The Hyena Woman


Part Three

The next morning, the girl came home. The hyena was lying on her bed.

"Where is my brother?" the girl asked her.

"He is at the market," the hyena said. "And I am sick. I must go to the medicine man and get some medicine."

She got up from her bed and went to the door. 

"Stay here," she said, "and grind the tef. I will make injera today."

She took one of her hairs, and made a key for the door. She went outside, and locked it. Then she went to call her relatives.

The girl began to grind the tef. She looked up. A rat was watching her.

"Listen," the rat said. "Your sister-in-law is not a woman. She is a hyena. She has killed your brother, and my brother, the rat. Now she is going to find her relatives. They will come here together and eat your brother's body. Then they will kill you and eat you too."

The girl began to cry.

"Oh, who will help me now?" she said. "My father is dead, and my mother is dead, and now my brother is dead too!"

"I will help you," said the rat. "Your brother's body is in the inset field. Take a gourd, and go to your brother. Put some of his blood in the gourd. Then run away, and hide."

"But my sister-in-law has locked the door," said the girl. "I can't get out of the house."

"I will open it for you," said the rat.

He went to the door and began to chew the lock with his teeth. Soon, the door was open.

The girl took a gourd and ran to the inset field. She found her brother's body, and poured some of his blood into the gourd. Then she ran away.

Soon, the hyena woman came back to the house with her relatives. They looked inside the house, and they looked outside the house, they looked in the cattle pen, and in the inset field. The girl wasn't there. 

"She has escaped!" the hyena woman said to her relatives. "Wait here, and I will go and find her."

The girl was running through the forest. She met a monkey.

"Why are you running, girl?" asked the monkey. "Are you frightened of someone?"

"Yes. My sister-in-law, the hyena, is looking for me," said the girl. "She has killed my brother, and now she wants to kill me."

"Don't worry," said the monkey. "I'm not frightened of hyenas. I'll stop her."

He stood in the path, and waited, but when he saw the hyena, he was very, very frightened, and he ran up into a tree.

The girl ran on. 

"God, help me!" she prayed. "My father is dead, my mother is dead. The hyena has killed my brother, and now she wants to kill me too."

God heard the girl's prayer. He came and stood in front of her.

"What is in your gourd?" he asked.

"My brother's blood," said the girl.

"Give it to me," said God.

The girl gave it to him.

"Now go and hide in the forest," said God.

So the girl hid in the forest. Soon, the hyena ran up.

"Where are you going?" God asked her.

"I'm looking for my sister-in-law," said the hyena. "Have you seen her?"

"Yes," said God. "You will find her there, at the end of this path. Run quickly!"

The hyena ran quickly down the path. There was a gorge at the end of the path. The hyena fell into it, and there she died.

"Daughter, come here!" God called out, and the girl ran to him, out of the forest.

"Your enemy is dead," said God, "and now your brother is alive."

He put his hand into the gourd and touched the boy's blood. At once, the blood became the boy.

The brother and sister went home, and lived happily in their house, and the hyenas never came near them again.


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