As Ndaziona traced her fingers over the stone and wished for food, a plate with a large mouse appeared next to her. Thinking it was one of Muononga Zinthu’s evil tricks, Ndaziona was about to throw it out of the window, when she remembered how scrawny the cat had looked.

Even though it had been mean to him, she felt sorry for it.

“Kitty, kitty,” she called, and in no time the cat had gulped down the mouse and it settled down at her feet. Ndaziona was still hungry but at least the cat made her feet feel a bit warmer.

Just before she fell asleep, Ndaziona noticed that once again the stone felt smooth. She looked at it closely and rubbed it between her fingers. A glass jar filled with flies appeared in front of her. Ndaziona fed the flies to the huge, hairy spider. It had looked so jealous when the cat had eaten the mouse, but now it ate greedily. When it had finished eating, the spider laughed and tickled its tummy with all eight legs.

Then very carefully, the spider loosened the web across the door. Now Ndaziona didn’t feel nearly as scared as she had felt before nor did she feel sleepy at all. Instead she felt a small flutter of excitement in her tummy. She looked carefully at the stone and a bone appeared on the plate before her.

Ndaziona’s tummy rumbled with hunger, but she gave the bone to the mangy dog. Then she gently brushed its fur and the dog wagged its tail and licked her fingers.

Then everything happened rather quickly. The spider jumped onto the cat’s back. The dog, the cat, along with the spider, took Ndaziona outside.

The dog gave three loud barks and the gate opened. The cat gave three yowls and the trees parted. The spider wove a special silver light so that Ndaziona could see where she was going. Ndaziona wasted no time and hurried back home as fast as she could.

Ndaziona’s stepmother was shocked to see her. She had hidden the lamb away, hoping that Ndaziona would go to the forest to find him and be eaten by the witch. She had not expected to see Ndaziona again. Nobody had ever escaped from Muononga Zinthu’s house.

Quickly, the stepmother packed her bags and left before Ndaziona’s father returned to find out what she had done.

Muononga Zinthu was furious when she arrived home to find Ndaziona gone.

“Why did you let Ndaziona escape?” she shouted at the spider.

“Because she gave me flies to eat and you have never done that,” said the spider.

“Why did you not scratch her eyes out?” yelled the witch, kicking the cat.

“Because she fed me a big mouse and you have never done that,” hissed the cat.

“Why did you not bite her leg!?” screamed the witch at the dog.

“Because she gave me a meaty bone and she brushed my fur. You have never done that!” growled the dog.

The cat jumped at Muononga Zinthu and scratched her eyes, the dog bit her legs and the spider spun a web tight and strong around her, so tight that she is probably still trapped inside today.

The spider jumped onto the cat’s back, and the cat; the dog and the spider went to live with Ndaziona and her lamb. Ndaziona’s father had come home with money and seeds to plant new crops and they all lived happily together for a very long time.


Tell us: What lessons did you learn from the story?