The Girl Who Broke Her Pot (a Ronga story)
On the way to draw water a Ronga girl had the misfortune to break her water-pot. In great distress she cried out for a rope, and looking up she saw one hanging from a cloud, like the ropes in the stories of God leaving the earth.
Climbing up she found a ruined village in the sky and an old woman sitting there asked what she wanted. The girl told her story and the old woman told her to continue walking, and if an ant crawled up into her ear she must leave it alone.
As she walked an ant did crawl into her ear. The girl continued walking, and coming to a new village heard the ant whisper to her to sit down. As she sat at the gate some African elders came out in shining clothes and asked what she was doing there.
The girl said she had come to look for a baby. The elders took her to a house, gave her a basket, and told her to collect some corn from the garden. The ant whispered that she should pull one cob at a time, and arrange it carefully in the basket.
The elders were pleased with her work, and with the cooking that she did on the ant's instructions.
Next morning they showed her two babies, one wrapped in red cloth and one in white cloth. She was going to choose the one in the red clothes, when the ant told her to choose the white one instead.
This she did, and the elders gave her the baby, and as many cloths and beads as she could carry. Then she found her way back to her family and they were overjoyed at her treasures and her baby.
The girl's sister was jealous and set off for the heavenly land to seek the same good fortune. She got up to the sky, but she was a very rude and willful creature, who refused to listen to the old woman or heed the warnings of the Ant. When she saw the babies, she chose the red-clothed one, there was a great explosion and she fell down dead.
Her bones dropped on her home, and people commented that heaven was angry with her because she had a wicked heart.
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