By George Werner
Once upon a time, in a peaceful village nestled between rolling hills and lush green fields, there lived a married couple named Tarplah and Tanneh.
They were deeply in love and had been blessed with three beautiful children. The village was renowned for its rich traditions and moral values, which were passed down through captivating stories shared by the village elders.
One day, Tanneh informed Tarplah that she needed to visit a nearby town to attend a funeral. The two towns were separated by a wide river called Gbaleeton.
According to the customs of the village, before crossing the river, one had to confess the truth about their activities and whereabouts to a hidden spirit known as Wlo ko or Titi Wlo ko, who resided within the river.
Tanneh, however, had a secret. She had been tempted by the charms of another man from the neighboring town and had engaged in an illicit affair. Gripped by guilt and fear of being caught, she decided to conceal the truth from the spirit dwelling in the river.
As Tanneh reached the riverbank, she stood before the water’s edge and began to sing the ancient confession:
“Wlo ko, Wlo ko,
Moni kpa mu dey.
Titi Wlo ko.
Taa nii deh na, sii lay bah deh beh,
Titi Wlo ko.
Taa nii deh na, sii wea deh taa,
Titi Wlo ko.
Titi Wlo ko, moni kpa my dey,
Titi Wlo ko.”
In her plea, she begged the spirit, Titi Wlo ko, not to sweep her away to the depths of the river because, in the town she visited, she did not partake in any forbidden “peppers” or “cola nuts,” symbolizing her fidelity to her marriage.
Unbeknownst to Tanneh, the spirit Wlo ko possessed a deep wisdom and could discern the truth hidden within the confessions.
It could feel the weight of dishonesty and deceit in her words. As she finished singing, a sudden gust of wind blew across the river, and the water swirled ominously.
The river spirit, angered by Tanneh’s falsehood, unleashed its mighty currents, pulling her into its depths. Tanneh struggled to stay afloat, desperately regretting her decision to betray her husband’s trust.
But her pleas for mercy went unanswered, and she met a tragic fate, swallowed by the unforgiving river.
News of Tanneh’s demise spread like wildfire throughout the village, serving as a cautionary tale of the consequences of infidelity and dishonesty.
The villagers learned that trust and honesty formed the foundation of a strong and lasting marriage.
From that day forward, whenever someone from the village crossed the river, they approached it with humility and sincerity, confessing their actions truthfully to the spirit of the river.
The story of Tanneh’s tragic fate became etched into the collective memory of the village, reminding them to cherish the love and trust within their relationships.
And so, the tale of Tanneh’s infidelity and her encounter with the river spirit served as a powerful reminder for generations to come, teaching them that the path of truth and fidelity was the only way to preserve the sanctity of their marriages and find lasting happiness.