Narrated by Hannatu Gamba
Early one morning, the leopard decided to go hunting. As he got to the edge of the forest, he could smelt the aroma of roasted fish. It seemed to be coming from the river, so he turned towards the river to investigate the smell. He found Gizo (the spider) roasting fish on the riverbank. The spider had put out his nets the previous night and had made quite a big catch.
” Hi! Very good morning to you my brother”, said the leopard pleasantly. The spider wondered when they became brothers but politely answered back, ” A very good morning to you too.”
The spider said, “I did not know that it smelt that good. Actually, I am surprised because other animals complain that my food tastes awful. You see this may not taste as good it smells.” He was trying hard to discourage the leopard from eating his fish.
The spider gave him one fish, he ate it, and said, “mmmmmmmmmmm!” It tastes delicious. Can I have one more?”
The leopard asked for another piece and then another one. The spider could see his fish stock was going down fast but there is nothing he could do about it. The leopard was stronger than him and a dangerous animal. The spider was so upset that he began to cry. Tears streamed down his face.
The spider answered, ” I am not crying. The smoke is irritating my eyes.
The spider turned to the leopard and said, ” I cannot believe that guinea fowl flew past without greeting me.”
He asked, “What is the big deal? Why should the guinea fowl greet you?”
“You did that?” asked the leopard.
” Can you decorate my skin for me too? asked the leopard.
“Please, please do it for me, I will do anything you say.” said the leopard
The leopard hurried off and came back with a very strong rope and iron rod. They found a very strong tree nearby.
The spider branding the leopard.
The spider now stuck one end of the iron rod into the fire and when it was red hot he brought it out and stuck it on the leopard skin.
The leopard shrieked with pain and screamed out so loudly that the deer and other animals grazing nearby scattered in all directions and started running.
Some other leopard’s heard his screams and they came to find out what was happening. They found him reeling in pain, but the spider was nowhere to be seen. They took him home to nurse his wounds and went looking for the spider. When the spider and his family heard the roars of the leopards, they clambered up the ceiling of their hut. The walls were too straight or smooth for the leopards’ to climb up.