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THE Zulus appear to have recognized a sky-god distinct from Unkulunkulu. This seems to strengthen the probability that the name Unkulunkulu is not, as Bleek thought, identical with Mulungu, since the latter name for the High God in some languages actually means 'sky.' "The king which is above," Umpengula Mbanda informed Dr Callaway, " we did not hear of him first from white men. In summer-time, when it thunders, we say, 'The king is playing.' And if there is one who is afraid the elder people say to him, 'It is nothing but fear. What thing belonging to the king have you eaten?'[1] This is why I say that the Lord of whom we hear through you we had already heard of before you came. But he is not like the Unkulunkulu, who, we say, made all things. But the former we call a king, for, we say, he is above; Unkulunkulu is beneath."[2]

They seem, however, to have been somewhat hazy on the subject, for another informant said that they were the same, Unkulunkulu being "the creator of all things," who is in heaven, though at first he was on earth; but " he went up to heaven afterwards." This would connect with the Yao legend, alluded to in our introductory chapter, that Mulungu used to live on the earth, but afterwards ascended to the sky by means of the spider's thread. The idea appears to be tolerably widespread, and is found outside the Bantu area. The Nandi myth of the Thunder leaving the earth and taking up his abode in the sky (impelled by the misconduct of the ancestral Dorobo) is perhaps an echo of it.

'Leza,' the name used for the High God by the Baila, Batonga, and several other tribes of Northern Rhodesia and the adjoining territories,[3] also, in one language at least, means

1. I.e. you must have committed some sin against him or you would not be afraid.

2. Callaway, Amazulu, p. 19.

3. Also, along with Mulungu, by the Anyanja.]

'rain.' "But," says E. W. Smith, "it is not plain that they regard rain and God as one and the same"; rather they speak of Leza as "the rain-giver," "the giver of thunder and much rain," "the one who does what no other can do." So, too, the Wachaga, who call their God 'Iruwa,' use the same word for the sun, but insist that the sun is not the same thing as God. Yet it is possible that in the beginning it really was the material sun that was worshipped. A story, recorded by Bruno Gutmann,[1] seems to point this way.

The Man who would shoot Iruwa

A poor man, living somewhere in the Chaga country, on Kilimanjaro mountain, had a number of sons born to him, but lost them all, one after another. He sat down in his desolate house, brooding over his troubles, and at last burst out in wild wrath: " Who has been putting it into Iruwa's head to kill all my boys? "-a fairly literal rendering, which suggests that he thought an enemy had done this. (Iruwa would never have thought of it on his own account.) But if this is correct his conclusion is scarcely logical; yet how many, in the bitterness of their hearts, would have felt much the same, even if they had expressed it differently! "I will go and shoot an arrow at Iruwa." So he rose up and went to the smith's forge, and got him to make some iron arrow-heads. When they were ready he put them into his quiver, took up his bow, and said, " Now I am going to the farthest edge of the world, to the place where the sun comes up. The very moment I see it I will loose this arrow against it-tichi!" imitating the sound of the arrow. So he set out and walked, on and on, till he came to a wide meadow, where he saw a gateway and many paths, some leading up towards the sky, some downward to the earth. And he stood still, waiting till the sun should rise, and keeping very quiet. After a while he heard a great noise, and the earth seemed to shake with the trampling of many feet, as if a great procession were approaching. And he heard people shouting one to another: "Quick! Quick! Open the gate

[1. Volksbuch, p. 144.]

for the King to pass through!" Presently he saw many men coming towards him, all goodly to look on and shining like fire. Then he was afraid, and hid himself in the bushes. Again he heard these men crying: "Clear the way where the King is going to pass!" They came on, a mighty host, and all at once, in the midst of them, he was aware of the Shining One, bright as flaming fire, and after him followed another long procession. But suddenly those in front stopped and began asking each other, "What is this horrible smell here, as if an earth-man had passed?" They hunted all about till they found the man, and seized him and brought him before the King, who asked, Where do you come from, and what brings you to us? And the man answered, "Nay, my lord, it was nothing-only sorrow which drove me from home, so that I said to myself, let me go and die in the bush." Then said the King, "But how about your saying you wanted to shoot me? Go on! Shoot away!" The man said, "O my lord, I dare not-not now!" "What do you want of me? You know that without my telling you, O chief!" "So you want me to give you your children back?" The King pointed behind him, saying, "There they are. Take them home with you!" The man looked up and saw all his sons gathered in front of him; but they were so beautiful and radiant that he scarcely knew them, and he said, "No, O chief, I cannot take them now. They are yours, and you must keep them." So Iruwa told him to go home and look out carefully on the way, for he should find something that would greatly please him. And he should have other sons in place of those he had lost.

