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A Folk Tale from Ethiopia

Fire, Water, Truth and Lies were friends, but Lies wasn’t too happy about this and he wanted to destroy the harmony.

So one day he said, “Why don’t we go together and look for free places so that each of us will have a kingdom of his own? So let’s set out on a trip together.”  And they all agreed and started moving.

After some time, as they were walking together, Lies went to Water and he said, “Fire is our worst enemy who burns the grass and the forest and the bushes – how can we find a kingdom with him around?”

So Water said, “What should we do?”

And Lies said, “Obviously we’ll have to kill him, and you are the only one with the power to extinguish him, therefore when he’s sitting down, splash yourself on him and extinguish him.”

Water said, “I’ll spill on the ground and won’t be able to become one again.”

But Lies said, “No problem, I’ll put some stones there, so you won’t spill away and I can collect you again.”

So, when the unsuspecting Fire sat down, Water poured all over him and Lies put stones to collect him. So Lies got rid of Fire and they went on their way.

After some time Lies said to Water, “Look, why don’t you sit at the top of this cliff to enjoy the scenery?”

So when he sat down, Lies sneaked up and pulled the stones from under him, and he spilled away, and that was the end of him.

So Lies had to get rid of Truth. So when they came to a big mountain, Lies told Truth to sit at the bottom of the mountain and he pushed down a boulder to crush Truth, but Truth managed to scramble away and when the boulder crashed down there were diamonds and gold and all sorts of valuables inside. Lies came down to look at the body of Truth and he found all those valuable things.

And he said, “From where did these come?”

So Truth said, “When the boulder came down on top of me, this is what came out.”

So Lies said, “I’ll go down and you go up and push the boulder over.”

So Truth went up and he pushed the boulder over and it landed on Lies’ head and squashed him to death.

This shows that although Truth may have a hard time, eventually it does succeed.

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