Monday, 2 January 2017

A Gewessi Yule tale - Part 3

How the Magpie showed Honesty, Honour and Hospitality

After the Buffalo Race the people and the animals started to drift apart. They stopped talking to each other and were forgetting how to be friends. 

 Now Tigers have always thought of themselves as Lords of the forest, which means they think they are better than everyone else and can do what they like. The Woodcutter was a good, but poor, man and lived in the forest with his sick mother, wife and three children. One day he was walking through the forest deciding which tree he needed to cut down when he heard a terrible noise, a bit like the sound of a police siren underwater
"Owowowowowow, how dare those, those people mess with MY forest" and "Oooooooooooo, they shouldn't be on my land owowowowowow".
The Woodcutter rushed towards the sound where he found a tiger with his paw caught in a rabbit snare. The Tiger shouted at the Woodcutter
"Is this your snare! It has caught me, you people are so careless leaving traps all over my forest!"
The woodcutter replied politely 'that it was not his snare as he didn't use them'. Mr Magpie, who was passing by, shouted down to the Tiger
"Nope Mr Woodcutter doesn’t use them!"
The Tiger shouted back
"Well, my man, get me out of this infernal contraption IMMEDIATELY!"
After thanking Mr Magpie for his honesty the Woodcutter knelt down and released the Tiger's paw from the snare, the Tiger's paw was badly hurt and he couldn't walk. The Woodcutter kindly decided to look after him until he was well. He chopped down two saplings and by tying them together made a harness by which he could carry the Tiger back to his hut. He invited Mr Magpie to come back for some lunch.

When they got back to his hut, the Tiger had complained the whole way, the Woodcutter put on the kettle and offered his guests something to eat. For Mr Magpie he prepared nice fresh eggs and for the Tiger a leg of pork. Mr Magpie thanked him gratefully, as any good guest would, but the Tiger just snatched his food and started eating without so much as a 'Please' or a 'Thank You'. Mr Magpie noticed the Woodcutter and his family were eating plain rice and beans as they had given their eggs and meat to their guests. He thought how hospitable the Woodcutter was in giving him the eggs and promised himself that he would repay the Woodcutter for this debt. The Tiger stayed for some days at the Woodcutters house ordering the Woodcutters family around without so much as a 'Please' or 'Thank You'. He even ordered the Woodcutter's sick mother to fetch him some water from the well!!! Finally the Tiger could walk and left the Woodcutter's house and the Woodcutter's mother shouted
"Good riddance to bad rubbish, you rude ingrate!" after him.

A few months passed and the Tiger was out hunting, it was the time of year when there weren't many deer in the forest and the Tiger was quite hungry. Suddenly he saw a man cutting wood in the forest
"He will be enough to fill my belly", thought the Tiger.
He sneaked up behind the man, and with a quick wiggle of his bottom, pounced on his victim. The Magpie, meanwhile, had been hunting in the forest for fruit, eggs and shiny things but at that moment was busy watching the Woodcutter at his work. Suddenly he saw the ungrateful Tiger about to pounce on the Woodcutter. With a loud "Caw, caw, caw" the Magpie dove at the Tiger saying
"You ungrateful wretch! After all the Woodcutter did for you. He saved you from the trap!"
and pecked him on the head. Still the Tiger pounced. Mr Magpie flew back and pecked him again
"You rude, ignorant boor! The Woodcutter carried you to his home and all YOU could do was complain!"
The Tiger had stopped but Mr Magpie was still so angry at the Tiger's in-hospitable action that he felt honour bound to peck him for a third time saying
"And this is for your lack of manners as a guest! The Woodcutter gave you his best food & bed to help you recover and this is how you repay him."
The Tiger, who now had a very sore head, slunk off back into the forest. The Woodcutter thanked Mr Magpie profusely. Who replied that it was nothing. In fact it was the least he could, in all honour, do after the hospitality shown by the Woodcutter and his family.

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