|Bukusu Folktales (Kenya Literature Bureau, 1986, 134 p.)|
There once lived a rich basket maker called Namiinda who declared himself free from the burden of debts. He used to confine himself to his house making baskets from morning to sunset. Any caller who came round would find Namiinda seated and stooping over his basketry work. He hardly raised his eyes to greet visitors. He would only talk to those who came to buy his baskets and persistently boasted that since he was wealthy and had not borrowed anything from anyone he would not be bothered with other people's problems.
This attitude of Namiinda towards society did not please his neighbours, and some of the neighbours contrived to embarass him over his constant claims that he was completely self-reliant and hence posed no burden to anyone.
One day, a neighbour passed by and greeted Namiinda, but as usual Namiinda did not lift up his eyes to return the greetings. He merely grunted a positive response and went on making his baskets. The neighbour then deposited the body of a dead child in a corner, saying to Namiinda,
Please, my neighbour, let me place my child here for he is sleeping. I want to pick up vegetables from the garden quickly, and I will collect him on my way back. Please take care of him.
Namiinda grunted a positive response without looking up, and so the neighbour went out leaving behind the dead child concealed in wrappers. After a shortwhile, the neighbour returned with two other companions and asked Namiinda whether the child had cried for milk at all. Whilst Namiinda was still keeping quiet and stooping over his work, the neighbour lifted the wrappers off the dead child and started screaming claiming that Namiinda had killed her child.
Namiinda was quite startled and once tried to look up and argue out his innocence in the whole matter. But the neighbour's companions shouted at Namiinda asking how he could do such a thing as killing an innocent child!
From that commotion Namiinda was never himself again for he came to understand the world better.