The Magic Cow
Narrated by Ajulo Okogn
Once there was a woman who had two children and when she died the children stayed with her husband, but her husband had a second wife. The living conditions of the father became difficult because the second wife wasn't happy with the first wife's children. She didn't want to feed them together with her children.
But before the mother died, she knew what was going to happen and she said to her children, "Go into the forest and you will find someone to feed you."
So the children went to the forest secretly every day and they found a cow who gave them food. They came home every day well fed. Their father knew about their secret.
One day, one of the second wife's children said, "I'll go to the forest with you today. I want to know where you are getting your food."
They said, "Please don't come with us. You will be hungry. Because we don’t have a mother, we just roam around all day. But you will suffer."
But the child insisted, so they went together.
When they came to where the cow was, far away from their home, the older one was trying to hide the place where the cow was, and wandered about, but the younger one was very hungry, so the older one said, "All right, we'll call the cow."
So they did, and all three of them ate the food that the cow gave them.
When they came home, the second wife's child told his mother, "Mother, I know their secret. They get food from a hidden cow in the forest."
The woman talked to her husband.
"I'm pregnant," she said, "and I need your children's cow to be brought here. If it's not brought here, my baby won't grow up."
He said, "I don't have a cow."
She said, "I know your secret. Bring the cow here."
She insisted on bringing the cow, and at last he gave in and the cow was brought.
When it came to the house, she said, "Kill it. I need meat because I'm pregnant."
But when they tried to kill the cow, they couldn't.
She said, "If the cow isn't killed, I will kill these two children."
At last they promised and the cow was slaughtered, but as they tried to skin it, the skin wouldn't come off.
Again she said, "If the cow isn't skinned, I will kill these two children."
They tried again and this time the skin came off, but when they tried to cook the meat, it wouldn't cook.
"If the meat isn't cooked, I will kill the children."
Then they could cook the meat. But when they tried to take the pots off the fire to cool the meat, they couldn't lift them.
"If you don't take the pots off the fire, I will kill the children."
They were very afraid and managed to take the pots off the fire.
Then the meat was eaten. And now the two children were in trouble because they had no one to feed them, and their stepmother wanted to kill them and their cow was cooked and eaten. So they ran away and escaped into the forest.
They were separated accidentally and grew up separately.
The oldest found a village where he lived. Secretly he fell in love with the chief's daughter in a village in the forest. He was given a car by the girl and he would drive to visit her by car from the village where he was living.
Then one day a war broke out between another village and the girl's village and enemies wanted to kill the chief – the girl's father. The boy secretly helped all the villagers during the night of fighting.
The chief was surprised and said, "Who is this man who has helped me during the night?" because he had seen a stranger fighting strongly beside him.
He told his followers, "There is one who always helps beside us when the fighting starts at night."
And they said, "Let's have a meeting and call all of your daughters."
So he did.
And he said to his daughters, "Each of you must go and bring your husband or your lover and show them to me before all the people."
So they did. But one of them went to the stranger. But he had caught smallpox and flies were flying all over him and he was sitting apart from the people.
The chief's daughter, his friend, went to hold his hand.
The chief said, "You are a bad daughter! How could you choose a man who is suffering from smallpox? He can't be your husband!"
She said, "He's my friend. I love him. I want to marry him."
At once the chief's head swelled. And the people said to him, "Accept her will. She loves him. Let her marry him."
And the girl said, "If you don't accept him, your head will not become normal again."
Then the chief accepted the advice of the people and his daughter's words and his head went back to normal. The stranger became her husband.
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