©DEV VIRAHSAWMY FOUNDATION
The Management Company of the Foundation is OCORIAN, of 6th Floor, Tower A, 1 Cybercity, Ebène, Mauritius.
SOURCE TEXT: WORLD OF TALES(ADAPTED) http://www.worldoftales.com/
THE MAN WHO NEVER LIED
Once upon a time there lived a wise man by the name of Mamad. He never lied. All the people in the land, even the ones who lived twenty days away, knew about him.
The king heard about Mamad and ordered his subjects to bring him to the palace. He looked at the wise man and asked:
” Mamad, is it true, that you have never lied?”
” It’s true.”
“And you will never lie in your life?”
” I’m sure in that.”
“Okay, tell the truth, but be careful! The lie is cunning and it gets on your tongue easily.”
Several days passed and the king called Mamad once again. There was a big crowd: the king was about to go hunting. The king held his horse by the mane, his left foot was already on the stirrup. He ordered Mamad:
“Go to my summer palace and tell the queen I will be with her for lunch. Tell her to prepare a big feast. You will have lunch with me then.”
Mamad bowed down and went to the queen. Then the king laughed and said:
“We won’t go hunting and now Mamad will lie to the queen. Tomorrow we will laugh on his behalf.”
But the wise Mamad went to the palace and said:
“Maybe you should prepare a big feast for lunch tomorrow, and maybe you shouldn’t. Maybe the king will come by noon, and maybe he won’t.”
“Tell me will he come, or won’t he?” – asked the queen.
“I don’t know whether he put his right foot on the stirrup, or he put his left foot on the ground after I left.”
Everybody waited for the king. He came the next day and said to the queen:
“The wise Mamad, who never lies, lied to you yesterday.”
But the queen told him about the words of Mamad. And the king realized, that the wise man never lies, and says only that, which he saw with his own eyes.
ZAME LI PA TI KOZ MANTI
Enn fwa dan enn pei ti ena enn grandimoun bien-bien saz ki ti apel Mamad. Zame li pa ti koz manti. Tou dimoun dan so pei, mem si zot ti viv bien-bien lwen, ti konn so repitasion.
Ler lerwa ti gagn niouz lor Mamad, li ti donn lord pou amenn Mamad divan li. Li ti get li bien avan dimann li:
– Mamad, vremem sa, zame to pa finn koz manti?
– Pa manti, Mazeste!
– Zame to pa pou koz manti?
– Sa mo sir!
– Rayto! Toultan koz vre. Me tansion! Koze manti enn gran malen ki fasilman kapav may to lalang dan lak.
Detrwa zour pli tar, lerwa fer reapel Mamad. Ti ena enn gran lafoul parski lerwa ti pe pare pou al lasas. Samazeste ti tini so seval par so krinier, so lipie gos ti deza lor etriye. Li ti donn lord Mamad:
– Al kot mo rezidans lete e dir Madam Larenn ki mo pou retourne dime pou lench. Dir li prepar enn gran fet. To’si to pou manze ar nou.
Mamad ti salye lerwa e ti al fer komision pou larenn. Lerwa ti riye e ti dir:
– Nou pa pou al lasas e donk Mamad pou koz manti ar larenn. Dime nou pou manz so krann, sikann li.
Ala seki saz Mamad ti dir larenn ler li ti al get li dan so pale:
– Kikfwa ou pou bizen prepar enn gran fet pou lench dime; kikfwa pa pou neseser. Kikfwa lerwa pou retourne midi, kikfwa non.
– Me dir mwa si li pou la dime midi pou lench, wi ou non.
– Pa kone sipa so lipie drwat finn rant dan etriye drwat ou sipa so lipie gos finn retourn ater apre ki mo finn kit li pou fer so komision.
Tou dimoun ti atann lerwa. Lelandime li ti al zwenn larenn e li ti dir li:
– Saz Mamad ki zame pa finn koz manti, ti koz manti yer.
Lerla larenn ti dir lerwa ki parol ekzak Mamad ti koze. Lerwa ti kwak. Li ti bizen aksepte ki Saz Mamad zame ti koz manti. Li ti toultan dir seki li ti trouve ar so de lizie.
CLEVER JACKAL GETS AWAY
“Hawu, hawu, hawu, my children,” Gogo began one evening. “You know, cleverness is a very important thing to own! Why, cleverness has helped Nogwaja out of the cooking pot more than once!”
“The Jackal is also a clever animal, isn’t he, Gogo?” asked little Sipho (see’ poh), who was quite proud that his nickname was Mpungushe (mpoo-ngoo’-shay = “jackal”). Gogo, in fact, had given him that name because of the loud howl he had made as a baby. Sipho liked to think it was because he was quick and agile as the Jackal.
Gogo laughed and looked at the child at her feet. “Yes, my boy! You are right! Jackal is a very clever animal. Sometimes too clever for his own good!”
“I remember how he helped Jabu the herdboy by tricking Bhubesi back into the snare. Tell us another tale about Jackal, Gogo!” begged Sipho.
“Yes, Gogo,” her other grandchildren chorused. “Please tell us….”
“Alright, my children. But listen and learn!” Gogo settled her round self down more comfortably upon the tree stump. “Kwasuka sukela . . .”
One day long ago, Jackal was trotting through a narrow, rocky pass. As he often did, he kept his nose to the ground as he ambled along, to catch the odd scent. “Never know when I’ll happen upon my next meal, ” he thought to himself, although it was highly unlikely that he would find a rat out in the midday heat. But perhaps he could catch a lizard or two.
Suddenly he was aware of a movement ahead of him in the pass. “Oh, no!” Jackal moaned and stopped dead-still in his tracks. Lion was coming toward him. Realising that he was too near to escape, Jackal was filled with fear. He had played so many tricks on the great Bhubesi in the past, he was sure that lion would take this opportunity to get his revenge. In a flash Jackal thought of a plan.
“Help! Help!” cried Jackal. He cowered down on the cliff path, looking above at the rocks.
Lion stopped short in surprise.
“Help!” Jackal howled, using the fear he felt in the middle of his chest to accentuate his cry. Jackal glanced up at Bhubesi. “Oh, great Nkosi! Help! There is no time to lose! See those great rocks above us? They are about to fall! We shall both be crushed to death!!!! Oh, mighty Lion, do something! Save us!” And Jackal cowered even lower, his paws covering his head.
