There was once a San woman in the Kalahari, who kept her son in a sack.

No one had ever seen this son, but he was supposed to be a paragon of virtue.

One day, his mother decided that he should be married and made the following proclamation: 'I am looking for a wife for my wonderful son. He is made up of manliness alone, and worthy of a woman's love. Blessed is she who would marry him.'

Soon, many girls who were attracted by this fine proposition were married to him, but they were still never allowed to see him.

Each day when the wives went out to gather roots and work in the fields, his mother would open the bag and let him out, and he would sing:
'I am but half a man
Yet I have many wives
Wherefore being no man
I am yet a great man.'

When the wives came home, he would be back in the bag, and his mother would say that he had gone out hunting and was such a mighty hunter he would soon be home bearing a gemsbok on his back.

One morning, however, one of the cleverest wives did not go to the fields, but hid behind the hut. She saw the mother take out the bag. From it came just an arm and a leg joined together, and this thing hopped about. She also heard it sing its song.
Then the strange creature saw the wife peeping round the door. 'Oh mother, put me back quickly!' he said, knowing he had been discovered.

The young woman then came in, pretending she had forgotten to take her pipe with her. She said to the mother, 'Today I have seen your son, our husband. Is this the man you said was made up of manliness alone and worthy of a woman's love? Behold, it is only an arm and a leg.'

Then she called all the others. 'Ah, foolish young wives of nothing! Is not a man made up of two arms and two legs? Today I have seen our husband. He is no man, behold! He is an arm and a leg, therefore he needs many wives to look after him.'

Then the women said, 'A woman may marry a man, but not a portion thereof. Today we will seek a whole man, for the comfort of a whole man's love.' And they all packed up and left.

As they went, they passed the word around: 'If some day you should hear tell of a man who is made up of manliness alone, and worthy of a woman's love, go not to him for he is no man, but only a portion thereof. Behold! It may only be an arm and a leg!'