And so it came to pass, for in due time other sons were born to him, who all lived to grow up. And what he found on the road was a great store of elephants' tusks, so that when his neighbours had helped him to carry them home he was made rich for life.

One must not too hastily conclude that the man's desire for sons was only selfish, and that, so long as he had enough to work for him and keep up his position in the tribe, he did not care whether they were the same ones he had lost or not. But it is easy to understand that he did not feel comfortable with these strange, bright beings, who, one must remember, had died as small children, perhaps as babies. It is a remarkable point that they should have been found in the company of the sun-god; for as a rule the Bantu think. of their dead as living underground. These same Chaga people point out their mountain tarns as entrances to the ghost world, and have many legends which assume it to be below rather than above. As they have been a good deal in touch with the Masai, and, indeed, to some extent mixed with them, this idea may perhaps be derived from an outside, probably a Hamitic, source. Though the Masai, apparently, concern themselves very little with the spirit world.

Another Bantu-speaking tribe subjected to strong Hamitic influence is -that of the Banyaruanda, by Lake Kivu, on the confines of British and Belgian territory. Their royal family and the clans composing the aristocracy are taller and lighter-complexioned than the cultivators who form the bulk of the population, and also markedly different in feature, though they have adopted the speech of the Bahutu, as they call the indigenous peasants. The name of their High God, Imana, is one I have been unable to trace beyond Ruanda. As we saw in the last chapter, he certainly seems to be regarded definitely as a person, and a beneficent as well as a just one, if we are to allow any weight to the legends.

Here is one recorded by Père Hurel.[1]

The Girls who wanted New Teeth

A number of young girls agreed together to "go and get teeth created for them."[2] But one of their companions was unable to join the party. This girl's mother was dead, and

[1. La Poésie chez les primitifs, p. z7.

2. This, as it sounds, is obscure, and no explanation is given. It may mean that, having lost their first teeth, they thought a special act of creation was needed to procure the second set; but they would seem to have been beyond the usual age for that process. Or they may only have wanted their teeth to be made white and even.]

she had a stepmother who kept her hard at work and otherwise made her life a burden, so that she had become a poor, stunted drudge, ill-clothed and usually dirty. As for going to ask for new teeth, this was quite out of the question. So when her friends came back and showed her their beautiful teeth she said nothing, but felt the more, and went on with her work. When the cows came home in the evening she lit the fire in the kraal, so that the smoke might drive away the mosquitoes, and then helped with the milking,[1] and when that was done served the evening meal. After supper she slipped away, took a bath, oiled herself, and started out without anyone seeing her. Before she had gone very far in the dark she met a hyena, who said to her, "You, maiden, where are you going?" She answered, "I'm going where all the other girls went. Father's wife would not let me go with them, so I'm going by myself." The hyena said, "Go on, then, child of Imana!" and let her go in peace. She walked on, and after a while met a lion, who asked her the same question. She answered him as she had done the hyena, and he too said, "Go on, child of Imana!" She walked on through the night, and just as dawn was breaking she met Imana himself, looking like a great, old chief with a kind face. He said to her, "Little maid, where are you going? " She answered, "I have been living with my stepmother, and she always gives me so much to do that I could not get away when the other girls came to ask you for new teeth, and so I came by myself." And Imana said, "You shall have them," and gave her not only new teeth, but a new skin, and made her beautiful all over. And he gave her new clothes and brass armlets and anklets and bead ornaments, so that she looked quite a different girl, and then, like a careful father, he saw her on her way home, till they had come so near that she could point out her village. Then he said, "When you get home whatever you do you must not laugh or smile at anyone, your father or your stepmother or anyone else." And so he left her.

[1. This is exceptional, as in most cattle-keeping Bantu tribes the girls are strictly forbidden to go near the cattle. The Hereros are another exception.]

When her stepmother saw her coming she did not at first recognize her, but as soon as she realized who the girl was she cried out, "She's been stealing things at the chief's place! Where did she get those beads and those bangles? She must have been driving off her father's cows to sell them. Look at that cloth! Where did you get it?" The girl did not answer. Her father asked her, "Where did you pick up these things?"-and still she did not answer. After a while they let her alone. The stepmother's spiteful speeches did not impress the neighbours, who soon got to know of the girl's good fortune, and before three days had passed a respectable man called on her father to ask her in marriage for his son. The wedding took place in the usual way, and she followed her young husband to his home. There everything went well, but they all-his mother and sisters and he himself-thought it strange that they never saw her laugh.

After the usual time a little boy was born, to the great joy of his parents and grandparents. Again all went well, till the child was four or five years old, when, according to custom, he began to go out and herd the calves near the hut. One day his grandmother, who had never been able to satisfy her curiosity, said to him, "Next time your mother gives you milk say you will not take it unless she smiles at you. Tell her, if she does not smile you will cry, and if she does not do so then you will die!" He did as she told him, but his mother would not smile; he began to cry, and she paid no attention; he went on screaming, and presently died. They came and wrapped his body in a mat, and carried it out into the bush-for the Banyaruanda do not bury their dead-and left it there. The poor mother mourned, but felt she could not help herself. She must not disobey Imana's commandment. After a time another boy was born. When he was old enough to talk and run about his grandmother made the same suggestion to him as she had done to his brother, and with the same result. The boy died, and was carried out to the bush. Again a baby was born-this time a bonny little girl.

When she was about three years old her mother one evening took her on her back and went out to the bush where the two little bodies had been laid long ago. There, in her great trouble, she cried to Imana, "Yee, baba wee! O my father! O Imana, lord of Ruanda, I have never once disobeyed you; will you not save this little one?" She looked up, and, behold! there was Imana standing before her, looking as kind as when she had first seen him, and he said, "Come here and see your children. I have brought them back to life. You may smile at them now." And so she did, and they ran to her, crying, "Mother! Mother!" Then Imana touched her poor, worn face and eyes dimmed with crying and her bowed shoulders, and she was young again, tall and straight and more beautiful than ever; the story says: "He gave her a new body and new teeth." He gave her a beautiful cloth and beads to wear, and he sent his servants to fetch some cows, so many for each of the boys. Then he went with them to their home. The husband saw them coming, and could not believe his eyes-he was too much astonished to speak. He brought out the one stool which every hut contains, and offered it to the guest, but Imana would not sit down yet. He said, "Send out for four more stools." So the man sent and borrowed them from the neighbours, and they all sat down, he and his wife and the two boys, and Imana in the place of honour. Then Imana said, "Now look at your wife and your children. You have got to make them happy and live comfortably with them. You will soon enough see her smiling at you and at them. It was I who forbade her to laugh, and then some wicked people went and set the children on to try to make her o so, and they died. Now I have brought them back to life. Here they are with their mother. Now see that you live happily together. And as for your mother, I am going to burn her in her house, because she did a wicked thing. I leave you to enjoy all her belongings, because you have done no wrong." Then he vanished from their sight, and while they were still gazing in astonishment a great black cloud gathered over the grandmother's hut; there was a dazzling flash, followed by a terrible clap of thunder, and the hut, with every one and everything in it, was burned to ashes. Before they had quite recovered from the shock Imana once more appeared to them, in blinding light, and said to the husband, "Remember my words, and all shall be well with you!" A moment later he was gone.

The Thunder's Bride

In this story we find Imana associated with thunder and lightning, as the Zulu lord of Heaven and the Thonga Tilo are, so that we may suppose him to be a sky-god, or, at any rate, to have been such in the beginning. In the Ruanda story which follows,[1] the Thunder is treated as a distinct personage (as he is by the Nandi), but he is nowhere said to be identical with Imana.

There was a certain woman of Ruanda, the wife of Kwisaba. Her husband went away to the wars, and was absent for many months. One day while she was all alone in the hut she was taken ill, and found herself too weak and wretched to get up and make a fire, which would have been done for her at once had anyone been present. She cried out, talking wildly in her despair: "Oh, what shall I do? If only I had some one to split the kindling wood and build the fire! I shall die of cold if no one comes! Oh. if some one would but come-if it were the very Thunder of heaven himself!"

So the woman spoke, scarcely knowing what she said, and presently a little cloud appeared in the sky. She could not see it, but very soon it spread, other clouds collected, till the sky was quite overcast; it grew dark, as night inside the hut, and she heard thunder rumbling in the distance. Then there came a flash of lightning close by, and she saw the Thunder standing before her, in the likeness of a man, with a little bright axe in his hand. He fell to, and had split all the wood in a twinkling; then he built it up and lit

[1. Père Hurel, La Poésie chez les primitifs, p. 21.]

it, just with a touch of his hand, as if his fingers had been torches. When the blaze leapt up he turned to the woman and said, "Now, O wife of Kwisaba, what will you give me?" She was quite paralysed with fright, and could not utter a word. He gave her a little time to recover, and then went on: "When your baby is born, if it is a girl, will you give her to me for a wife?" Trembling all over, the poor woman could only stammer out, "Yes!" and the Thunder vanished.

