Wanjiru Sinks into the Earth, and Rain Falls

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Wanjiru was a mythic woman.

For three years, there was no rain; crops died, and hunger was rampant. A wise man told the people that a young woman named Wanjiru must be bought if rain is to fall. Each man would have to contribute a goat for the payment. Wanjiru, learning of her fate, was distraught, and her parents wept. Her feet began to sink into the ground; she sank to her waist, to her breast. But the rain did not come. When she sank to her neck, the rain came heavily. But no one came forward to save her, and she concluded that she had been undone by her people. She sank to her eyes. Whenever a member of her family moved to save her, someone would give him a goat, and that person would fall back. And Wanjiru vanished. There was a deluge. A warrior who loved Wanjiru took his weapons and went to the place where she had disappeared. Then he, too, sank into the ground. Under the earth, he traveled a long road until he saw her. She was miserable. He took her on his back and they rose to the open air. At night, he went to his mother, told her of what had happened, and she killed goats and fed the fat to Wanjiru and she again grew strong. With the skins, beautiful clothing was made for her. The next day, at a dance, the warrior and Wanjiru attended, but he would not allow her family to get close to her. In the end, he repented, paid her family the dowry, and married her. See also: Asis.

Subjects: Religion.

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