Story Corner : Beautiful Solange gets rescued

Long ago, in a certain village there was a very beautiful girl called Solange. Her beauty was much talked about in the neighbourhood.

Long ago, in a certain village there was a very beautiful girl called Solange. Her beauty was much talked about in the neighbourhood.

Her charm was endless and unequalled and her attractions were numerous since she was also very well behaved. However, her age mates were particularly bitter because all praise was given to Solange.

In those days the practice was that older girls who were ready for marriage had to assemble and go out to woo husbands in the neighbouring clans. This practice was called ‘sero’ and was sanctioned by the parents.

In Solange’s village, the time for ‘sero’ had come and along with other ladies, she set off dressed to kill and heavily decorated because she wanted to capture the young men’s attention.

In every village where the girls stopped, it was Solange who received most praises and who was most admired—something her companions resented very much. Whenever they came across people they would stop and ask their opinion of their beauty.

“Fellow countrymen passing; are we not pretty?” the girls asked.
“You are pretty but the girl in the middle is the prettiest of you all,” they replied frankly pointing at Solange.

This made the other girls choke with jealousy and burn with malice. They decided to turn her into a smoking pipe when their attempts to hide her failed. Before they had gone far, they met some travelers, whom they asked,
“Good countrymen are we not pretty?”

The men did not hesitate and bluntly told them, “You are pretty, yes, but that smoking pipe you are carrying is so beautiful that were it a human being it would have won you all.”

This very unwelcome reply made the girls malicious. They conspired and decided to turn Solange into a dog.

They were now approaching their destination and as the practice was, they found the boys waiting for them. They were received warmly and the boys took their chosen girls to their home to become their wives.

There was one among them called Kalisa who was late at the ceremony. When he came he found all the pretty girls had been taken and it was only the dog remaining.

He was angry, because his mother was always asking him to get married. However, he decided to take the dog home and keep it since it was very beautiful. He used to keep it by his bedside at night.

The other women made fun of it and teased Kailas’s mother, who was bitter that her son had not got a wife whereas all other boys were married.

As the custom was, the villagers used to leave home at dawn and go farming till evening. Since Kalisa was an only child, their homestead used to remain empty after he and his mother had left. The dog used to be left behind.

When they had gone, Solange could shed off the dog skin and became a normal human being. She did all the housework. Kalisa and his mother were mesmerized and perplexed at who was doing their housework.

One day Kalisa’s mother came back early to see who worked at their home when they were gone.  She could not believe her eyes that it was actually a very beautiful girl. The next day, while Solange was working, Kalisa was so happy that he snatched her dog skin and threw it away.

A meeting of elders was called for them to give an explanation.
Solange told them everything that the other girls did. They were sent back to their homes and Kalisa lived happily with Solange.

iruikmo@yahoo.com

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