Once in the great lands of Africa, where the sun rose and the cattle drank their water, walked a black African man.
The man never did anything pleasing and he never did what other men did. Every day he’d wake up and sit under the Marula tree in his yard and eat the marula fruits. He never went hunting, never worked and was always rude to everyone.
Though this man was useless in the view of all the villagers, he somehow married the most beautiful woman in the village, something nobody understood. They had one son and five daughters. Everyday his wife and daughters slaved in the burning fire to prepare for him the best food, while he did nothing.
He demanded to eat different kinds of food every day. He was a hard man to please when it came to food and his wife and daughters really suffered. If the food was not up to his standard he would curse loudly the whole day, as he ate it and waited for better food.
He was too lazy to work and yet expected to eat the best and most delicious food. All his children, except the youngest one, had to work to meet his need for good food. His wife was fed up but there was nothing she could do.
One morning she packed a little bag of clothes and went to visit her sister. Usually, wherever she went she would take her son with, but she wanted some time alone. So the husband was left with the kids.
One day while his wife was gone he woke up and decided to take a walk with his son while his daughters cooked. As they were walking, the man’s attention was disturbed by the great scent of African pap and meat of a strong cow. He knew every smell of food and could tell what it was only by smelling it once. This nice scent was coming from a nearby house which he liked to eat at. He went inside and knocked on the door and the wife welcomed him with a smile.
He and his son walked in and sat down. The man of the house came out and asked that the man accompany him to a friend’s house while his wife and daughters finished cooking. The man agreed and to the friend’s house they headed. They were gone for a long time but eventually they returned.
The man of the house told the man to sit while he went to see if the food was ready. He came back and a few minutes later the wife came out with food. There was a lot of meat and the man was very pleased. The man ate the meat nonstop and even asked for seconds. He ate and ate so much that he didn’t even realise that the owner of the house had only eaten a small bowl of the meat.
When they were all done the man asked looking around, “Where is my son? Has he eaten? We must leave now; my children must be getting worried.”
The man looked at him and laughed as he licked his fingers.
“What do you mean my friend? This very delicious meat you’ve just finished eating is of your son. What did you think, that we had enough food for your appetite? You kept asking for more and the beef meat that is left is for my family and I. The one I ate is of the cow that was slaughtered at the wedding last week and the one you ate was of your son.”
The moment he heard this he tried to vomit and vomit, but nothing came out. Even if something had, it wasn’t going to be his son as he was. His love and greed for food had caused him to eat his only male child; the only one to carry his name. From that day on he only ate when he had to and when he felt hungry. He apologised to his family for all he did and for making them slaves every day. He started to work and support his family and became a good man. He lost a child but gained humanity.