Why Fowls Scratch the earth
All the beast of the earth held a meeting at which they decided to build a parliament. They agreed to pay for it themselves and elected officers to handle the project. The Tortoise was elected president and the Fowl was elected treasurer.
The money was to be paid in three installments and handed over to fowl. Each time in collection was made, she put the money into a bag and buried in a hole at the foot of an iroko tree in an impenetrable forest.
When a great deal of money had collected, the Tortoise decided to steal it. First, he thought, I must discover where the fowl hides it. To the next meeting of the beast of the earth, Tortoise brought with him a pile of ashes. While the beasts were collecting the third installment, he put the ashes into the Fowl’s bag. When the Fowl then carried the third bag of money to the hole in the forest, the ashes poured out of the bag and left a white trail to the iroko tree. But the Fowl took no notice of the ashes. She hid the money in the hole and returned home as usual.
When the tortoise was sure that the Fowl was home, he followed the trail of ashes to the hole, and returned at the foot of the iroko tree. He dug, took the three bags of money from the hole, and he returned home.
During the next meeting, all the beasts decided they had collected enough money to start building the parliament. One of them turned to their treasurer and said, “we will gather again in the next five days. Please the Fowl bring the bags of money to that meeting.” Early in the morning of the fifth day the Fowl wnt to the iroko tree to dig for the money. She dug and dug and dug and sweat poured down to the ground from all parts of her body. But she could not find the money. She wept bitterly and staggered to back to her house in tears and despair. She did not have the nerve to go to the meeting empty-handed. In the meantime all the beasts had grown impatient waiting for the Fowl to arrive and decided to shift the meeting to her house. When the beasts arrived, the Fowl tearfully told them what happened. The Tortoise abused the Fowl and urged that she be beaten to death. after much debate it was decided that the Fowl should be given more time to look for the money. The Fowl returned to the forest to search for the money. She did not find it. To this day her offspring are still scratching the earth looking for the missing money. the End.