Why the Lizard Often Nods
Cameroonian


 

A very long time ago, Lizard and Dog were great friends. The habit of nodding each time Lizard moves and stops was not known at that time.

Dog was, and is still a great hunter. As a friend to the hunter, Lizard expected his friend to give him plenty of meat each time there was a catch. Dog often gave his friend something to eat but so little and at times nothing even when a large catch was made. Lizard could not understand why.

One day, Lizard wanted to know why Dog never gave him enough meat.
"Tell me, my dear friend," said Lizard, "why you always give me very little meat and each time you say it's just part of your share. Does it mean you don't get the lion's share and does it also mean that you've not been eating whole animals alone?"

"Ha! ha! my friend," laughed Dog, "you don't know what happens and I will not blame you for your questions. Believe me or not, but it is true, that whenever any catch is given to my master, it is he who becomes the owner and therefore he gives me just what he likes. At times I'm only given the bones and that is when I give you nothing. Let me tell you this, if I make a catch and consume it, my master will certainly know and I will be asked to account for it; you know what that means."

"It is difficult to understand," said Lizard. "What do you mean? Surely, if you catch any animal alone you can do what you like and nobody will know whether you caught an animal and ate or not. You can tell your master that you did not catch anything."

 "No," said Dog. "My master always knows and I want you to see facts for yourself. Follow me to the bush for a hunt tomorrow. We shall catch and eat and after that you shall follow me to my house making sure you are not seen. Then take a good position from where you will hear and see all that will happen and you shall trust your friend forever."

Lizard accepted and followed Dog the next day. After toiling in the bush for a long time, Dog caught one small antelope. He tore the animal and with Lizard they ate it all. They were filled and Lizard was very satisfied and happy. He told his friend, Dog, that that was how it should be all the time!

After this, Dog left for home followed closely by his friend. When he arrived and entered the house, Lizard stood by the side of the door to listen to what Dog's master would say and to see what would happen.

          "What of your hunting today?" asked the master to Dog.
          "I toiled all day and ca ught nothing," said Dog.

The Dog belched. His master smelled it. He, the master, had also seen the hairs of an animal on the body of Dog and stains of blood but Dog did not notice all these.

The master said to Dog, "but I can smell the animal you caught and ate."
 
Dog said he did not even see any animal. The master knew at once that Dog ate the animal and he was telling a lie. When his master showed Dog the hairs which were all over his body, Dog became alarmed. Lizard was listening quietly from where he stood. When Dog knew that his master had caught him, he told another lie saying he caught the animal but it extricated itself and ran. But the master of Dog said that the belly of the Dog showed that he had overfed himself.

"Get out! Go and bring the animal otherwise I deal with you very badly!" thundered Dog's master. As he spoke, he followed up with a stick which caught Dog at his side. Dog cried and jumped outside. Lizard was already running ahead of him along the verandah. They both ran out of the compound and entered the bush.

"Do you see what has happened now?" Dog asked his friend. Lizard nodded and nodded again in agreement, having seen the truth with his own eyes. Each time Lizard thinks of what Dog told him and what wad done to his friend for eating the animal, he nods and nods.

Since then, Lizard is used to nodding and that is why he continues to nod till this day.                    
                                                                                  --Told by J.T. Barika

Why the Lizard Often Nods
Identifying Facts:

1. Why did Lizard think that Dog was not kind to him?
         --He didn't give him any food even when he made a kill.

2. What was Dog's response to Lizard's complaint?
         --His master took over the kills and sometimes gave him nothing but bones so he had nothing to share.

3. How does Dog convince Lizard that he is telling the truth?
         --He kills an antelope which they eat before returning home. The              master notices and becomes angry at the lie and beats Dog.

4. According to this "why" story, why does Lizard nod so often today?
         --He is remembering that Dog was telling the truth.

Interpreting Meanings:

5. Based on what you have read in this story, are Dog and Lizard still friends today?
         --Yes-There is no fight or animosity. Lizard learns from his mistake         --No-The first sentence implies that Dog and Lizard used to be             friends a long time ago but are friends no longer.

6. This story illustrates morals, or lessons about life. List one or two      lessons about life that are shown in this story.
         --Honesty is the best policy.
         --Peer pressure can get you into trouble.
         --Greed can hurt you or your friends.
         --If you trust your friends, they should not have to prove that they              are telling the truth