Ngap and Nyakwiy
Narrated by Rhamsey Schwoll
There was once a family living in their village. The man and his wife had three daughters. One was married to a carnivorous (cannibal) man, somewhere distant, far away from them.
After that elder daughter they had another two girls, called Ngap and Nyakwiy. Ngap was a very naughty girl who didn’t like to do any work at home. She was, of course, very beautiful. She didn’t like to work at anything.
Nyakwiy, her younger sister, always used to do everything at home. When people go fishing, she would always be the one to go and collect the fishes, helped by her parents, and when the fishes are brought home, before they are cooked, she is always asked to lie down and they put fishes on her back and they used to cut them up on her. She was being tortured, ill-treated, she was humiliated at home and she had not any choice at all.
So, in such a way, they lived.
One day, Nyakwiy was asked to go and visit her elder sister who was married to that carnivorous man who lived far away. She started to go and she reached her sister’s house.
When she reached there she stayed for some time and she didn’t want to go home. She got on well, there was no problem at her sister’s house but she had to go home.
That carnivorous man, who was her elder sister’s husband, was a magician of some kind. When Nyakwiy set out for home, he went ahead of her. He changed himself into a tree with very sweet fruits.
“Now, you Nyakwiy, come here. Are you not very hungry? Why don’t you come and taste one of these fruits?” he said.
But Nyakwiy answered, “No, I can’t taste such fruits because I am coming home from a special house, I have eaten enough food. I need nothing else to eat.”
She left the tree untested.
So the carnivorous man also went ahead of her, changed into a very good meal called kobu, with butter and dry fish properly made, and a very good spoon in it.
Then the man asked her, “Can you not come and taste? Are you not hungry?”
Nyakwiy again answered, “No, I can’t taste you. I am coming from a special house. I need nothing else. I have eaten everything I wanted to eat. Up to now I’m not hungry. I don’t need you.”
When she reached home, she told the news to the people and stayed there.
Some time later, Ngap, the one loved by her parents, was also sent to go and visit her sister’s home. She went. She stayed quite a good time. She was eating everything, she was greedy, she was a rascal, she mistreated all her sister’s children and the man also began to hate her.
When she decided to come back, he did the same thing that he did for Nyakwiy.
He went ahead, changed himself into a fruit tree having very good fruits, and then saying, “Why don’t you taste me?”
She said, “Yes, I will taste you because I am coming from the home of a horrible cannibal with big brown teeth, eating always dirty things, so I have to taste you.”
She tasted the fruit and put some into her pocket.
Again the same man went ahead of her and changed into a certain good dish, kobleya, as we say it. Then she was asked also, “Why don’t you taste me, Ngap?”
“Yes, I will taste you. I am very hungry. I came from a stupid man’s house. He is always hungry, very greedy, very rascally. He is a cannibal. I have to eat you.”
Ngap went and ate.
Because she stayed for a long time, her parents thought she was killed or she died somewhere and they never expected her at home.
Nyakwiy was engaged and married and her wedding day was the day when Ngap at last reached the home.
Unfortunately, while Ngap was being eaten by the cannibal, her head was cut off and her head alone, without the body, came home dancing and singing:
“If I was a girl and if I hadn’t been eaten,
I would have been married with a lot of cows,
Many colourful cows,
And my family would have been rich enough.
Unfortunately, it’s you, my sister.
I don’t want to make joke with you.
Please catch me,
And let me die once and for all.”
And that was the end of Ngap and Nyakwiy.
Children have to be treated equally. All children have the right to live at home with their parents, but in this case they discriminated against one and loved the other. Unfortunately, the one they loved most, because she was notorious, she was not well brought up, she died all of a sudden because of her stupidity, because of her character. Therefore, children should be equally treated by the parents.