Murilé and the Moon chief - African Safari Campfire Stories
Once there was a African youth named Murilé, whose mother incessantly nagged at him, criticizing him over every little thing. Nothing he did was ever right; even his best efforts brought snide remarks from her.
Growing tired of this, Murilé borrowed his father's stool, which had been in the family for countless generations. He sat on the stool and recited every magic incantation he knew. Suddenly the stool began to fly up off the earth in the direction of the moon.
When he landed on the moon, he came to a village and asked for directions to the home of the Moon chief. The villagers asked Murilé to work for them in exchange for the information. They came to like him and they told him how to get to his destination, and he went on his way.
When Murilé arrived at the village of the Moon chief, he was appalled at how backward the people there were. They knew nothing of fire; they ate their meat raw, had no pottery, and shivered at night from the cold. So Murilé took sticks and built a fire, which made him a great hero to the moon people and a favorite of the Moon chief. He was hailed as the greatest magician the people had ever known. In recognition of his services, Murilé was showered with gifts and honors. The Moon chief and his subjects could not give Murilé enough cattle and wives. Every father wanted Murilé to marry his daughters. Soon a very rich man with many cattle and wives.
Murilé prepared to return to earth in triumph: Now his mother would see that her son had amounted to something. So he sent his friend, the mockingbird, to announce his imminent return to earth. However, Murilé's family did not even believe their son was alive; they had given him up for dead long ago.
When the mockingbird flew back to the moon with his report, Murilé could not believe that the mockingbird had spoken to his family. So the mockingbird went back to Murilé's earthly village and brought back his father's walking stick as proof of the visit. Finally convinced, Murilé prepared to return to earth.
He dressed his wives and many children in their finest clothing and covered them with jewels. He had so much wealth to show off that his mother was sure to be impressed. With this great entourage to bring with him, Murilé could hardly travel back on the magic stool, so the entire party left on foot.
Murilé became exhausted. One of his finest bulls told Murilé that he, the bull, would carry his master back to earth in exchange for a promise: that Murilé would never kill him and eat him. Murilé gladly consented. The family of Murilé on earth were thrilled to see him and marveled at his wealth and fine new family. Even his mother rejoiced to have him home. Consistent with her character, she went about bragging to everyone of her rich and powerful son.
Murilé made his parents swear never to harm the bull that had brought him home, and they agreed. However, as time passed, the parents forgot their promise. After all, Murilé had so many cattle that they probably forgot which bull was which. So his parents killed the bull and Murilé's mother prepared a dish seasoned with its fat and broth. As Murilé sat down to eat, the meat spoke to him, reminding him of the promise. As Murilé took the first taste of the bull's meat, the earth swallowed him up.