This has been a busy week. In true Liberian style, as I am preparing to return home in a few days, people have been coming to share their stories. They tend to wait until time is running low before completing tasks! This week I have been fortunate to be able to collect stories in both English and regional dialects that I will post when I return to an area with faster internet service. Here we have only a dial-up speed service which makes loading photos and video nearly impossible.
The story below is from a local Physician’s assistant who is a longtime friend named Dennis. It tells the story of a mouse who borrows money from a beaver with the promise to pay him back when Mouse gets big!
Also this week, we took my nephew Sawsee to the hospital with a fever of 105F. They found he was suffering from malaria which is quite common here. He stayed in the hospital for two days receiving an IV drip of medication. While malaria is relatively common here, it is frightening to see it occur in such a young child.
I need to get busy as I have two more storytellers arriving late this afternoon to add to my growing collection!
“Trust Betrayed- The Story of Mouse and Beaver”
Once upon a time, Mr. Mouse went and carried away some money (for) from a beaver. So, you know mouse doesn’t get big. He will always remain tiny, tiny. So he went for this money, he told Beaver, “So look, in taking this money, when I get big, I will pay you. Right now I have little problem in the home. My whole family is sick and I need money.” He was crying at the same time asking for this money.
So Beaver agree to give the money. He took the money he gave.
After certain years, Beaver started looking for his money because he couldn’t get it. Then he decided to pay a visit in the home. So each time Beaver was going for his money and Mouse got this information, he would hide all his family because all of them the same size. None of them big; all of them small in body.
So Beaver used to go for this money up and down- can’t get the money be he always passing Mr. Crab in the town when going for the money.
While passing for the second time, Mr. Crab asked him, “But Mr. Beaver, what reason for passing all the time?”
He answered, “One little boy in the town, he carried my money and he said when he gets big, he will pay my money.”
Crab said,” Who is that boy?”
He said, “The mouse.”
He said, Oh! But Mr. Beaver, don’t you know these people, they don’t get big?” But go and ask for the Ma, the Pa, I mean, whosoever there. Say I want to leave the money but I want to see all your family to tell then the good I have done for you.”
He said, “Ok.” So he went that say. When he look, Mouse came from the bush and started acting like a baby. You know they are very tiny, tiny.
So Beaver said, “I have the mind to need the money. Because of your size, you are small. I know you don’t have it. You have it when you get big but you never get big. But what I want you to do please tell your Ma, father, everybody to come so I can tell them the good I have done for you.”
And he was so happy that he go call the family. He invited his Ma, his pa- everybody looked alike. So Mr. Beaver say, “You will pay my money today! You know you don’t get big- but you fool me!”
He sat there for long, long. “So, Mr. Beaver, who really told you this thing? I know that Mr. Crab said this thing because you were passing through town.”
Beaver said, “Yeah.”
He said, “But Mr. Beaver the money I took of yours, I took the money I know but when I came, Crab got serious problem in his home. I took the money, I gave it to him. That box on his back?” (You know the shell?) He said, “There he put the money. I not able to find a way to take it off so that the embarrassing part that I been facing. Let me tell you the secret now since you won’t leave me in trouble.”
Mr. Beaver got vexed. That is why when he see Crab he get rid the back, to get his money back from there.
So that’s what happened between the two of them. Because he ran his mouth, he got in trouble with him.