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The Tortoise Called “All Of You”

A Nigerian folk tale of how Tortoise was too smooth for his own good

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There are many pourquoi tales explaining how the tortoise got his shell, but I had never heard this lovely variant before.

It was told to me by Roland Marshal, who heard it as a child from his grandmother, Christiana Edward of the Ososo tribe, from Ososo Akoko Edo L.G.A., Edo State, South Nigeria.

Later I was delighted to find a version in Ch. 11 of Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart (1958).

Roland also told me Tortoise Wins the Spicy Food Competition, for which an Activity Teaching Pack is available.

Why the Bat Flies at Night is another Nigerian animal tale, just added to the video gallery.


The video clips here are all amateur quality, shot in various theatres, or as here in my home studio.

Their intention is just to show the range of my storytelling and give a flavour of a live performance.

Permission is granted for use in non-commercial educational contexts.

The videos are © Richard Martin.

Professionally recorded CDs and DVDs are available here.

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Permission to tell outlines my views on copyright

For those who are teachers: Telling stories in the classroom: basing language teaching on storytelling