John Steptoe Quotes

11 of the best book quotes from John Steptoe
“Mufaro proclaimed to all who would hear him that he was the happiest father in all the land, for he was blessed with two beautiful and worthy daughters- Nyasha, the queen; and Manyara, a servant in the queen’s household.”
“A long time ago, in a certain place in Africa, a small village lay across a river and half a day’s journey from a city where a great king lived. A man named Mufaro lived in this village with his two daughters, who were called Manyara and Nyasha. Everyone agreed that Manyara and Nyasha were very beautiful.”
“After traveling for what seemed to be a great distance, Manyara came to a small clearing. There, silhouetted against the moonlight, was an old woman seated on a large stone. The old woman spoke. ‘I will give you some advice, Manyara. Soon after you pass the place where two paths cross, you will see a grove of trees. They will laugh at you. You must not laugh in return. Later, you will meet a man with his head under his arm. You must be polite to him.’ ”
“Mufaro beamed with pride. ‘The king has asked for the most worthy and the most beautiful. No, Manyara, I cannot send you alone. Only a king can choose between two such worthy daughters. Both of you must go.”
“Mufaro knew nothing of how Manyara treated Nyasha. Nyasha was too considerate of her father’s feelings to complain and Manyara was always careful to behave herself when Mufaro was around.”
“On the seat of the great chief’s stool lay the little garden snake. Nyasha laughed with relief and joy. ‘My little friend!’ she exclaimed. ‘It’s such a pleasure to see you, but why are you here?’ ‘I am the king,’ Nyoka replied. And there, before Nyasha’s eyes, the garden snake changed shape.”
″ ‘Someday, Nyasha, I will be queen, and you will be a servant in my household.’ ‘If that should come to pass,’ Nyasha responded, ‘I will be pleased to serve you. But why do you say such things? You are clever and strong and beautiful. Why are you so unhappy?’ ”
″ ‘Because everyone talks about how kind you are, and they praise everything you do,’ Manyara replied. ‘I’m certain that Father loves you best. But when I am queen, everyone will know that our silly kindness is only weakness.’ ”
“Nayasha kept a small plot of land, on which she grew millet, sunflowers, yams, and vegetables. She always sang as she worked, and some said it was her singing that made her crops more beautiful than anyone else’s.”
“As the wedding party moved through the forest, brightly plumed birds darted about in the cool green shadows beneath the trees. Though anxious about her sister, Nyasha was soon filled with excitement about all there was to see.”
“The sun was high in the sky when the party came to the grove of towering trees. Their uppermost branches seemed to bow down to Nyasha as she passed beneath them. At last, someone announced that they were near their destination.”
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