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African Short Story Words of a Noble King

African Short Story Words of a Noble King

Good King Bad King Tall Tale



The good king is honorable, virtuous, wise and understanding. Throughout history, there have been good kings that lead and bad leaders that are kings. Optimism is a trait that should be more common in leaders. 



In this African short story tall tale folktale King Murendeni's life-long friend Gwambeni teaches words of a noble King do not lock doors but leave the right doors open.


In this African Folktale King Murendeni's life-long friend Gwambeni teaches words of a noble King should not lock doors but leave the right doors open.

African Folklore, words of a noble King do not lock doors; they leave the right doors open.



As the elders say, King Murendeni had a close friend Gwambeni with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life positively or negative and remarking, "This is good!"


One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off.


Examining the situation, the friend remarked as usual, "This is good!" To which the king replied "No, this is not good!" and proceeded to send his friend to jail.

About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to avoid. Thieves captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake. As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never stole from anyone who was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way.


As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. "You were right," he said, "it was good that my thumb was blown off." And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened.


"And so, I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this." "No," his friend replied, "This is good!" "What do you mean, 'This is good'? How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?" "If I had not been in jail, I would have been with you, and not here with you right now."



Read more facts and food recipes about Africa

African people are praised for proverbs, history, traditions, and struggles. African people are extremely diverse within each African country. Made up of numerous tribes and people of many religious, social and ethnic groups within the geographical boundaries of the African country African borders are at times arbitrary. Learn more about Africa.

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