Bedtime Stories In English - Old Woman And The Strange Bird

 Old Woman And The Strange Bird

In the wilderness of Africa lived two brothers Kwato and Nyamo. The forest was like their home. They knew every nook and corner of it and they roamed about freely hunting or plucking fruits. One day the two braved into a less known part of the forest. As they advanced, they saw three large size earthen pots lying in an open place, upside down. "There are no human localities nearby. There are no rivers or lakes here that people should come to fill their pots with water. How did these pots come here? Let us go near them and see what they contain," said Nyamo. "No, no. That will be unwise," said Kwato in the way of warning Nyamo. "Who knows what dangerous thing they might contain?" Nyamo hesitated for a moment, but he could not contain his curiosity.

He approached the pots. At that Kwato fled to some distance. Nyamo turned the first pot and looked into it. There was nothing inside. The second pot was also found to be empty. But when he opened the third pot, pop comes out a little old lady. Yes, she was little in size, a midget, and no doubt old. But she giggled like a cherub and thanked Nyamo. Looking at Kwato, she said, "You coward! Why are you so afraid of the unknown? I mean no harm to you!" Then she looked at Nyamo and said, "Follow me!" Nyamo followed her and Kwato, though unasked, did the same. "Cut down this tree," said the strange little lady, pointing her finger at a dry tree. Nyamo struck the tree with his axe. What should they see but a cow emerging from the tree. "Strike again!" ordered the lady. The second blow brought out a buffalo, the third blow a lamb, and creatures began coming out till the tree fell. "My son, these are yours. Go home leading them and prosper," the lady told Nyamo. As Nyamo thanked her, she giggled again and ran away into the forest.

"My brother, come, see what we have got. How happy our parents will be when we lead them home!" said Nyamo. Kwato was observing the miracle. He happily joined Nyamo and both began leading the animals home. But it was hot and they were thirsty. They had seen a deep gorge with a flowing brook when they were following the old little lady. "Come, let us drink from the brook," said Nyamo. He then found a strong creeper that could serve as a rope. "I will hold one end of the creeper, You can descend holding to it and quench your thirst. Next, you will hold the rope and I will descend to the brook," said Nyamo. Kwato did as suggested and drank from the brook and came up. It was now Nyamo's turn to go down. As soon as Nyamo reached the brink of the water, Kwato left hold of the rope. It was impossible for Nyamo to come out of the gorge. Kwato led the animals home and told his parents that he had received them as a reward from a dwarfish old lady. His parents were surprised and happy. "Where is Nyamo?" they asked.

Kwato feigned surprise and said, "I don't know! He returned home before me!" Their parents and even all the villagers knew that Nyamo was capable of looking after himself. But when Nyamo did not return even by night, all were worried. Some women went to the river early in the morning. Suddenly a beautiful bird began to circle over their head, whistling restlessly. They felt as if the bird was trying to tell them something. They informed their menfolk. Soon a number of them came out to look at the bird. The bird flew in a certain direction and again came to them, showing them the way. It did this again and again until they had reached the gorge. Then they heard a faint voice. They looked into the gorge and saw Nyamo crying. Immediately they fetched a long string of rope and rescued him. All of them surrounded him and listened to his story. "I'm sure, the creeper Kwato was holding slipped away from his grip," Nyamo said. But the villagers knew better. Had Nyamo's guess been correct, Kwato would have rushed back to the spot with helping hands. They looked for Kwato. "We'll give him a good thrashing!" they said. But where was Kwato? He was not to be seen. Nothing was known of him even later to anybody except for the little old lady who taught him a lesson. Nyamo prospered. Since then whenever the people of his tribe see a new kind of birds whistling or chirping, they think that it is trying to tell something.

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