This is the small and moving story of an African boy who one day knew the fate, but lost it for missing his word.
Seetetelané, that was his name, was twenty years old and very poor. He lived alone in a hut and fed on small animals that he caught with his own hands. When he could not catch a fly, he swallowed wild fruits or simple roots that he cooked in a bonfire. He lived in misery, he had nothing and with surviving he was satisfied.
On one occasion he was walking down a path and stumbled upon a huge ostrich egg. That was a delicacy of those who are once in life! Radiant with happiness, he took it to his home and placed it on a small table made of sticks and rope.
He was dying to eat it, but because he was sweaty and full of dust, he decided to go to the river to clean up a bit earlier. When he returned, he found something really amazing: next to the ostrich egg, there was a delicious, steaming platter of lamb roasted with corn and vegetables that smelled of glory. His mouth watered and a trickle of slime slid down the corners of his lips.
– But what is this?! … Where has this exquisite food come from, worthy of the best banquet? … Oh, it must be delicious! …
As he said these words, the gigantic egg cracked and from within came a slender girl with almond-shaped eyes and black hair up to her waist. It was so beautiful that Seetetelané was shocked, unable even to blink.
After a few seconds that seemed interminable, she said in a delicate voice:
– Thank you for taking me into your house.
– I … I … Have you been the one who prepared this food?
The young woman smiled.
– So is. I hope you enjoy it because it is made with love and effort!
The young man, still quite stunned, nodded his head and threw himself at the plate unceremoniously. He was so hungry that for a long time he did nothing but eat and eat with anxiety until there were no more crumbs.
Then she, smiling, said:
– You know? If you want I can stay with you forever, but only if you meet a condition.
– Oh, sure, it would be great! … Tell me what condition that is.
– Never call me “ostrich egg daughter”, because if you do, I’ll leave forever.
Seetetelané looked thoughtful. The request of her new friend was strange but simple to fulfill.
– You can be calm that will never happen. I would have to be very drunk to call you something like that and I only drink fresh water from the spring.
– I hope you’re telling the truth because I would not forgive you.
– I promise you that under no circumstances will I drink alcohol. Trust in my word.
– Okay … Deal done!
Things were clear between them and for several weeks everything was pearl. First they became friends, then they fell in love and finally, they got married. Seetetelané was still poorer than the rats, but he felt happy and grateful to have such a wonderful companion by his side.
Time passed quickly and the first day of spring arrived. As it was a splendid morning, the couple went out to lie on the grass, a few meters from their cabin. They started talking animatedly and she asked him:
– My beloved, tell me, what is your greatest desire? … What is your unattainable dream?
Seetetelané closed his eyes and let himself be carried by the imagination.
– Oh, well, the answer is very easy! I would like to be rich, have land and live in a spacious and comfortable house instead of in this hovel. Well, and put to ask, I would love to have new clothes and comfortable shoes, because my feet are sore and full of corns always go barefoot.
In silence, the girl got up, kicked three times on the floor … and the magic was done! The ramshackle hut became a large stone house surrounded by grain fields; in them, several dozens of perfectly organized peasants gathered the harvest. Seetetelané almost fainted from the impression.
– Oh, what do my eyes see? … This … this … is incredible!
– What you see is for you; You deserve it for being so kind and gentle to me.
The young man pinched himself to check that it was not a hallucination and in doing so his fingers touched the soft silk tunic that caressed his skin.
– What a delicate cloth! It seems like a king and not a nobody like me.
Absolutely dazzled ran his body through his eyes and was thrilled to discover the beautiful golden sandals tied to his ankles. He was about to say something when a servant came over to offer him a refreshing fresh fruit juice.
– My dream has come true! My dream has come true!
With a heart about to burst with joy, he looked at his charming wife.
– My wife, not only have you given me your love, but you have used your powers to grant me all the goods that a man can desire. Thank you thank you thank you!
Seetetelané kissed her passionately. Without a doubt, he was the luckiest person on the planet.
They spent several weeks full of peace and glory until one day everything went wrong. Do you want to know what happened? Well, one night they went to the party in a nearby town, and in the midst of music, dancing and laughter, Seesetelané lost control and began to drink wine excessively.
His dear wife, seeing the danger that this entailed, tried to take the glass from her hands, but he, totally overwhelmed by the effects of alcohol, refused to yield and shouted:
– But what did you think?! … This wine tastes great, so let me drink!
– But my love, this is not right …
– I do what I want!
– Please, do not drink more or …
– Get out! You do not send me, you ostrich egg daughter!
Yes, you have heard well: he said the only words he had promised never to say and nothing and nobody could repair the damage.
The biggest and bitter tears slipped on the girl’s face, and without saying anything, as she had noticed the first day, it vanished in the air and disappeared forever.
Seesetelané was so drunk he did not notice his clumsiness and continued to drink without stopping. When the celebration came to an end he stumbled away in a sorry state and upon arriving at his property discovered that there was nothing there: no good housing, no fields, no peasants, no servants … He bowed his head and stared horrified that he was barefoot again and covered in rags.
It was then that he assumed that he had lost his wealth, but above all, that he had lost the person he loved the most because of his disloyalty. In the midst of bitterness he understood the importance of being sincere with the people that really matter to us and fill our lives with love and happiness.
Ruined and completely desolate, he dropped to his knees on the ground and began to cry in the seas. He knew that he would live the rest of his life lamenting that he had broken his promise.