|< Back to Stories||March 2000|
|THE OGRE LEARNS TOUGH LESSONS THE
A long, long time ago, human beings lived with wild animals in the same neighbourhood. However, there was always a danger of small children to be eaten by rough animals like the one-eyed ogre. The ogre had the capability of changing itself into many different forms and children would be warned about the dangers that they posed by their parents.
Because farms were out in the deep forests, parents always thought their children would be safe if left in the houses and locked inside.
There lived a woman with her son on the edge of the village. She loved her son, Sande very much and always told him about the dangers that were posed by most animals. She told him many stories about the dangers that had befallen to children who did not listen to their parents and wandered out of their homesteads without the consent of their parents.
Each day she could prepare food for him and leave him inside the house. She would tell him to lock himself inside and never allow anyone in. There was a particular song which she would sing at the door when she returned from the garden and it was in a particular way that no animal could copy it.
The ogre was always starving because human beings had become so smart for them. Human meat was a delicacy and they always preferred small children because the meat was tender. The ogre noticed that Sandes mother always left him alone in the house
He wanted to eat him and started to prepare himself for the day when he could come to the door of Sandes hut and sing the way his mother sang. Sande had been warned about this and knew and recognised his mothers voice.
After rehearsing for quite sometime, the ogre thought it was time to give it a shot. He went to the door and started to sing the song. The song went something like this:
"Sande my son, The sun is setting, "Can you open the door for me ? I have come with nice fruits from the forest, and this is just for you."
The ogre sat in a bush near the house and listened to the song for several days. He memorised the words of the song and started to practice.
The first day, he came to the door moments after Sandes mother had just left for the garden and started to sing. Sande did not wait for him to even start the second line of the song before he told him off.
"My mother does not have such a hoarse voice.
Feeling ashamed of himself and thinking that he would never succeed to get Sande, the ogre went back to the forest and for several days later; he did not know what to do.
He thought about again after several weeks had passed and decided that that he could get help from a muti man (witch doctor). The muti man did not mind because the ogre was going to pay him several goats and so gave him the advice that was to help him make his voice similar to that of Sandes mother.
He drank the medicine he had been given, took a lot of honey and kept on practising. At first, it was very painful but as days went by, his voice changed and started to sound like the one of Sandes mother.
When he decided to go to Sandes house, there was no difference between his voice and the one for Sandes mother. Sande had forgotten that the ogre had tried to get him to open the door because of the number of days that had passed.
He thought that his mother had forgotten something and so he quickly opened the door. The ogre did not waste his time as he swallowed him immediately and went back to the forest happily.
Upon her return from the garden, Sandes mother saw the door of her house open and knew at once that Sande had been eaten by the ogre. The big footsteps were there and there was no doubt about who had committed the crime. She went to report the matter to the village headman who quickly summoned his soldiers to go and look for the seven ogres that lived in the forest nearby.
They were brought before the headman and asked to line up. Each one of them was asked the same question and was required to answer in a certain way if he was innocent.
"Who ate Sande?" they were asked
"It is not me, maybe the ogre behind me is the one who ate Sande," they answered.
When it was time for the seventh ogre, he was not able to answer because his voice had become hoarse. Everyone present knew that it was him who had eaten Sande and they pounced on him and slit his stomach. To everyones happiness, Sande came out of the ogres stomach.
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