracted that he bumped in to a snake.  Possum jumped almost three feet in the air and hid behind a tree.  He slowly peaked around the tree to see the snake on the side of road with a brick on his back. Snake asked "Pleeassse help me.  Get thisssss brick offfff my back."  Possum responded nervously "Nnnnnnoo you will bbbite mmmeee.  The snake promised not to bite him.  Possum took the brick of his back.  Of course Snake took a big bite out of  Possum and held on tight.  Rabbit was walking down the same road and saw Snake with a mouth full of Possum. Rabbit spoke "Howdy neighbors," Possum spoke "Hhhhowdy", but all Snake did was mumble because his mouth was full of possum.  :How rude " Rabbit said to Snake.  Snake spoke "Howdy" and Possum jumped free. Rabbit asked what happened.  Snake told him how a brick fell off a truck and landed on his back trapping on the side of the road.  Rabbit had Snake show him just how it happened including placing the brick back on his back.  "Oh I see now." said Rabbit.  Possum and Rabbit left the snake trapped under the brick. Moral: Don't help Snakes

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Rabbit's Thesis

Rabbit sat by a cave typing away on a typewriter.  Mr Fox walked by and asked "What you doing"?  Rabbit said "Working on my thesis". "What's it about?" asked Fox.  "How a rabbit can whoop any fox and have him for breakfast.". “That’s ridiculous ! Any fool knows that rabbits don’t eat foxes!"  "Come inside my cave and see."  Moments later Rabbit came out the cave chewing on a fox bone and wearing a new fox coat. Soon Mr. Alligator came walking by as Rabbit was typing away on his typewriter.  "What you doing?" asked the alligator.  "Working on my thesis" said Rabbit   "What's it about?" he asks. 'How a rabbit can whoop the pants off of any ol' alligator."  That's absurd! says the alligator.  "Come inside my cave and see."  In a few minutes Rabbit walks out chewing on an alligator bone and wearing a new pair of alligator shoes.   By the end of day Rabbit had a new coat, new shoes and a new coon skin cap, Each animal went into the cave and met Lion, Rabbit's advisor. Moral: I doesn't matter how absurb your thesis may sound, what matters is having a good advisor.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Fisherman and the Crane

 A fisherman befriends a wounded crane and nurses it back to health. After becoming sick, the fisherman meets a mysterious thin pale woman who nurses him back to health.  She makes him a special magical net.  It was obvious that making the net took a lot out of the delicate woman. The net is very strong and seems to attract fish to it.  The new net brings the fisherman  huge success.  But the man becomes greedy and asks for a second net even though it made the woman so weak to knit it.  The fishman hires men to fish a second boat, but his greed made him desire a third boat.  A third boat meant a third net.  The woman agreed to make each net as long as he promised to never enter the room as she worked. But this time he becomes impatient and enters the sewing room and sees a crane weaving a net with her own breast feathers. The Crane turns towards the fisherman and flys out the open window.  The fisherman never saw the crane or the woman ever again. Moral: Greedy choked the puppy.

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Runaway Love Story

Love has never been easy.  Many stuggled to find it, and even more struggled to keep it.  Perhaps there was no greater struggle for love than during slavery times. Afraid of being sold and separated from each other a slave couple made plans to be free. Ellen was fair skinned slave and could pass for white. Her love was a dark shinned man who as a master cabinet maker and also a slave. The two fell in love but Ellen couldn't stand the idea of giving birth to enslaved children. William was often hired out to make cabinets, and was allow to keep a small amount for himself.  He saved the money for the day the couple would run for freedom.  Because Ellen could pass for white, they cut her hair, and dressed her as a white gentleman.  William was his trusty servant. Using the money WIlliam saved they boarded a train to freedom. Pretending to be sick with one arm in a sling the other holding a cane, the southern gentleman requested his slave be allowed to stay close. The couple traveled from Macon, GA to Philadelphia, PA. Freedom! True story of William and Ellen Craft.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Mamba and The Man

On a cold day a man passes a Black Mamba snake on the road who is too cold to move. The mamba asks the man to warm him inside his coat, next to his heart, with a promise not to bite the man. The man tells the frozen snake "No!  If I did you would bite me".  The mamba in this helpless state looked up at the man a promised he would never bite him.  "How could I harm the man that saved my life" replied the snake.  Moved with compassion the man agrees to help.  He picked up the snake and placed him inside his coat and shirt against his warm skin.  The mamba now warm, bites the man. Quickly he throws the snake to the ground.  Feelings the snake's venom about to take his life, he asks the snake "Why did you bite me, you promised not to."  The snake responded "Because that is what snakes do. You knew I was a snake when you helped me". . Moral: do not let a snake take advantage of the warmth if your heart.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sammie The Shoeshine Man

