Kamba - Fables and Legends

The Spilt Daydream

A traditional Kamba story, told in Mwikali Kieti and Peter Coughlin's excellent book "Barking, You'll be Eaten! The Wisdom of Kamba Oral Literature" (1990: Phoenix Publishers Ltd., PO Box 18650 Nairobi). See the copyright notice for textual extracts.

The Spilt Daydream, collected by Mwikali Kieti and Peter Coughlin

People used to profit by trading in cooking fat. One man decided to try his luck at this. Acquiring a tin of lard, he balanced it on his head and set off for the market. He walked for long, planning how he would use the money after selling the lard. "I'll buy and sell four more tins of lard and then buy ten more. I'll earn much money and buy cattle, build a shop and hire workers. I'll not let them take advantage of me by evading their duties. Yes! I can see one of the lazy ones coming to ask me for permission to go somewhere, 'Please, I want to ...' I won't even let him finish. I'll be stern. 'No! You're not going anywhere!'"
   He shook his head adamantly to refuse the imaginary employee's request. The tin fell. Thud! All the lard, by now melted, spilled out. Frustrated and angry at himself the man stared dumbly at his spilt daydream!

Don't make a baby carrier (ngoi) till the child is born.

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Traditional Music & Cultures of Kenya
Copyright Jens Finke, 2000-2003

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