The Magic Bones

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.                              The younger brother was left under a tree to get well.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd. The younger brother was left under a tree to get well.
2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Once there were three brothers who lived in a land that was very dry and where not much food would grow. One hot day the youngest brother became sick, and the two older brothers took him under a shady tree to get well. "The baobab tree with its big leaves will heal him," they thought.

After three days and three nights, the youngest brother still did not feel better. The older brothers left the sick brother all by himself. The sick brother cried, "Please don't leave me!" But they left him anyway.

One day, the youngest brother began to feel better. He made his home under the baobab tree and built a big box with branches and thorns to catch food.

He put the box near a village. When he returned the next day to see if he had caught food for dinner, he saw that an old man was trapped in the box.

"I know you are hungry," said the old man. "I have some magic bones. Throw the bones and make a wish."

The boy threw the magic bones, and suddenly cassava plants appeared. As the boy ate the tasty cassava, the old man said, "I will soon die. My name is Jambajimbira, which means 'jumping drum.' When I die, I will leave the magic bones to you. Just take the bones to a grassy field, throw them, and say my name. After you throw them, you will get whatever you want." Then the old man died.

The boy found a grassy field, threw the magic bones, and called out Jambajimbira's name. Then the boy said, "Let there be a large village and plenty of food." Right before his eyes appeared a large village full of people, and there was lots of food for everyone. The villagers called the boy "Jambajimbira."

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Jambajimbira gave each brother a bowl of milk.
2007 Publications International, Ltd.

The two brothers who had left their youngest brother under the shady baobab tree heard about the chief named Jambajimbira. They traveled to his village to speak to him. "Jambajimbira, we are hungry!" they said. Jambajimbira gave each of them a bowl of milk and asked them to drink.

Will the two brothers recognize their youngest brother? Go to the next page to find out.

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