A Woman and a Key

Here is a story:

There was a man who married a woman. When they were married, he took his wife to a town where there was a mine. He bestowed upon her a house which had 12 rooms and every door of the house had a lock in it. The man began to cause his wife trouble by saying: Go away, I don’t want you any more. The girl suffered greatly because of this.

One day, the girl went to the market and while she was away her husband locked all of the doors in the house. He took the keys and threw them into a deep river. As the keys fell into the river, a fish swallowed them. That very same fish was then caught by a fishing net, and the fisherman said: I better check my net to see what I have caught. He found many fish in his net and he carried them along with the one which had swallowed the keys. He brought them to the market and sold all of them except the one that swallowed the keys. The fisherman took the fish and left the market, and as he was leaving he met the woman who’s husband locked the house. The woman bought the fish and went home. When she arrived, she discovered her husband locked the house leaving her outside. She said to herself: I will gut the fish and dry it. When she gutted the fish, she found the keys inside the fish’s stomach. She said to herself: These keys remind me of the keys to our house. She tried to open the door to the house and found that the key worked for every lock. She went into the house and began to cook.

When the man returned, he discovered his wife had found a way into the house. He became overwhelmed by bitterness and began to yell at his wife: Where did you get the key to open my house? If you broke my locks you will pay for it with your life. Bring me the keys. He saw his wife coming with the keys. The man didn’t know what to think , seeing the keys he had thrown into the river brought to him by his wife. He gathered the village elders and told them the whole story. He said to them: I don’t know what to think about my wife whom I want to get rid of. Today, when leaving, I locked the house and then, when I came back, I found that she had somehow opened the house although on my way to work I had thrown the keys in the river. I do not know where she got the keys.

The elders then asked the woman what had happened. She replied: I found the keys inside the stomach of a fish. They said: He has been unjust to you and for that you must stay together and never separate.

And that is the end of our story.

The moral of the story: a man cannot get rid of his wife without just cause. Forgiveness is important in marriage and one has to persevere in one’s marriage. God forgives us and we as children should also forgive each other.

The Mambwe proverbs say: The beginning of married life rings like a triangle (bell) but when it gets stale, it gives out a dull and muffled sound like the bellows of a forge (Icupo pa kutalika cikalila wa nyenjele, ndi calenjela calila wa muwa).

Subjects: forgiveness – perseverance – marriage – God – following His example – separation – cause


Written by an unknown author.