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Main > Zimbabwe folktales > Fairy tale "Chief Five Heads"

Chief Five Heads

THERE WAS ONCE a man of high rank and nobility who had two beautiful daughters. One day he crossed the river and traveled to a faraway village where a great chief lived. He asked around about the news of the place, and was told that the biggest news in their village was that the chief was seeking a wife.

The man went home and said to his two daughters, "Do either of you wish to present yourselves to be the wife of a chief?"

The elder daughter replied, "Yes, father, I wish to be the wife of a chief."

So the father said, "Then you, my elder daughter, shall go."

It was the tradition in those days for a young woman who wished to marry to assemble a large bridal party to go with her. But the elder girl refused to allow anyone else to go with her.

She said, "I will go alone to be the wife of the chief."

Said her father: "How can you be so rash? You know very well that when a girl goes to present herself to a husband, she is supposed to be accompanied by others. Do not be foolish, my daughter!"

Still the girl said, "I will go alone."

And so the elder daughter traveled to the faraway village by herself.

While she was walking along the path, she met a mouse.

The mouse said, "Shall I show you the way?"

The girl laughed. "What you, a mouse? Don't make me laugh."

The mouse said, "If you act like this, you will not succeed."

She scoffed. "Since when does a mouse know about what does and does not succeed?" Then she met a frog.

The frog said, "Shall I show you the way?"

The elder daughter said, "First a mouse and now a frog is going to show me the way! You are not even worthy to speak to me. I am going to be the wife of a chief. Now get out of the way before I kick you!"

Said the frog: "Have it your way. I'm out of here."

When the girl was tired, she sat down under a tree to rest. A boy who was herding goats nearby came to her.

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