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Showing posts with label Tales by Moonlight. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tales by Moonlight. Show all posts

4 amazing folktales told by the Igbos

Written by Ndem Nkem
~Vanguard, Nigeria: Ndem Nkem is travel/tech writer @Jovago

The eastern part of Nigeria largely occupied by the Ibo tribe, is rich in culture, customs and traditions and one of the tenets that has survived the rage of civilization and modernization is the art of storytelling. Interesting and educative folktales which have been passed down from generations to generations from the 'ancestors' are told to children in the bid to preserve the norms and culture of the tribe, imbibe good morals and instill the spirit of communal love amongst members of their society.
These Igbo folktales which paints colourful pictures of spiritual life and traditional aspirations are regarded as fictitious, incredible, mythical and totally removed from real life situations. However, with regards to their functionality, these folktales exhibit elements of truth that translate into realism., Africa's No.1 online hotel booking site offers 4 common traditional folktales you should seek to hear while visiting eastern Nigeria.


Usually accompanied with a song, this folktale tells of a young pretty girl who meets a great misfortune due to her defiance and decision to disobey her parents.
Set in a time when demons and spirits roamed around villages, the girl called "obaledo" was instructed by her parent before embarking on their trip, to remain within the confines of their home and eat just yam and snail when hungry. The parents asked that she roast the yam first before the snail, as the snail would eventually quench the fire. Unfortunately, the girl, being greedy and having a strong lust for meat, roasted the snail first and fire went off. Still hungry, she set out of her home, in disobedience to her parents, to get a matchstick from neighbors. On her way, she encounters a demon that steals her beauty and leaves her with his own ugliness.

The King's Drum

This story tells about a greedy tortoise who ends up trapping himself in his own greed. The tortoise, envious of a rich king who had a drum that would produce food and great wealth each time it was beaten, set a trap for the king's wife, and when she fell for it, he demanded the drum as his only compensation.


From Ajala Kayode - Nigeria.
One Sunday morning, a wealthy man sat in his balcony enjoying the sunshine and his coffee when a little ant caught his eye; going from one side to the other side of the balcony, carrying a big leaf several times more than its size.
The man watched it for more than an hour. He saw that the ant faced many impediments during its journey, paused, took a diversion and then continued towards its destination.
At one point the tiny creature came across a crack in the floor. It paused for a little while, analyzed and then laid the huge leaf over the crack, walked over the leaf, picked the leaf on the other side then continued its journey.
The man was captivated by the cleverness of the ant, one of God’s tiniest creatures.
The incident left the man in awe and forced him to contemplate over the miracle of Creation. It showed the greatness of the Creator. Before his very eyes was this tiny creature of God, lacking in size yet equipped with a brain to analyze, contemplate, reason, explore, discover and overcome.
Along with all these capabilities, the man also noticed that this tiny creature shared some human shortcomings.
The man saw about an hour later that the creature had reached its destination – a tiny hole in the floor which was entrance to its underground dwelling.
At this point the ant’s shortcoming that it shared with man was revealed.
How could the ant carry the large leaf it carefully managed to its destination into the tiny hole? It simply couldn’t!

King Adangba's many wives

A LONG, very long time ago, there lived a king called Adangba. He was very rich, very powerful and feared. He was a warrior who won all the wars he fought. He had many slaves and a big compound where his blacksmiths worked day and night to fashion out new weapons and repair old ones. He had many vassal towns that paid him taxes regularly. In spite of his wealth and power, Adangba was a kind and considerate man. He treated his people with fairness and was generous to his chiefs. Ordinarily, he should be a happy man but he was not for he had no son to inherit his throne.

Adamgba had a palace full of beautiful women, wives in dozens who gave him even more beautiful daughters. But was the use of beautiful daughters to a king who needed an heir? But he kept on trying because some bad people were saying some bad things about him. Some said he was not really a man otherwise he would have had a son. There were almost loud rumours that Adamgba had made a pact with the gods that he would not have sons as long as the gods gave him victory in every battle. Most of these stories got back to the king and kept him up at night. He would pace up and down his chambers for hours in pain and confusion. He offered sacrifices in all the shrines to all the gods but each time a queen fell into labour, she brought forth yet another girl.

Until one year, one evening, after the new yam festival, one of the neighbouring kings brought his daughter as a gift for the king. The king was reluctant for more than a reason. He had tried and tried and failed and failed. What was the guarantee that Ena, this new wife was going to give him a son, and not more daughters? He was already a minority in a palace full of females! And then this new wife not even beautiful. In fact, she was ugly.

