The Father's Advice
Narrated by Mohammed Kuyu
Once upon a time, there was a father who had two sons. One day, he called his sons to him, and said, “My sons, I am about to die. But before I die, I want to see you in your own homes. And I’m giving you one month to go and build your own home. And I want to see you back here after one month.”
So the two sons went rushing out and the first one went to the roadside and he began cutting down trees and he began building himself a big house.
The second one, however, went out to the people, and he started forming special relationships with various families. (This is a sort of typical Oromo relationship in which you form a relationship like a blood brother with different people by having ceremonies and symbolically putting your lips to the other one’s nipple to show that you have drunk from one breast, or that you are the children of the same person.) So he went to different people, and he became like the foster child of different families.
Then after a month had gone by, the two brothers came back to their father. And the father said, “Well, have you built your homes?”
And both of the brothers said, "Yes."
So the father went with the first son and he saw that the son had built many huts. And as he was walking by each hut, he was saying, “Is there anybody in this hut?”
And the son said, "No."
Then they would go on to the next hut, and the father would say, “Is there anybody in this hut?”
And the son said, "No."
Then the father became very hungry because he had no one to serve him. Then he said, “Okay, let’s go home.”
So they went home, and they went with the second brother. And the second brother took them to the first family he had adopted. And he introduced them to his father saying, “These are my father and my brothers.”
And the family received them very warmly, and they slaughtered a sheep, and they gave them a big feast.
Then they went on to the second family he had adopted, and he introduced them as his father and brother and they were given another feast.
So after eating and being satisfied in all the places where he was adopted they came back, and the father said, “This is what I meant when I said you should make yourself a home. The home is not just a series of huts or a big hut with splendour. It is love and warmth and friendship with other people.
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