in the folktale
s of the Yoruba
people of Nigeria
. He is definitely an ancestor
of Brer Tortoise
in the Brer Rabbit
stories (one of the few characters who has any hope of outwitting Brer Rabbit), and some scholars say of Brer Rabbit himself. Ijapa (sometimes spelled "Ajapa") is lazy, slow-moving, greedy, and clever.
One little scene I liked and copied down from the book of folktales I read in middle school:
Ijapa said, "It emerges!"
His son said, "I seize it!"
Ijapa said "What did you seize?"
His son said, "What did you say had emerged?"
(Apparently being a trickster runs in this family.)