The other wives sneered and sniggered. What was Ena going to do that they had not done? They even told her to her face that the best she would ever achieve was to produce the ugliest princess in the palace because since she was ugly, all her seeds would be ugly. But to the shock and dismay of all, including Ena herself, nine months after she paid King Adamgba her first night in the royal chambers, she gave birth to a set of twin boys, two beautiful boys.
It was a new day in the kingdom and royal household. The king was beside himself with joy. 

The Colours of Love (short story)

A story by 'Thoughts from Botswana by Lauri Kubuitsile' - Botswana.

He arrived with the spicy purple of the sunset, at the end of a long, hot, dusty day. They sat on the cool veranda and watched him walk up the side of the road into town.             
 “Where’s he from?”  Asked Mma Boago the owner of Mable’s Takeaway, a takeaway that had never known a woman by the name of Mable.

 “Don’t know. What’s that he’s carrying?” Johnny-Boy, Mma Boago’s perpetual customer and occasional bed-mate, asked, squinting his eyes to get a better look.             
 “Looks like a guitar. Dirty long dreadlocks and a guitar. He’s not bringing anything we need around here, that’s for damn sure.” Mma Boago turned and went back inside; she had magwinya in the deep fryer and couldn’t waste time keeping track of unwanted strangers.            

Warona was dragging her daughter, Kelapile, to the clinic when she spotted him. She wasn’t one to believe in love at first sight and fairy tales with happy endings, having witnessed Kelapile’s father’s profession of undying love just before he slipped into bed with the neighbour. It was more than being heart sore: Warona’s heart had been pulled out, knocked around for twelve rounds, then placed back into her chest to perform only the bare minimum required to keep her moving. Some days she wished it would give up on that, too. 

“Hurry! They’ll fire me if I’m not back in an hour.”  Kelapile’s legs could only go so fast, decided by their three-year-old length. Warona bent down and pulled the child up onto her back. When she looked up again, there he was.             
 “Do you know where I can find the guest house?”    
Practical Warona didn’t mention to anyone the way that her eyes went a bit funny the first time she saw him.  She didn’t mention the golden light that surrounded this odd stranger. It made her feel warm, and a barely held memory flooded over her, a remembered feeling, one that she had flung away deep into the folds and creases of the grey matter of her brain to be forgotten forever. It was joy; she felt a warm, orange joy.

“Are you okay?” he asked. His full lips and kind dark eyes twisted with concern.             
 “I’m fine, thanks. The guest house? Come with me, I’ll show you. It’s near the clinic where I’m going.”        

Ethiopian Folktales

Narrated by Ayelew Haile 
Opening phrase
Tocho tocho tanoret
Andreshoro kefela
Gahse butuna kela
Teret teret.
(Let us laugh.

Let the new garment suit you.)
Imahoy Zewditu Wudineh
Imahoy Zewditu Wudineh

Once there lived a husband and wife in a certain village. The man was very foolish and the woman was clever (which is very usual in our society!). So every week, she would go to the market to buy everything they needed for the home, while the husband stayed at home looking after the children, the domestic animals and the garden.
One day she met a young, handsome man. They became lovers and met every week. She was very much in love with him and she wanted to meet him all the time and felt very passionate. She wanted to stay long with him. She made plans every day as to how she could meet him often.
One day she said to him, “I’m not happy with this, I miss you because I see you only once a week. I’m not satisfied. Why can’t we spend a night together?”
He says, “No, this is impossible. Of course I feel passionate about you too, but you are married and so we can’t do it.”
She said, “I can make a plan for that. You will shave off your beard, wear a woman’s dress and put a veil on your head and I will tell him I’ve met my sister whom I haven’t seen for twenty years. Then I will introduce you to my husband. You will sleep in the other room and I will tell him that I am going to sleep with my sister because I haven’t seen her for so long.”
Her lover agreed and he went with her, wearing a skirt and everything was accomplished as she had planned.
So they went home and she said to her husband, “Here is my sister who I haven’t seen since before I married you twenty years ago, and God knows how lucky it is I met her in the market so suddenly. So He is to be praised. And I brought her here to introduce her to you.”
So they kissed each other. After a while she told him that her sister was so shy she would stay in the other room until she became more familiar with the family.
The husband had bought a good sheep.
The woman said, “There is no one I love more than my sister, so let us slaughter it (in the culture it is very important for a woman to feed her lover)."


