The Singing Skeleton is an African folktale story about sibling rivalry and the jealousy, competition and fighting between two brothers.
The Singing Skeleton African Folktale Story
Bamaza had two sons; the older one of the two boys caused his father much trouble. He not only was disobedient and unruly, but he also hated his younger brother, who was the direct opposite of him.
One day their mother sent them to the woods to pick some wild flowers, which grew near a deep ravine. On their way to the woods, they passed through a town where a dance was happening.
When the elder brother saw this dance, he went and joined the young beautiful dancers. The younger brother called him and said "Come on, my brother, let us do our mother's bidding and go to the woods to pick flowers!" But, he would not.
Thus, the younger brother went alone to the woods. He found many flowers and picked a big bunch. On his way home, he met his elder brother who asked him for the flowers.
The younger brother asked, "Why did you not come along with me and pick some for yourself, instead of idling away your time at the dance big brother? I picked these flowers for mother and intend to take them to her," the younger brother said.
At these words, the elder brother got very angry, and he threw his younger brother down a deep ravine, so that he died.
The flowers his younger brother picked, he took along for his mother.
When he came home, his father asked him. "Where is your younger brother?"
"I do not know. He and I were not at the same place," he of course lied.
The parents at first did not feel alarmed about the absence of their younger son. "Something had detained him, or he has met one of his friends on the way," they thought. They were sure that he would be home before night. But he did not come home that night, nor the next morning, nor the day after.
The parents went in search of their youngest son. When they failed to find him, their sorrow was great.
About six months later the mother went to the woods in search of firewood, and it happened that she came near the place where her youngest son had come to his death. There she found a well-preserved human skeleton.
She picked up the skeletons head thinking that it would be something very interesting to sing about. As she began to sing it seemed to her that the skeleton, too, sang, and she listened.
This is what the skeleton sang: "My dear mother! When I went to pick flowers my brother threw me down this ravine! He also took my flowers!"
When his mother heard this, she took the skeleton home. On reaching her house she at once called her oldest son and his father and told them how she had found the skeleton and what it had revealed to her.
She said to the skeleton, "Sing, that all may hear! “And the skeleton sang and said, "When I went to pick flowers, my brother threw me into a deep ravine. He also took away my flowers."
When the father heard this, he got into a rage, rushed at his older son and killed him. Thus, the sin of this wicked son was found out and punished by his grieving father and mother.