Something About Love

Here is a story:

They were once many people in a big village and in this village there was a king. This king loved his people very much. Whenever he killed an animal, he divided the kill among his people, giving it to one group and not to another. The people who ate the meat given by the king, said: Our king loves us very much and whenever he kills anything, he always gives us whatever we want.

The people who did not get any meat always complained: What have we done? The king doesn’t love us and does not give us any meat. This is a bad thing. Let us go and ask the king about it! They went to the king and asked: Your Majesty, are we not your people, and do we not live in your village? The king said: You do live in my village. The people said: Why then do you give the others anything they need, and us nothing? The king replied: Just because I don’t give you food doesn’t mean you are below those that do get food. They answered: Oh no, how can we be equal if we suffer while the others have food. When will we be able to eat like the others just as we are all living in the same village? Why have you divided us into two groups? Why do you give food only to one group? The king told them: Do not worry, you are the same as all of the others who eat my food. The people said to themselves: To be the same as all the others who eat? What is that supposed to mean, what is it that the king has said to us?

They lived on, and after a short time the king prepared some beer. They noticed the group who was getting the food was called there, and the others were not. The ones who were not chosen said: This is not a good thing. This is not good; why is he calling some and not the others? Let us go and do some divination in order to know why the king is not inviting us! They went to the one-buttocked Ant and said: We would like to know why the king hates us and why he never calls us to give us food? The one-buttocked Ant asked: Is that why you have come to do the divination? They said: Yes, this has been going on far too long for us. We went and complained about it but nothing has changed: he did not change his behaviour. The Ant said: When you went to the king, what did he tell you? They answered: He told us: ‘Do not worry, you are the same as all of the others who eat my food’. The Ant said: O.K., the king was right. Do you not know that there is a time to suffer and there is a time to enjoy? Do you not know this? They said: This is too much for us and we have lived with the king for many years. Some of us have grown old and have never heard the king say: ‘Today you may come and eat’. This is why we said: Let us go and ask the one-buttocked Ant’. The one-buttocked Ant said: Just wait, you who complain about food, the king is about to call you.

After just one week, the king made an announcement: You, all my people, you who live in my village! I do not make any distinction between the ones I am inviting and those I am not inviting. So this is why I am saying: please do come together. Then the ones who were not invited before said: Today the king invites us. Everyone went to the king’s palace and found a lot of royal beer. When the ones who had not eaten there before arrived, they said: Today we are lucky for we are at the banquet. They drank a lot and forgot all about the fact that the king had never given them any food before. They said: If he did it before, everything would be very good.

The king was in the house and heard what they were talking about, so he asked himself: How can I find out who really loves me? He took five chicken feathers and went to where the people were drinking. He took one feather and threw it in the air, and it floated away. Everyone watched how the feather was floating and dodged it. Finally, the feather fell to the ground. He did the same thing again, and again the same thing happened: the feather circled among the people. When a feather was about to land on somebody’s head, he dodged it and the feather fell to the ground. The third feather was also dodged by the people, and the same happened with the fourth one. The fifth feather did not fall to the ground. Did it fall on those whom the king used to invite? Oh no, it fell on the heads of people whom he did not invite before. The people who used to eat at the king’s palace said: You see, you who say: ‘The king is not inviting us’, is it not on you it fell? At that the king said: You, my people, did I not tell you that the one who eats and the one who doesn’t eat, they are equal? So now you have proof: the ones who had eaten at my palace before ran away from me, but you who had not eaten at my palace before, you accept me. The ones who used to come and eat did not want me. But to you who accept me, I say: It is your turn now. Now you are equal.

And that is the end of our story.

The moral of the story: God loves us all and he hates no one. It does not matter if somebody suffers or if he is poor. God loves us all without exception however his ways are unknown. We must not complain by saying: God hates me because he is not helping us. God will help us in the end. God cares for everyone, you can trust him.

The Mambwe proverbs say: The day when God is going to give you a meal is unknown (Wanda uno Leza akukwimula, usimanyikwa); God is a blacksmith, he does not forge for just one person (Leza umusuzi, asisulila wenga); God does not forget any living being (that stands)(Leza, asyailila icimilile).

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

Told by Makrina Mpande from Vimbuli village (recorded).