COMPREHENSION READING: The Missing Wrapper

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A long time ago, in the town of Onitsha, a merchandise and his wife Queen lived in the village. They worked hard and were nice to everyone. The people of that town loved and respected the couples for their humility and hard work.

These couples were not happy because after fifteen years of marriage, they had no child of their own. The merchandise never stopped loving his wife hoping that one day, at the appointed time, God will give them a child of their own.

They had consulted may herbalist with the wife request since she was becoming impatient and had been given different and strange herbs believing it will cure them and give them a child but to no avail.

The wife out of impatience advised her husband to marry another wife since she was getting old and wasn't sure of giving birth anymore. The husband was able to get a young wife through the help of his wife and her name was Prisca.

Prisca was a humble, hardworking, and home brought up girl who treated the first wife like her mother. She respected and loved the first wife and made sure she washed her dirty clothe when need be.

One day, Queen the first wife found out that Prisca was pregnant and became envious. She tried all means to make the life of Prisca the young wife a living hell in the house when their husband isn't around and accused her wrongly. Her husband always warned Queen about her change of behavior and told her to stop disturbing Prisca as she was pregnant.

The first wife was not pleased and accused the husband of loving the second wife (Prisca) than her because she could not give him a child. The husband denied it and told Queen he still loved her but she was bent on destroying the life of Prisca.


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In that village, it was tabu for a woman to steal. Anybody who steals will face the wrath of the village which includes going around naked and later stoned to death.

One day, the senior wife reported to the King that the junior wife had stolen her wrapper and sent it to her mother who was a village away from Onitsha. The king warned her repeatedly and advised her to go back home and check the house just may be the wrapper was misplaced by her but she was adamant and said she saw the young wife leave with it to her mother's village. The king warned her against lies letting her know the punishment for telling lies was death.

The king sent his guards after the younger wife and asked them to check her mother's house if any trace of the said wrapper, the younger wife and her mother be brought to him immediately for punishment.

A search was made and no trace of the wrapper was found in the possession of the young wife or her mother. A search party was also sent to search the belongings of the younger wife which she left behind but nothing of sort was found.

The King grew furious and was becoming impatient about everything. The King then fixed a date that the junior wife should return the wrapper or else she will be stoned to death.

The day of the junior wife came and while the King was commanding his guards to go and seize the junior wife, a young man came in and demanded to see the King. When he was ushered into the presence of the King, he started his name and started the reason why he came to see the king.

He brought out the missing wrapper and said that he saw the senior wife digging a hole close to the forest to bury the wrapper. When she finished burying the wrapper, he went back and dug it and decided to come to the king.

A search was made and it was confirmed that the senior wife actually lied and the wrapper was never missing. The king, sent his bodyguards to seize her and she was stripped naked, asked to walk around the village naked, and stoned to death for lying.

QUESTIONS:

  1. What is the name of the first wife?
  2. Were the couple happy? Why?
  3. Who brought up the idea of marrying a new wife?
  4. What is the name of the second wife?
  5. What is the moral lesson learned from this story?

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