| The sea of stories (a South African Zulu tale)

Posted by admin at 2005, October 17, 5:39 PM
More of this topic in Fairy tale
Long ago, a family lived in a small village. The family hunted on the veldt, and the father, Mabassa, was an expert carver. He carved statues of the animals that roamed their land.

Each evening, the children would grow restless. "Mother," they called to Siphiwe, "it is dark, and we cannot go out and play. How shall we occupy ourselves?"

Siphiwe decided to go search for stories to feed the children's minds. The next morning she set out. She looked all around, and finally looked up and saw Inkwazi the fish eagle plunging down to the nearby sea.

"Inkwazi, wait!" she cried.

Caught mid-flight, Inkwazi screeched, "What do you want?"

"Stories!" Siphiwe said. "

Ask Ufudu!" said Inkwazi. "Only he can help you."

Siphiwe hurried to the sea's edge, and there she found Ufudu the sea turtle. "Can you help me?" she asked, and a moment later Ufudu was carrying Siphiwe down to the very bottom of the sea. せWWW.FAiry-tale.InFoāμБマㄑ⊙&

To her amazement, Siphiwe discovered she could breathe. Ufudu took her to the sea people, who sat amidst shimmering shells and colorful coral. She bowed to the king and queen of the sea people. "Can you give me stories?" she humbly asked.

"Yes," said the queen, "but in return, you must show us what the world above the sea looks like."

Siphiwe agreed to this deal. "Take me home," she said to the sea turtle.

After hurrying home, Siphiwe took her husband's beautiful carvings, one of each of all the creatures of the land, and returned to the bottom of the sea on Ufudu's back.

When the king and queen saw the carvings, they were overjoyed. "Now you shall have this." They handed her a polished shell. "Whenever you wish to hear stories, press this shell to your ear," they explained.

Delighted, Siphiwe returned home. That night, when her family sat around the fire, she lifted the shell to her ear, and the children grew quiet as their mother began to tell them a tale, and never again did they feel restless during the long nights on the veldt.

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