Today on our folk tales, we present to you the part 3 of the western African story, titled “The Woman With Two Skins.”
On the day of the match the spider told the king’s son that he shouldn’t be afraid, and that he is powerful, that even the strongest and best wrestlers in the country would not be able to stand up against him for even a few minutes. All the people of the country came to see the great contest; the king had promised to present prizes of cloth and money, and all the strongest men came. When they saw the king’s son, whom nobody knew, they laughed and said, “Who is this small boy? He has no chance against us.” But when they came to wrestle, they found out that they were no match for him. The boy was very strong indeed, all the people were surprised to see how he acted like a king.
After wrestling for the greater part of the day, the king’s son was declared the winner; having thrown every one who had stood up against him; some of his opponents were badly hurt, and had their arms or ribs broken. After the match was over, the king presented him with cloth and money, and invited him to dine with him in the evening. The boy gladly accepted his father’s invitation; and after he had his bath in the river, put on his cloth and went up to the palace, where he found the head chiefs and some of the king’s wives. They then sat down to their meal, and the king had his own son, whom he did not know, sitting next to him. On the other side of the boy sat the jealous wife, who had been the cause of all the troubles. All through the dinner this woman did her best to make friends with the boy, with whom she had fallen violently in love on account of his handsome appearance, his strength, and his being the best wrestler in the country. The woman thought to herself, “I will have this boy as my lover, as my husband is now an old man and will surely die soon.” The boy, however, who was as wise as he was strong, was quite aware of everything the jealous woman had done, and although he pretended to be very flattered at the advances of the king’s head wife, he did not respond and went home as soon as he could.
When he returned to the spider’s house, he told him everything that had happened, and the spider;
“As you are now in high favour with the king, you must go to him tomorrow and beg him for a favour. The favour you will ask is that all the country shall be called together, and that a certain case shall be tried, and that when the case is finished, the man or woman who is found guilty, shall be beheaded before the people.
To be continued.