The Lizard Son

When Ojwang’ had grown up, he used to go to the lake to swim.

Chon chon gi lala… (Once upon a time),” she began narrating, “there was a man of the lake who said in his heart, ‘When I marry and start having children, I will take good care of my family.’ His name was Opondo. He was a fisherman at Nam Lolwe. So when time came, when he had enough cattle to pay dowry, a thousand bulls and ten thousand goats as it were those days, Opondo searched in the east and west, north and south, and found for himself one beautiful damsel, a daughter of the lake. But lo! A season went by, two seasons, three, four, five… and finally the reality of his wife being barren hit him, and he had to offer sacrifices to Nyasaye to exterminate the curse from his wife.

When his wife finally conceived and gave birth, to their surprise, she gave birth to a monitor lizard. They killed the child and buried it immediately. When she conceived and gave birth the second time, she bore another monitor lizard which they also killed. Nine times she gave birth to monitor lizards and they killed and buried all of them. When she gave birth to a lizard the tenth time, they were tired of killing their children and decided to let the lizard live to see what would happen. They named it Ojwang’. What do you think Ojwang’ ate when he grew up?”

“Leaves,” answered Adhiambo.

“Fish,” said Ochola.

“Chicks,” said Gumba.

“No. He ate exactly the same food that the rest of his family ate… meat, fish, kuon (ugali), veges, porridge, cassava, potatoes… all, everything,” she went on narrating. “When Ojwang’ had grown up, he used to go to the lake to swim. At the lake, he’d remove his lizard skin before he entered the water. And in the water, he’d turn into a very handsome man. A passerby saw him doing this and informed his parents. They followed him to the lake one day and were surprised to see him turn into a handsome man in the water. They therefore sneaked to the shore and stole away his lizard skin, and when he came out of the waters, he remained a human being. The couple desired in vain their nine kids that they had killed without knowing the remedy for the problem. Finally, when days more numerous than hair on a sheep’s skin had passed, Ojwang’ was loved and accepted by the whole community.”

“Wow! What a nice story!” exclaimed Gumba.

“Oh it was so sweet I didn’t expect it to end so soon,” said Otolo.

“Mmmm… dana (grandmother), give us another story,” requested Ochola.

This story is an excerpt from the novel The Long-lasting Tree.

43 Comments

  1. Nancy Richy says:

    Oh, Lam! This is a fantastic story! What a great message to share with us! 🌟

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy that you like it Nancy. Thank you many times. 🙏 🌺🌺🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Chris Hall says:

    I love your story, Lamittan. It’s really compelling. I guess I’m going to have to get the book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thank you so much, Chris. It’s absolute happiness to me that you like it and are going for the book. Enjoy 🌺 📖 🌺

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Chris Hall says:

        I’m sure I will🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Amazing story, Lamittan. Truly enjoyed. Thanks for sharing.💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Grace. Thank you many times for your support 🙏 💖

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Always a pleasure 💕

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Mike U. says:

    I’m sporting a huge grin right now after having read this tale. What an amazing adventure! Your story-telling chops are tantamount to none, good sir! For such a brief piece, this is so deep and compelling, and the flow is perfect–lit reads like a fable passed down generation to generation, with legions of children gathered round the story-teller in rapt attention. I love this. You’ve really outdone yourself, Lamittan. A job well done! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aren’t you marvelous, Mike! You’ve put a broad smile on my face with this wonderful compliment. I can’t even find enough words to say thank you. To you, my friend, I’m forever grateful. Your support is invaluable.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is so good, Lamittan! You are a fantastic story teller. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m honoured, dear. Thanks for such a noteworthy compliment. 🌺❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure, my friend. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Sadje says:

    Very interesting story Lamittan. Is it a traditional lore or one of your making?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This one’s a traditional lore that was narrated to me by my grandmother when i was around nine. I just thought to include it in my novel during an old woman’s storytelling.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        It’s a great story.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Many thanks to you, my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sadje says:

        You’re always welcome

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow Lam such a good story and what a great gift to hear these stories from your grandmother. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you many times, Cindy. Yes, she was a great storyteller too, and a woman who loved to make fun using body language. One day I will publish a story about her. I was young when she died but I can tell that she lives on in my life, in the way she nurtured the creative part of me. 💖💖💖

      Like

  8. Oh what a captivating story, Lamittan! You’re a wonderful storyteller.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a noble compliment, dear Shruthi. Makes me feel honoured. Thank you always, for your love and support. 💖🌺💖

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome! 💖🌸

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 🌺💖🌺

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Eugenia says:

    You have a gift with your storytelling, Lamittan! Keep it up! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a heart-warming and lifting compliment, my dear Eugi. Thank you so much. 💖🌺

      Like

  10. Beaton says:

    A nicely spun story.. I kept wondering where it would lead and how it would end…

    ~B

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you loved it, Beaton. Thank you many times, my friend. 🌺

      Like

  11. Just like a fable – loved the story, Lamittan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it is. Thank you so much, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome:)

        Liked by 1 person

  12. A beautiful tale, but I wish they would have discovered sooner that he was really a man. I feel bad for the nine children who were killed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right. It’s called learning the hard way. Sometimes, and indeed most of the time, we fail to realize the value of what we have until we lose it and discover what a gold it was.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Lamittan, what a superb storyteller you are! Thank you for sharing this story told by your grandmother! ❤ Very entertaining.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you many times, Cheryl. Your support is invaluable. And yes, she often told good stories too. Glad you loved it. 😍

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Daphny Aqua says:

    I didn’t want the story to end yet haha… You my friend are a brilliant story teller and so much lesson to learn in this one as well. The long lasting tree is already purchased in my kindle but still lagging behind in reading it hehe…. but I will catch up on it very soon. 😁❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. W😄w, aren’t you a wonderful person! Glad you purchased it. I’m sure you will find some time to read. Thank so much dearest. ❤🌺❤🌺

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Daphny Aqua says:

        I’ve actually done the purchasing months ago, the thing is that I am not much of a phone reader so its a bit hard to keep up haha… When it comes to the actual books it takes me 2 days max to read a novel 😄

        Like

    2. There’re lots of other sweet anecdotes in the book.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Daphny Aqua says:

        Can’t wait to read more, I’ve started some days ago will take my sweet time reading it 😁💞

        Like

  15. Bridgette says:

    What a great tale!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you in a big way, Bri. 💖

      Liked by 1 person

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