Written by Funmi Ajumobi - Vanguard, Nigeria.

Some time ago, there was a trader named Sripad. He amassed a huge wealth through hard work. He had everything in his house. One day, he set out on business journey. When he was passing through a forest, he felt tired and wanted to take rest for some time. He sat under a tree to relax.

While relaxing, he felt thirsty and desired for a glass of water. He said, ‘How I wish I had some water with which I could quench my thirst right now!’ There was a miracle. No sooner did he wish for water than a pitcher appeared before him. He quenched his thirst and felt relieved.

After some time, he felt hungry and wished for food. He said to himself, ‘If a plate of tasty food be available to me now, I would be really lucky.’ As soon as he thought of it, there appeared a plate of tasty food before him. He ate to his satisfaction. Too much of food made him drowsy and he murmured, ‘How can I sleep on this rough surface?

Why shouldn’t there be a soft bed for me?’ As he uttered these words, a colourful and comfortable bed of velvet appeared before him immediately. Sripad slept on the bed. He felt as if he was in heaven as all his desires were being fulfilled immediately. He was quite unaware that he was sleeping under a tree which could fulfil any desire.

It was not an ordinary tree but a tree thought to have powers to fulfil any desire. Sripad enjoyed a good sleep on the velvet bed. After he awoke, he began to think, ‘I am all alone in the forest which is full of wild animals like lions, tigers and wolves who may come at any moment and can kill me. I would not be able to protect myself.’

As he thought so, a ferocious tiger appeared there and attacked Sripad. Poor Sripad was so scared that he could not even run. Thus, he was killed because of his negative thinking. LESSON: It is said that a man is always led by his thought. If you think positive, it will lead to positive results. If it is negative thoughts, you will get negative result too. So, be positive in your thinking that you are a success and you will.

Tiny Frogs

Sent by: Joseph katekpe - Sierra leone

Once upon a time there was a bunch of tiny frogs.... who arranged a running competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower.

A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants...
The race began....
Honestly, no one in the crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower.
You heard statements such as:
'Oh, WAY too difficult!!'
'They will NEVER make it to the top.'
'Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!'
The tiny frogs began collapsing. One by one...
Except for those, who in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher...
The crowd continued to yell, 'It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!'
More tiny frogs got tired and gave up....
But ONE continued higher and higher and higher....
This one wouldn't give up!

At the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower. Except for the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top!
THEN all of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it?
A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal?
It turned out .... that the winner was DEAF!!!!

The wisdom of this story is:
Never listen to other people's tendencies to be negative or pessimistic.... because they take your most wonderful dreams and wishes away from you -- the ones you have in your heart!

Always think of the power words have. (There's life and death in the power of the tongue )

Because everything you hear and read will affect your actions!

Therefore: ALWAYS be POSITIVE!

And above all: Be DEAF when people tell YOU that you cannot fulfill your dreams!

Always think: God and I can do this!

Most people walk in and out of your life... but FRIENDS leave footprints in your heart.

If you fall down 10 times, stand up 10 times!!

The blind girl who hated herself...

By   Jacqueline Ofori-Akuamoah/Ernest Osei-Bonsu - Ghana

There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind.
She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always
there for her. She told her boyfriend, 'If I could only see
the world, I will marry you.'

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages
came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend.
He asked her, 'Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?'
The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind.
The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her.
She hadn't expected that.
The thought of looking at them the rest of her life
led her to refuse to marry him.

Her boyfriend left in tears and days later wrote a note to her
saying: 'Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before
they were yours, they were mine.'

This is how the human brain often works when our status changes. 
Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who
was always by their side in the most painful situations.

Today before you say an unkind word
Think of someone who can't speak.

Before you complain about the taste of your food
Think of someone who has nothing to eat.

Before you complain about your husband or wife
Think of someone who's crying out to GOD for a companion.

Today before you complain about life
Think of someone who died too early.

Before you complain about your children
Think of someone who desires children but they're barren.

Before you argue about your dirty house someone didn't clean or sweep
Think of the people who are living in the streets.

Before whining about the distance you drive
Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.

And when you are tired and complain about your job
Think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.

But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another
Remember that not one of us is without sin.

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down
Put a smile on your face and think: you're alive and still around. 

The Devil & the Duck

Sent by Armanda D. - Portugal

There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm.
He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods.