Lion looked up, most alarmed. Before he even had a chance to think, Jackal was begging him to use his strength to hold up the overhanging rock. So Lion put his brawny shoulder to the rock and heaved.
“Oh, thank you, great King!” yelped Jackal. “I will quickly fetch that log over there to prop under the rock, and we will both be saved!” With that Jackal bounded out of sight.
Lion was left all alone to struggle under the weight of the unmoving rock.
How long he remained there before he realised that it was another trick, we will never know.
But this much we do know: Jackal continued to live by his wits!
RENAR PA ENN KOUYON
– Vini, vini, vini zanfan! Ekoute!
Granmer Logo ti dir enn tanto ar so bann tizanfan.
– Nou tou nou bizen servi lespri debrouyar si nou pa’le tas lor poto ousa res amare dan lak. Lespri debrouyar li enn zouti neseser pou fer fas difikilte dan lavi.
– Be renar, granmer, li enn gran malen, pa vre?
Sipo, so nom gate ti Renar, ti fier so nom gate parski li ti kwar ki so granmer ti donn li sa nom la parski li ti malen ek debrouyar kouma enn renar. Lergete so granmer ti donn li sa nom la parski li ti enn gelar ki kriye kouma renar aswar.
– Wi mo ti bonom, renar li bien malen, parfwa tro malen. Samem so problem. Parfwa so prop malen may li dan lak.
Zot tou ti riye. Sipo pa ti tro kontan. Li ti dir so fraz prefere.
– Renar limem pli malen. Li enn jak!
– Trankil zot tou, sinon pa pou ena zistwar zordi.
Sipo ti ole enn lot zistwar lor renar malen.
– Granmer rakont enn lot zistwar kot renar met lion dan so pos. Silteple! Silteple! Silteple!
Tou bann zanfan ti kriye anker:
– Silteple, silteple granmer!
Granmer ti dimann tou bann zanfan vinn asiz kot so lipie, bann pli tipti divan; bann pli gran deryer.
Enn fwa, bien-bien lontan, Renar ti pe mars dan enn ti santie ant bann gro-gro ros ki ti pe anpandan dan vid de kote koumadir nenport ki moman zot ti kapav tonbe e kraz tou. Kouma ti so labitid li ti pe renifle santie divan li parski koumsamem li ti may zibie pou plen so vant.
Enn kou li ti santi enn prezans masif divan li. Li ti aret sek. So lennmi, Lion, ti pe vinn ver li. Pa ti ena sime pou sove. Tou manier ti tro tar pou bar gorl. So leker ti pe bat dan mole. Li ti kone ki Lion ti pou desir-desir li parski tro souvan li ti finn fer li gagn latet. Bizen fer latet travay sinon lamor. Ki plan li ti kapav tire? Ki li ti kapav fer pou sap so lavi? Li ti kriye:
– Osekour! Osekour! Ed mwa!
Li ti plati so lekor lor santie e li ti get enn enorm ros lao li. Lion ti gagn sok. Renar ti pe kontinie kriye osekour e so lafreyer veritab ti pe fer so kriye vinn plis otantik ek for. Dan kwen lizie li ti pe yam so ennmi istorik.
– O Gran Lerwa lafore ek montagn, get sa gro ros lor nou ki pre pou tonbe. Pa perdi letan. Nenport ki moman li pou tom lor nou ek kraz nou kouma lapousier. Fer kiksoz Senier. Peyna letan pou perdi.
Ler li ti pe koze li ti kasiet so lizie ar so lapat pou montre ki kantite li ti pe gagn per. Lion ti trakase. Renar ti pe sipliy li vinn ede pou tini ros la e anpes li grene. San panse Lion ti vinn tini ros la ar so zepol atlet.
– Mersi, mersi Gran lerwa! Met tou ou lafors pou tini li pandan ki mo al sers enn poto solid pou tini li. Koumsa nou toulede pou sov.
Enn segonn pli tar Renar ti disparet. Lion ti res tousel pou tini ros ki pourtan ti bien anrasine dan parwa montagn. Lion ti pran enpe letan pou realize ki Renar ti lak li ankor enn fwa.
Ala kouma lespri debrouyar ti permet Renar resap dan lak.
THE TORTOISE WITH A PRETTY DAUGHTER
There was once a king who was very powerful. He had great influence over the wild beasts and animals. Now the tortoise was looked upon as the wisest of all beasts and men. This king had a son named Ekpenyon, to whom he gave fifty young girls as wives, but the prince did not like any of them. The king was very angry at this, and made a law that if any man had a daughter who was finer than the prince’s wives, and who found favour in his son’s eyes, the girl herself and her father and mother should be killed.
Now about this time the tortoise and his wife had a daughter who was very beautiful. The mother thought it was not safe to keep such a fine child, as the prince might fall in love with her, so she told her husband that her daughter ought to be killed and thrown away into the bush. The tortoise, however, was unwilling, and hid her until she was three years old. One day, when both the tortoise and his wife were away on their farm, the king’s son happened to be hunting near their house, and saw a bird perched on the top of the fence round the house. The bird was watching the little girl, and was so entranced with her beauty that he did not notice the prince coming. The prince shot the bird with his bow and arrow, and it dropped inside the fence, so the prince sent his servant to gather it. While the servant was looking for the bird he came across the little girl, and was so struck with her form, that he immediately returned to his master and told him what he had seen. The prince then broke down the fence and found the child, and fell in love with her at once. He stayed and talked with her for a long time, until at last she agreed to become his wife. He then went home, but concealed from his father the fact that he had fallen in love with the beautiful daughter of the tortoise.
But the next morning he sent for the treasurer, and got sixty pieces of cloth and three hundred rods, and sent them to the tortoise. Then in the early afternoon he went down to the tortoise’s house, and told him that he wished to marry his daughter. The tortoise saw at once that what he had dreaded had come to pass, and that his life was in danger, so he told the prince that if the king knew, he would kill not only himself (the tortoise), but also his wife and daughter. The prince replied that he would be killed himself before he allowed the tortoise and his wife and daughter to be killed. Eventually, after much argument, the tortoise consented, and agreed to hand his daughter to the prince as his wife when she arrived at the proper age. Then the prince went home and told his mother what he had done. She was in great distress at the thought that she would lose her son, of whom she was very proud, as she knew that when the king heard of his son’s disobedience he would kill him. However, the queen, although she knew how angry her husband would be, wanted her son to marry the girl he had fallen in love with, so she went to the tortoise and gave him some money, clothes, yams, and palm-oil as further dowry on her son’s behalf in order that the tortoise should not give his daughter to another man. For the next five years the prince was constantly with the tortoise’s daughter, whose name was Adet, and when she was about to be put in the fatting house, the prince told his father that he was going to take Adet as his wife. On hearing this the king was very angry, and sent word all round his kingdom that all people should come on a certain day to the market-place to hear the palaver. When the appointed day arrived the market-place was quite full of people, and the stones belonging to the king and queen were placed in the middle of the market-place.
