Where Animals Talk; West African Folk Lore Tales/Part 1/Tale 12

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Why Mosquitoes Buzz



Mbo (Mosquito) Aga (Hands)
Oroi (Ear)



It is a practice of African natives, after taking a bath, to anoint their bodies with some oil or grease.



In the time of Long-ago, in Njambi's Town, Mosquito and Ear went out to take a bath together. After taking her bath. Ear began to rub an oily substance over herself; while Mosquito did not. So Ear said to Mosquito, "Why do you leave your skin so rough? It is better to rub on a little oil." Mosquito replied, "I have none." So Ear said, "Indeed! I did not know that. I will give you part of mine, as I have plenty." Mosquito had to wait the while that Ear was rubbing the soft wax over herself. But, as soon as Ear had finished, she put back the wax into her ear where she usually kept it, and did not fulfill her promise to Mosquito.

When Mosquito saw this, that the wax was put away, he came near to the door, and said, "I want the oil you promised for rubbing on my body." But Ear took no notice of him, except to call on Hands to drive Mosquito away.

So, to this day. Mosquito is not willing to cease making his claim for the unfulfilled promise; and is always coming to our ears, and buzzing and crying. Always Mosquito comes and says, "I want my oil, Bz-z-z-z." But Ear remains silent, and gives no answer. And Mosquito keeps on grumbling and complaining, and gets angry and bites.