Edshu and his Many Coloured Hat
In olden times Olorun first created human kind and then the god Edshu
Once there were two men who were great friends. When they went out they dressed exactly alike. Everyone said: Those two are the best of friends. Edshu saw this. Those two are the best of friends, he said I shall cause strife between them, and that will be a good beginning for a big palaver. The two friends' fields were next to each other and were separated by a path. Edshu used to walk along this path in the morning, wearing a black cap.
When Edshu was ready to start the quarrel, he made himself a cap of green, black, red and white material, so that it showed a different colour from each direction, and one morning he put it on when he set out to walk down the path between the fields. He also took his tobacco pipe but, instead of putting it in his mouth as usual, he put it at the back: of his neck:, as if he were smoking through the back: of his head. Also he took a stick:, as usual, but carried it the other way about, not in front of his chest, but behind his back. .The two friends were working in their fields. They looked up for a moment. Edshu called out a greeting to them. They responded, and went on with their work.
Later they walked back home together. One said to the other: The old man, went the opposite way along the path between the fields this morning. I noticed it because of his pipe and his stick.
You're wrong, the other one replied. He went in the same direction as usual, I saw which way he was going.
The first one said: But that's not true; I saw his pipe and his stick too plainly to be mistaken. Also he was not wearing a black cap today, but a white one.
You must be blind, or you must have been asleep, the other one said. He was wearing a red cap.
The first one said: You must have been drinking palm wine this morning not to have seen the colour of his cap or the direction in which he was going.
I haven't touched a drop of palm wine today, the other one said. But you seem to me to have gone crazy.
The first one said: You're insulting me, telling me nothing but a pack of lies.
It's you who are the liar, the other one replied. This isn't the first time I've noticed it. He drew his knife and struck out with it and wounded the other man, who also drew his knife and stabbed at his head. Both ran away, and both were bleeding when they came into the town. The people saw this and said: The two friends have been attacked, this means that war is in the offing.
No, one of the men said, that liar is not my friend.
The other one said: Don't believe a word that liar says. The lies come flying out as soon as he opens his mouth.