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The Tortoise and the Princess who never speaks

There was a king who had a daughter named Bola. Bola had never spoken a word and the king was very distressed. He had done all that he could to make Bola speak, powerful medicine men had brewed her all kinds of herbs and recited incantations but nothing worked. The king promised his daughter and half his kingdom to anybody who can make his daughter speak.

Tortoise heard of this reward and set out to get it. He bought a bottle of honey and placed it by a bush near where Bola lived while he hid himself. When Bola came by and saw the bottle of honey, she put her hand in it. Immediately Tortoise jumped out of his hiding place and grabbed Bola by the hand. ?Thief!? he cried. ?So it is you who steal my honey and eat it.?

?I?? said Bola. ?I have stolen your honey to eat? I??

Tortoise then tied Bola with a rope and started to lead her back to the palace singing,

Bola stole honey to eat
Kayin, Kayin
Bola is a cunning cheat
Kayin, Kayin
Bola is a shameless thief
Kayin, Kayin
To this, Bola sang in response,

Into the wood of the elephant I went with the elephant
Kayin, Kayin
Into the wood of the buffalo I went with the buffalo
Kayin, Kayin
And Tortoise has come to accuse me of stealing honey to eat
Kayin, Kayin
When they arrived at the palace, the king and all who were gathered were amazed to hear Bola sing. ?My daughter, who has never been heard to speak, speaks today!? the king cried.

As he had promised he gave half his kingdom to Tortoise and Tortoise married the king?s daughter.



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