The Value of a Sacrifice

There are some stories that stay with you.  I remember being told one by a Ghanaian friend.

A certain business man wanted to bring his business success so he acquired a small shrine, an object of spiritual power.  He was assured that it  asked only that a libation of pure water be poured to it from time to time.  His business started to grow but soon the shrine requested palm wine in return for it’s help. Subsequently it asked for local strong drink, and eventually imported schnapps. He brought what was asked for. The business prospered.

One day the spirit of the shrine asked for the blood of a chicken, and then sometime after, the sacrifice of a sheep.  Business boomed.  One memorable day it demanded the sacrifice of a cow.  The man complied.  After all, he had the money now.

At last came the day when the shrine asked for the life of his youngest child.  The business man recoiled, stunned.  He refused.

And, said my Ghanaian friend, matter-of-factly, “He went bankrupt.”



  1. scott said

    That’s a very good story.

    I’m very tempted to ask you if you think it’s true; but when I read it, the story is blatantly true, regardless of factual accuracy.

    That being said, if you were to tell me it was factually accurate, I wouldn’t be surprised at it.

    It’s a very good story.

  2. adisasullivan said

    I wasn’t given a name, or introduced to the business man, but it was told to me as fact. In any case, as you say, it is true.

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