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close this bookBukusu Folktales (Kenya Literature Bureau, 1986, 134 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentForeword
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentThe Boy Who ate the Elephants' Rumps
View the documentThe Hare and the Leopard
View the documentMwambu and Sella
View the documentThe Story of Apelu
View the documentHare Steals a Hen
View the documentSimbi and Namakanda
View the documentKhole
View the documentWanakhatandi
View the documentA Father and His Son
View the documentAn Old Woman and Her Deformed Son
View the documentThe Dog and the Leopard's Children
View the documentNasio and her Brother
View the documentHare, Hyena and Lizard
View the documentKasawa and his Forbidden Pumpkins
View the documentA Woman and Her Daughter of Clay
View the documentHare leads Leopard to a Hive
View the documentHyena and Baboon
View the documentHare and Elephant Pay a Visit
View the documentLemata and Katamba
View the documentThree Men meet a Strange Old Woman
View the documentA Hyena Ate His Protector
View the documentThe Secret of a Murder
View the documentA Bull Newt Who Refused to heed his wife's advice
View the documentA Dying Old Woman earns Bridewealth for her Sons
View the documentFortuity is like Dew Drops
View the documentA Basket Maker Declares Himself Free from the Burden of Debts
View the documentThe Thirsty Intruder
View the documentBack Cover

A Basket Maker Declares Himself Free from the Burden of Debts

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.