He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit his targets.
Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner.

As he was walking back, he saw Grandma's pet duck.
On impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it. He was shocked and grieved!

In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile, only to
see his sister watching! Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

After lunch the next day, Grandma said, 'Sally, let's wash the dishes.' But Sally said, 'Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen.'Then she whispered to him, "Remember the duck? So Johnny did the dishes.

Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go
fishing,and Grandma said, 'I'm sorry, but I need Sally to help make supper.'Sally just smiled and said, 'Well, that's all right,
because Johnny told me he wanted to help.'

She whispered again, 'Remember the duck?' So Sally went
fishing, and Johnny stayed to help.

After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and
Sally's; he finally couldn't stand it any longer.

He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the
duck. Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug and said, 'Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window, and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you.'

Thought for today and every day hereafter:

Whatever is in your past, whatever you have done, and the
devil keeps throwing it up in your face (lying, cheating, debt, fear, bad habits, hatred, anger, bitterness, etc.), whatever it is, you need to know that God was standing at the window, and He saw the whole  thing.
He has seen your whole life. He wants you to know that He
loves you and that you are forgiven. He's just wondering how long you will let the devil make a slave of you.

The great thing about God is that when you ask for forgiveness,
He not only forgives you, but He forgets.

 It is by God's grace and mercy that we are saved.
 Go ahead and make the difference in someone's life today.

Know where you're going in life... you may

Sent by Kouassi L. Etien - Cote D'Ivoire
A boat docked in a tiny  Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how  long it took him to catch them.  
"Not very long,"  answered the Mexican.  
"But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American. 
The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked,  "But what do you do with the rest of your time?" 
"I sleep late, fish a 
 little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my  wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life."  
The American interrupted, 
 "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat."
 "And after that?" asked the Mexican.   
"With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and
 maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise." 
"How long would that take?" asked the Mexican. 
"Twenty, perhaps
 twenty-five years," replied the American. 

"And after that?"
"Afterwards? Well my friend, that's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. 
"When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!" 

 "Millions? Really? And  after that?" asked the Mexican. 
 "After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoy ing your friends." 

The moral of this story:
  • Know where you're going in life... you may already be there ! 

The chicken story...

Sent by Lloyd Okereafor - Nigeria

A farmer rears twenty-five young hens and one old cock. As he feels that the old cock could no longer handle his job efficiently, the farmer bought one young cock from the market.

Old cock to Young cock : "Welcome to join me, we will work together towards productivity.
Young cock : What you mean? As far as I know, you are old and should be retired.
Old cock : Young boy, there are twenty-five hens here, can't I help you with some?
Young cock : No! Not even one, all of them will be mine.
Old cock : In this case, I shall challenge you to a competition and if I win you shall allow me to have one hen and if I lose you will have all.
Young cock : O.K. What kind of competition?
Old cock: 50 meter run. From here to that tree. But due to my age, I hope you allow me to start off the first 10 meters.
Young cock : No problem ! We will compete tomorrow morning.
Confidently, the following morning, the Young cock allows the Old cock to start off and when the Old cock crosses the 10 meters mark the Young cock chases him with all his might.
Soon enough, he was behind the Old cock back in a matter of seconds.

Suddenly, Bang! ...... before he could overtake the old cock, he was shot dead by the farmer, who cursed, "Hell ! This is the fifth GAY chicken I've bought this week !"

Live a life of give and take...
Eat alone-die alone!
The older, the more crafty...
Youthful exuberance and naivity could be costly!

3 old men

Sent by Loveness CHITESAH ( Zimbabwe)

A woman came out of her house and saw 3 old men with long white beards sitting in her front yard. She did not recognize them. She said "I don't think I know you, but you must be hungry. Please come in and have something to eat."

"Is the man of the house home?", they asked.
"No", she replied. "He's out."
"Then we cannot come in", they replied.
In the evening when her husband came home, she told him what had happened.
"Go tell them I am home and invite them in!"
The woman went out and invited the men in"
"We do not go into a House together," they replied.
"Why is that?" she asked.
One of the old men explained: "His name is Wealth," he said pointing to one of his friends, and said pointing to another one, "He is Success, and I am Love." Then he added, "Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home."
The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed. "How n ice!!", he said. "Since that is the case, let us invite Wealth. Let him come and fill our home with wealth!"
His wife disagreed. "My dear, why don't we invite Success?"
Their daughter was listening from the other corner of the house. She jumped in with her own suggestion: "Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will then be filled with love!"
"Let us heed our daughter's advice," said the husband to his wife.
"Go out and invite Love to be our guest.."

