#FolktalesWednesday: Asake Milks The Lioness

Once upon a time, a man and his wife, named Asake lived in a small town. The man was a businessman and thus sometimes had to work late. However, felt that her husband’s  late nights were because he was having an affair with another woman. As a result, she became hostile to him and that resulted in him becoming even more distant from her, he stayed away from home more and more.

Concerned about this, Asake went to see a medicine man and shared her worries with him. The wise medicine man listened patiently to her and was able to deduce that the woman’s problem was her irrational jealousy and lack of patience, so he said to her “Your husband does not love you anymore. To make him love you again, I will prepare a potion for you to mix with his food, and the major ingredient of that love potion is the milk of a lioness that has just given birth to cubs.”

Even though what the medicine man asked for was nearly impossible to find, Asake resolved to try her best to find it. She consulted with the most powerful hunters in the town. Through them and after many days of searching, she was able to find a lioness which had just given birth to a litter of cubs. She then went to the market, bought a ram, slaughtered it and took it to the lioness. She then hid behind a bush and threw some of the meat to the animal. The lioness could not go out to hunt its own food because its new cubs were still too young to be left alone, so it was happy at the prospect of the free meat. Asake repeated that practice for many weeks until the lioness got used to her and her supply of food. After a while, she no longer needed to hide from the lioness as it would come to her wagging its tail like a dog whenever she came with the meat. One day the woman was able to move close enough to the lioness and milk it while it was eating.

When Asake finally took the milk to the medicine man in triumph, the medicine man was positively surprised. He asked her how she managed to get the milk from the lioness, and the woman told him everything she did. He said to her “If you could show this amount of patience and wisdom to get the milk from a lioness, why can you not show the same level of patience and wisdom in dealing with your husband? The solution to your problem is not a love potion at all, so sorry I will not make any love potion for you.”

Asake was disappointed with the fact that the medicine man didn’t give her a potion, but she took his advice about being patient with her husband. With her change in attitude, her husband began to love her again, and they both lived happily together after that.

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