The Clay Water Jug that Went Missing

Here is a story:

There once was a mother and her son who stayed together. When her son grew up, he went off to look for a girl and married her.

One day, the girl made a magnificent jug out of clay for fetching water. The girl’s mother-in-law went to see the girl in order to borrow the water jug and the girl refused, saying: Oh no, mother: I do not lend this water jug to anyone because if it gets lost, I will never find it again. The mother-in-law was very insistent and the owner of the water jug said: If it gets lost, you will be the one who has to find it. She said: I will look for it.

The mother-in-law went to the river to fetch some water with this jug. When she was trying to draw some water, the river’s current took the jug, so the mother-in-law said: Oh no! Now I have a big problem. The jug, which moreover does not belong to me, is gone. She began to cry and then she went to see her daughter-in-law and told her what had occurred. The daughter-in-law said: Mother, I want you to look for the jug until you find it – the way we agreed you would.

The mother-in-law went along the river’s shore in search of the jug until she met a snake. She sang to the snake:

Great snake, have you seen my water jug?
Great snake, have you seen my water jug?

The Snake replied: No, no, I have not seen it. The woman then went on further along the river until she met Mr. Hare, to whom she sang the same song. The Hare replied: No, I have not seen your water jug. She went on further down the river until she met a Crocodile, and she sang to him the same song:

Great Crocodile, have you seen my water jug?
Great Crocodile, have you seen my water jug?

The Crocodile said: It is right here. She said: Thank you very much, please give it to me. But it said: Why don’t you come in and get it. The mother refused and said: No, I will not go in there because you will eat me. The Crocodile replied: In that case, I understand you do not want it back. Finally, the mother decided to go and said: Go ahead and eat me. She went into the river, took the jug, and returned to the village. When she reached the village, she returned the jug to her daughter-in-law.

And that is the end of our story.

The moral of the story: we must turn to God for help when we lose or are missing anything important to us. Our lives are in God’s hands and we must ask for His blessing.

The Mambwe proverbs say: The day when God is going to give you a meal is unknown (Wanda uno Leza akukwimula, usimanyikwa). God’s ways are unknown, so just put your trust in Him.

Subjects: God – Divine Providence – life – God’s help and blessings


Written by Joseph Sicivula, 07th of September 1994.