When the king and queen arrived all the people stood up and greeted them, and they then sat down on their stones. The king then told his attendants to bring the girl Adet before him.
When she arrived the king was quite astonished at her beauty. He then told the people that he had sent for them to tell them that he was angry with his son for disobeying him and taking Adet as his wife without his knowledge, but that now he had seen her himself he had to acknowledge that she was very beautiful, and that his son had made a good choice. He would therefore forgive his son.
When the people saw the girl they agreed that she was very fine and quite worthy of being the prince’s wife, and begged the king to cancel the law he had made altogether, and the king agreed; and as the law had been made under the “Egbo” law, he sent for eight Egbos, and told them that the order was cancelled throughout his kingdom, and that for the future no one would be killed who had a daughter more beautiful than the prince’s wives, and gave the Egbos palm wine and money to remove the law, and sent them away.
Then he declared that the tortoise’s daughter, Adet, should marry his son, and he made them marry the same day.
TORTI EK SO ZOLI TIFI
Ti ena enn lerwa ki ti extra pwisan. So lenflians lor so lemonn ti sanparey. Lot kote dan sa pei la, torti ti ena repitasion sazes ki depas tou.
Lerwa la ti ena enn garson ki ti apel Ekpenion. Li ti donn so garson senkant zennfi kom so fam me garson la pa ti gagn enn ale ar personn. Sa ti depler lerwa e li ti dekrete ki si kikenn ena enn tifi ki pli zoli ki bann fam Prens Expenion e ki ti pe atir santiman so garson, tifi la, so mama ek so papa ti pou kondane amor.
Mem lepok Torti ek so madam ti gagn enn tifi ki ti ena enn bote rar. Madam Torti ti gagn per tansion gagn dezagreman. Si enn zour Prens Expenion ti zwenn li e ti tom amoure zot zafer pa ti pou bon. Touletrwa ti pou zwenn tase. Mama la ti panse ki li ti pou preferab fer so tifi disparet pou evit enn tabisman lamerdman. Misie Torti pa ti dakor parski li ti sir ki li ti pou kapav kasiet so tifi e anpes regar lezot trouv li. Ler tifi la ti gagn trwa-zan, enn zour Prens Expenion, ki ti pe lasas dan leparaz, ti trouv enn zwazo lor baraz ki ti antour enn lakaz. Zwazo la ti pe admir bote tifi la e so lespri ti telman maye dan lakol bote ki li mempa ti realize ki prens-saser ti pe koste ar li. Prens Expenion ti larg enn fles ar so lark e zwazo la ti tom sek lot kote baraz. Prens la ti avoy enn serviter pou al ramas zwazo la.
Ler serviter la ti rant dan lakour pou ramas zwazo mor, li ti dekouver enn bote tifi ki zame lizie dimoun ti trouve avan. Lor vites li ti retourn kot prens la pou dir li zafer extraordiner ki li ti finn trouve. San tike, Prens la ti defons baraz e ler so lizie ti tap lor bote inik, lamour ti ranpli so leker e ti boulvers so lespri. Zot ti res ansam e ti koze pandan bien lontan ziska ki tifi la ti aksepte vinn so fam. Lerla Prens Expenion ti retourn kot li me li pa ti dir so papa ki li ti finn tom amoure ar bote tifi Torti.
Lelandime gramaten li ti al get responsab finans dan sato e li ti fer avoy enn kado presie pou Torti. Dan tanto sa zour la li ti al get so pretan boper pou dimann li lame so tifi anmaryaz.
Torti ti realize dan ki douk li ek so fami ti ete. Li ti dir zenn prens la ki si lerwa, so papa, aprann sa nouvel la, li ti pou fer touy Torti, so madam ek so tifi.
Prens Expenion ti reponn li:
– Mo pou donn mo lavi pou protez ou, ou madam ek ou tifi.
Ti ena enn long deba ant Torti ek Prens Expenion. Tifi la ek so mama ti prefer ekoute seki sa de zom la ti ena pou dir. Alafen Torti ti aksepte ki kan tifi la ti gagn laz pou marye, li ti pou aksepte met so lame dan lame Prens Expenion. Lerla prens la ti retourn kot li pou rakont tou so mama. Larenn ti trakase parski li ti konn move karakter so mari. Kouma enn nanye ditou li ti pou fer touy so garson ki ti finn dezobeir li. Leker mama enn lot. Malgre tou difikilte ki li ti pe antisipe, li ti anvi ed so garson marye ar tifi ki li ti kontan. Deswit li ti al donn enn dot Torti pou aret tifi la pou so garson. Prens Expenion ti frekante pandan plizier banane e ler Adet (samem ti nom tifi Torti) ti finn pare pou maryaz, prens la ti al enform so papa ki li pou marye ar Adet, tifi Torti. Lerwa ti sap lor kal e li ti avoy emiser partou dan pei pou dir zot ki parlman popiler ti pou zwenn pou pran enn gran desizion. Zour la ti arive e lakour parlman popiler ti ranpli. Ti ena dimoun partou: lor sez, lor ban, lor pie, anba lavarang laboutik.
Lerwa ek larenn ti lor enn podiom omilie lakour.
Lerwa lerla ti donn lord amenn Adet divan li. Ler tifi Torti ti rantre Lerwa pa ti’le kwar so lizie. Sa kalite zoli dimoun la zame li pa ti finn trouve.
Li ti koumans so diskour. Li ti rakont so bann size kouma li ti ofanse par move manier so garson ki ti finn dezobeir li. Li ti finn deside pou marye Adet san konsantman so papa ki lerwa pei la. Me li ti bizen aksepte ki Adet ti pli zoli mamzel dan pei e ki so garson ti ena bien bon gou. Aster li nepli ti ankoler e li ti dispoze pou pardonn so garson me malerezman ti ena enn dekre ki ti dir ki si prens la ti tom amoure, so bienneme ek so pretan-boparan ti bizen kondane amor.
Lafoul ti bien ekout lerwa e kan zot ti dekouver bote Adet, zot tou ti kriye ki Adet ti enn fam dign pou Prens Expenion. Zot tou ti dimann lerwa abroz lalwa la.
Lerwa ti dakor pou fer sa me li ti oblize swiv prosedir ki ti pran enpe letan. Finalman tou ti regle e lerwa ti selebre enn gran maryaz kot net popilasion pei la ti envite.
THE WOMAN WITH TWO SKINS
Eyamba I. of Calabar was a very powerful king. He fought and conquered all the surrounding countries, killing all the old men and women, but the able-bodied men and girls he caught and brought back as slaves, and they worked on the farms until they died.
This king had two hundred wives, but none of them had borne a son to him. His subjects, seeing that he was becoming an old man, begged him to marry one of the spider’s daughters, as they always had plenty of children.
But when the king saw the spider’s daughter he did not like her, as she was ugly, and the people said it was because her mother had had so many children at the same time. However, in order to please his people he married the ugly girl, and placed her among his other wives, but they all complained because she was so ugly, and said she could not live with them.
The king, therefore, built her a separate house for herself, where she was given food and drink the same as the other wives. Every one jeered at her on account of her ugliness; but she was not really ugly, but beautiful, as she was born with two skins, and at her birth her mother was made to promise that she should never remove the ugly skin until a certain time arrived save only during the night, and that she must put it on again before dawn.
Now the king’s head wife knew this, and was very fearful lest the king should find it out and fall in love with the spider’s daughter; so she went to a Ju Ju man and offered him two hundred rods to make a potion that would make the king forget altogether that the spider’s daughter was his wife. This the Ju Ju man finally consented to do, after much haggling over the price, for three hundred and fifty rods; and he made up some “medicine,” which the head wife mixed with the king’s food. For some months this had the effect of making the king forget the spider’s daughter, and he used to pass quite close to her without recognising her in any way.
When four months had elapsed and the king had not once sent for Adiaha (for that was the name of the spider’s daughter), she began to get tired, and went back to her parents. Her father, the spider, then took her to another Ju Ju man, who, by making spells and casting lots, very soon discovered that it was the king’s head wife who had made the Ju Ju and had enchanted the king so that he would not look at Adiaha.
He therefore told the spider that Adiaha should give the king some medicine which he would prepare, which would make the king remember her. He prepared the medicine, for which the spider had to pay a large sum of money; and that very day Adiaha made a small dish of food, into which she had placed the medicine, and presented it to the king. Directly he had eaten the dish his eyes were opened and he recognised his wife, and told her to come to him that very evening. So in the afternoon, being very joyful, she went down to the river and washed, and when she returned she put on her best cloth and went to the king’s palace.
Directly it was dark and all the lights were out she pulled off her ugly skin, and the king saw how beautiful she was, and was very pleased with her; but when the cock crowed Adiaha pulled on her ugly skin again, and went back to her own house.
This she did for four nights running, always taking the ugly skin off in the dark, and leaving before daylight in the morning. In course of time, to the great surprise of all the people, and particularly of the king’s two hundred wives, she gave birth to a son; but what surprised them most of all was that only one son was born, whereas her mother had always had a great many children at a time, generally about fifty.
The king’s head wife became more jealous than ever when Adiaha had a son; so she went again to the Ju Ju man, and by giving him a large present induced him to give her some medicine which would make the king sick and forget his son. And the medicine would then make the king go to the Ju Ju man, who would tell him that it was his son who had made him sick, as he wanted to reign instead of his father. The Ju Ju man would also tell the king that if he wanted to recover he must throw his son away into the water.
And the king, when he had taken the medicine, went to the Ju Ju man, who told him everything as had been arranged with the head wife. But at first the king did not want to destroy his son.
Then his chief subjects begged him to throw his son away, and said that perhaps in a year’s time he might get another son. So the king at last agreed, and threw his son into the river, at which the mother grieved and cried bitterly.
Then the head wife went again to the Ju Ju man and got more medicine, which made the king forget Adiaha for three years, during which time she was in mourning for her son. She then returned to her father, and he got some more medicine from his Ju Ju man, which Adiaha gave to the king. And the king knew her and called her to him again, and she lived with him as before. Now the Ju Ju who had helped Adiaha’s father, the spider, was a Water Ju Ju, and he was ready when the king threw his son into the water, and saved his life and took him home and kept him alive. And the boy grew up very strong.
After a time Adiaha gave birth to a daughter, and the jealous wife also persuaded the king to throw her away. It took a longer time to persuade him, but at last he agreed, and threw his daughter into the water too, and forgot Adiaha again. But the Water Ju Ju was ready again, and when he had saved the little girl, he thought the time had arrived to punish the action of the jealous wife; so he went about amongst the head young men and persuaded them to hold a wrestling match in the market-place every week. This was done, and the Water Ju Ju told the king’s son, who had become very strong, and was very like to his father in appearance, that he should go and wrestle, and that no one would be able to stand up before him.
It was then arranged that there should be a grand wrestling match, to which all the strongest men in the country were invited, and the king promised to attend with his head wife.
On the day of the match the Water Ju Ju told the king’s son that he need not be in the least afraid, and that his Ju Ju was so powerful, that even the strongest and best wrestlers in the country would not be able to stand up against him for even a few minutes. All the people of the country came to see the great contest, to the winner of which the king had promised to present prizes of cloth and money, and all the strongest men came. When they saw the king’s son, whom nobody knew, they laughed and said, “Who is this small boy? He can have no chance against us.” But when they came to wrestle, they very soon found that they were no match for him. The boy was very strong indeed, beautifully made and good to look upon, and all the people were surprised to see how like he was to the king.
After wrestling for the greater part of the day the king’s son was declared the winner, having thrown every one who had stood up against him; in fact, some of his opponents had been badly hurt, and had their arms or ribs broken owing to the tremendous strength of the boy. After the match was over the king presented him with cloth and money, and invited him to dine with him in the evening. The boy gladly accepted his father’s invitation; and after he had had a good wash in the river, put on his cloth and went up to the palace, where he found the head chiefs of the country and some of the king’s most favoured wives. They then sat down to their meal, and the king had his own son, whom he did not know, sitting next to him. On the other side of the boy sat the jealous wife, who had been the cause of all the trouble. All through the dinner this woman did her best to make friends with the boy, with whom she had fallen violently in love on account of his beautiful appearance, his strength, and his being the best wrestler in the country. The woman thought to herself, “I will have this boy as my husband, as my husband is now an old man and will surely soon die.” The boy, however, who was as wise as he was strong, was quite aware of everything the jealous woman had done, and although he pretended to be very flattered at the advances of the king’s head wife, he did not respond very readily, and went home as soon as he could.
When he returned to the Water Ju Ju’s house he told him everything that had happened, and the Water Ju Ju said—
“As you are now in high favour with the king, you must go to him to-morrow and beg a favour from him. The favour you will ask is that all the country shall be called together, and that a certain case shall be tried, and that when the case is finished, the man or woman who is found to be in the wrong shall be killed by the Egbos before all the people.”
So the following morning the boy went to the king, who readily granted his request, and at once sent all round the country appointing a day for all the people to come in and hear the case tried. Then the boy went back to the Water Ju Ju, who told him to go to his mother and tell her who he was, and that when the day of the trial arrived, she was to take off her ugly skin and appear in all her beauty, for the time had come when she need no longer wear it. This the son did.
When the day of trial arrived, Adiaha sat in a corner of the square, and nobody recognised the beautiful stranger as the spider’s daughter. Her son then sat down next to her, and brought his sister with him. Immediately his mother saw her she said—
“This must be my daughter, whom I have long mourned as dead,” and embraced her most affectionately.
The king and his head wife then arrived and sat on their stones in the middle of the square, all the people saluting them with the usual greetings. The king then addressed the people, and said that he had called them together to hear a strong palaver at the request of the young man who had been the victor of the wrestling, and who had promised that if the case went against him he would offer up his life to the Egbo. The king also said that if, on the other hand, the case was decided in the boy’s favour, then the other party would be killed, even though it were himself or one of his wives; whoever it was would have to take his or her place on the killing-stone and have their heads cut off by the Egbos. To this all the people agreed, and said they would like to hear what the young man had to say. The young man then walked round the square, and bowed to the king and the people, and asked the question, “Am I not worthy to be the son of any chief in the country?” And all the people answered “Yes!”
The boy then brought his sister out into the middle, leading her by the hand. She was a beautiful girl and well made. When every one had looked at her he said, “Is not my sister worthy to be any chief’s daughter?” And the people replied that she was worthy of being any one’s daughter, even the king’s. Then he called his mother Adiaha, and she came out, looking very beautiful with her best cloth and beads on, and all the people cheered, as they had never seen a finer woman. The boy then asked them, “Is this woman worthy of being the king’s wife?” And a shout went up from every one present that she would be a proper wife for the king, and looked as if she would be the mother of plenty of fine healthy sons.
Then the boy pointed out the jealous woman who was sitting next to the king, and told the people the whole story.
Then the boy said: “I leave the king and all of you people to judge my case.”
You can surely imagine the rest of the story.
MADAM DE LAPO
Eyamba Premie, lerwa Kalabar, ti enn lerwa for ek respekte, souvan kriel. Li ti konkerir bann pei avwazinan. Li ti touy bann vie fam ek zom ek fer bann zenn vinn so esklav ki ti oblize travay dan bann laferm dan so pei.
Malgre ki li ti ena de san fam li pa ti ena okenn garson. So bann size ti trakase parski dan Kalabar zis garson ki ti kapav mont lor tronn. Zot ti dimann li marye ar enn tifi zaregne ki ti pou donn li boukou zanfan. Sirman enn ladan ti pou enn garson.
Me kan lerwa ti get tifi zaregne li pa ti kontan ditou. Li ti extra vilen. Dapre dimoun se akoz so mama ti gagn tro boukou tibaba anmemtan. Malgre so santiman personel Eyamba Premie ti marye ar sa vilen tifi la pou fer plezir so pep. Li ti met li dan mem lakaz ki so lezot fam. So bann lezot madam pa ti dakor. Zot ti dir ki li ti tro vilen e zot pa ti dakor pou viv dan mem lakaz ki li.
Lerwa ti desid pou konstrir enn rezidans separe pou li me li ti gagn mem tretman ki lezot fam lerwa. Bann lezot madam la ti pe sikann li parski dapre zot li ti tro vilen. Me zot pa ti konn laverite. Anverite li ti extra zoli. Kan li ti ne li ti ena de lapo e so merenn-fe ti dimann so mama fer enn promes ki li pa ti pou anlev so vilen lapo avan so bon moman arive. Me aswar li ti kapav tir so vilen lapo akondision ki li ti remet li avan barlizour pwente dan les.
Me tansion! Madam Ansef lerwa ti konn laverite e li ti per ki lerwa dekouver sa laverite la e tom amoure ar tifi zaregne. Li ti al get enn shamann-sarlatan, malefik, plis longanis ki shamann, pou dimann li enn elixir ki ti pou fer lerwa bliye net ki tifi zaregne ti so fam. Pou sa kalite mesanste la li ti bizen pey enn gro lamone. Lamone pa ti enn problem. Li ti donn shamann tou seki li ti dimande e alafen zot ti tom dakor. Shamann la ti prepar enn posion malefik ki Madam Ansef ti bizen melanze ar manze ki lerwa manze. Pandan plizier mwa sa plan la ti marse e lerwa pa ti rapel ditou ki tifi zaregne ti so fam e ler li ti pas kot li, li pa ti rekonet li parski dan so latet tifi zaregne ti enn etranzer pli vilen ki vilen.
Kat mwa ti pase e lerwa pa ti apel li dan lasam nipsial ditou koumadir li pa ti ekziste. Adiaha, samem ti nom tifi zaregne, ti koumans plen e li ti desid pou retourn kot so paran. So papa ti desid pou amenn li get so shamann personel ki ti osi pret dan vilaz, pou kone ki ti pe ariv so tifi. Shamann-pret la ti medite, fer lapriyer ek fer servis pou bondie vilaz. Finalman li ti dekouver ki ti ena oja pou fer lerwa degout Adiaha.
