Why Fish Lives in Water
Many years ago, when King Eyo was ruler of Calabar, the fish used to live on the land; he was a great friend of the leopard, and frequently used to go to his house in the bush, where they had a lot of fun together. Now the leopard had a very beautiful wife, with whom the fish fell in love. And after a time, whenever the leopard was absent in the bush, the fish used to go to his house and the wife and the fish used to be together, until at last an old woman who lived near informed the leopard what happened whenever he went away. At first the leopard would not believe that the fish, who had been his friend for so long, would play such a low trick, but one night he came back unexpectedly, and found the fish and his wife together. The leopard was very angry, and wanted to kill the fish, but he thought that because they had been friends for so long, he would not deal with him himself, but would report his behaviour to King Eyo. This he did, and the king held a big meeting, at which the leopard stated his case quite shortly, but when the fish was put upon his defence he had nothing to say, so the king addressing his subjects said,
“This is a very bad case, as the fish had been the leopard’s friend, and had been trusted by him, but the fish has taken advantage of his friend’s absence, and has betrayed him.“
The king, therefore, made an order that for the future the fish should live in the water, and that if he ever came on the land he should die.