The Man and His Three Children whose Heads Swell

Here is a story:

There once was a man who had three children. The first born’s head began to swell, his younger brothers’ heads also began to swell. The father went to seek advice from others. They told him: You must boil some water and then put hot towels on their heads. The man did as they told him but the oldest son would not agree to having hot towels put on his head. The younger brothers agreed and their heads began to look normal. The oldest brother realised that since I have a big head I am lucky because I can demand things from small children and timid people. When he saw a child, he would shake his head and the child would always give him something and that is what he did every time.

One day, war broke out and the father had to escape and his three children followed him. The oldest brother who had a big head could not escape quickly, but the younger ones began to run along with their father. They soon found a little cave where the father went with his two children, but the oldest brother who followed them said to himself: Let me go to this place as well. At the same time, the soldiers approached. But his head could not pass through the entrance. The father felt sorry for him. He tried to pull him, but it didn’t work. When the army came, they hit him with an axe at the entrance and he died.

And that is the end of our story.


Written by an unknown author. It is a second version of a folk-tale (59) Head Downsizing (Planing), written by Mutale Mutamfya.