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67 25 The Story of a Woman and her Husband A man lived with his wife. Each time he went out into the bush, he would bring something back. One day he brought back a bird and put it into a container which he closed with a lid. His wife was unaware of this; she opened the container and the bird escaped. The man swore that he would beat the woman if she didn’t find the bird. She looked for it with no success, and her husband beat her. One day, the woman went to get water at the pond. There she found some small birds. She caught them, put them inside her earthenware jar and brought them home. Her spouse opened the container to drink some water and the birds escaped. The woman told him to do everything he could to find them. He apologized but the wife wouldn’t listen. So he finally went looking for them. He found them perched on a tree. When they saw the man, they began to sing: Kî! Listen, children! Kî! Listen, children! One says that millet grows fast! Another says there is a man walking; One asks what he has come here for; Another says that he flattered a woman at his house; Another, that there is no one here who flatters women; One said to fly away, and one flew away! The other said to perch on top of the Caicedrat tree of Yèl1 1. The name of a village. 68 Alain-Joseph Sissao (Translated from the French by Nina Tanti) Another said that the Caicedrat tree fell down yesterday And that the birds’ eggs fell out And that the birds’ eggs fell out. After singing, they went and perched on another tree. The man followed them. They sang again and flew farther on. The man continued following them, whereby he grew thirsty. A turtledove saw him and went to perch on a tree near where he lived. She began to sing: Kuglugluk, mother of Pug-Yende! Kuglugluk, Kuglugluk! Mother of Pug-Yende, kuglugluk ! You are at home, kuglugluk! Pounding millet, Kuglugluk, Your husband is in the bush, kuglugluk! He is very thirsty, kuglugluk! Pug-Yende said to her mother: ‘‘Mother, do you hear what the bird is saying?’’ Her mother accused the child of lying and threatened to beat her if she didn’t go away. The turtledove sang again. This time, the woman heard the song; she prepared a drink made from flour, and asked the turtledove to lead her to her husband. When she found him, he drank the flour water that she had brought him and the woman took him home. This goes to show that if there is no forgiveness, the slightest thing becomes a problem. Men and women should listen to each other and forgive each other, or else they will never make a good match. ...


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