The stolen whistle-pipe: A story told by Gladys Frank (Chaola Village, Malawi)

A group of girls went far into the forest to pick Masuku (wild loquats). Suddenly heavy rains started falling. They could not walk home in the rain so, they hid under a big caved rock waiting for the rain to stop. Unfortunately the rain poured endlessly untill it got dark. Near the forest, there was a small house, where an old woman lived . They agreed to go to this old woman’s house to ask for a place to sleep. The woman was kind enough to offer them a place to sleep. They slept well till morning.

Soon they said good bye to the old woman and headed to their home village.  But one of the girls secretly stole a whistle-pipe from the old woman’s house.  As they were still walking home, the girl removed the whistle pipe from her pocket. She showed her friends what she had found in the old woman’s house. They all admired the whistle-pipe and adviced her to blow it. Kweeeee! She blew the whistle-pipe. As soon as she had blown  it, there was a song that was heard from far. This is what caught their attention. „The sound is just fantastic! Can you blow it again?“ she was adviced. Kweeeee! After blowing the whistle-pipe again, they heard a song, but this time the song was heard nearer. She was so proud of her whistle-pipe not knowing that  the old woman used it to invite lions. She blew the whistle-pipe once more. They heard the song again, but this time very   close. They looked behind only to see a group of lions coming, running after them. The girls did not know what to do as the lions were already near them. They were all eaten up by the lions.

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This is one sad story that I find more educative, teaching us a way how to behave in a society. „Do not steal!“ Maybe this is what the narrator is trying to tell us. If we look deep into this story we are able to relate it to several things that happen every day. I just thought of how a small mistake we tend to make can cost a lot of us our lives. What would have happened if the girl had not stolen the whistle pipe? I am sure that they would not have been eaten by the lions. I also thought about „friends.“ What kind of friends do we choose? Are they the ones that will put us into trouble? Imagine if the thief girl was alone, would the others have been killed too?

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