How the World’s Bad Deeds Caused the Rat to Rot

Here is a story:

There once was a man named Kateya who married a woman named Mukweleka. They had two children, two sons: one named Kaleta (one who brings meat) and the other was named Cafula (one who is quickly bored). Kateya was a trapper and he used two types of traps to catch small animals. When he checked his traps called nkoka, he would often find different types of small animals which were to be offered only to the king. In the second type of trap called tusao he would find small animals with small spots edible by commoners. These small animals made his wife, Mukweleka, love her husband, the trapper, so very much.

One day, he told his children, Kaleta and Cafula: My children, I want you to go and check my traps because I am sick and the animals could rot in the traps. Kaleta went and checked the traps and for three days he brought back animals. Their house always smelled of fresh meat. They forgot to eat spinach, beans and relish that was seasoned with groundnuts.

Cafula told his brother: My brother, since father has a sick back, let’s not go there because I am bored with eating meat. The father did not know that his sons were not checking the traps. He only knew his wife was cooking dried meat, but they could not enjoy the sauce made only from animal liver and full bowels.

One day, Kateya clapped his hands and said: It is enough! Our ancestors spoke words of wisdom: contempt makes the rodent rot. When Kateya recovered from his illness he went and destroyed his traps pulling them down.

And that is the end of our story.

The moral of the story: we must love and respect our parents because they try to bring us up well and they want our good.

The Mambwe proverbs say: A child does not express its gratitude to the breast when it is still sucking (Umwana, asitaizy’iyele, acili akonka).

Subjects: obedience – love for parents – respect – appreciate


Written by G.L. Mwina Mpunti, Lucembe 9th of April 1984.