Apai Gumok and the Witch

Once there was a man named Apai Gumok, which means “'fat man”. Apai Gumok and his wife (who was also fat) lived in a small village near a river.
Unfortunately, Apai Gumok's wife was a scold, but she had some reason to be. Her husband was not a very good hunter. He often came home after hunting all day with only a small bird. And he was not a very good fisherman either be­cause he usually caught only a few small fish. All the villagers laughed at Apai Gumok, and his wife always shouted at him because he never brought home enough to eat.
One day, when he was out hunting in the jungle, Apai Gumok met a witch. He tried to escape, running this way and that, but, alas, wherever he turned, he saw the witch again.
And a very frightening witch she was, too. She had long dirty hair, and long dirty fingernails, and broken teeth.
When at last Apai Gumok was tired of running, he spoke to the witch. “Why are you following me?” he asked.
The witch laughed. “I want to help you, Apai Gumok. Iwant to make you a rich and powerful man. I want you to have the respect of the villagers so they won't laugh at you anymore.”
Apai Gumok couldscarcely believe his ears. “But surely you won't help me just out of the kindness of your heart,” he said. “What do you want?”
Again the witch laughed. It was not a nice laugh. “Simple,” she said. “When you are rich, powerful and respected, I want you to marry me.”
“But I'm already married,” said Apai Gumok.
“No problem,” said the witch, “I'll change your wife into alittle pink pig with black spots on its head. Then you can be­come a famous hunter and marry me.”
Apai Gumok wanted to be rich and respected. He also wanted to be a famous hunter. And his wife wasn't very kind to him. Still, the witch frightened him, and he did not want to marry such a dirty woman. He ran back to the village.
“Where are you, Wife?” he cried when he reached the house.
“Wife?” he called again.
There, in the house was a little pink pig with black spotson its head!
From that day onwards, nobody saw Apai Gumok's wife.He said she had gone to another village to visit an aunt. They all noticed his new friend, though, because the little pig fol­lowed him everywhere.
Soon strange things began to happen to Apai Gumok. He became a fine hunter, and a very good fisherman. Before long, he was famous as the best hunter in the village. Then, one day he found gold beneath his house, and Apai Gumok was a rich man.
Once a month or so, Apai Gumok would come across the witch in the jungle. “We must be married soon,” she would say. But Apai Gumok always made some excuse.
Finally the witch insisted. “I've been waiting a long time, Apai Gumok,” she said. “You have what you want, and now you must give me what I want. I want a husband.”
Apai Gumok looked at the ugly old witch. He looked down at the pig. “One wife is enough,” he said. “I don't want another wife.”
At this the pig squealed and the witch shouted. They were both very angry. Apai Gumok did not know what to do. All he could think of was a nice cool swim in the river. “Look,” he said, “why don't we go swimming in the river? We can talk about the wedding later.”
This idea seemed to please the witch and the pig, so off they all went. When they had swum into the deepest part of the river, Apai Gumok took hold of the witch's ears and held her head under the water. In a few minutes she was drowned and he swam back to shore, thinking that his troubles were over.
“So, Husband, here you are at last,” said a familiar voice. Apai Gumok's wife was standing in the shallow water. The little pink pig was nowhere to be seen.
Apai Gumok sighed. He looked at his fat wife and thought how pretty and clean she was. Together they walked back to the village where they then lived happily ever after.

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