There are some stories and legends which are deeply rooted in the sacred beliefs of the Nomadic culture of the Sahara Desert. These Nomad Fairy Tales play an important role in teaching ethics and morals and are communicated to children through the grandmothers and mothers while sitting around the fireplace at night.
The Woman Who Mocked God
Once upon a time there was a widow women living in the desert with her two children. Her husband was far, walking with their goats and sheep looking for pastureland. They were very poor nomads and with no man around to help her, her survival depended on the vegetation she could find growing near her and the very old, the very young and the sick goats and sheep which stayed with her while her nomad husband walked his long migration.
Although the woman lived by a small river, it was too often dry as a bone. On this day she walked with her children to the small river and found that it had only a small trickle of water running through it.
She was unhappy that she had suffered for so many years due to the scarcity of water and she got very angry. The little family owned a big goatskin bottle to use to collect the river water but when she saw how little water was in the river she threw it away. Looking all around before seeing a small gerbil running across the sand, she set out to catch it. After she caught the gerbil, she killed it and then she made a tiny water carrier out of his skin.
After she filled the tiny gerbil skin with river water and tied it tight, she climbed to the top of a dune and she shouted for all to hear that “the God is mean” and she threw it up into the sky mocking the God. She said: “take the water that you hold from us!”
Later that afternoon a small cloud gathered above the hills. Then the cloud grew darker and darker and larger and larger. Then with a massive fork of lightening the storm broke and the cloud opened and the rain poured and poured. Firstly the small river filled, then it reached its banks and it flooded. As the water escaped from the river, it continued to rain and the flood grew large and angry and it washed away the woman’s tent and all her cattle too.
The woman hastily grabbed her children and they escaped with nothing except the clothes they wore on their backs. From that day forward, she never ever mocked God again.