THE SACRED MILK OF KOUMONGOE
Far away, in a very hot country, there once lived a man and woman who had two children, a son named Roane1 and a daughter called Thakane.
Early in the morning and late in the evenings the parents worked hard in the fields, resting, when the sun was high, under the shade of some tree. While they were absent the little girl kept house alone, for her brother always got up before the dawn, when the air was fresh and cool, and drove out the cattle to the sweetest patches of grass he could find.
One day, when Roane had slept later than usual, his father and mother went to their work before him, and there was only Thakane to be seen busy making the bread for supper.
' Thakane,' he said, ' I am thirsty. Give me a drink from the tree Roumongoe, which has the best milk in the world.'
' Oh, Roane,' cried his sister, ' you know that we are forbidden to touch that tree. What would father say when he came home ? For he would be sure to know.'
' Nonsense,' replied Roane, ' there is so much milk in Roumongoe that he will never miss a little. If you won't give it to me, I sha'n't take the cattle out. They will just have to stay all day in the hut, and you know that they will starve.' And he turned from her in a rage, and sat down in the corner.
After a while Thakane said to him : ' It is getting hot, had you not better drive out the cattle now ?'