Sammie the shoeshine man lived life day by day. He lived in a abandoned home, and made just enough money shining shoes to buy food for the day. He never had alot, but always had enough for today. He said God would take care of tomorrow. The police chief tested this belief by stopping him from shining shoes. So Sammie began picking up cans on the side of the highway. He made just enough for the day.  The police chief stopped him from picking up cans, and made him work for free as a guard.  He took the gun he was given and sold it at a pawn shop and bought food and a pocket knife and black paint. The next day the police chief made him guard a prisoner and told him to shout the prisoner if he tried to escape.  Soon the prisoner started to move.  Sammie took out his gun and said "If this man is guilty let this gun fire fast and true, but if he is innocent let this gun turn to wood."  Sammie looked at the gun with shock, and dropped it to the ground.  The wooden sound of the gun shocked the crowd. Amazed his resourcefulness, the Chief wanted to hire Sammie as an advisor. Sammie refused and went back to shining shoes. Moral: Quit worrying, trust God

Monday, August 29, 2011

Beautiful Brown Eyes

In a time when time was still young, there lived a girl with beautiful brown eyes.  She was admired by all who ever gazed into those eyes.  A drought came to her region the year she reached marrying age.  Each day she would go to the river and slowly let the water fill her jar from the mud holes left in the river.  But soon even that water had dried up.  As she cried in the riverbed because she could not provide water for her family, a fish came out of the pool of tears at her feet.  The fish also had beautiful brown eyes.  His gentle voice offered to help the girl.  He opened his mouth and cool fresh water poured into the jar.  Each day the girl returned to the mud hole and the fish gave her more water.  Soon they fell in love and had a secret wedding.  Her father discovered his daughter had married a fish .  Embarrassed to have a fish for a son-in-law, he had the fish killed and brought his daughter.  In tears the girl carried her husband back in the riverbed.  Her tears soon caused the river to flow again drowning her. In death she and her fish husband had beautiful children. They are called Water Lillies. They are a symbol of true love.  Moral: Children are meant to be a testimony of true love.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Sweetest Love

A beautiful young woman came of marrying age. She had many suitors who came to win her heart, none of the men were successful.  Not far from the village lived a handsome red antelope, he had heard of the woman's beauty and decided he could use a wife.  As he was visiting the beautiful woman she asked him to get her some honey.  Quickly he found a beehive high in a tree.  He tried and tried but he could not jump high enough to reach it.  When he returned the woman was dissappointed and sent him away.  At the camp he told his friend a strong ape about the beautiful one.  The ape decided he could use a wife and and visited the beautiful woman.  During the visit she also asked him for some honey.  He quickly left and found the tree with the beehive and climbed up the tree.  But the honey was just beyond his reach.   He tried and tried but he could not climb high enough to reach it.  That night he returnd to the camp and also talked about the beautiful one. The tiny gentle mouse decided that he could use a wife.  Even though he was small, he visited the beautiful woman.  Before she even asked he offer to get her some honey.  Quickly he found the tree and climbed up bringing her honey.  All the villagers cheered when he returned with the jar of honey. She was so pleased, he won her heart.  Although the first two were handsome and strong, they did not do what was needed to win her heart. The tiny mouse met her needs and won her heart. Moral: true love is not measured beauty or strength but s desire to meet each others needs

Monday, August 22, 2011


A hungry Anansi sticks his hand in a hole hoping to find something to eat.  While he was searching something grabs his hand.  Afraid Anansi asks who has his hand.  A deep voice from within the hole replies "It's me Fling-aMile" and then flings him a mile to prove it. After landing in the exact same spot twice, Anansi marks the spot with a stake gets his BBQ grill and goes out looking for dinner. After tricking goat, hen, antelope. etc, to reach into the hole, he tries to trick monkey. But from his vantage point up in the tree monkey had seen Anansi tricks and reverses the game. Monkey eats Anansi. Moral: Whenever you trick someone, Someone is waiting to trick you.

