The Man, the Girl and the Viper

Here is a story:

There once was a woman who had a son named Joseph. Once he had grown up, his mother told him: You must find yourself a fiancée. Since he was a vegetable farmer he refused and said: Oh, my mother, I don’t want to get engaged. And then he added: When the day comes you see me not going outside, that is the day I will get engaged.

One day, the man cut himself with a razor blade, and some of the blood fell into a pot. From this blood emerged a beautiful girl. When the girl had grown up, blood splashed into the grass roof inside the home. From the blood, a giant Viper formed which the girl loved very much. The Viper kept growing. Joseph’s mother was very happy seeing that her son was married. Since Joseph was a vegetable farmer, he went to his field and returned home with vegetables. When his wife saw him coming, she would go to him and take the vegetables.

One day, the Viper dropped down from the grass-roof. The wife of Joseph loved him very much because it had beautiful spots. The Viper also loved the girl very much. The girl told the Viper: I love you so much. The Viper said to the girl: I love you even more. The Viper told her: What do I have to do to your husband so that I may marry you. The girl said: It is not a difficult problem; I will put you in the water jug and when my husband says: ‘I will have a drink’, you will bite him.

Joseph came home from the farm with his vegetables and went to his mother’s house and said: Hello, mother. She said: Hello, Joseph, when you go home you must be alert and when you drink from the water jug, be very careful. When he went home, he found the Viper in his water jug and he said to his wife: Give me a piece of wood so I can kill the Viper. His wife replied: How can you kill a Viper that did not bite anybody? She said this because she loved the Viper very much. The Viper slid away and went into the grass-roof.

One day, the Viper said to Joseph’s wife:Allow me to sleep in the bed so that when he says: ‘I am going to lie down’, I will bite him. When Joseph was on his way home, he dropped in on his mother and said: Hello Mother. The mother answered: Hello, and then she said: Pay special attention to your bed and be alert. Joseph went home and he said: Let me sit down. Joseph looked around and saw the Viper. Then, because he left the piece of wood in the house, he said to his wife: Today I will kill this Viper. His wife said: It is unjust to kill a viper that did you no harm. This time Joseph killed the Viper and said: I will go and bury it. His wife said: Leave it, we can bury it in the morning.

Early in the morning, Joseph went to his field and his wife took the viper and cut it up into pieces and then cooked it. As Joseph was coming back, he passed by his mother. She said: Be very careful of the meat you are going to eat today. Then Joseph went home. His wife said: I have bought some fish. The husband asked: From whom did you buy the fish? His wife replied: Some people came to the village when I was alone. Joseph went to ask his mother for advice and she told him: Don’t eat it. Joseph went back home and told his wife: Let us check if it is not the Viper that was cooked in oil. He proved her guilty and then he beat her severely.

And that is the end of our story.

The moral of the story: we must love and respect our parents as 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: parental love – advice – parents – respect and love


Written by an unknown author.