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Home :  African Legends :  Two Men Go on a Journey

Two Men Go on a Journey

Bura Folktales Legend (Nigeria)

There were two men who were very close friends. One day they decided to go on a long journey. Much food was collected and prepared for loading on their camels. The next day they were off. Before they had gone far, the one man proved to be very disagreeable. He insisted upon eating of his friend's food, but he would never touch any of his own. He did not even want to drink any of his own supply of water.

After they had gone a long way, the generous friend's food was finished, and the stingy man's food was all in his bags. "Friend, we have finished all of my food. Now we will eat all of your food." But he replied, "No, I will not give you any of my food. If you eat any of my food, you will buy it." From day to day, he would buy food with his possessions. Finally, he had to sell his camels in order to buy food. After a long time, he had nothing left, and he was naked. "You! I have nothing left and I am dying with hunger. Will you give me food, please?" The hard man answered, "Take out your eyes, and I will give you food for them." He sold his eyes for food, but even that was soon finished. "I can go no farther," he cried, "for I have no eyes and there is no one to show me the road." He sat down under a great tree, and his friend went off and left him.

That night as he sat and listened, a large bird spoke to him. The bird said, "An ignorant person will have much trouble." The blind man asked, "What does this proverb mean?" The bird replied, "It is about you. For if you only knew, you could strip some leaves from this tree and touch your eyes with them, and you could see." He reached forth his hand and stripped off some leaves and rubbed them on his eyes. To his great joy he could see as well as before.

He arose, took a supply of the leaves, and started off with his beautiful generous spirit, to heal and to bring sight to the blind.


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