(once upon a time)...
GREEDY IS NOT WORTH IT
Kwesukasukela (once upon a time) there was a man who lived in a drought-stricken
village with his wife and children. One day the wife decided that the
husband should go and ask for food from her parents who lived in another
The man then left to ask for food from his in-laws. When he got to his
in-laws they slaughtered a goat for him, so he had such a good meal
which he hadn't had for a very long time. He stayed for a few days and
when it was time for him to go back home, they packed for him bags of
food (mealie-meal, beans, pumpkins and much more).
They also slaughtered another goat for him to take for his wife and
children. Since the two villages are far apart and his load was very
heavy, his father-in-law borrowed him a donkey and cart to use. His
sister-in-law was chose to take him halfway. When he was about 5km away
from his homestead he told his sister-in-law to turn back before it
gets dark. They said goodbye to each other and she asked him to send
her regards to her sister.
The man then remembered that in his village, everyone was hungry and
he had so much food with him. He then thought to himself and decided
that he will have all the food for himself. He hid the food in the forest
and decided that he would tell his wife that his in-laws did not have
anything to offer. He then chased the donkeys away.
As he approached home one of his children saw him and rushed to meet
him with the hope that he had brought food. He told the wife and children
that the drought had also hit the other village. As he was narrating
the sad story he pretended to be hungry himself. The wife was disappointed
as she had really thought that her husband was going to bring something
from her homestead.
That night, the husband woke up and went to cook food for himself in
the forest. In the morning his wife asked where he went to last night
and he replied that he had a running stomach and had to relieve himself
in the forest. The wife believed the story and felt sorry for her husband.
As days went by the man continued to have stomach problems but strangely,
he was getting fatter and fatter.
One fateful day a neighbour was taking his cattle to the grazing land
when he saw smoke in the forest. He looked carefully and heard a man
talking. He stood still and looked again to make sure he was not imagining
things. It was his neighbour cooking in the forest.
He then ran to his neighbour's house to tell the wife that her husband
was cooking in the forest. "That's not true, it cannot be," said the
wife. "It's true he is in the forest but that's because he has stomach
problems and he has gone to relieve himself".
The neighbour insisted that he was not sick but cooking and singing
in the forest. The wife told the neighbour that she did send him to
her homestead to ask for food but when he came back he did not bring
any food. It then came to her mind that ever since her husband returned
from her homestead he started complaining of his stomach problems but
he was also getting fat. She then thanked her neighbour for the information.
She sat down and plotted of a way to catch her husband off-guard. She
spoke to one of her children and said him to follow his father when
he starts to have stomach problems. She warned him to make sure that
his father does not see him.
The next day at about 11am the husband started complaining about his
stomach and rushed to the forest to relieve himself. The son followed.
He watched his father starting the fire, washing the pot and putting
it on top of the fire. The boy watched and as the water started boiling
and he poured the mealie-meal to make his porridge.
He then approached his father and said: "Yes daddy I have been watching
you and I am going to tell mom that you hid all the food you got from
granny's place in the forest and you are letting us starve while you
have all the food to yourself".
He was caught red-handed and could not deny anything. He carried then
carried the bags of food home. When he got home his wife told him that
he was evil and wondered how he could let her and the children starve,
even though the food came from her homestead.
The man apologised to his family and everyone had food. The wife thanked
the neighbour for alerting her and he too was offered food. That was
the last time the husband did any evil deed and he thanked the wife
for not reporting him to his in-laws.