Today on our folk tales, we present to you the part 4 of the western African story, titled “The Woman With Two Skins.”
So the following morning the boy went to the king, granted his request, and at once sent for all the people to come in and hear the boy out. The spider also adviced the boy to go to his mother and introduce himself to her. The spider also told the boy, to tell the mother to take off her ugly skin and appear in all her beauty, for the time has come for her to reveal her beauty.
When the day of trial arrived, Adiaha sat in a corner of the square, and nobody recognised the beautiful stranger as the spider’s daughter. Her son then sat down next to her, and brought his sister with him. Immediately his mother saw her she said:
“This must be my daughter, whom I have long mourned as dead,” and embraced her affectionately.
The king and his head wife then arrived and sat on their stones in the middle of the square. The king then addressed the people, and said that he had called them together at the request of the young man who is the victor of the wrestling match.
The king to his people that it is a case of life and death. If anyone is found guilty, the person’s head will be cut off on the killing stone.
To this, the people agreed, and said they would like to hear what the young ma hear what the young man n had to say. The young man then walked round the square, and bowed to the king and the people, and asked the question, “Am I not worthy to be the son of any chief in the country?” And all the people answered “Yes!”
The boy then brought his sister out into the middle, leading her by the hand. She is so beautiful. When every one had looked at her he said, “Is my sister not worthy to be any chief’s daughter?” And the people replied that she was worthy of being any one’s daughter, even the king’s. Then he called his mother Adiaha, and she came out, looking very beautiful with her best cloth and beads on, and all the people cheered, as they had never seen a finer woman. The boy then asked them, “Is this woman worthy of being the king’s wife?” And a shout went up from every one present that she would be a proper wife for the king, and looked as if she would be the mother of plenty sons.
Then the boy pointed out the jealous woman who was sitting next to the king, and told the people his story, how his mother, who had two skins, was the spider’s daughter; how she had married the king, and how the head wife was jealous and had made a bad charm for the king, which made him forget his wife; how she had persuaded the king to throw himself and his sister into the river, which, as they all knew, had been done, but the spider had saved both of them, and had brought them up.
Then the boy said: “I leave the king and all of you people to judge my case. If I have done wrong, let me be killed on the stone; if, on the other hand, the woman has done evil, then let her be dealt with, as you may decide.”