Not long after this a baby girl was born, who grew into a fine, healthy child, and was given the name of Miseke. When Kwisaba came home from the wars the women met him with the news that he had a little daughter, and he was delighted, partly, perhaps, with the thought of the cattle he would get as her bride-price when she was old enough to be married. But when his wife told him about the Thunder he looked very serious, and said, "When she grows older you must never on any account let her go outside the house, or we shall have the Thunder carrying her off."

So as long as Miseke was quite little she was allowed to play out of doors with the other children, but the time came all too soon when she had to be shut up inside the hut. One day some of the other girls came running to Miseke's mother in great excitement. "Miseke is dropping beads out of her mouth! We thought she had put them in on purpose, but they come dropping out every time she laughs." Sure enough the mother found that it was so, and not only did Miseke produce beads of the kinds most valued, but beautiful brass and copper bangles. Miseke's father was greatly troubled when they told him of this. He said it must be the Thunder, who sent the beads in this extraordinary way as the presents which a man always has to send to his betrothed while she is growing up.' So Miseke had always to stay indoors and amuse herself as best she could-when she was not helping in the house-

[1. It is not uncommon in some African tribes for a grown man to bespeak a girl, for himself or for his son, while she is still a baby.]

work-by plaiting mats and making baskets. Sometimes her old playfellows came to see her, but they too did not care to be shut up for long in a dark, stuffy hut.

One day, when Miseke was about fifteen, a number of the girls made up a party to go and dig inkwa[1] and they thought it would be good fun to take Miseke along with them. They went to her mother's hut and called her, but of course her parents would not hear of her going, and she had to stay at home. They tried again another day, but with no better success. Some time after this, however, Kwisaba and his wife both went to see to their garden, which was situated a long way off, so that they had to start at daybreak, leaving Miseke alone in the hut. Somehow the girls got to hear of this, and as they had already planned to go for inkwa that day they went to fetch her. The temptation was too great, and she slipped out very quietly, and went with them to the watercourse where the white clay was to be found. So many people had gone there at different times for the same purpose that quite a large pit had been dug out. The girls got into it and fell to work, laughing and chattering, when, suddenly, they became aware that it was growing dark, and, looking up, saw a great black cloud gathering overhead. And then, suddenly, they saw the figure of a man standing before them, and he called out in a great voice, "Where is Miseke, daughter of Kwisaba?" One girl came out of the hole, and said, "I am not Miseke, daughter of Kwisaba. When Miseke laughs beads and bangles drop from her lips." The Thunder said, "Well, then, laugh, and let me see." She laughed, and nothing happened. "No, I see you are not she." So one after another was questioned and sent on her way. Miseke herself came last, and tried to pass, repeating the same words that the others had said; but the Thunder insisted on her laughing, and a shower of beads fell on the ground. The Thunder caught her up and carried her off to the sky and married her.

Of course she was terribly frightened, but the Thunder

[1. White clay, used for painting pots, which is found in dry stream-beds.]

proved a kind husband, and she settled down quite happily and, in due time, had three children, two boys and a girl. When the baby girl was a few weeks old Miseke told her husband that she would like to go home and see her parents. He not only consented, but provided her with cattle and beer (as provision for the journey and presents on arrival) and carriers for her hammock, and sent her down to earth with this parting advice: "Keep to the high road; do not turn aside into any unfrequented bypath." But, being unacquainted with the country, her carriers soon strayed from the main track. After they had gone for some distance along the wrong road they found the path barred by a strange monster called an igikoko, a sort of ogre, who demanded something to eat. Miseke told the servants to give him the beer they were carrying: he drank all the pots dry in no time. Then he seized one of the carriers and ate him, then a second-in short, he devoured them all, as well as the cattle, till no one was left but Miseke and her children. The ogre then demanded a child. Seeing no help for it, Miseke gave him the younger boy, and then, driven to extremity, the baby she was nursing, but while he was thus engaged she contrived to send off the elder boy, whispering to him to run till he came to a house." "If you see an old man sitting on the ash-heap in the front yard that will be your grandfather; if you see some young men shooting arrows at a mark they will be your uncles; the boys herding the cows are your cousins; and you will find your grandmother inside the hut. Tell them to come and help us." The boy set off, while his mother kept off the ogre as best she could. He arrived at his grandfather's homestead, and told them what had happened, and they started at once, having first tied the bells on their hunting-dogs. The boy showed them the way as well as he could,

