Story Corner : Why people have to dig

Long time ago before our great-great-grandmothers were born, people never used to dig.

Long time ago before our great-great-grandmothers were born, people never used to dig.

They would take hoes to the garden leave them there, and then go back in the evening to find that a portion of the land had been dug. They would collect the hoes and go back to their homes and return them the next morning.

In one village called Muhanga, there was a man who married a young bride called Uwitonze. Usually, after a bride got married, she was expected to work very hard in order to get approved as a good wife.

Uwitonze woke up very early in the morning and started her daily duties. She had to go to the river and collect water with a very big pot which she had to carry on her head. She also had to grind a big heap of millet within a very short time.

When most of the work was done, she had to take the hoes to the farm. On her way there, she thought, “if I went and started digging, won’t I dig a bigger part than what the hoes do?” A lot of questions flashed through her mind, and she was full of excitement.

By the time she reached the farm, she had already made up her mind on what to do. Without hesitation, Uwitonze took one of the hoes and started digging very vigorously.

She expected praise from everybody who saw her. Little did she know that her rash action would end in disaster.
And so the ancestors conspired with the god to have him end his merciful act on the people.

He had been infuriated to learn that a young bride should go against this old custom which had prevailed long before the time he lived.

After that, people were forced to carry hoes and dig for themselves. However tiring it was they had to dig. In the evening people rushed to the young bride’s home in anger.

They were so enraged that they demanded the young bride to be sent back to her home. And so, the young bride was ordered to go back to her people before anything serious was done.
People were to continue digging since their normal custom had been violated.

They had to wake up early every morning and dig under the hot sun. They would break up for lunch and then go back till evening.

So when people think of their suffering their thoughts go back to the bride who dug. Brides are not supposed to dig and they always blame her for disobeying the ancestors and gods.

Iruikmo@yahoo.com

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