A Monkey’s Heart

In ages past, Crocodile and Monkey were great friends. Crocodile lived in a river, while Monkey lived up in a tree near the same river. Crocodile would often come to the riverbank to talk to his friend Monkey. One day Crocodile invited Monkey to his watery home. But Monkey declined. He did not know how…

ozingiti or mulberries

The Ozilingiti Bride

There once lived a man, his wife and their daughter. On the day of the girl’s birth, the man had planted a mulberry sapling in the centre of their homestead. He then made a will to his wife. He made her swear a solemn promise to marry off their daughter only in the same season…

A Frog Who Worked Like People

A long time ago, Frog lived on land. When time came for Frog to marry, he decided to take for a wife a very beautiful girl from the human race. The girl came from a home which practiced cultivation. They grew mainly finger millet. Shortly after their marriage, Frog was summoned by his in-laws to…

Okeny and his Valiant Dog

Ododo na moni yo! There lived a warrior called Okeny. Not only was he famed for his strength, but he was a great hunter too. He had a faithful dog called Akera who was the fastest dog ever known. One morning Okeny went out to hunt and left Akera at home. When he reached the…

The God of Water

  Ododo na moni bah! I’m going to tell you a fable about Apwoya the Rabbit and all the animals of the wild. Once upon a time, there was an election, and Langoko the Chameleon had been chosen to be the leader of all the animals. And so the Chameleon was tasked with calling all…

The Tale of a Tattooed Belly

Once upon a time, there were four girls who lived in the same compound. But one of the girls was lazy. In fact she was possibly the laziest known person. Whenever her colleagues were doing their chores, she would is still be at play. And when her friends were done with their work for the…

Three Daughters and a Pet

Ododo na moni yoh! There once was a man who had three beautiful daughters, and a champion rooster who was his beloved pet. This was the biggest rooster ever in the whole of the land. Whenever he was returning to the homestead from anywhere, he would first call out to his rooster. On hearing his…

Koch Lit, Anaka

Acholi riddles, recorded in Anaka, Uganda, October 2012. I sent my daughter naked to seduce some men, she came back with clothes Answer: peanuts/groundnuts (the seeds are planted naked, and when harvested have shells). I placed my daughter by the roadside, everybody comes to greet her. Answer: borehole pump. Thick bushes silenced the ayuweri (bird).…

The Egg and the Ball go Rolling

Ododo na moni yo! A long time ago a Ball of clay and an Egg became friends. Their friendship was held strong by the desire to one day compete in a race to see who was fastest. They wanted to race each other because they were both round and smooth. On the day of the…

When you Befriend a Hyena

Ododo na moni yo! Once upon a time Rabbit and Hyena were friends. Hyena had an anthill which he would smoke out annually when the season was right to harvest white ants. But Rabbit was the first to go and weed around the anthill and clear it of dirt that season. After it was neat…