Adiberga and her Brothers



Part Three

Now a new life began for Adiberga. She was the wife of a rich man. She lived in a big house, and she had many servants. She forgot about her mother and her brothers. She was happy.

But Adiberga's fourth brother did not forget his sister. He left his mother's house, and he began to travel everywhere. He was looking for Adiberga. 

It was very hard for Adiberga's brother. He could not use his legs, but only his arms. He needed other people to help him.

One day, he came to the rich man's house. He sat outside, under a tree. Adiberga's servants saw him. They ran to Adiberga.

"There is a man outside your house, under the tree," they said. "His face is like your face. His eyes and his nose, his mouth and his hair, they are all like yours. Is he a relative? Does he come from your family?"

"I have no relatives," Adiberga said. "I have only one brother, and he is disabled. Go and look at the man again. If he is disabled and cannot walk, come and tell me."

The servants hurried out to the tree again. Soon they came back to Adiberga.

"He looks like you!" they all said. "His hair, his eyes, his teeth..."

"But is he disabled?" Adiberga said. "Can he walk?"

Her servants looked at each other.

"We don't know," they said at last. "He was sitting on the ground. We didn't see his legs."

"I will see him myself," Adiberga said.

Her servants put carpets down on the ground for her, and Adiberga walked outside. She went to the tree, and saw her brother.

She was very happy. She ran to him, and kissed him.

"Oh, my dear, dear brother!" she said. "Come into the house. You are tired, and hungry. You must rest, and I will make a delicious meal for you to eat."

She took her brother inside. She washed his feet and gave him the finest food to eat, and tej to drink.

Her brother finished his meal at last.

"Now," said Adiberga. "You must listen to me. My husband is not here tonight, but he will come home tomorrow. He is a good man, but he likes to trick people. Ask if you can help him. He will say something strange. Perhaps he will say, 'Kill my cattle.' Don't do it. Look after the cattle for him. Or perhaps he will say, 'Take my cattle to the desert. Don't let them drink water.' Then you must take them to the river, and let them eat and drink. Listen carefully to his words, and do the opposite."

The next day, Adiberga's husband came home.

"My brother is here," Adiberga said. "He wants to help you."

"Ah," said her husband. "That is good. He can take the cattle up to the mountain and push them over the cliff."

Adiberga's brother smiled at her.

"Good," he said. "I will do that."

The next morning, he went out with the rich man's herdsmen. He took the cattle to the valley, and they ate the good green grass.

That evening, the rich man was happy with his brother-in-law. He went to his box and took out some hairs from a sheep, some hairs from a goat, some hairs from a cow, a mule and a horse. He put them in a sack and gave them to Adiberga's brother. He gave him a stick, too.

"Go home," he said. "Take this sack with you. When you reach your house, beat the sack with the stick."

"Goodbye, dear brother. May God go with you," Adiberga said.

So Adiberga's brother went home. When he arrived, he stood outside the hut. He took out the sack and beat it with the stick. At once, hundreds of sheep and goats, cows, mules and horses ran out of it.

He looked at them and laughed. He was very happy.

"I am a rich man now," he thought. "Thank you, dear brother-in-law!"

His brothers heard the noise of all the animals. They came out of their hut.

"What happened to you?" they said to the fourth brother. "Where did you go? And where did you get all these animals?"

"I went to find our sister," the fourth brother said. "She has married a rich man. He gave all these animals to me."

The oldest brother was not happy.

"My youngest brother is rich, and I am poor," he thought. "I will go to my brother-in-law. He will give me sheep and goats, cows, mules and horses, and I will be rich too."

So the eldest brother went off to find Adiberga. He came at last to her house, and sat down under the tree. He called to her servants.

"Find your mistress," he said to them. "Say to her, 'Your brother is here.'"

The servants went to Adiberga.

"Another of your brothers is here," they said to her. "He is sitting outside the house, under a tree."

"Another brother?" Adiberga said angrily. "I don't have another brother. I only have one."

But she went out to the tree. Her oldest brother jumped up.

"Dear Adiberga!" he cried. "My lovely sister!"

Adiberga did not smile at him. She didn’t kiss her brother. She didn’t talk to him.

That night, Adiberga's husband came home. Adiberga's brother was very polite to him.

"Please," he said, "let me help you. Let me take your cattle out tomorrow."

"Very well," said his brother-in-law. "Take them to the desert, and kill them all."

Adiberga's brother was surprised. He looked at Adiberga but she didn't look at him. She didn't speak to him.

The next day, Adiberga's brother took his brother-in-law's cows to the desert, and he killed them all.

That evening, he said to his brother-in-law, "I obeyed you, brother. I took your cows to the desert, and they are all dead. Where is my reward?"

His brother-in-law went to his box. He took out some hairs from a lion, and a leopard, and some hairs from a hyena, an elephant and a buffalo. He put them in a sack, and gave them to Adiberga's brother. He gave him a stick, too.

"Go home," he said. "Take this sack with you. When you reach your house, beat it with the stick."

"Thank you!" said Adiberga's brother. He was happy. 

"I will be a rich man soon," he thought.

He hurried home. When he arrived, he stood outside the hut. He took out the sack, and beat it with the stick. At once, hundreds of lions, leopards, hyenas, elephants and buffaloes ran out of the sack. They turned on Adiberga's brother and ate him. Then they ran away.

Adiberga and her husband lived happily for many years, and had many fine children. And Adiberga's fourth brother was rich and happy too, for the rest of his long life.


Exercises for Adiberga and her Brothers Part Three


Listen to the story: