The Magic Salt by Ike Amadi
There was a village called Nammi. Nammi had a very long river called Nesisi where the villagers drank water from.
One year, the Nesisi River became very bitter. People were dying of thirst as they couldn’t drink from the Nesisi River anymore. The king of the village wanted to know what they must do to make the water fit for drinking again. He went to the village priest with a few of his senior chiefs.
The village priest welcomed them and told them that they must send two people to Idu forest.
“Idu forest?” they asked.
“Yes, Idu forest. To bring back a handful of magic salt.” The priest declared.
“Yes, magic salt. The spirit will go with them.” The priest concluded.
The king chose Kaduwa, who was the smartest person in Naami village, and Zazou. who was the strongest.
Before Kaduwa and Zazou set out, they both went to say goodbye to their families. Zazou was from a very poor family. He had no friends. But Kaduwa was from a very rich family and he had many friends. And so Kaduwa went to his friends.
His first friend gave him a key; his second friend gave him a bottle; and his third friend gave him a magic flute. Oh how lovely the flute was, and Kaduwa was happy. The only gift Zazou received was his mother’s blessing. After the goodbye’s they both set out to Idu forest.
Kaduwa, because of the gift he received, was very happy and ran ahead of Zazou. He did not wait for him. Zazou was very sad. “Why does Kaduwa not understand that we have to work together?” he asked himself.
As Kaduwa went along, he met some children playing. They looked very dirty and laughed a lot.
“Please little children, my people are dying, and I need to get a handful of magic salt.” Kaduwa said to the children.
“Hahaha, magic salt. Give us that thing.” The children said pointing to the bottle.
“With all pleasure.” Kaduwa said and gave them his bottle.
“Look! Do you see that little door? It is the door of life. If you can go through that door, you are one step closer to the magic salt.” The children said.
Kaduwa thanked them and ran along.
After running for a while, he came to the door of life. It was locked and he needed a key. Kaduwa pulled out his key and tried to open the door with the key. It opened.
“I’m closer to the magic salt,” he said to himself.
Once he stepped in through the door, he found himself on an island. There was water everywhere.
“How do I get the magic salt?” he asked himself. Immediately an idea got to him: play the flute. He started playing the flute, as he played, a little mermaid came out of the water. “Who is playing this beautiful music?” she asked smiling. At first Kaduwa was scared.
“Fear not, young man! What do you seek?”
“I seek the magic salt.”
I’ll give you the magic salt if you give me your flute.”
“With all pleasure, my lady.” Kaduwa said.
After handing her the flute, the little mermaid went back into the water. Kaduwa put his hands on his head and started crying.
“She has cheated me,” he said; “she has taken my flute and given me no magic salt.”
While the words were still in his mouth, the mermaid came out of the water and in her hand was a little bottle containing the magic salt.
Kaduwa jumped and jumped, danced and danced, cried and cried, then started singing a song.
“Magic salt, Magic salt
Now I finally have you
Magic salt, Magic salt
I killed seven lions to get you
Magic salt, Magic salt
I crossed many rivers to get you
Magic salt, Magic salt
Now I finally have you.”
Once Kaduwa finished singing, he remembered that he was on an island. He had found the magic salt but he became sad because he couldn’t swim, and there was water everywhere. To go back home, he must swim across the river.
“I’ll die here and Nammi will never see the magic salt,” he said.
“Wait a minute, where is Zazou?” Kaduwa asked.
Immediately he asked that question, Zazou entered the island from the door of life. The door was still open.
When Kaduwa saw him, he was happy, happy that he had someone in the island, but he was also ashamed, ashamed that he ran off without Zazou, his team mate.
Zazou was a strong swimmer. He had won several swimming competitions on the Nesisi River. And thankfully he was near.
“No wonder the gods chose him.” Kaduwa said, excited.
“I’m so sorry I left you. Please forgive me.” Kaduwa said with his face to the ground.
“Do you have the magic salt?” Zazou asked, pretending not to have heard him.
“Yes I do. But I said I was sorry.” Kaduwa answered.
“Don’t worry, I’m here now and we can go home.” Zazou assured him.
With his help, Kaduwa was able to make it to the other side of the river.
“Thank you for saving my life,” Kaduwa muttered, still panting.
“For the love of the Nesisi River!” Zazou said, with a smile.
They got to the village safely and presented the magic salt to the priest.
The priest sprayed the salt in the Nesisi River and Zazou was asked to take the first drink. There was silence everywhere. He tasted the water, and rolled his eyes from side to side as though he was trying to tell whether the water was still bitter.
“It is clean!” Zazou shouted. And immediately, everyone put their hands in, and started drinking. There was joy everywhere.
The king ordered that royal robes be given to Zazou and Kaduwa. And the whole village was very happy.
And from that day, Nesisi River was never bitter again.
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