What Will You Learn in This Episode?
You will learn the words, apprehensive, concede, convene, cower, deliberate, ferocious, flabbergasted, pique, regal, and scorch in the context of an African folktale called, the Tale of Osebo’s Drum or The Leopard and the Drum. You will learn ten new words and a beautiful folktale from Africa in this new Word Power episode from English Plus Podcast.
The Tale of Osebo’s Drum – an African Folktale
When Nyame the Sky God’s mother died, he wanted her funeral to be one that would reflect the status of their family. He knew that the great drum of Osebo the Leopard would make the ceremony truly regal. Osebo was the most powerful animal on earth. He would not willingly give up his great drum. Nyame deliberated for a long time, but he could not imagine a way to get the drum.
Nyame convened a meeting of all the animals and announced that he needed the great drum of Osebo for his mother’s funeral. The animals cowered at the thought of challenging Osebo. Finally, Elephant said he would try to get the drum, but he failed. Then Lion tried and failed. Antelope, Crocodile, and Bear could not get the drum either. When Turtle said, “I will get the drum,” the other animals laughed hysterically. Turtle had a soft back, and moved as slowly as he does today. However, he was not at all apprehensive about the challenge.
So, moving very slowly, Turtle finally arrived at Leopard’s home. Osebo called out, “Have you come to try to steal my drum, too?”
“No,” said Turtle, “but all this talk of drums has piqued my curiosity. I came to see just how great your drum is.” When Osebo showed Turtle his drum, Turtle conceded that, it was, indeed, a great drum. Then he said, “But Nyame’s drum is larger. It is so large he can crawl inside it.”
Osebo objected in a ferocious voice, claiming that his drum was certainly as large. To prove it, Osebo climbed inside. Once Osebo was inside the drum, Turtle plugged its opening. He then tied the drum to his back and slowly dragged it back to Nyame. The animals were flabbergasted at Turtle ‘s success. Turtle presented the drum to Nyame with Osebo inside it. In exchange for his freedom, Osebo offered the drum to Nyame as a gift. As he hurried away, Osebo stumbled into the Sky God’s fire and scorched himself in many places, leaving dark spots on his hide. As a reward, Nyame offered Turtle anything he desired. Fearing the other animals, Turtle asked for a hard cover to protect his back. And to this day, the turtle always travels with a hard shell on its back.
Unlock the Meaning of the New Words
If you describe something as regal, you mean that it is suitable for a king or queen, because it is very impressive or beautiful.
royal, majestic, kingly or queenly, noble
If you deliberate, you think about something carefully, especially before making a very important decision.
consider, think, ponder, discuss
If someone convenes a meeting or conference, they arrange for it to take place. You can also say that people convene or that a meeting convenes.
meet, gather, rally, assemble
If you cower, you bend forward and downwards because you are very frightened.
cringe, shrink, tremble, crouch
Someone who is apprehensive is afraid that something bad may happen.
anxious, concerned, worried, afraid
If something piques your interest or curiosity, it makes you interested or curious.
arouse, excite, stir, spur
If you concede something, you admit, often unwillingly, that it is true or correct.
admit, allow, accept, acknowledge
A ferocious animal, person, or action is very fierce and violent.
A ferocious war, argument, or other form of conflict involves a great deal of anger, bitterness, and determination.
If you say that you are flabbergasted, you are emphasizing that you are extremely surprised.
astonished, amazed, stunned, overcome
To scorch something means to burn it slightly.
burn, sear, char, roast