This and other stories that are going to be posted here in the coming months were collected, retold and published by Rev Carl Bender in 1919 under the title: "African Jungle Tales". Many of of us listened to some of version of these same stories as children. Bender clearly wrote for an American or European audience, and although his writing is on the whole sympathetic and very progressive, some of today's reader might consider some of the language dated by today's standards. We would like readers to comment and "reAfricanize" the stories. A lot of folk tales had accompanying songs. If you remember the wordings of the songs, please post them too.
The Woodpecker and the Weaver-Bird one day went on a hike together. When they saw that they could not reach their destination the same day any more, the Woodpecker suggested that they build huts for themselves in which they could put up for the night.
"All right," said the Weaver. And they went to work.
The Weaver wove his nest and fastened it on the branch of a cocoanut palm, while the Woodpecker cut a hole in the trunk of a tree.
When they had finished their huts, they both went to sleep.
During the night a tornado came up, which completely demolished the house of the weaver. It all came so suddenly that he barely escaped with his life.
In his distress the Weaver went to the Woodpecker, whom the fury of the storm had been unable to touch in his snug little house. "Friend," said the Weaver to the Woodpecker, "the storm has wrecked my house and I cannot build another in this inclement. weather. I suppose you can hear how the rain is coming down in torrents, I pray you, take me in for the rest of the night."
"Get away! Don't disturb me!" screeched the Woodpecker, and slammed the door in the face of the Weaver.
Ever since that night the Weaver and the Woodpecker are bitter enemies.