The Amazing Dream

Many years ago when street peddlers were common, one street peddler had an amazing dream. In the dream he was told to go to the town square, there something amazing will happen. The peddler pondered over the dream, but continued his daily routine.  He picked an apple from the tree in his yard, loaded his wagon with produce sold his goods.  But that night he had the same dream again. The next night he dreamed the same dream again. Finally the peddler decided to leave the ol' mule and wagon behind and go to the town square.  The peddler sat there all day, but nothing amazing happened.  The next day after dreaming the dream again, he returned to the town square.  After waiting there the whole day he returned home.  The next morning he returned to the town square.  A policeman watched the peddler just sit on that bench for the third day and decided to shoo him away.  "What are you doing sitting here three days in a row?" asked the officer?  The peddler tells him about his dreams, the cop laughs. The policeman says if he followed his dream he would have searched for a peddler's house in the country with an apple tree in the yard and dug up treasure that was buried underneath it. The Peddler smiled and left.  He went home and the first thing the next morning he dug up the treasure under his tree.  He is now a rich man. Moral: Follow your Dreams

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Water Woman

A man down on his luck finds love with a Water Woman. The water woman is afraid to let herself fall in love with the earth man, because she had heard many stories of man's cruelty. The man promised her that he would love and treat her with respect.  So despite their differences they marry and his life improves quickly.  Soon he became wealthy, and the couple had many children, it seemed tha what ever he touched prospered.  Now arrogant with success, the man mistreats his wife. Not realizing she was the key to his prosperity. Broken hearted she leaves him and return to the river... his children and wealth follow her. Now that his wife left him, once again he was broke and alone. Moral: Love costs little, but it's rewards are priceless!

The One You Don't See Coming

Deep in the forest of Ashanti people the elders often told the story of the mystical creature called " The One You Don't See Coming".  This animal waits until night to hunt. Silent as a leopard he creeps in and steals the brains and thoughts of everyone until morning comes.  The elders say no hunter has ever caught him.  If one caught him he would be the greatest hunter of all time.  Three young hunters decided to track and capture "The One You Don't See Coming".  They searched the edge of the forest for tracks, but found none.  They traveled deep into the bush hoping to hear or smell it, but they could not.  At a watering hole they decided to wait for it to come, for all animals must come to drink.  One climbed out on a branch of a tree next to the watering hole.  The others waited in the bush to attack it when he spotted it.  Twice, the creature climbed up the tree and tried to attack the young hunter. His eyes began close, and his head began to fall to his chest, But he recovered and yelled for help.  But before his friend arrived the animal was gone.  A third time the creature climbed up the tree and grabbed the young hunter and flung him down into the water below.  He screamed "I got him I got him", but when his friends arrived he was again alone.  "How can we hunt animal that can not be seen or heard or smelled? You almost see him but you never do." "The young hunters discovered the elders were correct. And they gave up the hunt for "The One You Don't See Coming".  Riddle: What steals your brains and thoughts just for a few hours and when morning comes you are whole again?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dazi's Necklace

Five girls were bathing in the river. When Dazi arrived, the girls invited her into river to bathe with them.  Usually these girls shunned her, jealous of her beautiful handmade necklace.  The girls told her they offered their necklaces to the water spirit as a gift, and she should do the same.  Seeing the other girls necklaces were gone she also took of her necklace and threw it into the river as a sacrifice.  "You silly girl" they laughed "did you really think we would throw away our necklaces?"  The girls swam to shore uncovered their necklaces hidden in the sand, laughing as they returned to the village.  Dazi ran down the river hoping to find the necklace.  While she was searching, a voice from the water told her to jump into the pool. Trusting the voice she jumps, but lands on dry land under the water.  There she meets an old woman, covered with sores. "Nurse my sores" she spoke. Dazi did as she was asked in return the old woman gave her a necklace far more beautiful than the one she lost. She also warned Dazi about the serpent like water spirit who kept her captive.  Returning to the village everyone was in awe of the new necklace.  The mean girls ran to the river.  They found the old woman who asked them also to nurse her wounds, but they laughed at her and demanded she give them necklaces like Dazi's.    While talking to the old woman, the river spirit came home and ate the girls.  The villagers all assumed they drowned swimming. Moral: Kindness has it own rewards.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Giving Your All

Two boys were best of friends.  One of the boys invited his friend to attend a church service with him. Each week the boy learned about how God loved him.  He learned that God even allowed his son Jesus to die upon the cross of Calvary to pay for our sins.  Each week the boy watched as people stood up and placed money in the offering plate, as the pastor tallked about God's love. The boy watched as people placed an offering in the plate.  The boy was sad and wished he had something to give. One Sunday the boy came to church really excited.  He waited paitently until offering time. When his row went around the offering plate, he did a strange thing. He jumped up on the table into the plate.  The pastor asked the boy why he jumped into the plate?  The boy told the pastor, "I don't have any money to give to God, so I gave what I have, me! So I am giving God my all."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Python and Lizard

