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The Two Friends


There once were two mice Yizum, a bush mouse, and Nkinki, a house mouse. Yizum and Nkinki were the best of friends. One day Yizum invited Nkinki to his house in the bush to spend the day. Nkinki had never been to Yizum’s house before and was very happy to go.

Yizum’s house was located under a rock. He took Nkinki inside and showed him around, then they decided to have something to eat. Yizum brought in all of his finest foods, beans in the hull, seeds from a tree, peanuts, roots and other bush mouse delicacies.

“Let’s eat” said Yizum, and Nkinki reluctantly agreed. He wasn’t very impressed by what his friend had provided. Nevertheless, not wanting to offend his good friend, he ate the food, although with difficulty. When they had finished the meal Nkinki felt he must get something off of his chest.

“Yizum” he said, “You seem to live a very hard life here in the bush. I can’t believe you must live off of eating seeds and this other very common food! If I had to live like you I would be very unhappy, and would rather not have even been born!” He continued for awhile to berate the way that Yizum lived.

The time came for Nkinki to return home. Yizum decided that he would go with Nkinki to see how his life was so much better. “I would like to go with you to see your house” Yizum said. “You are more than welcome to come”, replied Nkinki.

Off they went to the village where Nkinki lived. They walked for awhile, talking as they went along, and arrived at Nkinki’s village quite tired and hungry.

Immediately Yizum noticed lots of good food just emptied out on the ground. It smelt good, and looked even better. He began to think that Nkinki was rifgt! There was mush and meat, beautiful corn and yams which people seemed to just throw away.

So hungry, they began to eat right away. The food was splendid, and Yizum thought, “If I could find a place like this to live, life would indeed be sweet!” They ate for what seemed like hours, and soon they became very full. Yizum was just getting ready to lay down and relax, when he heard a sudden and strange noise behind him. “A cat” cried Nkinki, and before Yizum could look around, the cat was upon them. “Run” Nkinki cried, and Yizum did just that!

Yizum had never been so scared in his life, and ran with all the strength he could muster. The cat was getting closer, but just as they were beginning to tire, the mice spotted a hole in the wall of a house, and dashed inside.

When he finally caught his breath, Yizum said; “Nkinki my friend, the food here is indeed better than what I am used to eating. However, if this is what your life is like, if this is what you must go through to eat well, and if your insides are like this everyday, I would rather eat my seeds and roots, and live in peace!”

So African legends say that Yizum went back into the bush, and Nkinki never again critisized him about the life he lived!

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