The woman went out and asked the 3 old men, "Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest."
Love got up and started walking toward the house. The other 2 also got up and followed him. Surprised, t he lady asked Wealth and Success: "I only invited Love, Why are you coming in?"
The old men replied together: "If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would've stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever He goes, we go with him. Wherever there is Love, there is also Wealth and Success!!!!!!"

-Where there is pain, let there be peace and mercy.
-Where there is self-doubting, let there be a renewed confidence in your ability to work through it.
-Where there is tiredness, or exhaustion, let there be understanding, patience, and renewed strength.
-Where there is fear, let there be love, and courage.


There is a legend of a woman who had a faithful dog. This dog was so faithful that the woman could leave her baby with it and go out to attend other matters. She always returned to find the child soundly asleep with the dog faithfully watching over him.

One day something tragic happened. The woman, as usual, left the baby in the "hands" of this faithful dog and went out shopping. When she returned, she discovered rather a nasty scene. There was a total mess. The baby's cot was dismantled and his nappies and clothes torn to shreds with bloodstains all over the bedroom where she had left the child and the dog. Shocked, the woman wailed as she began looking for the baby. Presently, she saw the faithful dog emerging from under the bed. It was covered with blood and licking its
mouth as if it had just finished a delicious meal.

The woman went berserk and assumed that the dog had devoured her baby. Without much thought she clubbed the dog to death. But as she continued searching for the "remains" of her child, she beheld another scene. Close to the bed, the baby who, although lying on bare floor was safe. And under the bed the carcass of a jackal torn to pieces in what must have been a fierce battle between it and the dog which was now dead. Then the reality hit the woman who now began to understand what took place in her absence. The dog fought to protect the baby from the ravenous jackal. It was too late for her now to make amends because in her impatience and anger, she had killed the faithful dog.

How often have we misjudged people and torn them to shreds with harsh words and even with physical assault before we have had time to evaluate the situation? A little patience can drastically reduce major life long errors

A Farmer's Donkey

Sent by Moudyzvakabvira KAHOBA - Zimbabwe
One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well.
The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.

Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway;
it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him.
They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well.
At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly.
Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well.
He was astonished at what he saw.
With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing.
He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal,
he would shake it off and take a step up.
Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt.

The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up.

Each of our troubles is a stepping stone.

We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up!

Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.

2. Free your mind from worries - Most never happens.

3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.

4. Give more.

5. Expect less from people but more from God.

The Wooden Bowl

Sent by Hiyab Tsegay

I guarantee you will remember the tale of the Wooden Bowl tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now, a year from now.

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year - old grandson.
The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered.
The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor.
When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.
The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.
'We must do something about father,' said the son.
'I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.'

So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner.
There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner.
Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl.
When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone...
Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence.
One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor.
He asked the child sweetly, 'What are you making?' Just as sweetly, the boy responded,
'Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up.
' The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless.
Then tears started to stream down their cheeks.
Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.
That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table.

For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

On a positive note, I've learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles four things:
a rainy day, the elderly, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
I've learned that, regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.
I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as making a 'life...'
I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands.
You need to be able to throw something back
I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you
But, if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.
I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.
I've learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone.
People love that human touch -- holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.

The Crackpot...

An elderly Swahilian woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. 'I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.'
The old woman smiled, 'Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?' 'That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.' 'For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table.
Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.'

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

SO, to all of my crackpot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!

The four wives

Forwarded by Vinyo Agbenowu

Once upon a time there was a rich King who had four wives. He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to the finest of delicacies. He gave her nothing but the best.

He also loved the 3rd wife very much and was always showing her off to neighboring kingdoms. However, he feared that one day she would leave him for another.

He also loved his 2nd wife. She was his confidant and was always kind, considerate and patient with him. Whenever the King faced a problem, he could confide in her, and she would help him get through the difficult times.

The King's 1st wife was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and kingdom. However, he did not love the first wife. Although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her !

One day, the King fell ill and he knew his time was short. He thought of his luxurious life and wondered, "I now have four wives with me, but when I die, I'll be all alone."
Thus, he asked the 4th wife, "I have loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep my company?" "No way!", replied the 4th wife, and she walked away without another word. Her answer cut like a sharp knife right into his heart.

