Quarcoo Bah-boni

The Mischievous Boy and the Five Animals

In a small village, a childless couple yearned for the blessing of a baby. One day, while the husband was away on a hunting trip, the wife gave birth to a baby boy. According to the customs of their land, the father was responsible for naming the child when it reached a week old. As the naming day approached, the mother grew anxious, wondering what name she would give the child in her husband’s absence.

To the mother’s astonishment, the baby himself spoke, declaring, “My name is Quarcoo Bah-boni.” Shocked that a week-old infant could talk, the mother’s surprise only grew when the next day, the baby announced that he would go to the farm, a task typically reserved for the father.

The Mischievous Deeds

As Quarcoo grew, his mischievous nature became more apparent. One day, while his mother was busy, she laid him on the bed, believing him to be asleep. Moments later, a group of angry boys confronted her, claiming that her son had been beating and ill-treating them in the street. The mother, in disbelief, went to check on her baby, only to find him missing from the bed. Apologizing to the boys, she returned to find Quarcoo innocently sleeping.

Unable to endure her son’s troublesome behavior any longer, the mother made the difficult decision to turn Quarcoo out of the house, forbidding him to return. Gleefully, the boy departed, ready for new adventures.

The Five Animals

After walking for miles, Quarcoo came upon a building where a goat, wolf, tiger, lion, and elephant lived together in harmony. Politely requesting to be their servant, as he claimed to be motherless, the animals agreed, believing he could be of help to them.

Each day, one of the animals would venture to their farm to bring back food for the group. When it was Goat’s turn, he asked Quarcoo to accompany him and carry the basket. However, upon reaching the farm, Quarcoo abandoned his duties and ran off to play. Frustrated, Goat confronted the boy, only to be met with a severe beating. Quarcoo demanded that Goat finish the work, carry the load, and keep the incident a secret.

The Suspicious Injuries

As the days passed, each animal took their turn at the farm, and each returned bruised and swollen. They made excuses for their injuries, but Goat and Wolf, having experienced Quarcoo’s strength firsthand, knew the truth.

Realizing the need to rid themselves of the troublesome boy, the animals decided to leave early the following morning, leaving Quarcoo alone in the house. They prepared a large basket of food, unaware that Quarcoo had overheard their plan.

The Hidden Passenger

Quarcoo, being tiny, rolled himself in a leaf and hid inside the food basket. As the animals set out, Goat, the youngest, carried the basket, not knowing that Quarcoo was inside.

Throughout the journey, each animal took a turn carrying the basket. When they thought they were alone, they would open the basket to sneak some food, only to be greeted by a terrible blow from Quarcoo. Frightened, they would quickly close the basket and continue on their way.

Finally, when Elephant’s turn came, he grew tired of carrying the basket and, at the others’ suggestion, threw it away. As the animals fled, they eventually stopped to rest under a huge tree, discussing their troubles with Quarcoo and blaming Goat for convincing them to take the boy in.

The Surprising Appearance

Unbeknownst to the animals, Quarcoo had taken a shortcut and was waiting for them, hidden in the branches of the tree. When Goat denied being the cause of their problems and challenged Quarcoo to appear if he was truly to blame, the boy jumped down from the tree, startling the animals.

In their terror, the animals scattered in different directions. The wolf ran to the woods, the tiger into the heart of the forest, the elephant to Nigeria, the lion to the desert, and the goat to the abode of human beings. This, according to the tale, is why these animals now live in various places instead of together as they once did.

The story of Quarcoo Bah-boni serves as a cautionary tale about the consequences of mischief and the importance of responsibility. The boy’s troublesome behavior not only led to his own banishment but also disrupted the harmonious life of the five animals. The tale also highlights the folly of greed and the power of unity, as the animals’ decision to abandon Quarcoo ultimately led to their own separation. Through this story, we learn the value of cooperation, the dangers of mischief, and the lasting impact of our actions on those around us.

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