WHY THE MAASAI KEEP COWS AND GOATS

Young Writer Competition, 2nd prize goes to OmariOmari, age 16, wrote an amazing story and won a 2nd place in our Young Writer Competition.

The maasai are one of the oldest communities in Kenya. They still practice the traditional lifestyle. They keep cattle and live in mad houses thatched with grass roofs. The female have clean shaved heads and the male plait their hair. Other communities think they are strange. Where did they come from?

In the beginning, the Maasai did not have any cows or goats. One day the gods called the first Maasai man and said to him I want you to make a big round fence and when you have done so, come back and tell me. The man went and did as he was told, and came back to say that he had done it after he finished.

Next the gods said to him that tomorrow, very early in the morning, I want you to go and stand near the fence and I will give you a present and of cows and goats and this will be your riches. But when you see or hear anything do not be surprised or make any sound or moving. Keep very silent. The man accepted and went home.

Very early in the morning, the maasai man went to waited for his gift from the gods. He hear the sound of thunder and the gods released the long stairs from heaven to earth. Cows and goats come down this stairs into the round fence. The surface of the earth shook so hard that his house which was made from mad and grass roof almost fell down. The man was so afraid, but did not make any movement or sound. While the cows and goats were still coming down from the heaven, the brother of the man woke up from his sleep because of all the noise and the ground shaking. He went outside and on seeing the countless livestock coming down a stairs from heaven, he was so surprised that he made a surprisingly loud noise out of shock. On hearing this, the gods took back the stairs and the cattle stopped coming. The gods then said to the man, thinking he was the one who had spoken: “Is it that these cows and goats are enough for you? I will never again do this to you, so you had better love these cows and goats in the same way I love you.” That is why the Maasai love cattle very much.

Out of anger, the man started to fight with the brother. And he chased his brother away. He cursed him to never have cows and goats or drink their milk and to always live in the jungle and eat wild fruits. The brother formed a different community and called it Dorobo community. To this day the two communities do not have peace. This is how the maasai came to have cows and goats and the Dorobo came to live in the wild.

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