Why Yams and Cassavas Hide in the Ground

Once upon a time yams and cassavas were thought to be devils. When they walked through a town people would run to their houses and hide, and the yams and cassavas would boldly march by singing and making rude noises.

During Hungry Season a little boy was walking along a road when he saw a column of yams and cassavas walking straight towards him. He jumped off the road and hid behind a tree; but he was so hungry he could not help thinking these devils might be good to eat.

However, there were so many of them he was afraid they would kill him if they found out he was there, so he did nothing. The column passed by singing songs, and the boy was about to go back on the road when he saw a solitary yam limping along behind.

So he concealed himself, and as the unsuspecting yam was limping by he bounded out and seized it by the throat, or where the throat would be, if yams had throats.

The yam shrieked and struggled, but the lad cut off his head and put it in a cooking pot; and when the thing was boiled he tasted it, and the taste was almost better than anything he knew. Thereafter he caught more yams and boiled them for his friends — and soon the people learned to catch yams and cassavas whenever they could find them.

So yams and cassavas were obliged to hide inside the ground, and that is the place one finds them to this day.