Python and Lizard were the best of friends. Lizard was the best singer in the village, and Python was the best dancer.  But they were equal drummers.  Drums were rare in ancient times and Python owned the only drum in the village.  So at festivals Python would drum and Lizard would sing. Then Lizard would drum and Python would dance. A visiting king heard Lizard drumming and invited him to come to his village and play for his birthday celebration.  The King didn't know the drum belonged to Python.  Lizard needed to borrow Python's drum, but he knew that Python wouldn't let him take the drum so far away.  So Lizard asked Python if he could use his drum to practice. Python let him borrow the drum.  Lizard was such a hit at the birthday celebration he was asked to stay two more weeks.  When Python went to get his drum from Lizard house, his wife told Python the truth about Lizard and the drum.  When Lizard returned he decided that the drum should belong to him and he was keeping the drum. When Python came for the drum Lizard climbed a tree and refused to give it back.   The branch of the tree broke sending both Lizard and the drum into the river. Quickly Python uses his tail to get the drum out of the water, and then he reaches out to save Lizard who cannot swim.  Python's powerful tail squeezed Lizard causing his eyes to bulge. The two made up, but Python never let Lizard borrow his drum again. From that day to this lizards have bulging eyes.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Suspect

Once there was a king who had a beautiful cowtail switch.  It was created by a master artist, and was the envy of many kings and nobles.  The king holds a celebration that draws people from several neighboring villages. For three days there was dancing, and singing, and drumming, and kora playing and feasting.  At the end of the festival everyone was gone, but so was the cowtail switch.  A reward was offered for the return of the beautiful switch.  In a nearby village a traveling jali who attended the festival was visiting, and people in the village began to question him. The jali answered their questions by quoting proverbs and riddles.  The people said he must have done it. "If he was innocent we would have just said so".  Days and nights passed, the people people watched with growing suspicion. They looked at him as he played his kora, and told his stories, certain he was the thief.  One day a messenger came from the king's village. Turned out the king hid the switch and forgot where he hid it.  Everyone was relieved that the king;s cowtail switch was  found.  Now they looked at the jali with new eyes, "Anyone who looks at him can see he is an honest man.  You can hear it in his music, proverbs and riddles."  Moral:  The truth will always prevail.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Man Named "Time"

There once was a rich man named Time.  He had more money, more cattle, more grain, more of everything than anyone in all of Africa.  His reputation was known from Timbuktu to Accra.  Distant tribes sent messengers to meet Time.  It was said that "A man who hadn't seen Time hadn't really lived".  But Time grew old, and his fortunes changed.  Time lost his money, his cattle, his farms, his everything. He became as a beggar. Not just a beggar but the poorest of beggars.  Travelers from a far off land came to meet Time, the man of untold wealth.  The Travelers meet a beggar at the village gate, "Is the the village of  Time the wealthiest man in all of Africa?"  "Yes Time lives here" said the beggar. Once in the village they asked where could they find Time.  A man pointed to the beggar that had met at the gate.  Disappointed that Time was not the man they were expecting to see, the travelers spoke to Time. "What shall we tell our people about Time", they asked?  Time thought for a moment and said "Tell them at Time ain't what it used to be!" Moral: Time changes things

Ol' John out farms the Devil

The Devil forced Ol' John to plow his fields.  The Devil told Ol' John he could have what grew on the top of the ground and the Devil would take what grew under the ground.  Ol' John decided to plant wheat.  When harvest time come around, John cut his wheat, took it to market,and made lots of money.  The Devil took the roots to market but nobody would buy them, in fact they all laughed at him.  Next season, the Devil decided to out trick Ol' John and told him this time I will take what's grown above the ground and John had to take what's grown below.  To make sure he won, the devil was the first to harvest the tops of those plants and take them to market to sell. People laughed at the Devil so that he never came back to town again. You see this time John planted yams.  Ol' John never had problems out of the Devil again.  Moral: You reap what you sow.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Jack and the Magic Purse

Jack leaves home to seek his fortune. His mom gives him a book to help him on his way. Jack meets a mysterious man who gives him a magic coin purse in exchange for a favor in the future. The coin purse doubles what ever money that is placed inside. Two coins go in, four coins come out. Four coins go in eight coins come out. In not time at all Jack was a rich man. Years later the the mysterious man returns and call on Jack for that favor.  He was the Devil and needed Jack to feed his evil imps for eternity. In a snap, Jack was looking down a long row with cages on both sides. Evil little demons were in each one, and they were hissing, clawing, spitting as Jack had to clean the cages. One day Jack was so tired that he sat down to rest. He sat on that book his mom gave him years ago. Jack never read it but he always kept it in his back pocket. He read the title H-O-L-Y Bib.... Bib... Bib...le  Holy Bib..le. As he read the imps began to come down and listen. Soon they were so well behaved he opened up thee cages, and they set around Jack as he read. The Devil returned and was so angry that Jack had given his imps religon he cast him back on earth. Jack lived out the rest of his days reading the Holy Bib..le every day. Moral: God is an ever present help in time of trouble.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Taro and the Box of Life

