Stories Gogo Told Me, by Lisa Grainger

Stories Gogo Told Me, by Lisa Grainger. Penguin Random House South Africa, Penguin Fiction. Cape Town, South Africa, 2015. ISBN‎ 9781485900030 / ISBN 978-1-48590-003-0

Stories Gogo Told Me, by Lisa Grainger. Penguin Random House South Africa, Penguin Fiction. Cape Town, South Africa, 2015. ISBN‎ 9781485900030 / ISBN 978-1-48590-003-0

Stories Gogo Told Me: Lisa Grainger collected fables, stories and legends she heard in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa.

Lisa Grainger  

How Honeybird punished the greedy man.

Told to me in Ndebele by Isaac Nyatha in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

The honeybird has always been the friendliest of birds, fetching men from their fields and leading them into the forest to show them where to find honey. 'Chee Chee!' it has called for centuries, 'Follow me! Follow me!' flying in circles around the spot where man could find sweet, golden honeycomb. One day, long ago, Honeybird found a very large honeycomb that his friends the bees had been working on in the hollow trunk of a tree. He loved honey, but being a kind, sharing creature, he flew straight to the fields to find someone to share his good fortune. At the edge of the forest, in a little clearing, he saw a man busily planting maize seeds in the earth. 'Chee! Chee!' sang Honeybird, flying backwards and forwards over the man's head. 'Chee! Chee! Follow me! Follow me!' The man had heard of the great honeybird, which led lucky men to a kingdom filled with sweet golden treasure, but he had never seen one with his own eyes. So, quickly, he lay down his spade and seed and followed the bird into the forest. The man climbed down ditches, over tree trunks and through rivers until at last the bird stopped before a hollow tree where a swarm of bees lived. There, it flew round and round, darting up and down, directing the man exactly where to look. Staring into the tree, the man couldn't believe his luck. For there, in the dark hollow, was the biggest stash of honey he had ever seen -great layers of golden, dripping combs that overflowed from the trunk and permeating the air with a sweet, flowery smell. The man was ecstatic, and being rather a greedy chap, he quickly fell to his knees, stretched his hand inside the hole and took out a great big piece of comb, which he stuffed into his mouth. With honey dripping down his chin and running down his arms, he took another, then another, chomping and chewing and slurping and swallowing, until soon there was not a single drop of honey left. After a very noisy burp, he got up, wiped his sticky hands on his trousers and set off, without even bothering to thank the bees, or his guide the honeybird. Honeybird was furious. 'Chee Chee!' he squawked unhappily after the greedy, rude man. 'Chee Chee! What about me? What about me?' But the man didn't even look up as he rubbed his rounded belly and headed home. The next morning Honeybird was still so cross about the man's ingratitude that he had an idea that might teach the man a lesson. Flying through the forest, he looked here and looked there until he found exactly what he wanted. There, under a fallen tree in the middle of the forest lay a leopard with her three cubs. Not only was their home shady and protected, but nearby was a supply of dark, rich honey. And, as you probably know, leopards like nothing more than a daily lick of honey. Once he'd hatched his plan, Honeybird knew exactly what to do: to fly back to the man's field and lure him once again. [...]

This is an excerpt from Stories Gogo Told Me, by Lisa Grainger.

Title: Stories Gogo Told Me
Author: Lisa Grainger
Illustrator: Cecilia von Poncet
Publisher: Penguin Random House South Africa
Imprint: Penguin Fiction
Cape Town, South Africa, 2015
ISBN‎ 9781485900030 / ISBN 978-1-48590-003-0
Softcover, 15 x 24 cm, 191 pages, numerous colour illustrations

Grainger, Lisa im Namibiana-Buchangebot

Stories Gogo Told Me

Stories Gogo Told Me

Stories Gogo told me: treasury of legends and fables which celebrate Africa and its ancient storytelling culture.