Multilingual Folk Tale Database


Author: Dorothea Lehmann

Translated into English
  by Dorothea Lehmann

Original title (Lamba):
The story of the selfish husband

Country of origin: Zambia


English - aligned

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The story of the selfish husband

Dorothea Lehmann

There was famine in the land. During this famine, a man had a wife. "Let us go into the bush to look for food." The wife went with her three children. When they went there they came to a place. And they built a grasshut.

Then the husband went away saying: "I'll look for honey." The wife searched for mushrooms and found some. She said; "Let us eat." The wife brought the mushrooms back, cocked them and put salt in. They ate a small portion and left a lot. She said: "My husband must eat when he comes back."

But the husband had found a great lot of honey at the place where he had gone. When he had taken it he said: "my wife will finish it off." So he built a but far himself. When he had built it he went nearby and called: "my son! My son!" He answered: "Father". He said; "Come, my son." Then the child went. His mother told him: "Go and see why your father has called you." When he arrived the child asked; "What is it, my father?" He said; "Come in." He went in. He found barkcloth full of honey, he had collected a lot.

Then he said; "I called you, my child, that you should see what to tell your mother. This is a grub, this a honeycomb, and that is honey, tell your mother. This is the only reason why I called you."

Then he went back to his mother's hut. "Ah, you come without any-thing. Did your father not give you a little honey?" He said: "No, he just called me. But he really has collected a great lot of honey."

And the next morning and the following three days he did the same. Then early in the morning the woman went cut. She found a big animal. When she did this she said: "Oh, an animal for me! How shall I cut this up? Then she went to call some people. Very many came to help her and carried together the meat to the hut. There the people told her; "You woman who found this animal, you should try to get corn and flour for it." Then she bartered corn and flour. And they helped her to carry things to the village. Then her marriage with their husband was finished.