Hausa Folktale: Death, Adamu and the Rich man’s son.
He was the richest in the town. He had a son; the chief of the town also had a son. The chief’s son said he wanted to have the rich man’s son as his friend. In this relationship; the chief’s son didn’t like the rich man’s son and vice versa, the chief’s son was only being friendly on account of the rich man’s wealth, while the rich man’s son was only being friendly to him because his father was the chief of the town.
Now there was a certain town; and in this town, Death lived there with her children and her husband. Who ever visited her house never returns.
The chief’s son was called Adamu and the rich man’s son was called Yusuf. So Adamu said to Yusuf “look here, you are very proud because of your father’s wealth, now go to the house of death, eat her food and bring me the remains”.
Yusuf went home and told his father what Adamu had asked him to do when they were at the games, right before the women and people. Yusuf’s father said “very well, i will give you twelve slaves to take with you, while she is killing them you can run away and escape” and Yusuf said in return “ oh no! as for me, let my horse be saddled and i shall go alone”. So his horse was saddled and he went alone.
He went on and on and on, and came upon a certain man who was carving stools. He said, “oh! Yusuf where are you going?” Yusuf replied “I’m going to death’s house” and the man said in return, “let me give you one stool, it will be very useful to you”.
He went on and on and on, and came upon a blacksmith. The blacksmith said “oh! Rich man’s son where are you heading to? ” Yusuf said, “I’m going to death’s house.” The blacksmith said “let me give you this hammer, it will be useful to you.”
He went on and on and on, and came upon a woman who was collecting firewood. She said, “oh! Yusuf where are you going?” he said “I’m going to death’s house” she said “let me give you a bundle of wood, it will be useful to you”. So he took all of them and put them behind him on his horse.
Finally, he came and met Death’s children farming. They said, “oh! Rich man’s son welcome! Welcome!. Yusuf said “where is Death?. They replied “oh, she is at home.” Yusuf came and saluted. When he was done saluting, Death came out and said, “Oh rich man’s son, welcome.” Then she said to her children, get his dinner ready,give him it that he may eat, i am going to the stream to my husband.”
When the children had given Yusuf some food and he had eaten and was satisfied, he threw the remains in his haversack, and then he spurred his horse and galloped off.
When Death came and asked her children, where is Yusuf? And they said “oh, he has gone.” She said, it is a lie! Does he who comes to my house never return?!! She ran after him, she ran on and on. When she had come up close and was about to seize the horse’s tail, he let go of the stool and it became a great tree and closed the road. Then she returned to her house and took an axe and came and chopped the tree. She chopped and chopped and as she was chopping Yusuf was getting far away.
When she was done chopping the tree she threw down the axe and ran after Yusuf. When she had come up close and was about to seize the horse’s tail he let go of the hammer and it closed the road. Death said, “dear me! I must go and get the hoe and dig and loosen it and throw it away. When she had loosened it Yusuf was a long way ahead, so she ran after him relentlessly, when she was about to seize the horse’s tail again, Yusuf let go of the bundle of wood; it closed the road yet again. Then she said “dear me, i must go and get the axe.
By the time she had come back and chopped it, Yusuf had reached the gate of his town. When she chopped it and almost caught him, she stopped and said, “oh, son of the rich man, you are very lucky, you will not die until God kills you, for you have come to my house and have returned.”
On Yusuf’s return he went to the chief’s house and said to Adamu,” “here is the food of death, which i have left for you.” Then Adamu said “oh it is a lie! You played a trick on her, if you are truthful come and go to the house of the Rago.”
Now at the Rago’s house, he who had come the day before would be killed for the next day’s visitor. So Yusuf went and told his father what the chief’s son had said to him again. And his father said, “very well, i will give you twelve slaves to take with you, while Rago is killing them you can run away and escape”. Yusuf said “oh no Father! I shall go alone, saddle my horse and let me go alone.”
So Yusuf came to the Rago’s house and saluted. Then Rago said, “Ah! Rich man’s son, welcome”. Yusuf dismounted, and there was killed for him the stranger who had visited the previous day. When he had been killed and soup had been made the rich man’s son and his horse were inside the Rago’s house. When the meal had been prepared and eaten,the Rago’s wife opened the door at the back of the house and Yusuf ran off. Meanwhile Rago he was on the porch and did not know that Yusuf had ran away.
Then another stranger came and saluted. When he had saluted, the Rago said “WELCOME, WELCOME!” and entered into his house and asked “where is the rich man’s son?”. He asked because he wanted to kill him for the stranger. Then his wives said, “oh dear! As for us we have not seen the rich man’s son, he has run away.” Then Rago said “it is a lie, i shall follow him.”
He followed him crying, “oh stop! Please stop!” then Yusuf said “i shall not stop, will you not run and catch me if you can” then he followed him, and ran on and on and on, but Yusuf escaped. When he had escaped and reached the door of his house ,the Rago said “oh rich man’s son , you are indeed very lucky, you will not die, until GOD kills you.”
When Yusuf had returned he went to Adamu’s house and said “I have been to the Rago’s house.” Adamu said “it is a lie, tomorrow you mount your favourite horse, i shall also mount my favourite horse and let us gallop before the door of the council chamber, my father’s door.” When the morning broke Yusuf told his father what Adamu had said.
So Adamu rode a horse worth ten slaves, Yusuf rode a horse worth twenty slaves. When they had come to the open space at the door of the council chamber, Adamu said “oh Yusuf, you gallop first.” Yusuf said “no,no, you must gallop first, this is your father’s door.” When he had galloped he brought his horse back and said “very well, i have,now you go.”
By the time Yusuf had galloped and brought back his horse, Adamu had disappeared, no one could find him ever again, apparently he had planned that when Yusuf gallops first he would be taken away by hooligans from another village whilst he (Adamu ) pretends to know nothing about his disappearance. But fate changed Adamu’s evil plans because Yusuf was innocent but Adamu just hated him out of pure spite and jealousy. Yusuf went home and lived in peace.
The moral of this story never be jealous of that which your friend owns and never make friends just because you hate the person, do not harbour evil desires against anyone because the law of karma is always on the watch. You will reap what you sow, why not sow good deeds today.