Li ti dir papa-zaregne ki li ti pou prepar enn mexinn ki ti pou donn lerwa so veritab memwar. Papa-zaregne ti rekonpans li e ti donn meksinn la Adiaha ki ti met li dan manze lerwa. Kouma li ti gout manze la, so lizie ti ouver e ti koumans briye ar lalimier onet. Li ti rekonet so fam e li ti dimann li vinn zwenn li dan so lasam kouma soley kouse. Adiaha ti bien erez. Avan soley kouse li ti al dan bor larivier pou pran enn ben. Lerla li ti met enn zoli lenz sexi pou al zwenn so bienneme.
Kouma labrim ti tonbe, li ti anlev so vilen lapo e lerwa ti dekouver veritab bote so fam. Zot ti pas enn lanwit memorab ansam e lelandime kouma premie kok ti sante Adiaha ti remet so vilen lapo e ti retourn kot li.
Li ti fer sa pandan kat lanwit. Avan rantre li ti tir so vilen lapo; kouma kok ti sante li ti remet so vilen lapo.
Nef mwa apre tou dimoun ti gagn sirpriz; zoli pou detrwa me vilen pou mazorite. Adiaha ti gagn enn tibaba-garson.
Seki ti plis extra tifi zaregne ti gagn enn sel zanfan, pa kouma so mama ki ti abitie gagn boukou zanfan anmemtan parfwa ziska senkant.
Aster ki Adiaha ti gagn enn garson, Madam Ansef so zalou ti pe touf li. Li ti retourn kot so shamann-sarlatan ki ti profit lokazion omaximem. Madam la ti pe rod enn posion jabolik ki ti pou fer lerwa malad, ti pou fer li bliye ki li ti ena enn garson e ki ti pou fer li anvi vinn get sa dokter-san-soulie la. Lerla shamann-sarlatan ti pou fer li kwar ki se so garson ki ti pe anpwazonn so ekzistans.
Dapre zot plan shamann-sarlatan ti pou manz krann lerwa e fer li kwar ki si li ti ole geri li ti pou bizen zet so garson dan dilo.
Apre ki li ti finn absorb meksinn la, lerwa ti al get shamann-sarlatan ki ti dir li ekzakteman seki li ek Madam Ansef ti deside. Okoumansman lerwa pa ti manz sa boul la. Li ti tro kontan so garson. Li pa ti gagn kouraz pou nway so prop zanfan. Sa pa fer sa!
Me tou so bann konseye ti vinn get li pou met presion. Madam Ansef ti ena enn gran lenflians lor zot. Pa kone kifer! Ti ena toutsort kalite rimer. Ena ti pe dir ki li ti vang-vang.
Finalman lerwa ti aksepte zet so garson dan larivier. Personn pa ti pran mama la kont malgre ki li ti pe kriye, plore.
Apre sa Madam Ansef ti real get shamann-sarlatan ki ti donn li enn posion jabolik ki ti fer lerwa bliye Adiaha pandan trwa-zan. Pov Adiaha ti pas tou so letan plor lamor so garson. Finalman li ti real get so papa pou gagn enn koudme. Zot ti al get shamann-pret ki ti prepar posion mazik pou lerwa. Sa ti sanz so manier net. Li ti retrouv so lamour ek admirasion pou Adiaha.
Aster mo bizen dir zot enn sekre. Shamann-pret ti osi enn shamann-akwatik. Li ti konn vinn envizib. Li ti laba kan lerwa ti zet so garson dan larivier. San ki personn kone li ti pran zanfan la dan so lebra, ti amenn li dan so lakaz ek ti okip li kouma so prop zanfan.
Garson la ti grandi bien e ti vinn bien kosto.
Detrwa lane pli tar Adiaha ti donn nesans enn tifi ki Madam Ansef ti fer lerwa zet dan larivier. Shamann-akwatik ti laba pou sov so lavi.
Shamann-pret ti panse ki ler ti arive pou aret Madam Ansef so lelan.
Li ti koz ar bann zennzan ki ti fer li konfians pou dir zot ki toulesemenn zot ti bizen organiz enn mach kalipa dan Stad Lerwa Eyamba Premie.
Lerla li ti al koz ar garson lerwa ki ti vinn enn atlet bien gayar.
– To for, to zoli. To bizen antrene pou vinn Sanpion Kalipa kouma Nannka Kalipa dan Nadiagarramparr.
Apre enn filwar eliminatwar ler pou final ti vini. Bann finalis ti pare. Lerwa ek Madam Ansef ti pou prezan dan lozdoner.
Zour gran final, shamann-pret ti dir garson lerwa ki li pa ti bizen per, ki so pouvwar mazik ti telman for ki li ti pou gagn laviktwar. Bann pli gran kalipa ti pou manz lapousier ar li parski so lafors ti sirnatirel.
Stad ti ranpli net. Ti ena bann pri extra pou bann venker.
Kan lafoul ti trouv garson lerwa ki zot pa ti kone, zot ti koumans sikann li.
– He gopia al bwar doudou ar to mama!
Me kan mach ti koumanse zot ti realize vit ki sa etraze la ti enbatab. Li ti gran, li ti for, li ti enn atlet profesionel.
– Drol, ala li resanble lerwa.
Ziri ti donn so verdik: “Sanpion Tournwa Kalipa ti … zot pa ti konn so nom, zot pa ti konn so idantite .. zot ti apel li ‘Enkoni Manifik’.
Apre remiz bann pri lerwa ti envit Sanpion Kalipa pou vinn dine dan pale. Garson lerwa ti met so bes. Ler li ti ariv dan pale, dan lasal banke, li ti trouv tou bann VIP prezan. Lerwa ti dimann Enkoni Manifik vinn asiz kot li. Koste ar li ti ena Madam Ansef lekersal. Pandan repa li ti rod drag garson lerwa. Li ti pe dezir li. Bote tilom la ti finn devir li anbalao.
– Mo bizen sa zenes la dan mo lili. Mo bonom tro vie.
Garson lerwa ti konn bien tou so manigans me li ti zwe lakomedi, ti fer li kwar ki li ti finn tas dan lakol. Me bien vit li ti defalke.
Ler li ti retourn dan so vilav, li ti al get shamann-pret pou rakont li tou.
Shamann-pret ti dir li:
– Aster ler finn arive pou ki laverite eklate. Al dir lerwa ki to ena enn faver pou dimann li. Li bizen konvok popilasion net pou enn gran zizman. Kan tribinal popiler finn deside kisannla antor, kisannla anrezon, lerla bann Gran Pret pou bizen ekzekit volonte popiler. Apre ki to finn koz ar lerwa, ki mo sir pou aksepte, al dir to mama kisannla twa e ki ler finn arive pou ki li anlev so vilen lapo pou debon.