[1. This might seem like a contradiction if the turning aside had really meant going far astray. But Miseke was in familiar country; the bypath into which her men had turned was not so very far from the right road, though shunned on account of the monster which haunted it. Being screened from the sun in her hammock, or, rather, carrying-basket, she would not have seen them take the wrong turning in time to direct them.]

but they nearly missed Miseke just at last; only she heard the dogs' bells and called out. Then the young men rushed in and killed the ogre with their spears. Before he died he said, "If you cut off my big toe you will get back everything belonging to you." They did so, and, behold! out came the carriers and the cattle, the servants and the children, none of them any the worse. Then, first making sure that the ogre was really dead, they set off for Miseke's old home. Her parents were overjoyed to see her and the children, and the time passed all too quickly. At the end of a month she began to think she ought to return, and the old people sent out for cattle and all sorts of presents, as is the custom when a guest is going to leave. Everything was got together outside the village, and her brothers were ready to escort her, when they saw the clouds gathering, and, behold! all of a sudden Miseke, her children, her servants, her cattle, and her porters, with their loads, were all caught up into the air and disappeared. The family were struck dumb with amazement, and they never saw Miseke on earth again. It is to be presumed that she lived happily ever after.

Climbing into Heaven

All primitive peoples, quite naturally, think of the sky as a solid vault, which joins the earth at the horizon-the place where, as the Thonga people say, the women can hit it with their pestles. Only no one now living has ever been able to reach that place. And even the tales about people who have got into the Heaven country do not represent them as having reached it in that way. Either they climb a tree, or they ascend by means of a rope,[1] or the spider obligingly spins a thread for them. The Zulus had an old saying: " Who can, plait a rope for ascending, that he may go to heaven?" [2] implying that such a thing is utterly impossible. Yet in the "Praises"

[1. I have never seen it explained bow the rope gets into position.

2. Ubani ongapot' igoda lokukupuka aye ezulwini?]

(Izibongo) of King Senzangakona, the father of Tshaka, he is said to have accomplished this feat.

The son of Jama the king, he twisted a cord;
Fearless he scaled the mansion of Heaven's lord,
Who over this earth of ours the blue vault hollowed.
And the ghosts of the house of Mageba fain would have followed,
But never will they attain,
Though they strive again and again
For the pass that cannot be won by spear or by sword-
No hold for the wounded feet that bleed in vain.[1]

No one appears to know anything more about this adventure of Senzangakona's. It is not said that he returned from his expedition, and, as tradition states that he died a natural death, it would not seem to refer to his departure from this world.

The Road to Heaven

The Baronga (in the neighborhood of Delagoa Bay) have a very old song, which runs something like this:

Oh, how hard it is to find a cord!
How I would love to plait a cord and go up to the sky! I would find rest!

The Ronga story of a mortal who found the way there is as follows. There was once a girl who was sent by her mother to fetch water from the river. On the way, talking and laughing with her companions, she dropped her earthen jar and broke it. "Oh, what shall I do now?" she cried, in great distress, for these large jars are not so easily replaced, and she knew there would be trouble awaiting her on her return. She exclaimed, "Bukali bwa ngoti! Oh, that I had a rope!" and looking up, sure enough she saw a rope uncoiling itself from a cloud. She seized it and climbed, and

[1. A very free paraphrase of

Mnta ka' Jama, owapot' igoda laya lafika ezuwini
Lapa izituta za Magweba zingayihufiha,
Zoba 'kuhwela zapuke amazwanyana.

The literal rendering of the last two words is "that they may break their little toes."]

soon found herself in the country above the sky, which appeared to be not unlike the one she had left. There was what looked like a ruined village not far off, and an old woman sitting among the ruins called to her, "Come here, child! Where are you going?" Being well brought up and accustomed to treat her elders with politeness, she answered at once, and told her story. The old woman told her to go on, and if she found an ant creeping into her ear to let it alone. "It will not hurt you, and will tell you what you have to do in this strange country, and how to answer the chiefs when they question you."

