Based on a Folktale by Thomas A.L. Decker

Why All the Animals no Longer Live Together

Retold by Akindele T.M. Decker & Nadine Decker

Based on Thomas A.L. Decker’s folktale, “Why All the Beasts No Longer Live Together”, Grandpa TC and the cousins, Tommy and Talabi are back again with another story. This time, Grandma Amba joins them to learn about what Mr. Leopard did to disrupt the peaceful little town of animals.

Meet the


In Thomas A.L. Decker’s book of folktales, “Tales of the Forest”, he introduces a variety of characters in the many Sierra Leonean folktales told to him by his Grandfather. Cousins Akindele and Nadine Decker reimagine a world of these characters and the stories told around them. The characters include their Grandfather, Thomas Decker, as Cousin Tommy and their Grand-Aunt, Talabi Lucan, as Cousin Talabi. Other characters include their Great-Great-Grandparents Thomas Crowley (TC) and Amba Fraser. Grandpa TC is re-imagined as the Grandfather mentioned by Thomas Decker in his book of folktales. A world of exciting characters are introduced from town to town, including the wealthy Mr. Goat, unpredictable Mr. Leopard, cunning Mr. Bird, and many others.


Thomas A.L. Decker

Thomas Alexander Leighton Decker was born in Calabar, Nigeria in 1916 to Sierra Leonean parents. He relocated to Sierra Leone with his family at an early age and lived in Murray Town, Freetown. After attending the C.M.S. Grammar School and Teacher’s College, Decker went on to become a Journalist and Editor for the Daily Guardian in the 1930s, where he began to explore the Krio written language. For the next 40+ years, Decker wrote and published articles, plays, poems, folktales, and translations. Among some of his more well-known works is his Krio translation of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, which he published in the early 1960s.

Sierra leone


After relocating to Sierra Leone from Calabar, Nigeria, Thomas Decker grew up in the little village of Murray Town, located in the capital city of Freetown. His years there would have been influenced by the many historic sites and people of the city of Freetown and the country, Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone is home to many different cultural groups including Temne, Sherbro, Krio, Limba, Fula, Kuranko, and others.   Freetown has served as an important settlement throughout the history of the middle-passage. A settlement there was founded by free blacks from America in 1792. Hundreds of Jamaican Maroons arrived there in 1800. Between 1807 and the 1860s, thousands of Africans from all across West and Central Africa, affected by the trans-Atlantic slave trade also settled there.  Some of the historic symbols of Freetown’s history and Sierra Leone’s cultural diversity such as the historic “Bod Os” or Board House, are featured in the books of Folktales.

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These exciting tales take the child into a strange world where birds, beasts, fishes, and insects speak with one another almost in a language which human beings can understand.

– Thomas A.L. Decker

Tales of the Forest

A Podcast Episode with Akindele Decker & Nadine Decker

by Between the Reads Podcast

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Based on a Folktale by Thomas A.L. Decker

Why Mr. Bird Chose the Air

Retold by Akindele T.M. Decker

Based on Thomas A.L. Decker’s folktale “Why Mr. Bird Took to the Air”, Grandpa TC tells Cousins Tommy and Talabi the story of what happened with Mr. Bird during the famous famine that the animal town experienced.

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