A language exercise from last week was to read the story ‘Mfalme Mjinga’ and then complete it. I’ve translated it below. How would you finish it?
Once upon a time in a certain country of East Africa, there lived King Stupid. He was called Stupid because of how he decided cases. All judgements were made on a mountain. If a person committed a crime, the king would call all the people together with the accused and they went with him up the mountain. On top of the mountain, the king built two rooms facing each other and in one he put a hungry lion and in the other a beautiful woman. (Whether fortunately or unfortunately, all accused people in this country were men.)
The accused was put down the bottom of the mountain and when a bell was rung, he had to climb the mountain towards the rooms on the top. Halfway up the mountain he had to thank the king, saying, ‘Thank you Lord King for bringing me here. I am ready to be eaten by the lion if I am guilty and also I am read to marry the beautiful woman if I am not guilty.” After saying these words, he continued with his journey.
When he arrived up the top, if he opened the door of the lion’s room, the lion ate him. Therefore, he was guilty. And if he opened the door of the beautiful woman’s room, he would marry her. Therefore, he wasn’t guilty. All cases were judged in this way.
One day there was a big case that was about to happen. A soldier, a fine and strong youth was charged with making love to the daughter of the king because he came from a poor family.
The day of the case arrived. Like normal, the accused soldier stayed down the bottom of the mountain and on top a fierce and hungry lion was put in one room and a woman more beautiful than all the others in the whole country in the other room.
It happened that the daughter of the king loved the soldier a lot and desired to marry him but she knew that the soldier had already made love to the beautiful woman who was in the room up the top of the mountain. Because she was the daughter of the king, she knew which room the lion was in and which room the beautiful woman was in. The soldier didn’t know.
When the soldier arrived halfway up the mountain he stopped and like normal started to thank the king. While he was thanking him, the daughter of the king gave the soldier a special secret sign. The soldier finished thanking the king and continued to climb the mountain.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT??
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.