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Obatalá was searching for an intelligent person upon whom to bestow both the power of words and of divination. Her search seemed fruitless!
Then, one day, Orula showed up. Obatalá was prepared to try one more time.
“Listen,” she told him, “you have to cook the best dinner in the world for me.”
There was Orula—surrounded by pots and pans and the smells of the kitchen!
But the cuisine was good, and when she had finished eating, Obatalá was pleased.
“What was it you prepared for dinner?”
“Cow tongue, Madam.”
“Uh huh. And why did you think it would qualify as the best thing in the world?
“Because it is by means of their tongues and with words of wisdom that men can understand each other and come to do good things.”
At first Obatalá was very happy. She believed she had found what she was looking for. But, after a while, a doubt arose in her mind:
“What if it was only good luck?”
The next day, as the sun was rising, she went to see him again.
“Listen! Today I want your cooking to be unspeakably bad!”
There was Orula again—surrounded by pots and pans and the smells of the kitchen!
After sniffing at what he had cooked up, Obatalá had no doubt—it was a real crock!
“What in Heaven’s Name...?”
“Cow tongue, Madam.”
“Uh huh. How come yesterday it was good and today it’s pig swill!”
“Because men can hate with their tongues too, insulting one another with nasty words. The secret of the game lies in the way the tongue is put to use!”
Obatalá granted him the power of words and the gift of divination. She had found in Orula the one she needed so deeply. Then she could sleep easy in her bed at last…