Wardit the Mule
Narrated by Mesfin Habte-mariam
There was a very beautiful mule in the village called Wardit. All her friends envied her. One day, Wardit was going to the river to drink water when she met a young horse on the way.
The horse had always admired her beauty, so he saluted her, “How are you?”
“I’m fine, thank God. How are you?”
Then the horse said, “Where are you going?”
“I’m going to the river to drink water.”
“Oh Wardit,” he said, “I’ve always been attracted to you. You are so beautiful. I want to marry you. Tell me, please, the race of your parents, your mother and father.”
“Why is it necessary to tell you that?”
“Well,” the horse said, “it is customary in our tradition that a horse should know the race of his fiancée.”
So she said, “My mother is that beautiful horse that the governor rides.”
The horse says, “And what about your father?”
Wardit says, “My sister is the horse which the priest rides – you see her going to the church.”
“But your father? I mean your father?”
Wardit says, “My aunt is the most beautiful horse which the village headman rides on.”
“But I am asking about your father!”
When the horse says this, the father, an old retired donkey, appears.
He says to Wardit, “What are you doing here?”
She says nothing.
“Give me a reply. Don’t I have the right to ask?”
She still ignores him as if she doesn’t know him.
The horse says, “Who is this old donkey, coming and disturbing us? He is shrivelled and old.”
She says, “I don’t know him.”
“Go away,” said the horse and he gave him a blow.
The donkey fell and the horse kicked him and kicked him and he died.
As he died he said, “Oh God, did you see what happened to me?”
And thereafter God said to the mule, “You have not respected your father, so you will be barren and you will never have offspring.”
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