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The First People on Earth

The Sprit of the Earth lived in a villiage all alone and found that time seemed to drag by.

"Oh, how bored and lonley I am!" he complained.

What grieved him most was that he had no one to sit and smoke with. Tabacco was plentiful, but he longed for a companion who would share it. He didn't like being alone, and so one day he said to himself,

"I must make myself some people to cook my meals for me and keep me company."

With that he went into the forest and walked until he came to the treewhich bears the nuts called nkula. He gave it a violent shake so that the nuts fell to the ground, picked them up and returned home. He did this for several days until he had gathered a nice big pile of nuts.

Deciding the pile was large enough, he put the nuts in a bag and went to the shores of Lake Big Water, where his boat was tied up. Pouring the nuts into the boat, he called the crocodille, who had just pushed his head up above the water, to come to him.

The crocodille did as he was told and the Spirit of the Earth hitched the crocodille to his boat. He then climbed inside and ordered the crocodille to swim out into the lake - for the great Spirit of the Earth never put his hand to the paddle himself.

"Go farther from the shore," he cried, and the crocodille immediately turned toward the centre of the lake.

He paddled and paddled and paddled until his feet ached. Still he paddled on, for a long long time, in a straight line from the shore. Lake Big Water was very big, so big that it's shores could no longer be seen, and extremely deep. It went down and down - all the way to where the sun hides at the end of the day. That's how big Lake Big Water was. And still the crocodille kept swimming farther and farther out.

Finally, when it seemed he could go o further, the Spirit of the Earth called out for him to stop. The crocodille did so gladly.

Then the Spirit of the Earth took the largest of the nuts in his hand and, breathing on it, said,

"You shall be the first man!" He threw it into the water.

The nut did not sink, but remained on the surface and egan floating off toward the shore.

The Spirit of the Earth took a second nut , spat on it and threw it in the water too, saying,

"You shall be a woman!"

This nut did not sink either, but floated off toward the shore after the other one. The Spirit of the Earth did this with all the nuts in the boat until there were none left. Then he called to the crocodille,

"Take me back to shore now!"

The crocodille obediently did as he was told and towed the handsome boat back to whence thay had come. On arriving at the shore, as the Spirit of the Earth stepped out on to the dry sand he was met by a large company of people.

One of the men came forward and said, "Here we are!"

And the others called out, "We too, are here!" The women stood back behind the men.

Then the Sprit of the Earth led the people off to the village, and when they arrived there he turned to them and said,"You shall live here in these huts with me."

He became chief of the village and sat with the men while the women cooked. They cooked delicious meals and the Spirit of the Earth no longer found that time dragged by, for after everyone had eaten the men would take out their pipes and sit smoking and talking for hours on end.