Tou ti mars dapre plan. Zour gran zizman, Adiaha ti asiz dan enn kwen. Personn pa ti konn li. So garson ti vinn asiz koste ar li. So ser ‘si ti la kot so frer. Mama la ti erez parski li ti retrouv so de zanfan.
Lerla lerwa ek Madam Ansef ti vinn pran zot plas rezerve. Tou bann pratik protokol ti respekte. Lerwa ti koze:
– Mo bann size lwayal, Sanpion Kalipa finn dimann mwa organiz tribinal popiler pou donn so verdik. Si tribinal deside ki Sanpion Kalipa fotif, li pou bizen mor; si enn lot fotif li pou bizen aksepte kondanasion amor. Lakour lerwa pa pou get ar de lizie.
Tou dimoun ti dakor.
Lerla Sanpion Kalipa ti vinn divan lerwa, ti salie li e ti koumans so diskour.
– Eski mo pa kapav vinn zanfan nenport ki gran sef?
Tou dimoun ti reponn ‘wi’.
Garso la ti amenn so ser divan zot.
– Eski mo ser pa kapav vinn tifi nenport ki pli gran sef?
Tou dimoun ti dir ‘wi’.
Lerla li ti amenn so mama divan zot. Adiaha ki ti fini tir so vilen lapo, ti met so pli zoli lenz ek bizou. Tou dimoun ti dibout pou aplodi. Zame zot ti trouv enn fam osi zoli ki li. Lerla garson la ti dimann zot:
– Eski sa madam la pa kapav vinn fam lerwa?
Tou dimoun ti kriye anker:
– Normal baba!Normal! Sa madam la kapav donn nou lerwa boukou garson gayar.
Lerla Sanpion Kalipa ti pwent ledwa ver Madam Ansef e ti rakont tou lor li. So zalouzi; so traizon. Li ti rakont zot tou seki ti pase.
– Aster mo les lerwa ek so pep admirab deside kisannla koupab, kisannla inosan e ki pinision neseser.
Mo sir ou kapav kontinie sa zistwar la dan ou prop latet.
WHY THE BAT FLIES BY NIGHT
A bush rat called Oyot was a great friend of Emiong, the bat; they always fed together, but the bat was jealous of the bush rat. When the bat cooked the food it was always very good, and the bush rat said, “How is it that when you make the soup it is so tasty?”
The bat replied, “I always boil myself in the water, and my flesh is so sweet, that the soup is good.”
He then told the bush rat that he would show him how it was done; so he got a pot of warm water, which he told the bush rat was boiling water, and jumped into it, and very shortly afterwards came out again.
When the soup was brought it was as strong and good as usual, as the bat had prepared it beforehand.
The bush rat then went home and told his wife that he was going to make good soup like the bat’s. He therefore told her to boil some water, which she did.
Then, when his wife was not looking, he jumped into the pot, and was very soon dead.
When his wife looked into the pot and saw the dead body of her husband boiling she was very angry, and reported the matter to the king, who gave orders that the bat should be made a prisoner.
Every one turned out to catch the bat, but as he expected trouble he flew away into the bush and hid himself.
All day long the people tried to catch him, so he had to change his habits, and only came out to feed when it was dark.
That is why you never see a bat in the daytime.
KIFER SOVSOURI ANVOLE ZIS ASWAR
Ti ena enn lera karo ki ti apel Oyot. Li ti bon kamarad ar sovsouri ki ti apel Emiong. Zot ti toultan ansam me sovsouri la ti enpe groker. Li ti zalou lera karo. Sak fwa ki sovsouri ti kwi manze, manze la ti gagn extra bon gou. Lera karo ti dimann sovsouri:
– Kifer to lasoup gagn bon gou koumsa?
Sovsouri ti reponn:
– Mo plonz mo lekor dan marmit bouyant. Kouma mo lekor santi bon, mo lasoup vinn bon.
Li ti dir lera karo ki li ti pou montre li. Li ti met enn marmit dilo tied lor latab me li ti dir lera la ki dilo la ti bouyant. Li ti plonz dan marmit e detrwa segonn pli tar li ti sorti.
Pli tar ler ti servi manze, lasoup la ti delisie. Sovsouri ti trik lera karo parski lasoup la ti fer dan enn lot marmit e ti fini prepare davans.
Lera ti al kot li e ti dir so madam ki li ti pou prepar enn lasoup extra, parey kouma sovsouri ti konn fer.
– Met enn marmit dilo lor foye e les li bwi.
Letansa madam lera ti al okip lezot zafer. Ler dilo bouyant ti pe fer boul-boul, lera ti plonz dan marmit.
Kan madam lera ti retourn dan lakwizinn li ti trouv so malere mari mor dan marmit bouyant. Li ti al get lerwa pou dimann lazistis. Lerwa ti donn lord so gard pou met sovsouri antray. Ler li ti tann sa, sovsouri ti al kasiet. Gard ti rod li partou anven.
Pou pa gagn maye, li ti bizen sanz so manier viv. Lazourne li ti kasiet; aswar li ti sorti pou rod manze.
Ala kifer nou pa trouv sovsouri anvole lizour.
WHY THE SUN AND THE MOON LIVE IN THE SKY
Many years ago the sun and water were great friends, and both lived on the earth together. The sun very often used to visit the water, but the water never returned his visits. At last the sun asked the water why it was that he never came to see him in his house, the water replied that the sun’s house was not big enough, and that if he came with his people he would drive the sun out.
He then said, “If you wish me to visit you, you must build a very large compound; but I warn you that it will have to be a tremendous place, as my people are very numerous, and take up a lot of room.”
The sun promised to build a very big compound, and soon afterwards he returned home to his wife, the moon, who greeted him with a broad smile when he opened the door. The sun told the moon what he had promised the water, and the next day commenced building a huge compound in which to entertain his friend.
When it was completed, he asked the water to come and visit him the next day.
When the water arrived, he called out to the sun, and asked him whether it would be safe for him to enter, and the sun answered, “Yes, come in, my friend.”
The water then began to flow in, accompanied by the fish and all the water animals.
