Thursday, 25 April 2013

The white man and Snake (SA Legend)

A white man, it is said, met Snake upon whom a large stone had fallen and covered her so that she could not rise. The White Man lifted the stone off Snake, but when he had done so, she wanted to bite him. The White Man said, " Stop! let us both go first to some wise people." They went to Hyena, and the White Man asked him, "Is it right that Snake should want to bite me, when I helped her as she lay under a stone and could not rise?" Hyena (who thought he would get his share of the White Man's body) said, "If you were bitten what would it matter?" Then Snake wanted to bite him, but the White Man said again, "Wait a little, and let us go to other wise people, that I may hear whether this is right." They went and met Jackal. The White Man said to Jackal, "Is it right for Snake to want to bite me, when I lifted up the stone which lay upon her?" Jackal replied, "I do not believe that Snake could be covered by a stone so she could not rise. Unless I saw it with my two eyes, I would not believe it. Therefore, come let us go and see the place where you say it happened whether it can be true." They went, and arrived at the place where it had happened. Jackal said, "Snake, lie down, and let thyself be covered." Snake did so, and the White Man covered her with the stone; but although she exerted herself very much, she could not rise. Then the White Man wanted again to release Snake, but Jackal interfered, and said, "Do not lift the stone. She wanted to bite you, therefore she may rise by herself." Then they both went away and left Snake under the stone.

The Origin of Death (SA Legend)

The Moon, it is said, sent once an Insect to Men, saying, "Go thou to Men, and tell them, 'As I die, and dying live, so ye shall also die, and dying live.'" The Insect started with the message, but whilst on his way was overtaken by the Hare, who asked: "On what errand art thou bound? "The Insect answered: "I am sent by the Moon to Men, to tell them that as she dies, and dying lives, they also shall die, and dying live." The Hare said, "As thou art an awkward runner, let me go" (to take the message). With these words he ran off, and when he reached Men, he said, "I am sent by the Moon to tell you, 'As I die, and dying perish, in the same manner ye shall also die and come wholly to an end."' Then the Hare returned to the Moon, and told her what he had said to Men. The Moon reproached him angrily, saying, "Darest thou tell the people a thing which I have not said? With these words she took up a piece of wood, and struck him on the nose. Since that day the Hare's nose is slit.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The doll and the white rose

I was walking around in a Target store, when I saw a Cashier hand this little boy some money back. The boy couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 years old. 

The Cashier said, “I’m sorry, but you don’t have enough money to buy this doll.” 

Then the little boy turned to the old woman next to him: ”Granny, are you sure I don’t have enough money?”

The old lady replied: ”You know that you don’t have enough money to buy this doll, my dear.” Then she asked him to stay there for just 5 minutes while she went to look a round. She left quickly.

The little boy was still holding the doll in his hand. Finally, I walked toward him and I asked him who he wished to give this doll to.

"It’s the doll that my sister loved most and wanted so much for Christmas. She was sure that Santa Claus would bring it to her."
I replied to him that maybe Santa Claus would bring it to her after all, and not to worry. But he replied to me sadly. “No, Santa Claus can’t bring it to her where she is now. I have to give the doll to my mommy so that she can give it to my sister when she goes there.”

His eyes were so sad while saying this. “My Sister has gone to be with God. Daddy says that Mommy is going to see God very soon too, so I thought that she could take the doll with her to give it to my sister.” My heart nearly stopped. The little boy looked up at me and said: “I told daddy to tell mommy not to go yet. I need her to wait until I come back from the mall.” Then he showed me a very nice photo of him where he was laughing. He then told me “I want mommy to take my picture with her so she won’t forget me.” “I love my mommy and I wish she doesn't have to leave me, but daddy says that she has to go to be with my little sister.” Then he looked again at the doll with sad eyes, very quietly.

I quickly reached for my wallet and said to the boy. “Suppose we check again, just in case you do have enough money for the doll?”

“OK” he said, “I hope I do have enough.”

I added some of my money to his without him seeing and we started to count it. There was enough for the doll and even some spare money. The little boy said: “Thank you God for giving me enough money!” Then he looked at me and added, “I asked last night before I went to sleep for God to make sure I had enough money to buy this doll, so that mommy could give It to my sister. He heard me! I also wanted to have enough money to buy a white rose for my mommy, but I didn't dare to ask God for too much. But He gave me enough to buy the doll and a white rose. My mommy loves white roses.”