Taro a handsome fisherman saved a beautiful turtle from some mischievous children. The next day a great turtle took him to meet the King of the Sea in his Dragon Palace. The King thanked him for saving his daughter who had turned herself into a turtle to visit the surface. The King gave his daughter to Taro in marriage. After three days Taro began to think of home and his family. He told his wife of his plan to return home to visit. She gave hime a small box, warning him not to open it, if he wanted to return to her. Taro was shocked to see his home had changed so much in three days. Soon he discovered three days in the water kingdom was 300 years on the surface. Sad, Taro forgot his promise to his wife and opened the box. A puff of smoke came out and instantly he was an old shaky man with white hair and beard. Inside the box contained his life. Then he heard the sad voice of his beloved from the sea, saying goodbye.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bre'r Rabbit and the Round of Cheese

 Bre'r Fox caught  Bre'r Rabbit. The Rabbit told Fox about a big round of cheese he would share with him. It was deep in a well and he needed help getting it out. Fox loved cheese and agrred to spare Rabbit's life in exchange for the cheese.  Fox lowered Rabbit in the bucket, but Rabbit couldn't reach it. Fox saw the big round of cheese and he jumped in the other bucket letting Rabbit lower him down. Fox headed down and Rabbit headed up.  When Rabbit was at the top, Fox realized he had been tricked. That round of cheese turned out to be the moon. Rabbit left Fox in the well. Moral: everything yellow ain't cheese.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Woodcutter from Gura

A woodcutter from Gura goes to cut wood for his family. As he cuts a branch he is sitting on, a priest warns him that he will fall and die. The woodcutter ignores him. A short time later the branch breaks and he falls. Believing that he is dead he doesn't move. People find his body and carry him home. Along the way he gives them directions to his home. His friends gather and argue about the facts of the woodcutter's death. With so much confusion at home, the woodcutter takes his ax and goes to cut wood. Watching the woodcutter walk away his friends remark "Even in death he only thinks about his family.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Golden Wall

A very rich man, had more corn than he knew what to do with. He asked his advisors what he should do with the excess. "Give it to the poor", "Sell it", "Lend it to farmers for spring farming" they suggested. To all the advice the man said "NO!" He took the corn and had it ground into flour, and the flour into bricks, and built a wall around his home. He would sit on his wall talk down to people to came to see him.  After several years of bad crops, the man's wealth was gone and so were his workers. Hungry, he scraped flour off his wall to eat. He did this until the wall was gone.  He went to see a great king who gave him several bags of corn to replant his fields. But he ate all the corn. He spent the rest of his life lonely and hungry. Moral: Invest your wealth in people not walls.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Shall We Gather at the River!

A preacher preached one Sunday morning on the evils of alcohol. "If I could I would throw all the whiskey, beer, wine and any other alcohol in the river." the Deacon shouted "A-A-Amen! Preach It". After the message the Deacon got up and said "Let us sing "Shall We Gather At The River". Moral: From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Cowtail Switch

A great hunter leaves  his pregnant wife and three sons and he goes on a long hunt. He is gone for several weeks, which is not uncommon for the hunter. While he is gone his wife gives birth to the baby, shortly after his birth a miracle happens, the baby speaks. "Where is my father?" Causing the three sons set out to find their father. They soon found their father's spear and shield next to a pile of bones. The 1st son had a special power and put the bones together where they belonged. The 2nd son had a special power to put muscle and skin over the bones, the 3rd son had a special power and breathed life back into his father. On their father's return the villiage held a great feast for him. He had made a beautiful cowtail switch for the occasion. The Father decided to give the special switch to the son who was most responsible for bringing him back to life. Each son argued that he was most responsible for bringing there father back from the land of the dead. "Silence!" Their father spoke. He turned and walked over  to his wife who was holding the baby, and gave the switch to his youngest son.  All looked and nodded for it was the youngest son who asked "Where is my Father?" There is a proverb that says "No man is truly dead until he is forgotten."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The River Of Knowledge

