The Two Drums

Here is a story:

There once was a group of people who lived together in a village and they made two drums that were named: injelunje and inkuluwende. Both of them produced beautiful sounds. One day, mid-morning, some dwarfs came to the village while the people were out working in the fields. The dwarfs took the drums and the people of the village heard them being played in the bush. So the people dropped their work and rushed back to the village and discovered that the drums were gone. The people heard the drums being played in the bush and followed the noise. They found the dwarfs who began to run away very quickly with the drums. The people tried to pursue them, but they got tired and returned to the village. Only one man followed them. Finally, he arrived at the place where they were entering through a rock and singing:

You great man go back, go back,

We are moles,

We have with us the air (to breathe).

The dwarfs threw themselves against the rock, and the rock opened for them and all of them entered. When they were going in, the man arrived and found they had just entered and so he too threw himself against the rock. But he died immediately and the dwarfs came out and began to laugh at him.

And that is the end of our story.

The moral of the story: we should exercise moderation in pursuing pleasure and not let good things interfere with our welfare and safety.

The Mambwe proverbs say: ‘Let me drink beer to-the-last-drop’ was caught (Kamfipilile yamulemile, visisila kulyompa wapisile,’ or ‘Kankombesezye yamulemile, visisila kulyompa wapisile,’ or ‘Kankuulula, yamulemile);The one who drinks for a long time, drinks the sprouts of the germinating grain (Kamwa w’ikoko, alamwa nu musinda wa nzwila). English equivalent: Eat at pleasure, drink with measure; Feed by measure and defy the physician.

Subjects: immoderation – misfortune – lust – dangers – pleasure – welfare – trade – risks


Written by an unknown author.