102. The Greedy Man and His Wife

There was a greedy man who kept raiding the pantry at night while his wife slept. 
"Where did our food go?" his wife would ask.
"Mice must be eating it," he'd reply.
She went to Mantis. "Put shells over your eyes," Mantis said, "so he'll think you're awake when you're really asleep."
It worked! The greedy husband waited and waited for her to fall sleep until finally he dozed off, exhausted, near dawn.
When his wife awoke, she removed the shells. "Wake up, husband," she said.
"Go away! I'm sleeping," he groaned.
So she went and raided the pantry herself.
[a Lozi story from Zambia]

Inspired by: "The Greedy Man and His Clever Wife" in Barotseland: eight years among the Barotse by D. W. Stirke, 1922.
Notes: You can read the original story online. In the original story, the man goes hunting, brings home meat, and blames the dogs. It was easier to tell the story about food in the house in general without bringing in the hunting.

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