Narrated by Abebe Kebede
Queen Fura was a famous queen in Sidamo who taught all the women how to behave, and they still follow her to this day. She was very wise. First she told them not to completely submit to men. Then, secondly, she told them not to be completely obedient. Then she told them to be shy and keep men guessing. She also told them never to show their private parts to men in public. So they should cover their bodies from the knee to the waist. She also told them that a woman should take good care of herself because men are attracted by beauty.
Unfortunately, Queen Fura was very bad to men. She gave them all sorts of impossible commands.
She would say, “Go to the river and bring me back water in a sieve.”
Or she would tell them to make big tubs out of very thin grass. Or she would pull out one of her long hairs and tell them to divide it into six. So she really gave them a hard time.
But most of all what she did was, she hated bald men and short men. So she ordered all short men and all bald men to be killed. Hundreds and hundred were killed except for one short man and one bald man. The short man wore shoes with big heels, so he survived (he invented high heels) and the other man wore a wig (he invented wigs).
Now the short man and the bald man didn’t know what to do about the queen. They thought maybe they should kill her. But that had two big problems. The first one was, you never in the tradition kill a woman. The second was, she was a queen after all. Therefore they didn’t know what to do.
So they thought and made a plan. They decided to catch a giraffe. So they chased all the giraffes in the area to a marshy swamp and they managed to catch one when it got bogged down in the marsh.
They called the queen and said, “You’re a great queen. You shouldn’t ride a normal animal. You should ride the tall, elegant giraffe.”
Because the giraffe was in the bog and had sunk down, the queen could easily mount her. Then they strapped the queen on to the giraffe’s back, chased the giraffe out of the marsh and the giraffe ran and ran and ran. The queen began falling to bits. Her head fell off somewhere. Her arm fell off somewhere. Her intestines fell out somewhere and her leg fell off somewhere.
That’s why today in Sidamo you have towns with the name head, leg, body, intestines, hand. Oun, head, Godubore, intestines, Leka, leg, Anga, hand.
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