Nigerian Folktales

How Tortoise Dealt With Monkey – Nigerian Folktale

monkey and tortoise Nigerian folktale

Long ago in the animal kingdom, tortoise and monkey were good friends until one day when monkey cheated tortoise who got angry and swore to make the former pay.

Monkey laughed at the tortoise and said, “how can you make me pay for cheating you? You are so small and too slow to deal with someone as big and fast as me.” Tortoise became angrier and promised to deal with monkey at all cost.

Tortoise went home and immediately told his wife, Yanibo, to make some sweet bean cakes. His wife obeyed him and made the most delicious been cakes ever. Tortoise was so glad, he wrapped the bean cakes and dashed off to lion’s house.

Tortoise met lion having an evening nap. He woke him up and lion got so angry that tortoise disturbed his nap but instantly became glad and excited as he perceived the aroma of the bean cakes tortoise brought to his house.

Tortoise offered lion some of the bean cakes which he hurriedly accepted and ate. Lion licked his fingers and asked tortoise where he got such sweet bean cakes. Tortoise who has been waiting for the moment quickly replied lion that they were not bean cakes but monkey’s faeces.

He told lion further that monkey is very stubborn and will not excrete sweet faeces unless he gets seriously beaten. Lion requested for more bean cakes but tortoise refused to give him and so lion dashed off looking for the monkey.

Monkey was whistling a tune at the bottom of a tree when lion saw him. Lion quickly jumped on him, grabbed his neck and demanded that he should excrete sweet faeces for him so he could to eat.

Monkey was surprised and confused, and he told lion that he has never in his life excreted sweet faeces and no one can do that. Lion got angry and then remembered tortoise’s words. He started beating the monkey mercilessly till he was at the point of death.

Tortoise who had been watching all the while came out of his hiding place and started mocking the monkey. It was at this point that lion knew tortoise was lying. He left the already battered monkey and went away.

Tortoise then said to the monkey, “I told you I will make you pay, didn’t I?” The weak monkey could not utter a word but groaned in pain. The tortoise laughed and went to his house.

Thanks for reading,

Cite this article as: Teslim Omipidan. (August 28, 2017). How Tortoise Dealt With Monkey – Nigerian Folktale. OldNaija. Retrieved from


  1. I Love This Jokes It Wil Grant Me A Great Platform To Keep My Curious Niece And Nephew A Better Company. Thanks

  2. Good write up mr Teslim. Need more of such tales of Ijapa to teach contentment to the children. Thank you

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