Once upon a time twins were born to a young woman. One child had skin the color of fresh roasted coffee. The other child had skin the color of a morning primrose. The coffee colored child was the daughter of a rich and famous man. The primrose colored child was the son of a hard working but very poor man. Sadly, the young woman was married to the poor man, so one night the dark skinned child was carried away by the husband.
Following a stream down from the mountains of his home, he walked for three days. On the evening of the third day he crested a large hill. As he stood on the hill, the baby on his back gurgled, and he shaded his eyes against the setting sun. The sun slowly sank into the ocean. The husband grunted with satisfaction, because he saw that halfway between the ocean and where he stood a little village rested quietly beside the now large raging river that he followed.
He camped that night giving the child the last of the goat’s milk.
“You are a beautiful child, but I can not bear the shame. Your dark skin proves that I am not the man my wife wants, so I will sell you and my embarrassment to the village tomorrow.”
The next morning he entered the slave village and sold the little girl for a large sum. He turned his back on her and walked home. With the money he bought goats, sheep, cows, and a horse. With what was left over he rented the lands of rich men. The years passed and the rich men’s land became his. Now the hardworking but very poor man was a hardworking but very rich man.
His son grew tall and handsome but cunning. The son did not learn the value of hard work. Instead, he learned the value of wealth. He learned that wealth’s value was influence, and the scope of a man’s influence is the limit of his power. The best part, he realized, was that with enough power he could steal other’s wealth.
One day a cartload of slaves was brought to town. The mother was sent out by here greedy and cunning son to buy a maid for the house. She dutifully went to the auction and watched the humans being sold. One of them caught her eye. She looked perfect for their needs. There was also something else about her. As she remembered those many years ago, a tear formed in the corner of the old woman’s eye. She let in fall.
“As I could do nothing about the child then, I will do nothing about the tear now,” she said to herself, and bought the young woman.
As they walked home the old woman tried to make conversation with the young woman, but the young woman’s tongue had been cut out. She could only communicate by nodding or shaking her head, so they walked in silence to the house. Of course she hoped that this young woman was her long lost child. As the days past she realized that except for her skin color she looked exactly like herself, and her posture reminder the old lady of her lost daughter’s father.
The girl’s father had been strong, handsome, and kind. She had continued her affair with him for years. After losing her daughter, she always made sure she was pregnant with her husband’s baby before making love to her lover. She missed him. As her husband got richer and more powerful, he had eventually driven her lover away. She often wondered what her life would have been like, if her parents had let her marry her lover.
She did not know what she was going to do now. If her husband figured it out, he would kill her. The old lady wondered if telling her son would help. It seemed the only way.
The next day she took the maid and put white makeup on her. Then the old lady sat beside the young maid and looked in the mirror. The young maid’s eyes opened in shock and she smiled. The old lady cried.
She ran out of the bathroom calling for her son. He grumpily arrived a few minutes later.
“What do you want old woman,” he said.
“Come here and look at this,” she said.
She pulled him into the bathroom and sat next to the maid.
“Can you see,” she asked?
His eyes narrowed and he shrugged his shoulders.
“So, she looks like you,” he said.
“Did you know that you have a twin sister,” she asked.
“I do not,” he said.
“Yes you do and this is her,” the old woman said.
“What are you talking about? She’s as dark as shit. We can’t be twins,” he said.
The old lady put her head down in shame and said, “You have different fathers.”
The son looked at her and shook his head.
“Does father know,” he asked.
“Yes. He is the one that sold her. He took the money that he got for her and bought some livestock. Before that he was dirt poor. He worked morning to night just to survive, but after he bought the animals and rented some land, he started making money. Slowly, he became rich. Everything he and you own comes from the sale of your sister,” she said.
“That’s interesting. Well, we’ll have to make sure things are better for her from now on,” he said.
The old lady smiled and touched the shoulder of the young woman. The young woman just looked angry.
The next morning the old woman walked down the stairs and went into her daughter’s room. Her daughter must have risen early. She searched the house, and then finally the grounds. She found her son sitting down in the patio garden eating breakfast.
“Have you seen your sister,” asked the old lady?
“Yes, I sold her this morning and bought a few cows. The dairy herd was getting a little old,” he said, crunching on some buttered toast.