The Bear and the Woman
Narrated by Abdisa Labe
Once upon a time the bear and humans were friends and they lived together. The woman was hungry and prepared some porridge. She left it in the house. While she was going to the river to fetch water she met the bear on the way.
She said to him, “I’m very hungry. I have only a little porridge, just enough for myself, and please don’t take a bite from it. I need it all myself. I beseech you.”
So she pleaded.
So she went on her way to the river. The bear ate all the porridge and when she returned she found him taking the last bite.
“So you are eating my porridge?”
She was angry.
“Yes, I was hungry too.”
She hit him hard on the head with a stick.
The bear ran away, frightened, and he tripped over a rope which was tying a donkey to a tree and the rope snapped. The donkey ran away in terror because the rope was snapped. He crashed into a beehive and all the bees flew out. The bees stung the chicken and the chicken flapped its wings and there were some cereals on a mat in front of the chief’s house and the cereals were scattered all over the ground.
The chief’s wife was very angry. The dog was barking and when she heard the dog she came out and saw what happened and was very angry.
The chief’s wife asked the chicken, “Why did you scatter the cereals that were put on a mat to dry in the sun?”
“It’s not my fault. It was the bees who came and strung me and I was in pain and shocked. It’s not my fault.”
She asked the bees.
“It’s not our fault. The donkey came and kicked our beehive and the honey was all scattered and we flew and stung the chicken. It’s the donkey’s fault.”
She asked the donkey.
He said, “I’m not the one. The bear came after me, to eat me, I ran away in fright. It’s his fault.”
The cause was the woman’s house and the chief ruled on that day that the bear and the woman should be separated and should not live together and should never be friends again.
From that day on, the bear lives alone in the forest, and that was when he began to eat human beings whenever he can catch one.
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