The Woman and the Mirror

Here is a story:

There once was a very wealthy woman who hired hunters to kill animals for her. She had no children so she went to see the witch-doctor to consult the spirits about it and the witch-doctor gave her a mirror saying: In this you may see. The witch-doctor warned her: Watch this mirror carefully. When the woman looked in the mirror, she became pregnant and soon gave birth to a son. She named him John. When the child grew up, she would tell him: Do not ever touch this mirror. If you do, I will kill you.

One day, the child picked up the mirror and made it dirty by touching it. When his mother came home and found that the mirror was dirty, she said to him: Didn’t you understand when I told you not to touch it? She called her hunters and told them: I want you to shoot him dead. The hunters took him outside, but suddenly felt pity; so they let him go, saying: Go wherever you want. He left and walked on until he came across a magnificent home which he decided to live in. In that house, he found some rifles. John’s mother looked into the mirror again, became pregnant and gave birth to second child, a girl whom she named Mary. When Mary grew up, her mother warned her not to touch the mirror.

One day, Mary touched the mirror which fell on the ground and shattered. The mother became furious and immediately told her hunters: Kill her! The hunters took her as well but again felt pity and told her: Go down the same road as your older brother. She went down the road and found the place where her older brother lived and she told John exactly what happened. He was happy.

Shortly after the mother found out that they were still alive, she set off for their home and found them. Mary became very happy on seeing her mother again, but John grabbed his rifle and said: Let me kill her. Mary prevented him from doing so. The mother spent two days there, and during this time she killed Mary and went home. John was overwhelmed with sadness and so he went to the witch-doctor who brought Mary back to life. When Mary was alive again, John was very happy. Once again, the mother found out that Mary was alive and so set out to go there. When Mary saw her mother, she stood up to greet her with an embrace and at that moment John grabbed his rifle and shot his mother dead.

And that is the end of our story.

The moral of the story: God’s commandment is: “Do not kill.” A murderer will sooner or later be punished severely by God.

The Mambwe proverbs say: What you eat in secret is discovered in the vomit (Ivya kulya usiku, vikatulucilu ku malusi); The end of baldness is the nape of the neck (i.e. it does not stop half-way) (Uwito w’ipala, inkonto);The beasts (fierce people) disappear, the composed remain (Vikali vikasila, maipitile yakasyala).English equivalent:What is done by night, appears by day.

Subjects: God’s commandments – love murder – punishment


Written by an unknown author.