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The famous Tale of Zanzibar

The famous Tale of Zanzibar

August 28, 2018

Once upon a time there was a man called Makame wa Makame who built himself a house, found a wife and had one son as well as a cat. Over time, the cat got larger and larger and greedier and greedier until it started to eat people. One day, the cat was so greedy he even gobbled up Makame wa Makame and all of the people in the village. His wife was able to avoid being eaten since she was on her way back from a journey with her son who had grown up in a distant place.
When they arrived in the village and found it deserted they knew what must have happened. The brave youth promised not to rest until he had found and killed the greedy cat. His mother blessed him and sent him on the dangerous hunt with seven rice loaves, seven little calabashes full of water, his father’s knife and an arrow.


The son made his way into the forest and searched the first day, the second, the third, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth and finally on the seventh day he came across a monkey; and as he had never seen a cat before he thought that the monkey was the monster and so he killed him and made his way home. As he reached
the village he sang: ‘I have killed the creature who has eaten all the people, mama.’


But his mother could only shake her head when he lay the monkey at her feet and said. ‘Oh my son this is not the creature that has killed them all.’


But the son did not give up. He rested for two days before returning to the forest with seven more rice loaves and seven more calabashes of water. There he saw a small gazelle; again he thought that this was the monster so he killed it and made his way home. As he reached the village he sang: ‘I have killed the creature who has eaten all the people, mama.’ But his mother could only shake her head when he lay the gazelle at her feet and said. ‘Oh my son this is not the
creature that has killed them all.’

 

The son decided to go into the forest for a third time and spent several days wandering in the forest until the food and water had almost run out. But in the end, tired and exhausted, he spied a huge creature and he killed him with his last arrow. Very proud of himself, he ran back to the village with the creature on his back singing: ‘I have killed the creature who has eaten all the people, mama.’
This time his mother welcomed him with: ‘Yes, my son indeed this is the creature that has killed them all.’

 

After this good deed the son fell into a deep sleep. The next morning he awoke refreshed and took his father’s knife and slit open the cat’s belly to free his beloved father and the other villagers. Unfortunately the knife went in too deep and he scratched Makame’s eye.


After his escape the father couldn’t understand why he had been hurt; but the other villagers, in their joy at being rescued, persuaded Makame to forgive his son.

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