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

Chief Five Heads

The boy said, "Where are you going, eldest sister?"

"Who are you that you should call me your eldest sister?" she cried. "By tomorrow I will be the wife of the chief! Leave me alone!"

The boy said, "Please, I am very hungry. Won't you offer me some of your food?"

She answered, "Why should I? Go away!"

The elder daughter soon met an old woman sitting by a big stone.

The old woman said, "I will give you some advice. You will come upon trees that will laugh at you; you must not laugh at them in return. You will see a bag of thick milk; you must not drink from it. You will meet a man who carries his head under his arm; you must not take water from him."

The girl answered, "You old hag! What nonsense!" And she walked on. She came to a place where there were many trees. The trees laughed at her, and she laughed back at them in return. She saw a bag of thick milk, and she was thirsty, so she drank from it. She met a man carrying his head under his arm, and she took water from him to drink, too.

She came to the river of the village of the chief. She saw a girl there dipping water from the river. The girl looked up and said, "Where are you going, my sister?"

Said the elder daughter, "Why do you think I owe you an explanation? I am going to be the wife of a chief."

The girl drawing water was actually the sister of the chief. She said, "Wait, let me give you some advice. Do not enter the village by this side."

The elder daughter did not listen to her, but continued on her way. She finally reached the village of the chief. The people asked her where she had come from and what she wanted.

She answered, "I have come to be the wife of the chief."

They thought to themselves, "Whoever saw a girl come without a bridal party to be a bride?" And they said, "The chief is not at home. You must prepare food for him, so that when he comes back in the evening he may eat his dinner.

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