Ngap and Nyakwiy

Part Three

The next day, Ngap said, "I want to go and see my sister. It's boring here at home."

"But there are leopards and snakes in the forest," her mother said. 

"It's a very long way," said her father.

"Don't try to stop me," Ngap said rudely. "I want to go."

Her mother gave her a big bag full of delicious food. 

"Go with her half the way," she said to her husband. "Now goodbye, my darling. Come home again soon."

Ngap and her father began to walk through the forest. Once they heard a leopard in the distance.

"He won't come near us," her father said.

Once, they saw a snake on the path.

"Wait here. I'll kill it," said her father.

In the afternoon, Ngap walked on alone. She was tired and thirsty. At last she came to her sister's house. 

Her sister was very pleased to see her. Her little nephews and nieces tried to climb into her arms and kiss her. But Ngap pushed them away.

"I'm tired," she said. "Leave me alone. Get me something to eat and drink."

Her brother-in-law came home from hunting. Ngap didn't smile at him. She didn't greet him. 

The days passed slowly. Ngap never went to get the water. She never helped to cook the food. She shouted at the children. She fought with her sister. She was rude to her brother-in-law. She ate all the nicest pieces of food.

"Send her back to her parents," said the ogre. "I don't want her here in my house."

Back in her parents' house, Nyakwiy was happy. Her parents loved her now. 

"You're better than your sister Ngap," her mother said. "You always work hard. You always help me."

"You're a good girl," said her father. "I'm going to find you a good husband."

One day, Nyakwiy's father came home and said, "I've found a husband for you, Nyakwiy, my dear. He's a good man, and he has many cows. You will be very happy."

"Thank you, father," Nyakwiy said. "But my sister Ngap will be angry. She wanted to get married first."

"Your sister Ngap must wait," her father said.

Ngap didn't know about her sister's wedding. But on the morning of Nyakwiy's wedding day, she decided to go home. Her oldest sister was happy.

"There'll be peace in my house at last," she thought.

She didn't love Ngap, but she made her a delicious breakfast, and she gave her food for the journey. The children didn't like their aunt at all. They didn't try to kiss her goodbye.

"Where's my brother-in-law?" Ngap said angrily. "Why doesn't he come to say goodbye to me? I don't like your husband, sister. He's a bad man."

"Oh, don't wait for my husband," her oldest sister said. "He's gone hunting."

At last, Ngap began her journey. She heard a noise above her head, and looked up. A white bird was sitting in the trees. It was the ogre. He watched Ngap go down the path. 

Then Ngap heard a noise on the path in front. A little bushbuck was running away through the trees. It was the ogre. He watched Ngap walk on down the path. Then he ran away.

Suddenly, Ngap stopped. On the path in front of her was a beautiful tree. Red fruits were on its branches. Its leaves were made of gold. A lovely smell came from it.

"Ngap! Ngap!" said the tree. "Come here and eat my fruit!"

Ngap ran up to the tree and took the biggest fruit.

"I need this," she said. "I've been in my sister's house. She's married to a horrible ogre. He has dirty brown teeth and his mouth smells bad. They didn't give me any nice food. They weren't kind to me at all."

She put the fruit into her mouth. The juice ran down her chin. She picked some more. Then she kicked the tree with her foot.

"Get out of my way," she said, and she went on down the path.

The tree changed into the ogre. He was very angry. 

"You'll pay for this!" he said.

Ngap walked on and on. It was late now and the sun was going down. She was happy.

"Soon I'll be at home," she thought. "Everyone will be very pleased to see me."

Suddenly, she stopped. On the path in front of her was a beautiful plate. And on the plate was a dinner of fish and butter. A lovely spoon was beside it.

"Ngap! Ngap!" the plate called out. "Aren't you hungry? Come here and eat your dinner."

Ngap didn't answer. She ran to the plate, and began to eat. The food ran down her chin.

She finished the last bit and stood up. 

"That was nice," she said. "I'm so hungry. I was staying with my sister and her naughty children. Her food is very bad. She can't cook nicely. And her husband eats in a very bad way. I don't like to see him. He puts all the food in his mouth and it runs down his chin."

She kicked the plate with her foot, and went on down the path. The plate changed at once into the ogre. He was very, very angry. His eyes were red and his mouth was open.

"You'll be sorry for this," he said. "I'm going to eat you up."

Then he jumped on Ngap and began to eat her. He ate, and he ate. He ate her arms and her legs and her body. But he didn't eat her head.

Ngap's head rolled down the path. It rolled on and on. At last it came to her father's house. A big crowd of people were there. They were guests at Nyakwiy's wedding. 

Ngap's head stopped at last in front of Nyakwiy. The singing stopped. The dancing stopped. The guests all ran away.

Then Ngap's mouth opened and it began to sing.

"Once I was Ngap and now I'm dead.
Look, look at my poor little head.
Oh sister Nyakwiy, you are a bride,
But I have nothing. I have died.
I'll come and haunt you for evermore,
I'll sing in your roof and cry at your door.
So catch my head and bury it deep.
Then I'll be at peace. Then I'll sleep."

So Nyakwiy caught Ngap's head and buried it. And Ngap never came back to haunt her.

And Nyakwiy and her husband lived happily together. They had many children and everyone loved them.


Exercises for Ngap and Nyakwiy Part 3 


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