THERE was once a man, and he went and married a girl and went to live with her in her village.
One day that girl's mother came to him and said, "My son-in-law, I want you to do something for me. See, all my maize is being broken by the wind. You must go out and drive away the wind for me, so that it does not break my maize."
So that son-in-law went out into the fields and tried all day to drive away the wind, but he was unable to; the wind got the better of him, and in the evening he returned discomforted.
Then he thought to himself, "My mother-in-law is a very bad person. Who would try to drive away the wind? It is not possible. Now I will find something that she is unable to do, and tell her to do it, so that she also will be discomforted."
So he went out into the bush and killed an animal and brought it back to the village. Then he called his wife and said to her, "Take this meat and give it to your mother, and tell her to cook and eat all the meat, but that she is to keep the gravy for me, and that she must spread out the gravy on the matting, so as to be ready for me."
So that girl brought the meat to her mother and gave her the message. The mother-in-law then cooked and ate the meat, but left the gravy. Then she took it and tried to spread it out on the matting for her son-in-law, but it ran through.
Then that girl came and told her husband, "That gravy is not spreadable. Mamma has tried to spread it out on the mat for you, but it has all run through."
Her husband answered her, "Your mother is a very bad person. One day she told me to drive away the wind from the maize, and I tried all day, and it was not possible. So I, too, wished to tell your mother to do something that was not possible; so I told her to spread out the gravy on the mat. I knew that she would be defeated, even as I was defeated."