Once upon a time, there lived a TORTOISE. He was the most cunning in the village and always had this penchant for having his way at all times, despite efforts by those he dealt with to have it otherwise. Hence, the few who managed to walk and work with him associated with him with utmost caution, even dining with him with a long spoon, as they would “The Devil”.

It was by cunning that he obtained even the wife he married, and his in-laws were really never happy with him. One day, he decided to go and pay his in-laws a visit and asked his closest friend to accompany him.

Both of them were received very coldly at his in-laws’, but he jovially doused the tension with light conversation, much to the delight of those present. While members of the family he’d married into came in to greet him, Tortoise perceived the pleasant aroma of spicy, proportionately seasoned yam porridge coming from the kitchen, in one of the rooms adjoining the living room, where they were been entertained.

He began salivating almost at the same time, and became preoccupied with how he could taste or even consume a morsel from the pot before it was served, that is even if it was served to him and his companion, considering that he hadn’t informed them that he would be coming, as well as the fact that his in-laws didn’t like him that much and may not even serve them a dish, further looking to diminish his chances of partaking in what looks like the best dish he would ever taste.

The many people coming to greet him for finding time out of his very busy schedule to visit his in-laws, despite the fraught relationship he has with them, was now beginning to bore him, and he now couldn’t wait to see the last of them as the scent from the kitchen had by now totally overwhelmed him.

An opportunity came, when his friend asked their host (Tortoise’ father-in-law) for the location of the loo, so he could go ease himself. That was when the chance Tortoise had been praying for what seemed like eternity opened up, as they left him alone in the living room. Tortoise briskly tiptoed to the kitchen, finding it empty he went straight for the pot of porridge, scooped a bit and hurled it into his mouth, burning his tongue in the process. Rather than leave then, for where he’d come, he quickly removed his cap, scooped more of the hot porridge into it and placed it firmly on his head, before heading back into the empty living room.

Once his father-in-law returned with his friend, Tortoise asked that his host allow them to leave as he had somewhere very important to go, but his host who was beginning to like him (thinking him not to be as bad as he thought) would hear none of it, pleaded with him to exercise some patience, even if it is just to eat the yam porridge that was almost done.

Eventually, Tortoise agreed following appeals even from his friend who did not want to miss out on the action that partaking of the delicious meal will avail him, but at this time the Tortoise was totally covered in sweat.

His host and members of his family, thought Tortoise sweaty situation was due to the appointment he was missing and decided to hurry up activities in the kitchen so that the meal can be served and Tortoise and his friend can proceed for whatever business they had planned for the day.

Even before the food arrived, Tortoise was now not only sweating but some creamy fluid was now oozing out of his cap on all sides, with strands of hair. His host and his friend tried to help him by removing his cap, thinking something was amiss, but Tortoise kept holding his cap to his head.

Eventually, they managed to pull his cap away and were shocked at the sight. Tortoise’ friend, embarrassed at the turn of events, angrily abandoned him, as neighbours and Tortoise’ in-laws now came in turns to view the spectacle, that was the now scalded and bald tortoise (which is why the Tortoise is bald) with porridge mixed with remnants of his hair in his cap, his head now bowed in shame.

Tortoise’ father-in-law whose hatred had now been rekindled hurriedly had him tied to a tree,

Aldabra giant tortoise (Geochelone gigantea)

thinking to make a show of him. People who passed on their way to work were disgusted with Tortoise when they learnt of his ignominious acts, some who had at some time or the other been at the receiving end of some of his shenanigans, even stoned him.

The barrage of insults and abuse directed at Tortoise by the passers-by continued relentlessly until evening, when the tide appeared to change; as the passers-by returning from their different destinations of business, surprised to see Tortoise still tied to the tree, began to hurl insults, not at the Tortoise anymore, but at his in-law, for making a mountain out of a mole hill. They couldn’t fathom his insensitivity and rash response to a trivial matter as that at hand, they wondered what would be appropriate punishment in his sight for a capital crime, if this was his reaction to mere porridge-stealing.

And so it was, that even after releasing Tortoise, for days and months to come, people continued to refer to the highhandedness of Tortoise’ father-in-law, sometimes even forgetting the crime allegedly committed by the Tortoise.

The PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC PARTY, PDP may have performed abysmally and wronged Nigerians so much, enough to lose the last general elections across board in Nigeria woefully, but the LYNCH MOB of the ALL PROGRESSIVES’ CONGRESS, APC must now get over this continuous bashing of the tortoise (especially now that they’ve won by a landslide) and focus on the job ahead of them, if they wish to escape the kind of backlash that visited Tortoise’ father-in-law, of which the Yoruba saying “Ebú Àló N’tahun, T’àbò N’tánó Rè” (the insult on the way to- is for the offender, while that on the way back- is for the offended/his in-law) is trite. Àbò Òrò L’ánso Fún Omodé,…..!





  1. Well illustrated. The APC were in opposition and used several unhealthy means and bitterness to oust the PDP. Now that they are in power, they remain unchanged. No single APC politician is known to concede defeat gracefully. If only they can learn.


    1. They can easily fritter all the goodwill and political capital recently earned if they fail to properly manage their success, and paying undue attention to beating down what is now the ghost of their archenemy, the PDP.


    1. Thank you Susan, my Mama is a great story teller, and we as kids couldn’t get enough of many of the fables she told us back then.

      The lessons too were quite instructive, such as the one I mentioned relating to the just concluded general elections in Nigeria.

      Liked by 1 person

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