In the town call Yandohun there lived a Chief called Yargai; and the people of Yandohun were heathens, while their neighbors were devout Muslims, known as Moli Men.
The Moli Men kept Friday as their holy day, and on this day they rested from their labors; but the heathens of Yandohun went about their affairs as usual. Now, the father of Chief Yargai had been a wise and worthy man who had ruled the town with justice and good sense; before he died he made his son guard the welfare of his people, and render aid to those who needed aid.But under the rule of Chief Yargai the prosperity and power of Yandohun declined: men gambled in the town, or slept, instead of tending crops; the rich grew lazy and the poor grew lean, and no one thought of helping the needy and infirm.
One day, which happened to be Friday, Chief Yargai sent his youngest son to bring palm wine from the forest, and when passing beneath a cottonwood tree the young lad heard a voice which said:
“O Tekawolo, hear us!”
Tekawolo looked up, and in the cottonwood tree he saw two snakes. He trembled with fear. We are the spirits of your father’s parents, and being displeased with the rule of our son we command you to bear him this message: “Tell him to remember the promises he made his father. Tell him to leave his idle ways, to govern the people, to plant new crops, and restore the honor and power of Yandohun. And tell him to fill the stomachs of the poor, and the aged, and the sick. Tell him to do these things or he will die.”
Tekawolo hurried off to Yandohun, his heart fluttering and his eyes big with fright. running through the gates of Yandohun he fell in the midst of a group of gamblers, who shouted in anger and pushed him away; but now Tekawolo’s spirit fell and so great was the fear inside him that his mouth was white and he dropped to the ground and groaned.
The gamblers called to his brother.
“O Boima! Bring kola nuts, for Tekawolo eats his tongue and is near to death!”
Boima brought two kola nuts. Tekawolo ate the two nuts and became calmer. Many people gather. When he could speak he told his remarkable tale to the assembled townsfolk, so that they too grew nervous, and then he reported to his father, Chief Yargai. The Chief was filled with the wonder of this day and set about restoring honor and prosperity to his lands and town: and since this singular day had chanced to be a Friday, it was decreed that Fridays would in future be observed as holy days.
This is why the heathens of Yandohun, to this time, work diligently for six days of the week, but rest on Fridays and give honor to their ancestral spirits.