22 October 2009

The Eye, the Ear, the Hand and the Foot

The Eye, the Ear, the Hand and the Foot

Contes from the Mango region

Once upon a time, the Eye, the Ear, the Hand and the Foot went out into the jungle. All of a sudden, the Ear heard a noise, the Eye saw an animal, the Foot took off after it and when they got close to the beast the Hand captured it, killed it and tied its legs together to carry it.
The Ear said “I’m the one who heard the noise, so the animal belongs to me”
The Foot protested “Why should it be for you, you might well have heard the noise, but you didn’t go chase it down, and so the animal belongs to me.”
And the Hand interjected in the debate :”It’s my right to have it because without me, you would never have had it; since I’m the one who killed it.”
The Foot, who was not in agreement, responded “So what if it was you who killed the animal, it wasn’t you who ran after it!”
Among them the quarrel exploded. It very nearly came to blows. They finished it by saying “let’s go back to village to figure out this business, the elders will see justice done!”
On the way, the Ear began to sing:

If the Ear hadn’t heard the noise
What would have happened?
Eye, would you have seen what happened?
If the Foot hadn’t run
Would the Hand have caught the beast?

He continued singing all the way to the chief’s house.
The tribunal took place, and the four plaintiffs recounted their story.
Suddenly, the mosquito, who was the speaker for the chief, stood up and announced the decision:
“The animal belongs to the Ear.”
The Foot, the Hand, the Eye all went away very disappointed. During the night, the mosquito came to the Ear’s house and repeated his judgment, hoping to receive a gift in thanks.
“The animal is yours!” he whispered.
When the Hand heard the voice, she chased it away saying “Go away with your drivel!”
Every time that the mosquito comes close to the Ear to claim his debt, the Hand chases him away.
It is from this time that humans began to chase away mosquitos with their hands.

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