There was a once chief who decided that he wanted to give a party
for his entire kingdom. Everyone was invited. He would provide all the food and
entertainment. The only thing he asked was that each family brings a gourd of wine.
This would be poured into a huge pot from which all would be served.
All the villages were buzzing with excitement. People were deciding
what to wear and wondering what dances and stories would be performed.
It promised to be a fabulous party.
One farmer was talking with his wife as they were getting ready
on the day of the party and said, "Why should we spend good money
on a gourd full of wine for the king's party? Isn't this party supposed
to be free?"
"But dear," said his wife, "All the king is asking
for is one gourd of wine. Is that really asking so much?"
But the stingy farmer, thinking himself very clever replied, "Who
will notice one gourd of water in a big pot full of wine?"
So the farmer filled his gourd with water instead of wine. When
the people were all gathered waiting for the party to begin, the king
called everyone together for a toast.
"Let every cup be filled," he shouted, "That we
may drink to the future of our land! May this party be as fine as the wine
we are about to drink!"
Everyone raised their cups in a cheer before they drank. The farmer
then took a sip of his wine. But when he tasted it, he threw his cup down
and shouted, "This is only water!"
All the others had the same complaint. It seems that the farmer
was not the only one who had the idea to put water instead of wine into his gourd. They had
all done it. So it was that all they had to drink at the party was water. The king was
so disappointed, that he ended the party early.
UJAMAA — Cooperative Economics