The Old Woman and the Evil Spirit

Here is a story:

In the great land of Zambia there once lived many people. The Evil Spirit, who also lived there, engulfed all of the people of the land except for an old lady who lived in a very tall house. The Evil Spirit thought to himself: What am I going to do since all of the people I eat are gone? He then saw smoke coming from the old woman’s house and when he arrived, he asked her: Who are you? The old woman replied: I am a human. Then the Evil Spirit said: Why don’t you come down so we can greet each other. The old woman said: I’m not coming down. The Evil Spirit replied: I will catch you then. He asked her: Where are you going tomorrow? The old woman replied: I am going to harvest millet. In the morning, she went to dig up some groundnuts, and then she returned to the village, climbed up her ladder and returned home.

When he came, he said: Give me some water, I am thirsty. The old woman made some beer malt and said to him: Open your mouth. When he opened his mouth the hot malt went down his throat, burned him everywhere, and he died.

The old woman went to see the one-buttocked Ant and the ant told her: Bake him at the crossroads and all of the people will come out. And this is what she went and did, and so she saw all of the people who were eaten by the Evil Spirit come out.

And that is the end of our story.

The moral of the story: quite often we are tempted by evil spirits but we should persevere in resisting them. Let’s ask for God’s strength to repulse evil spirits from our midst.

The Mambwe proverbs say: A good mupasi does not go with an evil spirit (Mupasi muswepe, usyapita na ciwa). English equivalent: Good can never grow out of evil.

Subjects: God – help – perseverance – resisting evil temptation – evil spirits


Written by Justin Sicinsambwe, 29th of September 1994.