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113 42 The Two Wives A man had two wives. When he gave them the money they needed to buy food, each of them received one thousand francs. Thus, being financially equal, each of them had the same amount with which to do the cooking. The master of the house was pleased the day his first wife was going to cook, but when it came time for the second wife to cook it was a catastrophe. Her name was Mamounata. The head of the household said to her: ‘‘Mamounata, you are the one who again prepared this disgusting meal? What am I to do with you? I give both of you the same amount of money for the market! But I’m beginning to wonder if you’re not using this money for yourself!’’ This is how the husband reprimanded Mamounata whereas in fact, she was the victim of the first wife’s jealousy. Indeed, when Mamounata was preparing her sauce, the first wife took the opportunity when she was out of the kitchen to come and urinate into the cooking pot, so that not even flavoring made from seeds of the Néré tree could give the sauce the right taste. Every day when Mamounata was cooking, it was the same thing, so that the husband’s friends who ate with him advised him to repudiate her because she was tarnishing the family reputation. Hopeless, and at the end of her rope, Mamounata went to confide in an old woman who promised to shed some 114 Alain-Joseph Sissao (Translated from the French by Nina Tanti) light on the situation in order to save her home. The old woman told her: ‘‘Go to the market and spend all the money your husband gives you on food. Then, prepare the sauce. But before going to draw water from the pond with your earthenware jar, put the cooking pot on the fire with a good amount of shea butter and put the lid on the pot.’’ Mamounata did what the old woman said. Right when she was about to go draw water, the first wife said to her: ‘‘Don’t worry! I will watch your sauce for you!’’ When she had gone, the first wife hurried over to the sauce and squatted down over the pot to urinate. At the first squirt of urine the pot caught fire and burnt her genitals. She ran into the bedroom and rubbed herself with butter to relieve the pain, but nothing happened! When Mamounata returned, she found her in a very sad state and asked what she was suffering from. She didn’t want to tell her anything. She called for her husband but he was still at work. When she heard the sound of his moped she ran to the door to beg him to come see what was wrong with her. The husband joined her in the bedroom and she showed him her wound. She was taken to the hospital right away and was cared for. From this day on, she never again dared to harm the second wife, Mamounata. 115 Folktales from the Moose of Burkina Faso This is why the Moose say: F sâ tubs gnîgri, f tubsa f gnôg zugu! ‘‘He who spits in the air receives the spit on his chest’’; or again : Sâan putoog ned n gnûda a bînd koom! ‘‘The host with bad intentions ends up drinking his own urine and excrement.’’ He who harms others always ends up being punished for his bad actions. ...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9789956578009
Related ISBN
9789956616558
MARC Record
OCLC
680618032
Pages
136
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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