A few minutes later, the old lady returned and I left with my basket. I finished my shopping in a totally different state from when I started. I couldn't get the little boy out of my mind. Then I remembered a local news paper article two days ago, which mentioned a drunk man in a truck, who hit a car occupied by a young woman and a little girl. The little girl died right away, and the mother was left in a critical state. The family had to decide whether to pull the plug on the life-sustaining machine, because the young woman would not be able to recover from the coma. Was this the family of the little boy?

Two days after this encounter with the little boy, I read in the news paper that the young woman had passed away. I couldn't stop myself as I bought a bunch of white roses and I went to the funeral home where the body of the young woman was exposed for people to see and make last wishes before her burial. She was there, in her coffin, holding a beautiful white rose in her hand with the photo of the little boy and the doll placed over her chest. I left the place, teary-eyed, feeling that my life had been changed forever. The love that the little boy had for his mother and his sister is still, to this day, hard to imagine. And in a fraction of a second, a drunk driver had taken all this away from him.

The value of a man or woman resides in what he or she gives, not in what they are capable of receiving…

Author Unknown

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The SUN (SA myth)

The Sun was once a man who made it day when he raised his arms, for a powerful light shone from his armpits. But as he grew old and slept too long, the people grew cold. Children crept up on him, and threw him into the sky, where he became round and has stayed warm and bright ever since. Some believed that after sunset the sun traveled back to the east over the top of the sky, and that the stars are small holes which let the light through. Others said that the sun is eaten each night by a crocodile, and that it emerges from the crocodile each morning. According to a Naron bushman, the Sun turned into a rhinoceros at sunset, which was killed and eaten by the people in the west. They then throw the shoulder blade towards the east, where it turns into an animal again and starts to rise.

The Milky Way (SA myth)

A strong-willed girl became so angry when her mother would not give her any of a delicious roasted root that she grabbed the roasting roots from the fire and threw the roots and ashes into the sky, where the red and white roots now glow as red and white stars, and the ashes are the Milky Way. And there the road is to this day. Some people call it the Milky Way; some call it the Stars' Road, but no matter what you call it, it is the path made by a young girl many, many years ago, who threw the bright sparks of her fire high up into the sky to make a road in the darkness.

Monday, 15 April 2013

A box of kisses

Some time ago, a man punished his 3-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.
Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, “This is for you, Daddy.” 

He was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found the box was empty.

He yelled at her, “Don’t you know that when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be something inside it?”

The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, “Oh, Daddy, it is not empty. I blew kisses into the box. All for you, Daddy.”

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged for her forgiveness.
It is told that the man kept that gold box by his bed for years and whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.

In a very real sense, each of us as humans have been given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, friends, family and God. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.

What is man?

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Da Vinci: Silence

The Ghost at Cape Town Castle

The Lady in Grey is one of the most often seen ghosts in the Castle. She is often seen with her hands covering her face, as though she is weeping. Sightings of her have also been made at Government House and some people say that there was once a passage linking the Castle and Government House. Recently the skeleton of a woman was found during excavations - perhaps those of the Lady in Grey - as she hasn't been seen since those bones were found! The ghost of Governor Noodt is also thought to haunt the Castle. He was a very strict governor of the Cape and disciplined his soldiers harshly for any wrong-doing. Four soldiers who were caught trying to escape were tried and sentenced to a beating and the deportation to Batavia. Without warning, this sentence was changed to the death sentence by Governor Noodt. Everyone thought that this punishment was far too harsh and very cruel, but van Noodt would not be moved. Just before their execution, their minister visited the four men and they prayed together. The following morning, the governor did not attend the execution, rather keeping to his own rooms. As the last man was being led forward to be hanged, he cursed Governor van Noodt and challenged him to appear before God and answer for what he had done. Then he too was hanged. When the officers went to tell Governor van Noodt that his sentences had been carried out, they found him dead - apparently of a heart attack - in his chair, an expression of fear on his face. It is said that his ghost still prowls the Castle at night.