The Lazy Husband and the Clever Wife
Narrated by Shirguma Soraga
There was once a lazy man who couldn’t farm his land. He went to neighbours and relatives and begged for cereals which he brought home to his family. He was too lazy to work himself. He was always running around and didn’t have time to stay a night at home.
The wife made a big effort one night to get him to stay at home. During the night she went out to the field and put pieces of enseteEnsete or enset, also known as “false banana”, is an important root crop in southern Ethiopia. into the ground.
In the morning she said, “Come, husband and children, I will show you a miracle.”
She dug the ensete out of the ground and showed him.
She told the husband, “Dig at lunchtime and you’ll get ensete.”
And he got it.
“What about for your supper?”
And she buried the ensete and he dug it up. So they ate it for supper.
In the morning he says, “Do I get more?”
And he digs and digs and digs all day till he found ensete. He rests and digs and the children dig, and they get it and he doesn’t beg for food.
Eventually all the ground was dug and it became a farm, ready for sowing, and the simplest thing was to sow.
And so doing the man dug, the children dug and she encouraged them and made them love work.