Two Jealous Wives
Narrated by Konjit Tefera
Once upon a time there was a man with two wives. One of the wives was barren and the other wasn’t. So, when he was away from home she gave birth to twins. But the barren wife was very jealous, and took some of the blood and put it on her mouth. And she took the twins and threw them in the river.
So when her husband came home she said, “Look, you know how evil your wife is? She ate your precious children.”
So the husband looked at the mother’s mouth and saw the blood on it, so he believed the jealous wife. He flogged the mother and tied her in the donkey’s stable with nothing to eat or drink. She had to eat the donkey’s droppings and drink the urine.
Fortunately some swimmers had seen the twins being thrown into the water, and they took them and reared them.
As it was a village, things became heard. So it came out that the man had taken the mother and kept her in the donkey’s stable. So when the twins grew up, they were told that they were adopted, that their mother was living in a donkey’s stable, and that their father was living with the barren wife. So, as they grew up, they wanted revenge.
So they went to their parents’ house, and they took their mother and washed her, and said they’d look after her.
And they took their father and said, “We don’t want anything to do with you, we don’t want to see you again because you didn’t judge things correctly.”
And they wanted to punish the barren wife, so they took her to the elders of the village, and said, “This is her crime: she tried to kill us, she’s done this to her second wife.”
And they agreed on the death penalty. In this country the death penalty is to be buried under the ground and have cattle driven over you.
So she was killed in this horrible way.
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