I'm taking a storytelling class right now and this is the story I'm telling in class tomorrow....
There was once a country man from Africa who when out to his garden to dig up some yams to take to the market. As he was digging one of his yams suddenly spoke to him! He said, “You never come to take care of me and suddenly you show up with your digging stick? Go away and leave me alone!”
The man turned to his cow in amazement, but his cow just stood there chewing and staring at him. “Did you say something?” he asked. But the cow just continued to stand there and stare at him.
“It wasn’t the cow who spoke to you,” said the dog. “It was the yam. The yam says to go away and leave him alone!”
The man was starting to become upset at this point because neither his dog nor his yam had ever spoken before and he certainly didn’t like the dog’s tone.
In his anger he went over to a palm tree and pulled out his knife, cutting a branch to whip his dog. Suddenly the tree spoke out and said, “Put that branch down!”
Flustered and a little bit worried the man went to throw the branch down but the branch yelled out, “Man, do it softly!”
So the man went and set the branch down on a stone. “Take that thing off me,” demanded the stone.
At this, the man was so upset and terrified that suddenly everything had begun to talk to him. He threw his digging stick onto the ground and began to run down the road. As he was running he came across a fisherman who was walking the other way with a fish trap on his head.
“Why are you running?” he asked the country man.
“I was out in my garden digging and all of the sudden everything started talking. My yam said ‘Go away and leave me alone.’ Then the dog said to listen to the yam. Then when I went to cut a branch to whip the dog the tree said ‘Put that branch down’ and when I started to set it down the branch said ‘Do it softly.’ Then the stone that I set the branch on said ‘Take that thing off me!’”
“That’s no big deal,” said the fisherman.
“Well, did he take it off the stone?” asked the fish trap.
“Wah!!” yelled the fisherman throwing the fish trap off his head and began running down the road with the country man.
Soon they ran into a weaver walking along the road with a big bundle of cloth on his head.
“Why are you in such a hurry?” asked the weaver.
“I was in my garden and my yam said “Go away and leave me alone” and then the dog said “listen to the yam.” Then when I cut a branch the tree said “Put that branch down” and the branch said “do it softly” and the stone said “Take that thing off me!””
“And my fish trap said ‘Well, did he take it off?’”
“That’s nothing to run about,” laughed the weaver.
“You’d run too if it happened to you,” said the cloth.
“Wahhh!!” screamed the weaver throwing the cloth onto the road and began to run with the other two men.
When they came to the river they came across a man bathing in the water. “Are you chasing a gazelle?” he asked.
“My yam said ‘leave me alone’ and the dog said ‘listen to the yam’ and the tree said ‘put the branch down’ and the branch said ‘do it softly’ and the stone said ‘take that thing off me.’”
“And my fish trap said ‘Did he?’” said the fisherman.
“And my cloth said “You’d run too!” said the weaver.
“That’s no reason to run away,” said the man.
“Oh yes it is,” said the river.
“Wahhh!” yelled the man as he jumped out of the river and began to run with the other 3 men.
Soon the 4 men reached the chief of the village. His servant carried out his stool and the chief came and sat down on it.
Then men began to tell their story…
“I went out to my garden and my yam said ‘Go away and leave me alone.’ And then my dog said ‘Listen to the yam.’ When I went to cut a branch to whip the dog the tree said ‘put that branch down’ and then the branch said ‘Do it softly’ and the stone said ‘take that thing off me,’” panted the country man.
“And then my fish trap asked, ‘Well, did he?’” wheezed the fisherman.
“And my cloth said ‘You’d run too,’” said the weaver.
“And the river said the same,” said the other man.
The chief listened carefully and then said, “Well, that’s an awfully crazy story. I should get you all in trouble for disturbing the peace! Now, go home and return to your work.”
All of the men with heads bowed began walking down the road back home.
“Nonsense like this upsets the community,” mumbled the chief to himself.
“Fantastic, isn’t it?” said the stool. “Imagine, a talking yam!”