Very soon the water was knee-deep, so he asked the sun if it was still safe, and the sun again said, “Yes,” so more water came in.
When the water was level with the top of a man’s head, the water said to the sun, “Do you want more of my people to come?” and the sun and moon both answered, “Yes,” not knowing any better, so the water flowed on, until the sun and moon had to perch themselves on the top of the roof.
Again the water addressed the sun, but receiving the same answer, and more of his people rushing in, the water very soon overflowed the top of the roof, and the sun and moon were forced to go up into the sky, where they have remained ever since.
ALA KIFER SOLEY EK LALINN VIV DAN LESIEL
Lontan, bien-bien lontan, soley ek dilo ti de torsenn kole. Toulede ti viv lor later. Soley ti kontan rann dilo vizit me dilo zame ti ole rann soley enn vizit. Enn zour soley ti dimann dilo kifer zame li ti vinn rann li enn vizit kot li. Dilo ti reponn li ki so lakaz ti tro tipti e si li ti vinn kot li ar tou so fami pa ti pou ena plas pou soley. Soley ek so fami ti pou bizen deklase parski pa ti pou ena plas pou zot.
– Si vremem to anvi ki mo rann twa vizit kot twa, to bizen ranz enn bien pli gran lakaz. Ekout mwa bien. Lakaz la bizen extra gran parski mo fami samem ki pli gran dan liniver. Zot okip boukou lespas; zot bizen boukou plas.
Soley ti donn so parol pou ranz pli gran lakaz dan liniver. Lerla li ti retourn kot li kot so madam, lalinn ti akeyir li ar enn zoli sourir ek enn ti badou. Li ti rakont so madam seki li ti dir so kamarad dilo e lelandime travay konstriksion ti koumanse. Lakaz la ti pou imans. Ti pou ena plas pou pli gran fami dan liniver dapre arsitek soley ki ti enn exper.
Kan batiman ti pare, soley ti envit dilo vinn rann li vizit lelandime. Ler dilo ti arive, depi lwen li ti dimann soley si li ti korek pou li ek so gran fami rant dan nouvo lakaz soley ek lalinn. Soley ti reponn:
– No problemo! Bienveni kot mwa, mo kamarad.
Pa bizen dir, enn larivier dilo ti koumans rant dan lakaz ar so pwason, so krab ek so ourit. Apre enn timama dilo ti fini ariv nivo zenou. Poliman dilo ti dimann soley si li ti kapav kontinie rantre.
– Kaspalatet! Peyna problem.
Letansa dilo ti ariv nivo latet. Dilo ti redimande si so fami kapav kontinie rant dan lakaz la.
– Fer koumadir to kot tomem.
Dilo ti kontinie deborde e soley ek lalinn ti oblize mont lor lakaz. Dilo ki ti bien poli ek ki pa ti ole ki so kamarad soufer, ti redimann li si so fami ti kapav kontinie rant kot li. Repons ti pozitiv. Lakaz la lerla ti net anba dilo.
Misie Soley ek Madam Lalinn ti oblize al rod refiz dan lesiel kot zot touzour ete depi sa zour la.
THE STORY OF THE LIGHTNING AND THE THUNDER
In the olden days the thunder and lightning lived on the earth amongst all the other people, but the king made them live at the far end of the town, as far as possible from other people’s houses.
The thunder was an old mother sheep, and the lightning was her son, a ram. Whenever the ram got angry he used to go about and burn houses and knock down trees; he even did damage on the farms, and sometimes killed people. Whenever the lightning did these things, his mother used to call out to him in a very loud voice to stop and not to do any more damage; but the lightning did not care in the least for what his mother said, and when he was in a bad temper used to do a very large amount of damage. At last the people could not stand it any longer, and complained to the king.
So the king made a special order that the sheep (Thunder) and her son, the ram (Lightning), should leave the town and live in the far bush. This did not do much good, as when the ram got angry he still burnt the forest, and the flames sometimes spread to the farms and consumed them.
So the people complained again, and the king banished both the lightning and the thunder from the earth and made them live in the sky, where they could not cause so much destruction. Ever since, when the lightning is angry, he commits damage as before, but you can hear his mother, the thunder, rebuking him and telling him to stop. Sometimes, however, when the mother has gone away some distance from her naughty son, you can still see that he is angry and is doing damage, but his mother’s voice cannot be heard.
ZISTWAR ZEKLER EK LORAZ
Lontan, bien-bien lontan, zekler ek loraz ti viv lor later ansam ar tou lezot dimoun ek kreatir. Me lerwa ti fer zot al viv dan fobour lavil, lwen depi landrwa kot dimoun viv pou ki pa ena friksion ek konfli.
Loraz ti enn vie mama mouton ek zekler ti enn zenn mal. Sak fwa zenn mal la ti sap lor kal, li ti al bril lakaz dimoun ousa derasinn bann pie. Parfwa li ti fer dega dan bann laferm; parfwa li ti mem touy dimoun. Sak fwa ki zekler ti koumans so move size, so mama loraz ti kriy ar li dan enn lavwa for ek ferm e ti dir li aret so move manier, aret fane, aret fer dezord. Me zekler, kouma sa bann zenes tirbilan la, ti movi ar so mama parski kan li ti ankoler nanye pa ti kapav aret li pou fer li konpran. So dega ti pe kontinie ziska ki enn zour dimoun ti plen e zot ti al get lerwa pou dimann li met enpe lord dan pei.
Lerwa ti dekrete ki Mama Loraz ek so garson Zekler ti bizen kit lavil pou al viv dan enn danbwa lwen ar sivilizasion. Desizion la ti bat lamok parski kan so laraz monte ti mouton Zekler ti alim dife dan danbwa, bril bann pie e ler divan ti soufle dife ti fane e ti al bril bann laferm ek bann abitasion.
Dimou ti real plengne ar lerwa e Samazeste ti desid pou avoy zot anekzil dan lesiel ar lespwar ki zot pa ti pou fer otan dega.
Depi sa zour la, sak fwa ki Zekler sap lor kal e koumans so dega, nou kapav tann so mama fann ar li, dir li aret fer lefara.
Malerezman, pa toultan ki mama la pre ar li pou aret so lelan. Parfwa kan mama la bien lwen, sitan lwen ki li pa kapav trouve seki so garson bitor pe fer, nou kapav trouv garson la so dezord me nou pa tann so mama kriye ar li.