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A FAMOUS Olofin, or Yoruba King, was once imprisoned by his enemies in a hut without any door or roof-opening, and left to die of starvation.
As he sat gloomily on the ground, the Olofin saw a little mouse running across the hut. He seized his knife, exclaiming: “Rather than die of hunger, I will eat this mouse!”
But on second thoughts he put away his knife, saying: “Why should I kill the mouse? I shall starve later on, just the same.”
To his surprise the mouse addressed him in the following words:
“Noble King! Greetings to you on your generosity! You have spared my life, and in return I will spare yours.”
The mouse then disappeared into a hole in the ground, and returned some time afterwards followed by twenty or thirty other mice, all bearing grains of corn, gari, and small fruits.
For five days they fed him in this manner, and on the sixth day the hut was opened by the Olofin’s captors, who were astonished to find him still alive and in good health.
“This Olofin must have a powerful charm!” they declared. “It appears that he can live without eating or drinking!”
Thereupon they released him, gave him a war-canoe, and let him return in freedom to his own country.