The Stupidity of Bug-A-Bug
Two orphan-brothers who were poor went to a rich man and asked for money so that they could trade. The rich man loaned them money, but instead of using it to trade they bought wine and the best food and lived happily for several days.
When there were only two pieces of money left the two orphans agreed that they would have to do something. There was no longer enough money to begin trading, so they resolved to make a farm and plant corn; with the money they gained from the crop they could pay the rich man back.
They made the farm, but when the crop came Bapoh, the bush hen, ate it. The two orphans took Bapoh to the rich man.
“Bapoh ate our crop, and we cannot pay you back.”
Bapoh promised to pay herself, with eggs. But Elephant walked on her nest and crushed the eggs, and Bapoh took him to the rich man.
“Elephant promised to pay with money he earned by working. A Hunter shot Elephant in the foot so that he could no longer work; the hunter took over the debt and said he would pay with the game he killed. But hunter was lamed when his foot caught in the root of a tree, and since he could no longer hunt the debt was passed on to the tree.
“I will pay with my fruit,” said Tree; but Bug-a-bug (termite) ate the fruit and starting eating the tree as well.
“I cannot pay,” tree said to the rich man. “Bug-a-bug is eating me.”
“I will pay,” said Bug-a-bug. “I will surely pay the debt.”
But Bug-a-bug is a foolish and dull-witted creature, just an eater of wood, and he did not really know what he was saying. The only thing he could do was eat, and since he had to pay a debt he thought he could pay it just by eating. He ate and ate, and he is still eating.