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Mickalene Thomas 4

 

 There was a man who had three wives, these three wives loved him so much that they were following him to wherever he wanted to go, and the husband loved them as well. One day, this man was going to another town which was very far away, and his three wives followed him. But as they were traveling from bush to bush, this man stumbled over, he fell down unexpectedly and died at once.

As these three wives loved him, the one who was the senior wife said that she must die with their husband so she died with him. Now there remained the second to the senior and the last one or third of the wives. Then the second to the senior who had died with their husband, said that she knew a ‘Wizard’ who was living in that area, and his work was to wake deads, she said that she would go and call him to come and wake their husband with the senior wife; then the third wife said that she would be watching both dead-bodies so that wild animals might not eat them before the Wizard would come. So she waited watching the dead-bodies before the arrival of the second wife with the Wizard. But before an hour, the second wife returned with the Wizard and he woke up their husband with the senior wife who died with their husband.

After the husband woke up, he thanked the Wizard greatly and asked how much he would take for the wonderful work which he had done, but the Wizard said that he did not want money, but would be very much grateful if he (husband) could give him (Wizard) one of his three wives. When the husband heard that from the Wizard, he chose the senior wife who died with him for the Wizard but she (senior wife) refused totally; after that, he offered the second wife (who went and called the Wizard who woke the husband and senior wife up) to the Wizard, but she refused as well, then he chose the third wife who was watching the dead bodies of their husband and senior wife and she refused too.

But when their husband saw that none of his wives wanted to follow the Wizard, then he told the Wizard to take the whole of them, so when the three wives heard so from their husband, they were fighting among themselves; unluckily, a police-man was passing by that time and he arrested them and charged them to the court. So the whole people in the court wanted me to choose one of the wives who was essential for the Wizard.

But I could not choose any of these wives to the Wizard yet, because everyone of them showed her part of love to their husband in that the senior wife died with their husband, the second wife went and called the Wizard who woke the husband and senior wife and the third protected the dead bodies from the wild-animals till the second wife brought the Wizard.

— From The Palmwine Drinkard by Amos Tutuola

Well, what do you think?

 

Image is by the endlessly talented Mickalene Thomas. Love her work! Check out more of her stuff {HERE}

 

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

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