Three tuareg travelers were on a journey through the desert. As they traveled they heard a voice tell them to stop. This Second traveler asked if they should stop, the first wanted to ignore it, the third wanted to stop, so they stopped. The voice directed them over a sand dune to a river. The voice told them to grab pebbles from the river, The first traveler only took three, the second grabbed a handful, the third filled all his pockets with stones. The voice told them "They would be happy and they would be sad." and the voice faded into the wind and sand. Once they entered the next town the  three travelers stopped for refreshment, the first traveler decided to throw away his stones, but they had turned into gold coins, the second also had a handful of coins, the third shouted "I'm rich. I'm rich, I'm rich. They had each experienced happiness and sadness. Happy they listened and for the coins, sad that they didn't listen more and pick up more. Moral: When wisdom speaks listen, grab all knowledge you can now. later it will turn to gold.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jack and the Magic Mule

Jack is put out of his mother's house and told not to return until he earns his fortune. Jack stops under an apple tree. He ignores the no trespassing sign and eats his fill of apples, and then falls a sleep. He is awaken by the owner of the tree an ogre who makes Jack work for him for a year and a day. The ogre gives Jack a magic mule.  When Jack says the magic words the mule lifts its tail and gold coins come out. The ogre warns Jack to keep the magic mule a secret. But Jack has a few to many drinks and tells the innkeeper his secret. The innkeeper swaps the magic mule for an ordinary mule. Jack finds out about the switch when the mule lifted its tail in his mother's house and manure, not money came out. Jack goes back to the ogre and works another year and a day. This time the ogre gives him a magic stick. When you say the magic words the stick hits the person on the head over and over until he says the magic words to make it stop. Jack stops back at the innkkeeper's and tells him about his magic stick, and the magic words, but he doesn't tell it what it does. Late in the night Jack hears the innkeeper yelling as the magic stick kept whacking him on the head. The innkeeper returned the magic mule. Jack returned home and made his mommy proud.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Anansi Counts to Five

There was a village ruled by an evil sorceress named Five. She hated her name so much she cast a spell on the village, so that anyone who said "Five" would disappear. Anansi the spider lived in this village and thought up a plan to trick people into saying the word "F!ve". Anansi set-up "f!ve" yam beds near the road from the market square. As his neighbors came by with wagons loaded from the market he stopped them asked them for help counting his yam hills. "1-2-3-4-Five!"  Poof, as soon as they said F!ve they disappeared. Anansi had enough food to eat for weeks but he wanted more. He sees Guinea Fowl, and asks her to count. Sitting on one of the mounds she counts "1-2-3-4 and the one I'm sitting on." "No" Anansi asked her to count again. She moved from one mound to another and counted "1-2-3-4 and the one I'm sitting on." Angry Anansi said "that isnt how you count! Its 1-2-3-4-FIVE!" and Poof, Anansi disappeared. Guinea Fowl took all of Anansi's food home and had a huge feast.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Brother Frog Rides Brother Elephant

 Trying to impress a pretty girl, Frog began boasting about how important he was.  He told the pretty girl that Elephant was his riding horse. She told Frog if he wanted to visit her he could but he must come on his elephant.  Word reached Elephant about Frog's lie, angry he was determined to make Frog tell her the truth. Frog said "I am sick and too weak to walk." Elephant agreed to carry him. Frog told him he was too weak to hold on so Elephant made reins and a saddle. When they arrived at the girls house, Elephant lowered him down off of his back with his trunk. She watched with amazement. Frog married the girl the next day and moved to another town.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Distant Flame

 Two men argued about the weather. Joe bet Bill dinner if he could stay out all nite without a coat or heat. During the nite Bill watches the fire from the refinery two miles away to help him through the cold nite. In the morning Bill tells Joe what he did. Joe says he cheated using the flame to keep him warm. So Bill cooked him a pot of beans using a candle .Joe told Bill "that little candle will never heat thoses beans!" Bill responded, "If that flame kept me warm, surely this one can cook a meal." Joe laughed and took Bill to a restaurant and bought him dinner!

The Princess and The Frog

A beautiful princess finds an enchanted frog. The frog tells her if she kisses him he will turn back into a handsome prince. She picks up the frog and keeps walking. From her pocket the frog asks if she heard him? Again he tells her "I am a handsome prince. If you kiss me I return to my human form. Wouldn't you like to marry a handsome prince" She replied "Yes, but a talking frog is more valuable than an handsome prince!" Moral: Not every princess values romance over finance!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sunjata Epic: The Lion Returns

Word reached Sunjata in Mema of the Sorcerer King's evil reign. Now at 18 Sunjata was ready to return home. He had the regalness of the Lion, and the strength of the buffalo.  The King of Mema gave Sunjata half of his army. And as Djata passed back through the villages he visited leaving Mali, more volunteered to be apart of his army. The two armies met for battle on the plains of Kirina.  The battle was not quick as Djata thought it would be. As he was fighting, Balla Fasseke' his griot escaped from the Sorcerer King, bringing the secret to his enemies defeat. He gave Djata an arrow that had the spur of a white rooster. Djata let the arrow fly wounding his enemy. Sumangura now venerable to the sword fled into a cave never to be seen again.  Some believe that the king used magic to become one with the stone,  not wanting to face death at the hands of  Sunjata. As fortold long ago the son of the buffalo and the lion unified Mali, and his story continues to be told by jalis from that time to this. And that is the Epic of Sunjata Keita in a Nutshell.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sunjata Epic: The Sorcerer King

