Growing up, we always looked forward to the school holidays, especially the December holidays. It was the time the whole family took a trip down to the village to visit grandma. The holidays were always full of fun: Playing with cousins we had not seen year-long, eating fresh foods from the shamba, and wild fruits without being bothered that you would become sick, and to top it all, the sweet stories from our grandmother that could go on for hours.

These memories make me wish I could grow younger to enjoy the folktales right from grandma's mouth. Folktales are stories passed down through generations, mainly by word of mouth. The different folktales are fairy tales, tall tales, trickster tales, myths, and legends. 

In Nigeria, a folktale is told of Emiong the bat, who had a great friend, Oyot the rat. As in human friendships, the bat was jealous of the rat, for reasons best known to him.

The two friends always ate together. The bush rat noticed that whenever the bat cooked, his soup was tasty. He asked him the secret ingredient, and the bat saw an opportunity to finish his friend. Emiong prepared a pot of hot water and jumped into it, then came out. On tasting the soup, Oyot found it as tasty as the one he had before. Uknown to him, the bat had replaced the soup in the pot.

That evening he went home and told his wife that he was going to prepare a tasty soup. He told her to boil water and jumped in. But alas! He died. When the wife realized what had happened, she was bitter and reported the matter to the king.

The king gave orders for the imprisonment of the bat. Realizing that everyone was looking for him, he was forced to change his routine and only came out at night to feed. And that is why you will not spot bats during the day.

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