Multilingual Folk Tale Database


Author: E. A. Ruskin - 1921

Translated into English
  by E. A. Ruskin - 1921

Original title (Mongo):
Boje la bowa bikyana bikoli

Country of origin: Democratic Republic of Congo


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The Altercation between Spring and Summer

E. A. Ruskin

The Spring said to the Summer, "Summer, you have no food during your season. Look at me: during my time I have the Rubber fruit, the Miracle fruit, and fruits of trees and fruits of creepers — fruits which are eaten raw and cooked, all these are mine! Also the heto of every kind — this best of all foods is mine! The time when people are satisfied with fruits is my season."

But the Summer said, "Not so; I am the one who has the most food. I make the sun shine with such heat that the people may work in their gardens, then they plant manioca bitter and sweet, plantains, and other vegetables; and sow their maize. And it is I who dry up the streams that people may get fish to eat with the vegetables which I have given them."

Then came the Wet Season, and he said, "I have come to settle this altercation. I do not argue; I myself have no food, with the exception of fish. I have only rain, rain, and more rain. Now you. Spring, what food have you which can be roasted? Rubber fruit and such like cannot stand the fire: they must be eaten raw. My verdict is that the Summer wins this argument: for the Spring provides comparatively little food."