While Sunjata was growing into a great military leader, his home had been conquered by Soumaoro Kante' the powerful king of Ghana. Djata's jali/griot was given to Soumaoro. For these two reasons Djata and Soumaoro were destined to meet. Soumaoro a sorcerer lived high at the top of a seven story tower. His chamber was filled with fetishes, and skins, snakes and owls. In the room was also a large balafon (wooden xylophone). One day while the king was gone, Balla the jali/griot entered into the chamber and began to play the magical balafon, the music was most beautiful. Soumaoro entered the room and Balla began singing praises to the angry King. The King calmed by his playing declared from then on only Balla would play this balafon. And that he would be his griot. It would only be a matter of time that Sunjata and Soumaoro would meet in battle.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sunjata Epic: The Long Journey

Sunjata had become a target for the Queen mother. She knew for her son to truly be king, Sunjata must die. Sogolon decided that she must take her family on a long journey to protect them from harm. Upon leaving the prince told his king-brother "I will return!" The journey into exile was a difficult one for the family. Sogolon's hump was growing and her health was declining. They traveled from villiage to villiage seeking sanctuary. Many kings turned them away, others took them in until pressure from Mali caused them to turn them away into night. In time they traveled to the city of Mena. It was in Mena the exiled family found a home. Djata (the Lion) as he was called became like a son to the King who had no heir. Djata's reputation and authority grew. Many winters had passed and the young lion cub was now a man. The soothsayers of Mena said he would be the successor to Alexander the Great, and he would be even greater. Sogolon called her 18 year old son to her side and told him "Do not deceive yourself. Your destiny lies not here but in Mali. But be patient my son. Everything in its own time."  It was not long before these words came true.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sunjata Epic: The Nine Witches of Mali

Frustrated by the young prince's strength and popularity, The first wife of King Maghan consulted nine powerful witches of Mali to kill him. The old women set a trap for him in his mother's vegetable garden. To kill Sunjata they need his anger kindled.  After Elephant hunting, Sunjata stopped to check on his mother's garden. There in the garden he saw the witches stealing gnougou leaves. The old hags put on quite a scene as they tried to runaway like thieves. Sunjata asked the women to stop. He told them not to run, the garden belonged to all.  He began to fill their gourds with leaves and onions and spices. He told the ladies to come back as when they need more.  "Your kindess has spared your life. We have no need for these items, the mother of the King asked us to kill you, but your kindness has disarmed us. From this point on we will look after you" the witches proclaimed. The old women dissappeared into the night. Sogolon listened to her son tell the story of the old hags, and pondered what she should do.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunjata Epic: The Lion Awakens

After the death of the King, his first wife made sure her son became king. After the Queen mother insulted Sogolon because her seven year old son still could not walk and bring her baobab leaves, Sogolon had an emotional breakdown.  Her son told her that today he would walk. He got a iron rod and with a mighty heave he stood up. He walked to a small baobab tree and pulled it up from the roots and carried it his mother. He declared to her now all the women must come to her door to get baobab leaves.  His Griot announced to all the the village "Beware the Lion had awaken!" From that day on all the boys in the village became his friend and wanted to play and hunt with him.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sunjata Epic: The Lion Child

The King married Sogolon, and she quickly conceived and bore a son. This angered the King's first wife, who's son was supposed to be heir to the throne. The child of the lion and the buffalo had a difficult childhood. The child was three years old and could not walk. He barely spoke. The King's first wife, would often mock Sologon by saying, "I would rather have a son who walks on two legs to a lion who crawls on the ground". Worried the King consulted a blind "seer" who told him  "When the seed germinates growth is not always easy; great trees grow slowy but they plunge their roots deep into the ground". The King understood. When his son was seven he gave him his own griot to teach him the ways of a king. Even though he still could not walk this father believed in him. He told his son that every prince had his own griot, and that his griot was the son of the King's griot. It was the King's wish that this lion child would become king.  King Maghan died soon after he spoke with his son.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sunjata Epic: The Vistor