The girl walked on, and in a little while found a black ant crawling up her leg, which went on till it reached her ear. She checked the instinctive impulse to take it out, and went on till she saw the pointed roofs of a village, surrounded by the usual thorn hedge. As she drew near she heard a tiny whisper: "Do not go in; sit down here." She sat down near the gateway. Presently some grave old men, dressed in white, shining bark-cloth, came out and asked her where she had come from and what she wanted. She answered modestly and respectfully, and told them she had come to look for a baby.[1] The elders said, "Very good; come this way." They took her to a hut where some women were at work. One of them gave her a shirondo [2] basket, and told her to go to the garden and get some of the new season's mealies. She showed no surprise at this unexpected request, but obeyed at once, and (following the directions of the ant

[1. This seems to need explanation. Nothing, so far, has been said about a baby. I was tempted to think that the narrator might have forgotten the real beginning of the story, which was that the girl had been carrying her baby brother on her back and dropped him into the water when stooping to fill her jar., But M. Junod (from whose book Chants et contes des Baronga, p. 237, this story is taken) would not hear of this suggestion when I asked him. I cannot help thinking that this version is a confusion of two different stories, one of a girl breaking a jar (or, as in a Chaga tale, letting the monkeys get into the bean-patch), and another of a married woman who was tricked into drowning her baby and, in the end, got it back from the lord of Heaven. This is given in Duff Macdonald's Africana, vol i, P. 298.

2 A round basket with sloping sides, used chiefly for carrying mealies. There is quite an art in filling these baskets so as to make them hold the largest possible quantity; great nicety of arrangement is required.]

in her ear) pulled up only one stalk at a time, and arranged the cobs carefully in the basket, so as not to waste any space. When she returned the women praised her for performing her task so quickly and well, and then told her first to grind the corn and then to make porridge. Again instructed by the ant, she put aside a few grains before grinding, and, when she was stirring the porridge, threw these grains in whole, which, it seems, is a peculiar fashion in the cooking of the Heaven-dwellers. They were quite satisfied with the way in which the girl had done her work, and gave her a place to sleep in. Next morning the elders came to fetch her, and conducted her to a handsome house, within which a number of infants were laid out on the ground, those on one side wrapped in red cloth, on the other in white. Being told to choose, she was about to pick up one of the red bundles, when the ant whispered, "Take a white one," and she did so. The old men gave her a quantity of fine cloth and beads, as much as she could carry in addition to the baby, and sent heron her way home. She reached her village without difficulty, and found that every one was out, as her mother and the other women were at work in the gardens. She went into the hut, and hid herself and the baby in the inner enclosure. When the others returned from the fields, towards evening, the mother sent her younger daughter on ahead to put on the cooking-pots. The girl went in and stirred the fire; as the flames leapt up she saw the treasures her sister had brought home, and, not knowing how they had come there, she was frightened, and ran back to tell her mother and aunts. They all hurried in, and found the girl they had thought lost, with a beautiful baby and a stock of cloth to last a lifetime. They listened to her story in great astonishment; but the younger sister was seized with envy, and wanted to set off at once for that fortunate spot. She was a rude, wilful creature, and her -sister, knowing her character, tried to dissuade her, or, at any rate, to give her some guidance for the road. But she refused to listen. "You went off without being told anything by anybody, and I shall go without listening to anyone's advice."

Accordingly when called by the old woman she refused to stop, and even spoke insultingly; whereupon the crone said, Go on, then! When you return this way you will be dead!" "Who will kill me, then?" retorted the girl, and went on her way. When the ant tried to get into her ear she shook her head and screamed with impatience, refusing to listen when it tried to persuade her. So the ant took itself off in dudgeon.

In the same way she gave a rude answer to the village elders when they asked her why she had come, and when requested to gather mealies she pulled up the stalks right and left, and simply ravaged the garden. Having refused to profit by the ant's warnings, she did not know the right way to prepare the meal or make the porridge, and, in any case, did the work carelessly. When taken to the house where the babies were stored she at once stretched out her hand to seize a red-wrapped one; but immediately there was a tremendous explosion, and she was struck dead. "Heaven," we are told, gathered up her bones, made them into a bundle, and sent a man with them to her home. As he passed the place where she had met with the ant that insect called out, " Are you not coming back dead? You would be alive now if you had listened to advice!" Coming to the old woman's place among the ruins, the carrier heard her cry, "My daughter, haven't you died on account of your wicked heart?" So the man went on, and at last he dropped the bones just above her mother's hut. And her sister said, "She had a wicked heart, and that is why Heaven was angry with her."

There are points here which remind us of a familiar story in Grimm's fairy-tales, and we shall meet with others still more like it later on. There are other stories of people who ascended to the Heaven country, some of which will be given in the next chapter.

Next: Chapter V: Mortals Who Have Ascended to Heaven