Morning Sunrise

By Cecilia Sainclair and William Henri Barker

A man in one of the villages had a very beautiful daughter. She was so lovely that people called her “Morning Sunrise.” Every young man who saw her wanted to marry her. Three, in particular, were very anxious to have her for their wife. Her father found it difficult to decide among them. He determined to find out by a trick which of the three was most worthy of her.

He bade her lie down on her bed as if she were dead. He then sent the report of her death to each of the three lovers, asking them to come and help him with her funeral.

The messenger came first to “Wise Man.” When he heard the message, he exclaimed, “What can this man mean? The girl is not my wife. I certainly will not pay any money for her funeral.”

The messenger came next to the second man. His name was “Wit.” The latter at once said, “Oh dear, no! I shall not pay any money for her funeral expenses. Her father did not even let me know she was ill.” So he refused to go.

“Thinker,” the third young man—when he received the message—at once got ready to start. “Certainly I must go and mourn for Morning Sunrise,” said he. “Had she lived, surely she would have been my wife.” So he took money with him and set out for her home.

When he reached it her father called out, “Morning Sunrise, Morning Sunrise. Come here. This is your true husband.”

That very day the betrothal took place, and soon after the wedding followed. “Thinker” and his beautiful wife lived very happily together.

From West African Folk-Tales collected and arranged by William Henri Barker and Cecilia Sainclair.
London: George G. Harrap and Company, 1917.

Folk tales

AfricaEast Africa

Stories you might like:

The Fairies’ Cup

By

A great tumult arose at the banquet on account of his taking away the cup, and all the guests pursued him, but the peasant escaped by the fleetness of the beast he rode.

EuropeEnglandYorkshire

read

Briar Rose

By

The Princess ascended a narrow, winding staircase and reached a little door. A rusty key was sticking in the lock, and when she turned it the door flew open. In a little room sat an old woman with a spindle, spinning her flax busily.

EuropeGermany

read

Woe Bogotir

By

‘I once heard the old people say that behind the village, near the dark forest, there is buried a treasure, yes, a great treasure, but it is buried under a large, heavy stone, too heavy a stone for one man to move.’

EuropeRussia

read

Mr. Fox

By

Mr. Fox saw a diamond ring glittering on the finger of the young lady he was dragging, and he drew his sword, raised it, and brought it down upon the hand of the poor lady.

EuropeEngland

read

Find stories