Films are very powerful and can say so much in very few words or scenes. I watched a short film day before yesterday from somewhere in Francophone Africa (I don't know the title of the film or the name of the director).
The film revolved around a man, whose name I cannot remember. Let's call him Ibn, because I think it was something like that. Ibn was a confirmed bachelor. His dear cousin, Diattou (Hey! I remember something, at least.) refused to accept this and set about finding him a wife.
Ibn told her that he wanted a wife without any flaws. She was to be perfect in everyway - in looks and manner - without even the tiniest scar on her body.
I hissed extremely loudly while watching this. "This man is a total joker! Where does he think he's going to find such a woman? And is he himself even perfect?"
And I will tell you right now that Ibn was no looker himself and didn't appear to be very be bright either. Anyway....
One day an earth-shatteringly beautiful woman appeared in the village (apologies for the cheesy superlatives, but you get the idea). No one knew where this woman came from, but she made her way to Diattou's hut and without much ado she was taken to Ibn as a wife. He was pleased to say the least that he had finally found the woman of his dreams.
One day, a little while after they had been married, she went out. To do what, I'm not sure - get some food for her husband? Go to the farm? The market? Take a bath at the river? (Just pick one)
A moor, who was known to be a chronic womaniser, spotted her and was consumed with the desire to have her. He followed her with the intentions of making his feelings known. As he got closer to her, he hid behind a tree and peeped at her just in time to see her turning into a donkey.
Startled and frightened, he took to his heels and blabbered to the first person he saw about Ibn's wife turning into a donkey. The moor must have had a reputation for being a drunkard, as well as a womaniser, because his friend treated this news with derision. Notwithstanding, the story spread around the village within hours (This part got me seriously cracking up; that people can believe a story not to be true, but spread it anyway. People!).
In due course, the story got to Diattou and to Ibn. Of course, I don't think that he really believed that his wife was a donkey, but he was thoroughly humiliated at being the centre of the village joke. At night in his hut, Ibn's wife fell at his feet crying and begging for forgiveness. Ibn held his head up in righteous anger. When he finally looked down at his wife, he saw that she had grown donkey ears. Shocked, he staggered backwards. By now, his wife had transformed into a donkey. He chased the donkey out of his hut and attempted to evict it from his compound. Well, donkeys don't always get the gist of these things, and so merely ran around in circles with Ibn following in confused pursuit.
We now cut to two ladies on another day, preparing food and gossiping. They talk about how Ibn is having a tough time managing his compound.
- Yes, oh! Afterall, managing a wife who is a donkey is no easy task.
They both laugh.
- What a fool to marry a woman who just appeared from nowhere. Nobody knows her people or anything about her.
- And what an even bigger fool to focus so much on beauty, when there are so many more important things to consider!