The Mother With the Ten Sons
Author Country :Tanzania
Genre Type :Story
Location :Bujora, Tanzania
Year of Publication :0/
Sub Theme :Eating/Meals, Family, Children, Using One's Talents/
Author Name :Sukuma Ethnic Group, Sukuma Research Committee/
Author City :Bujora
Once there was a Sukuma mother who had ten sons who were a
constant concern for her. Try as she may, she never was able to cook enough food
to satisfy them. She would prepare a bowl of "ugali" (stiff, cooked corn meal)
together with more than enough "mboga" (meat, fish, or vegetables in gravy). In
no time the ten boys would finish the mboga and say: "Mother, the mboga is
finished. Give us some more to eat with our ugali." The same thing happened day
after day until the mother was at a loss as to what to do.
Then one day an elderly woman came to visit. When the food
was prepared, the guest was amazed how quickly the ten young men devoured the
mboga and then said: "Mother, the mboga is finished. Give us some more." After
the meal the elderly woman said to the mother of the ten boys: "My dear friend,
I am amazed how quickly your sons eat the mboga. The mother replied, "What can I
do? An elephant is not overly burdened by its trunk." The guest replied, "What
you say is true. But let me tell you something. The next time you cook mboga
don’t give it to them all at once. Leave some of it in the pot on the stove
until it becomes very hot."
The next day when the boys asked for more mboga, the mother gave it to them
sizzling hot right from the fire. In fact, the mboga was so hot that they could
eat the ugali with only a little bit of mboga for fear of burning their tongues.
In this way the elderly guest was able to help the mother of the ten boys in her
predicament. Truly an elephant is not overly burdened by its trunk.