Amah and the Eleven Brothers

(Source: A.D.)

KAIMAH1 was married to a well-to-do merchant, and lived a comfortable life. She lived in a big house, and had eleven sons. But still Kaimah was not happy. For she wished very much to have a daughter.

And so Kaimah made a pact with God. “Please, God,” she prayed, “I very much want to have a daughter. Please give me a daughter. I would give up my eleven sons just to have one daughter.”

And it came to pass that a daughter was born to Kaimah. Now she had eleven sons and one daughter! And she hoped that God would not remember the pact.

But God did not forget.

For the day came that one son went on a voyage overseas, but never came back, lost at sea. Other sons were sent to look for their lost brother, but they never returned, also lost at sea. Yet other sons were sent out to look for their lost brothers; but they, too, never returned. In the end, all eleven brothers were lost at sea. And Kaimah was left with only one daughter. This was Amah.

Amah married and had one son and four daughters.2 And from then on, Amah always warned her family to distrust water, and to avoid travel on boats:

        Fear the sea, that devours your kin. Fear the sea!


1 Kaimah is A.D.’s great-grandmother, and Amah is her grandmother.

2 One of the daughters was A.D.’s mother. Another was V.T.’s mother.

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Published in: on 9 June 2010 at 7:58 am  Leave a Comment  

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