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A Tale of The Witch, Hadibo

  • Reading time:5 mins read

Once upon a time, there was a man on the island of Socotra. The man lived alone with his only son after his wife’s death. She left a young child to raise and teach to resist the ups and downs of life.
The man had a large number of sheep. He and his little son used to go herding the sheep every morning. He used to teach him how to herd them and save them. In the meantime, he taught him how to treat and respect people and animals around him. A few years after that, the man died, leaving behind an orphan little boy.
The boy moved to his uncle’s house. His uncle also had many sheep and a group of kids.
The boy stayed at his uncle’s house. He used to go every day with his cousins to herd the sheep. He found himself in a new and somewhat different life. However, the only thing in common with those two past and current lives was herding and caring for the sheep.
For him, life was full of hardships because his uncle and his kids treated him differently. They enlisted him to do difficult things but did not care about him or the sheep that remained with him after his father’s death.
One day, his uncle asked his kids to slaughter one sheep for dinner. Thus, they chose one sheep and slaughtered it. Then they asked the boy to cook it and prepare dinner for all of them.
It was during the rainy season on the island of Socotra. That night was dark. The sky was overcast with clouds, and it was going to rain.
The man and his kids went to round up sheep. They got them into safe caves to avoid the floods that would come and sweep them into the sea. They could collect them and bring them all into the caves. Then they piled heaps of stones at the cave entrance so the sheep would never escape.
They left the child behind, busy cooking and preparing dinner until they returned from work. While the child was busy cooking, he heard a baby crying behind the thick bushes and trees. He could recognize from the voice that there was a woman who had just given birth and urgently needed help. He took his scarf off his shoulder and handed it to her. He went to the meat pot and gave her a piece of meat. All he did was ask who she was or why she was there. After he gave her the scarf and the piece of meat, she called him.
She told him, “O son, you came here to help me and gave me dinner, and you do not know who I am. If you are in trouble and you need help, just call on Hadibo; I will come to help you immediately.”
Shortly after that, the man and his kids came to find dinner already prepared. They came with peace of mind. They could round up the sheep after getting them into the safe caves, protecting them from heavy rains and flooding.

The boy served dinner to them, but they noticed that there was a missing piece of meat.
They asked him, “Where is the missing piece of meat?”

He was slightly confused, but he could tell them he had eaten it.
They told him that since he had eaten it, which was sufficient for him, he should not have to have dinner with them.
The man and his kids had dinner, but they left him starving.
It only took a few seconds before heavy rains came, and flows had begun to increase everywhere.
In the meantime, the boy felt like his insides were hollow with hunger. His pain-related fear of his sheep, now unaccounted for, became too much. He fell asleep in a far corner.
While sleeping, he dreamed that floods surrounded his sheep. In the dream, he remembered the woman who had promised to help him.
“O Hadibo, I need your help!” he cried to her then.
The next morning, he went out to check out his sheep. He found them all rounded up in safe places, but they were not harmed. They were all safe. As for his uncle’s sheep and his kids, their sheep were swept from the caves into the sea by floodwaters.

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