The Woman and the Stupid Boy

Here is a story:

There once were some people who lived in a great village and this village had many young boys. One day, the young boys said: Let’s rest today and go for a walk in the bush. So they went and when they were deep into the bush, they heard the call of a honey bird. The bird heard them blowing on their whistle and led them very far and showed them a massive tree called muwanga where there was honey. They started to remove the honey and when they hit the tree once with their axe, they saw a small girl coming out of the tree. They wanted to run away from the girl when she said: Don’t run away! I want to marry someone, but before I do I have to fight him to see if he is strong. The young men liked the idea very much. When the first one came up, they began to wrestle and she threw him on the ground. She did the same to each one and then she disappeared suddenly, no one knowing where she went.

One day, the Stupid Boy said to himself: I think I will go for a walk in the bush, and he went. The honey bird led him to the same place as he led the others. When the Stupid Boy hit the tree with his axe, the girl came out. She said: If you throw me on the ground, I will be your wife. She made him some mush, and he ate his fill. So they began to wrestle, and he then threw the girl onto the ground with a big bang. The girl said: The fight is over! I am your wife. This girl possessed a ring which had a great fortune, and so the girl commanded the ring: My ring, give me what I desire. And everything appeared: a car, a road, a house in the village. The two got in the car and drove to the village.

When they got to the village, they went to sleep, and as the people of the village woke up in the morning and saw the beautiful house, they were flabbergasted. The chief of the village began to beat his drum and said: Let’s meet here, let’s meet here! All of the people came and he said: This is the reason I have called you: the Stupid Boy that lived in the meeting house has got lost. The people said: Let’s go and look for him! As he was there, he shouted: You don’t need to look for me, I am here, but as he looked so handsome the people refused to believe him and said: It is not you. He replied: This is my mother and this is my father.

The people of the village didn’t know what to think. His stupidity ended, and they lived happily.

And that is the end of our story.

The moral of the story: (1) let’s not treat a stupid person badly because he will also get into heaven; laughing at the misfortunes of others brings no luck; (2) we should not judge people by their appearance. A person’s goodness comes out from his heart, not outward appearance. Honesty, wisdom or goodness cannot be recognised by somebody’s appearance, age or sex.

The Mambwe proverbs say: (1) You (who) laugh at a cripple, he (the cripple) will also laugh at you (Museka ndema, nayo ilakuseka);(2) Important people haven’t got big feet (Amalumba, yasikula ngazo); An abdomen (belly) which ate a guinea fowl does not shine (Inda ilili kanga, isyawalala; Inda ilili kanga, isyaengesa);A very quiet looking hen sucks eggs (Nkoko mbundumale, ikapwila mayai). English equivalent: “All that glitters is not gold”; “Appearances are deceptive/deceitful/deceiving”; “Beauty is but/only skin-deep”; “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”; “Never judge a book by its cover”; “Never judge from appearances”; “A ragged coat may cover an honest man”; “Things are not always what they seem”; “You cannot judge of a tree by its bark”; “You can’t tell a book by its cover”.

Subjects: appearances – judging – wisdom – honesty – goodness – laughing at – misfortune


Written by an unknown author.