The owl was worshiped by the blond, blue-eyed Aryan people of the North. The North was cold, and the Aryan built a temple that had an owl’s face. The temple was named Athena. The Aryans never met other people outside the temple of Athena, they kept close to one another, speaking only in prayer. But there were people who lived outside the walls of Athena, whose skin was brown and had hair of cotton, the colour of charcoal.

One day, one of the daughters from outside the wall, called Nothonto, looked up at the temple of Athena and saw the face of an owl. The face of the owl was made up of mirrors and Nothonto saw her face for the very first time. The mirrors called Nothonto “unkempt girl” for she was an alluring figure. The mirrors said that Nothonto would one day delight in walking amongst the Aryan people, but this was not allowed yet by the stars. The stars wanted Nothonto to take pains for her looks before they would allow her inside the temple.

The unkempt girl, Nothonto, looked like she had been raised in the woods, her inside bristling with the fires of intellect. Her role among her dark-skinned people was to be sold to the ones who worshiped the owl. For, whilst the rest of the owl worshipers had forgotten the teaching words of the dark-skinned people, she remembered them all.

One day, when the accusing eyes of the owl worshipers had caught her staring at the mirrors of Athena, Nothonto transformed herself into an owl. They refused to believe that it was her who was the owl and said she was a witch.

The story of Nothonto was told for moons and suns to come, passed down from generation to generation of the Aryan people. Nothonto features in their tales as a symbol of bad luck and a sign of death.

The day a dark-skinned girl changed into an owl was remembered and was told at night before the Aryan children went to sleep. People of the South never again attempted to send one of their own to the North for fear of being hated by the Aryan. They feared that the Aryan people would change all their lessons to terrible bed time stories. And name their beloved daughters witches, thus Nothonto, was never to be seen again near the walls of Athena.


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