The sad King then asked the 3rd wife, "I have loved you all my life. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep my company?" "No!", replied the 3rd wife. "Life is too good! When you die, I'm going to remarry!" His heart sank and turned cold. He then asked the 2nd wife, "I have always turned to you for help and you've always been there for me. When I die, will you follow me and keep my company?" "I'm sorry, I can't help you out this time!", replied the 2nd wife. "At the very most, I can only walk with you to your grave." Her answer struck him like a bolt of lightning, and the King was devastated.

Then a voice called out: "I'll go with you. I'll follow you no matter where you go." The King looked up, and there was his first wife. She was very skinny as she suffered from malnutrition and neglect. Greatly grieved, the King said, "I should have taken much better care of you when I had the chance!"

In truth, we all have the 4 wives in our lives:
Our 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it will leave us when we die.

Our 3rd wife is our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, it will all go to others.

Our 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how much they have been there for us, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave.

And our 1st wife is our Soul. Often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the world. However, our Soul is the only thing that will follow us wherever we go.

Cultivate, strengthen and cherish it now, for it is the only part of us that will follow us to the throne of God and continue with us throughout Eternity.

Thought for the day: Remember, when the world pushes you to your knees, you're in the perfect position to pray.

Li-Li and Her Mother-in-law

From:Isatta Fofanah

A long time ago in China , a girl named Li-Li got married & went to live with her husband and mother-in-law. In a very short time, Li-Li found that she couldn't get along with her mother-in-law at all. Their personalities were very different, and Li-Li was angered by many of her mother-in-law's habits. In addition, she criticized Li-Li constantly.

Days passed, and weeks passed. Li-Li and her mother-in-law never stopped arguing and fighting. But what made the situation even worse was that, according to ancient Chinese tradition, Li-Li had to bow to her mother-in-law and obey her every wish. All the anger and unhappiness in the house was causing Li-Li's poor husband great distress.

Finally, Li-Li could not stand her mother-in-law's bad temper and dictatorship any longer, and she decided to do something about it! Li-Li went to see her father's good friend, Mr. Huang, who sold herbs. She told him the situation and asked if he would give her some poison so that she could solve the problem once and for all. Mr. Huang thought for awhile, and finally said, "Li-Li, I will help you solve your problem, but you must listen to me and obey what I tell you." Li-Li said, "Yes, Mr. Huang, I will do whatever you tell me to do."Mr. Huang went into the back room, and returned in a few minutes with a package of herbs. He told Li-Li, "You can't use a quick-acting poison to get rid of your mother-in-law, because that would cause people to become suspicious. Therefore, I have given you a number of herbs that will slowly build up poison in her body. Every other day prepare some delicious meal and put a little of these herbs in her serving. Now, in order to make sure that nobody suspect you, when she dies, you must be very careful to act very friendly towards her. "Don't argue with her, obey her every wish, and treat her like a queen." Li-Li was so happy. She thanked Mr. Huang and hurried home to start her plot of murdering her mother-in-law.

Weeks went by, and months went by, and every other day, Li-Li served the specially treated food to her mother-in-law.She remembered what Mr. Huang had said about avoiding suspicion, so she controlled her temper, obeyed her mother-in-law, and treated her like her own mother. After six months had passed, the whole household had changed. Li-Li had practiced controlling her temper so much that she found that she almost never got mad or upset. She hadn't had an argument with her mother-in-law in six months because she now seemed much kinder and easier to get along with. The mother-in-law's attitude toward Li-Li changed, and she began to love Li-Li like her own daughter. She kept telling friends and relatives that Li-Li was the best daughter-in-law one could ever find. Li-Li and her mother-in-law were now treating each other like a real mother and daughter. Li-Li's husband was very happy to see what was happening.

One day, Li-Li came to see Mr. Huang and asked for his help again She said, "Dear Mr. Huang, please help me to keep the poison from killing my mother-in-law. She's changed into such a nice woman, and I love her like my own mother. I do not want her to die because of the poison I gave her." Mr. Huang smiled and nodded his head. "Li-Li, there's nothing to worry about. I never gave you any poison. The herbs I gave you were vitamins to improve her health. The only poison was in your mind and your attitude toward her, but that has been all washed away by the love which you gave to her."

HAVE YOU REALIZED that how you treat others is exactly how they will treat you? There is a wise Chinese saying: "The person who loves others will also be loved in return."

God might be trying to work in another person's life through you. Spread the POWER OF LOVE.
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