Once upon a time there was a man and wife who had a baby girl Unfortunately the

Once upon a time there was a man and wife who had a

This preview shows page 24 - 25 out of 214 pages.

Once upon a time, there was a man and wife who had a baby girl. Unfortunately, the wife died and so, the man married again. He got another girl with the second wife. The two girls became extremely close; so close that whenever the mother sent one on an errand, the other was sure to accompany her. The mother, however, did not like the child of the deceased. She would always show her dislike by denying her certain favours. Her feelings became so bad that she decided to get rid of the girl.To do this, she dug a hole in her bedroom on a day when the husband was absent and covered the hole with a cow’s hide. She then called her daughter and sent her to the house of a friend some kilometers away. As usual, the two girls wanted to go together but the woman refused, giving the excuse that she wanted to send the other one elsewhere. After the departure of her daughter, she tailed the other girl and sent her for her snuffbox in the bedroom. Unaware of what lay ahead, the girl eagerly rushed into the room only to fall into a hole! The mother very quickly filled the hole with soil, completely disregarding the girl’s screams for help.When the daughter came back, she merely assumed that the absence of her dear companion was justified. After hours of waiting, she, however, became impatient and questioned the mother.‘Where is my sister?’ she asked“But she followed you. As soon as she did what I wanted, she ran after you. Now stop bothering me” the mother retorted.Time passed and the now anxious girl went round calling out the name of the other one, but all in vain. Alas …she cried the whole night and the next day and refused to touch any food. The father helped in the search but to no avail.After three days, the girl still cried and called the other one. She then heard a very weak voice responding in song:Maalya MaalyaMaalya MaalyaNa mwenvu niwe mwai iiee malyaEkwinza muthiko iiee malyaWakwisa kunthika iiee malyaMaalya Maalya(And your mother is the wise one iiee malyaShe dug a grave iiee malyaFor interring me in iiee malya)The girl dashed towards the direction of the voice, repeated her cries and again got the same response. She came to the conclusion that whoever was responding was definitely underground somewhere in the house. Immediately the father came that day (before the arrival of the mother), she told him what had happened. After hearing the song, the father dug up the place and pulled out an extremely weak and disfigured daughter. All the three wailed and eventually, the father gave her a mixture of blood and milk from a goat to drink after which she vomited all the soil she had eaten. He gave her some more of the mixture after which he hid her.When the wife eventually came back, the man did not let her get into the house but sent her for a cow in a far off place. He explained his action by telling her that he had decided to host afeast for relatives (including his in-laws). In the meantime, he sent-for all of them. When the woman came back with the cow, she found everyone waiting for her. Uneasy now, she sat down
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