The Warthog that Befriended the Cassava

Here is a story:

A Warthog once befriended a Cassava which didn’t move and he came to visit the Cassava on a daily basis. One day, the Cassava fell sick and began to sigh. The Warthog left its house and said: I will go to see my friend. The Warthog met the Cassava as it was crying out in agony. The Cassava said: I have terrible back pain. The Warthog said: Your back hurts. Well, do you have any medicine? The Cassava replied: No, I do not. The Warthog said: In that case I will try to massage it better. [1]

In order to massage the Cassava’s back with its snout, the Warthog began to press against the ground and discovered that the Cassava smelled good inside. The Warthog said: Should I continue to go deeper? I feel you smell much better when we come close together. The Warthog moved the Cassava by taking out its roots and said: I will give you a good massage now. And so the Warthog pressed its snout against the Cassava. When the Cassava yelled: Oh! That hurts! the Warthog said: O.K.! O.K.! I’m massaging you! The Warthog began to press down so hard that it broke the Cassava. Then suddenly, the Warthog began to eat part of the Cassava. And he thought to himself: Should I leave him alone now? How far should my friendship go? But it smells so good. Then the Warthog bit again; the Cassava said: My friend you bit me! But the Warthog replied: I don’t want to miss this opportunity to help you!

And up to this day, the Warthog and the Cassava love each other and whenever the Warthog enters the field of the Cassava, he will not leave any morsel untouched.

And that is the end of our story.

The moral of the story: if one likes something, one thinks of it constantly.

The Mambwe proverbs say: What you wish to obtain (desire earnestly) strengthens the ribs (gives strength to work for it)(Cino utemilwe, cikakomyi mbazo).

Subjects: pleasure – habit


[1] By “massaging” the warthog is removing the poisonous bark of the cassava.


Told by Bernard Kungula from Kapufi village (recorded).