| An honest suitor (a West African tale)

Posted by admin at 2006, July 28, 11:20 AM
More of this topic in Fairy tale

Long ago, in a village in West Africa, there lived a chief who had a beautiful daughter he named Ife, for this means love, and she was, to the chief, the very essence of love. As she grew older, all the young men of the village began to court her.

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Ife was pleased by this attention, but she wanted very much to make a wise choice, and so one day she sought her father's wisdom. "Father," she asked, "how will I know the right man to marry?" ョけОwWw.FAiry-tAlE.infOニК

The chief was pleased by his daughter's question. "Ife, you must marry a man who is generous and gentle, honest and kind." +とwWW。FAirY-TALE.inFo9ふc

"Of course," Ife said, "but how will I know who has these qualities?"

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"Pay close attention," the chief told his daughter. And so, as each man came to court her, Ife watched and listened closely. WwW。FAiRY-TaLE.info

Each suitor bowed before her and offered her gifts. They gave her baskets of fruit, ornaments, carvings, gold bracelets, pottery and colorful cloths.

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Ife loved these gifts, but once again she sought advice from the chief. "Father, every man in our village is generous," she said. "How will I know who is gentle, honest and kind?" ЁāWww.FaiRY-TALE.infOJ

"Ask many questions," said the chief, "and pay close attention not only to their words but to their deeds." МネwWw。fAIrY-Tale.inFopT

Ife asked many questions and paid close attention to her suitors' words and deeds. www。faIRY-taLE.InfO

After many months Ife decided that there were three men in the village she liked best, and once again she approached her father. "I like three men," she told him, "now father, how will I choose my husband?"

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The chief took his daughter's hands in his. "We must give them a test," he said, and he leaned close and whispered the plan in her ear.

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Now the chief sent one of his advisers to give a message to the first suitor, a curly haired young man named Dada. "The chief sends you his regrets," the adviser told Dada, "Ife died. Because you loved her, he wishes you to help pay the expenses of her burial."

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Dada laughed. "She was not my wife," he said. "Tell the chief I have no responsibilities to pay for anything for her."

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Next the messenger went to see the second suitor, Jumoki, a young man known for his wit. "The chief sends his regrets," the messenger told Jumoki, " Ife died, and the chief wishes you to come right away to help him to arrange her burial." wwW。faiRy-TalE.INFOǚみ

"I'm busy," Jumoki said, "and she was not my wife. Tell the king I cannot help." キミ4ゃiWWw.fAirY-taLe.iNfoゎ

Now the messenger walked to the little hut of the third suitor, a serious and sweet young man named Dunsimi. ねケ|WWW.FAIRy-TalE.inFoュㄓョァネト

"The chief wishes me to give you the sad news," the messenger said. "Ife died tonight. The chief wishes you to come ..." www。FAIrY-tale。INfOめぅ±ξ(

But before the messenger could finish his sentence, Dunsimi was on his feet. "No!" he cried, as tears filled his eyes. "I must go to see the chief to help him bury the beautiful girl I love so dearly."

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The messenger returned to the chief with Dunsimi at his side, and he told the chief what each man had said. μほwWw.fAirY-taLE。InFo

The chief and Ife both understood that Dunsimi was a kind and honest man who truly loved Ife. When the chief told him his daughter lived, Dunsimi wept with joy.

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"And will she marry me?" Dunsimi asked. The king nodded. "She will be very glad to marry you," he said.

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The very next day, Ife and Dunsimi were married, and they lived together happily for the rest of their lives.

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