One day there lived a family with 4 children, 3 girls and 1 boy. All the children were good except one – you guessed it was the boy. But he wasn’t just unruly – he was also funny. He wanted to spend the whole day playing jokes on people.
One day the boy was sent to get water from a river that was full of crocodiles. After he had collected his water he put the pot safety on the back. Then he started to call out at the top of his voice, “Help! Help! The crocodiles! The crocodiles!”
When they heard his screams, everyone was in a panic. They all came running as fast as they could down to the river bank to help him. When they got there they found him laughing his head off. He’d fooled them all! He thought he was hilarious.
Of course everyone was very cross. “You called us for nothing. You interrupted our work for nothing. You stupid, bad boy.”
Another day the boy was given the same job to go down to the river to collect water. This time though he really was caught by the leg by a crocodile. He pulled all he could and yelled and screamed – “Help! Help! The crocodile the crocodile!”
Everyone in the village heard, and rolled their eyes. “Yeah yeah yeah,” they said. “He does that all the times. Take no notice.” When his screams got really loud and panicky, they all shook their heads. “He doesn’t give up, that boy, does he? But he’s not fooling us twice!”
No one realized that they were really listening to the boy being attacked and then eaten by a huge crocodile, until they went down to the riverbank later on and found nothing but a pile of clothes and some bloodied mud.
And what is the moral of the story? Simple: you must never lie. You must always tell the truth. Even when you want to make a joke.
This is a Congolese tale from Melvin Burgess blog.