Duck eggs

If I had a kobo for every myth I was fed growing up, I’d have plenty of it by now.

Debating with adults with reasons makes them nervous as it is often mistaken for questioning authority.

There is a tale of vultures (Igun) as forbidden for anyone to kill, eat or use for any form of sacrifice. If anyone disobeys (d’eja), the repercussion is violent death.

This same myth has been included in many popular songs so not many people doubted the myth.

The story goes that there was a village vulture deemed untouchable, it grew bigger and getting in the way of meat loving folks, villagers were not happy but were told to let the vulture be.

One day the vulture disappeared so the whole village were called for a meeting to see if anyone is aware of its whereabout – nobody knew where the vulture went.

A day later a villager cried out that he was the one who captured the vulture and that he had eaten it, he boasted he was still alive and well so the myth of ‘all powerful’ vulture should be put to rest.

The man mysteriously died a few days later.

As it turned out, the man who told the village that he ate vulture did not eat it, he only wanted the village chief to realise that vulture myth should be tested and if indeed they shouldn’t eat vulture, other plausible reasons should be given – scaring people into believing a dead vulture is capable of killing someone isn’t the best way of instilling moral standard.

The man who captured, killed and ate the vulture but kept his mouth shut survived.

This is the tale I have heard so many times in the past, it means when tales of Eewo (forbidden) is told, one must not try apply any reason – just believe.

Among many domestic birds that people keep in my area, ducks are the luckiest. Growing up, only a handful of people I know had ducks.

If a duck laid ten eggs, very much likely she will hatch all of them even if laid at neighbours’ house provided they were healthy.

– The myth goes that the yellow feathers on duck eggs were bait to catch egg thieves, to get to the eggs, one must have touched the feathers and touching the feathers weaken the muscles of the thief’s wrist instantly.

Whoever had arthritis on their wrist gets side look for this.

– If a careless cyclist or driver killed a duck, they must put a coin (used to be cowrie) in the duck’s mouth to appease the unknown power, failing to do this will result in fatal accident.

– Finally to have duck meat for dinner, it involves a ritual, not as straight forward as chicken or goat. One must place an okro vertically to the duck’s neck, cut it through then kill the duck.

What these myths did indirectly to many families including mine was lost of interest in duck meat – I definitely don’t want to eat a creepy creature.

Attitude to raising ducks is changing but the ‘pull’ of myths around is still very much alive.

What we believe, eh?

Categories: Humour, Myths I grow up with, Nigeria

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9 replies

  1. No one comes between me & my Duck meat…. Duck meat is the BOMB!!

    The vertical Okro thing is totally new to me… Interesting!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes o, sometimes I wonder why elders make up so many stories for something so simple. I really can’t understand the reasons behind all the myths behind ducks as pet.

      Is it common up north to keep ducks same as we do chickens/goats?


      • Ducks in the north are kind of a luxury really. They are kept by well-off sorts, mainly. After chickens, northerners are more into ‘Genie-fowl’. Ducks are considered dirty because of their wet-shit/ Their meat is not highly sought after but that is understandable cos only a small fraction have ever tasted Duck meat here.

        Still that crazy myth is feared greatly. You need to see cars stop-dead on busy highways, just to let Ducks go by. Ducks have right of way here, even before trains..Ha Ha Ha Ha

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ha, I see, web feet and all. I can also see why duck meat is more expensive – demand and supply, abi?

          I say good for the duck family, at least some species get the attention of dangerous drivers!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha ….. Dangerous drivers indeed. This reminds me of the story of the drunk driver who got home one night without his car. Next day, when he woke up lucid & found his car missing but the car keys in his pocket, his wife told him he returned without the car last night. He rushed to the bar first thing the next morning in search of the car, confused & in a panic. The guards at the pub told him he had doggedly refused to move his car out of the car park the previous night because some ducks were fast asleep behind his car and he swore it is forbidden in his village to wake a sleeping duck. Looking at the bright side, Ducks can help with some driving problems too fa, abi?

            Liked by 2 people

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