Grama Tortoise Story

I named my business after an African folktale I heard as a child.

There once was a young woman, and she was the seventh wife of a chieftain. Among the six other wives of the household, this made her little more than dirt. She endlessly suffered from social put downs, and few ever listened to her. She had so much to offer, She was talented and brilliant and skilled at gardening and healing. But never could she use her talents. She was ceaselessly bossed around, and told that she knew nothing.

Finally she left in dismay, wandered in the desert, crying over her misfortune.

A giant tortoise came to her, and asked, “What is wrong my granddaughter?”

The girl told of her endless frustration, her desire to help and be useful and the constant rejection of her efforts.

The tortoise gave the young woman a necklace, and said, “Wear this, it will show you as you truly are.”

She wore the necklace back to town. And the villagers were staring and pointing at her. “A goddess has come!” They gave her a home in the temple and were eager to act on her advice. And as a result, the village thrived. She healed the sick, improved their farming practices and ended hunger, resolved conflicts. And she experienced great joy.

After a few years, she became frustrated again. No one knew who she was. Still no one recognized that this was the girl they had so despised, or treated so poorly. She took off the necklace and showed herself. “All this wonderful stuff? This is me, this is me, all this time.”

The villagers balled their fists angrily. ” You bad woman! You tricked us!” And once again she was rejected.

The young woman walked again in the desert. And the tortoise appeared. “You were never supposed to take the necklace off, for it showed you as you truly are, a goddess, my granddaughter.”



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