way back in the 70s when we had our first basenjis my mother made up this story for me about our dogs. Remember this was a long time ago and she told it much better :). But I wanted to share it with you guys
Long, long ago in a small village in Africa there lived a contented people. Their chief was a wise man and Life was good. The chief had but one child, a son who he loved more than life itself. The son was a strong boy and a skilled hunter. The Chief was very proud of his son and so on the boys 12th birthday the chief gave his son a young dog to take hunting with him. She was a beautiful creature red and white in color with a tightly curled tail. She and the boy would go hunting together and would supply meat for the village for this dog was also a skilled hunter, fast and intelligent and could scent and sight prey without error. She would bark to call the boy to her finds. The dog was very proud of her voice it was strong and beautiful to hear. No other had a voice like hers. For years the 2 were inseparable and had a bond of love and trust. Then one day while out hunting the boy slipped and fell from a cliff and was killed. The Chief was grief stricken and soon fell ill with his sorrow. The dog also seemed lost yet still tried to comfort the Chief but he had given up and soon passed as well. Without their chief to guide them the men in the tribe started fighting among themselves trying to declare themselves leader and the village was in chaos. The dog knew that without a leader the village would be lost and she missed her boy and wanted him back. She decided to make a journey to the spirit world and beg that they return her boy to his people so that there might be peace again. The journey was hard and dangerous but she indured because of the hope of seeing her boy again. When she made it to the spirit word and she faced the spirits of life and death she pleaded her cause. They told her that they could return her boy but that she must give them something in return something she cherished, they asked her to give up her voice. She stepped back in shock! They wanted to take her beautiful bark away! Then memories of her boy hit her and she stepped forward and agreed. Soon she was surrounded by mist and in another moment she could see her boy. The joy she felt! She ran to him and tried to bark her joy but there was only silence. For a moment she hung her head in grief but her boy was hugging her. It was worth it to have her boy back. They left the spirit world together and returned home. The village was soon contented again. All worshipped this most wonderful dog who brought their true leader to them. When she was blessed with puppies not a single one could bark but who needed to bark when you were so blessed by other traits more important. This is how the basenji lost its bark.