The Young Man and his Younger Sister

Here is a story:

The only people left on earth from a certain family were a young man and his younger sister because the parents of the two had died. The older one, the brother, took everything that his father left his sister. All that the sister had left was one pumpkin seed which she planted and this seed produced many other pumpkins. Her brother came to pick some of her pumpkins and when she heard him coming she said to herself: Let me ask him something! She asked: Have you come to pick my pumpkins? Her brother got up and gave her a thrashing. Then he cut off her ears, her hands, and her nose. She ran away and hid under a tree in the bush.

When morning came a man from the village went hunting. As it started to rain he had to seek shelter, so he said to himself: Let me go and hide under that tree. He found the girl and took her to the village. Seeing her, the brother said: This girl is not a good person. Chase away this witch; that is why I chased her away!

The people chased her away and she went to the bush and found a river. She then said to herself: Let me cross this river. She then heard a voice from the water that said: Dip your head into the water. When she did this, immediately her body was made whole: her hands, nose and ears, everything which was cut off, returned.

The fish gave her a great fortune and many people, so she built a village. When the brother heard that his sister had her own village, he said: I am going to live there. The sister refused him. Then the brother said: In that case, show me where you got this great wealth! The girl showed him, and as he dipped his head into the water it was cut off at the neck and he died immediately.

And that is the end of our story.

The moral of the story: it teaches that we should love each other as we love ourselves. We should remember that a miser will be severely punished by others when himself in need. When harmed, a person has the right to take revenge.

The Mambwe proverbs say: The first (offence) does not cause a cry, the next makes (somebody) cry (Aka nkolelo, kasilizya; aka kusyalicizya, kakalizya; Kamukolele kasilizya, akakasyalicizya kakalizya); A small arm follows its companion (Akakasa kakakonka, akauze); A small dried gourd rind follows its companion (Akatowa kakakonka, akauze); (An animal) steps (walks) where (another animal) stepped (walked)(Ikalyata, muno yalyasile).

Subjects: love – helping each other – miser – punishment – revenge – bad deeds


Written by Joseph Cikopela Siwila, Matanga 9th of April 1984.