Maghan Kon Fatta, was king of Mali. He was known to be handsome and strong. One day a hunter appears bringing the King some of his kill, because this was the custom. As they visited he poured about a bag of cowrie shells to tell the King his future. The hunter told him that he would have a son, who would be a great king. He would rule over a vast and great empire. He told him the son had not yet been born, nor had he met his wife. The Hunter told him that the mother of this child would be hideous in appearance. with a disfiguring hump on her back. The hunter closed his bag and left. The King and his Griot never forgot his prophetic words. Several years passed and as the King held court two hunters appeared with a veiled maiden behind them. The men were carrying shining silver bows on their back. The hunters bowed before the King. They were sons of Traore' and belonged to Mali. They offered the veiled maiden as a gift to Maghan, deeming her worthy to be his wife. Even though she was veiled they saw she had strong arms and legs, and them they noticed the hump on her back. Maghan turned to his griot and stared for a long time.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sunjata Epic: The Buffalo Woman From Do

A buffalo was terrorizing the land of Do. Two brothers decided to hunt the buffalo. As they traveled they offered kindness to an old woman in need of food and drink. She told them she was the buffalo that they seeked. She told them where to meet the buffalo and the secret needed to kill her. She told them that the chief would offer them a beautiful young maiden for a wife as a reward.  She told them that they must choose an ugly maiden with a hump on her back. Because this girl carried her buffalo spirit.They agreed and found the buffalo exactly where the old woman said. After killing the buffalo the village of Do held a huge celebration for the hunters, because the buffalo had killed over 100 hunters and wounded 70 more. The town was shocked when the men picked Sogolon, the ugliest maiden with the hump on her back as their reward. The two hunters continued their journey with Sogolon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spread Your Fingers Before You Eat

A great hunter had two wives. He spent many weeks in the bush hunting. He always brought food to each wife. His instructions "Spread your Fingers Before You Eat!". One listened, the other did not. When the Hunter died, the 1st wife received food from all the people with whom she shared her food with. The second wife went hungry. The second wife asked the first why people were so generous to her. The 1st wife asked her if she followed their husband's advice to spend her fingers before she ate.  The Second wife  said yes, she spread her fingers to the wind. The first wife laughed and said your help will come from the wind.  Moral: Give and it shall be given unto you.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Jawara's Seed

A Great Chief had no sons to inherit his kingdom. So he decided to give his warriors at test to see who would be his heir. He gave each a seed. He told them to nurture the seed, water and care for it, and after one year they would each show how well their seed  progressed. Jawara took the seed home to his wife, and together they took care of the seed. For weeks the seed would not grow.  The other warriors boasted on how well their plants were growing.  Some seeds were growning into trees, other into blooming flowers. It seemed all the seeds were growing but Jawara's. Finally the day came when the Chief asked all the warriors to bring the results of their seeds to his compound. Jawara was embarrassed to bring the empty pot, but his wife encouraged him to do so. The Chief looked at all the plants and trees and flowers. In the back he saw Jawara and his is empty pot. He called all of the warriors over and anounced that Jawara would be Chief.  He said only Jawara was honest among the warriors. He told the warriors the seeds he had given them were boiled, and they could not grow at all. Only Jawara showed the integrity needed to be Chief. Moral: If you plant honesty you will reap trust.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dance With Papa Bear One More Time

A husband and wife loved to dance. In fact, they were dancing when she went into labor. Each year after her mother dies in child birth, the father and daughter would dance together on her birthday. But as a teenager she runs away from her Papa Bear. Her father always wrote her letters she never read. On her birthday she received at letter at the strip club where she worked, "I know where you are and what you do and I still LOVE you! Come home and dance with me one more time". And she does. Moral: Daddy always forgives his kids!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Liam's Story

A evil fairy witch captures Liam's family.  She threatens to eat them if he does not tell her a story she as never heard before.  He quickly asks Mother Goose for a story, but the witch had heard all of her stories. He asked Father Time for a story, but she had heard all of his stories. He even asked the Sea for a story, but she had heard his stories as well. Finally, Liam goes home and tells the witch of his adventure, and how he could not find a story to tell her that she hadn't heard. After Hearing Liam's story she released his family, because she had never heard such a story in all her life. Moral: We each have a story worth telling!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Woman Who Lives in a Vinegar Bottle

A woman who lives in a house shaped like a vinegar bottle. Having no food in her house she goes in search of food.  At the dock she saves a magical fish.  The fish gives her a wish. She wishes for a new home. Now that she has a new home she asks the fish for new clothes. Now that she has new clothes she tells the fish she needs a new car, but since she can't drive she demands the fish give her a driver. The fish takes away all he has given her and including her new house. She returns to her vinegar bottle home to find food in her cabinets. Moral: Ask only for what you need.