The Man with the Limp
Narrated by Sambo Likasa Haya
Once there was a man with a wife and three daughters. They had a happy life together, but then the husband died. And after some time the wife wanted another man. She knew that her children wouldn’t like another father and she decided to go out with a man called Shigosh. Now Shigosh was the mother’s new lover, but she didn’t want her children to know.
Therefore she would go to this huge tree and she would call from there and sing in her beautiful voice,
Come and meet me.
Come to me under the big tree.”
And Shigosh would be with his friends or other people and he would also start singing, and he would come and he used to cry,
“Here comes my wife,
Here comes my wife.”
And Shigosh had one broken thigh. So the song has a rhythm like,
“Yes, I’m coming,
Yes, I’m coming.”
And you can hear the limp in the song.
So he would go and they would chat and make love under the tree and have an affair under the tree.
She would go to her children and he would go back to his friend.
Now the children knew about this and they were very angry because they didn’t want their father to be replaced by another man. So they decided to take their revenge on Shigosh.
They went to a tree which had a very slippery bark and they took off the bark and they dipped it in water so that it would become even more slippery. And they put it on the path along which Shigosh used to come.
And the youngest of the three daughters had a voice just like the mother. So all three of the daughters climbed up the tree and the youngest sang out,
Come to me! I’m under the big tree!”
And Shigosh thought it was his lover’s voice, so, singing his song, “There comes my wife, There comes my wife,” he went rushing along with his limp along the path.
And because there was the slippery bark he fell down heavily and because he had a broken leg already he lay down on the path and the daughters jumped out of the tree with sticks and they beat him up and killed him.
Then they went across the river, running away from their mother and hid in a very big tree.
And after they hid in the tree they called out of the tree to their mother, “Mother, mother, your lover awaits you.”
The mother was extremely shocked because she didn’t think her children knew about this lover. Anyway, she went running to the big tree. She looked all around but nobody was there. There was only the buzzing of the flies and when she looked in the undergrowth, there lay her lover’s body.
She was furious. And she saw the children across the river in the big tree. She crossed the river and looked up and all three of her daughters were in the branches.
And she said, “Firstborn, you are my daughter. You have come out of my womb. You know I won’t injure you. Come down.”
The firstborn said, “No, I won’t come down.”
She looked up again, and said, “Second born, you are my daughter. You are my flesh and blood. Do you think I will injure you? Come down.”
The second one also refused.
Then she looked up at the youngest one and said, “You are my youngest child and I love you a lot. Come down.”
And the child refused.
So the mother was very angry. She picked up an ax and started chopping down the trunk. So she chopped and chopped and the big tree fell across the river. When it landed, it was like a bridge, and the first and second born ran away and landed on the other bank, but a big branch had fallen on the thigh of the third born and broke her bone. So for the rest of her life she lived with a limp.
And the moral of this story is, “Don’t laugh or try to hurt others, because one day you might end up with them.”
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