From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

Okra, Sorghum, Yam

“The Okra, Sorghum, Yam,” by Bruce Holland Rogers, read by Rachel Swirsky, and brought to you by Podcastle. Published in Realms of Fantasy, October 2003.

So the following summer when the second princess came to Old Kwaku’s hut, he said, “What do you want?”

“My father said that I must learn wisdom from you.”

“And is that what you want?”

“I wouldn’t mind being wise, but when my sister returned from here last summer her hands were rough and red. She said she hadn’t learned anything at all. What if I go home like that? What man will marry a princess who has a farmer’s hands?”

“And if you must work to become wise?”

“I hope that you’ll have better luck than with my sister, however you do it. Make me wise, and my father will be pleased. Then he will marry me to a prince rich in goats and cattle. I’ll dress in fine clothes and have twice as many servants as I have now.”

“So it’s wisdom you want?”

“Do I look like a girl who wastes her time? Yes, I want wisdom! Stop asking the same question and get on with it!”

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