ko waɗi afo baylo wonti aga
faa aga waylitii baylo;
aan anndoyɗo hoto ɗoofii
ko wiyetee ndenɗiraaku waɗaa 2180
hakkunde maɓɓe kamɓe ɗiɗon
so doonii e ɓiɓɓe maɓɓe fiɓii. »
Gariibu nayeejo jaabaaki
heddii licce mum na wiɗoo
ana tefa temmba mum faa fuƴa 2185
yarnga mo haari nga mo nannga.
Hammadi saatu yiinoo ɗum,
mo yeggiti fey mo kaananke,
mo teɓɓii tuuba ngel nayewel
mo ƴeewi mo yiiti yarnga ɓutii, 2190
mo wii fa mo nirka temmba fusa.
Nayewel nanngi junngo haɗi
Mo wii :
— « Mi nyaamii cofal so temmba nyaami kam.
Weddoya nyaamnga kam e leydi. 2195
Nyalooma garoowo ma ndi nyaam nga.
Yo nii tan nii waɗaa nguurndam.
Mooƴu ŋonyooma ɗaɗi nyaama.
Cofal duu mooƴu nii moɗata.
Neɗɗo yo gertogal wuuri. 2200
Waasu yo neɗɗo nyaamoyta.
Leydi munyoori ana doomi
walaa gite kaa na nii ƴeewa.
Endi nii ƴeewa talloore
ndi jala ɗum kaa walaa hunduko. 2205
Ngu feeti woliide ndeen du wiya :
— Tagoyɗo ma leydi Geno nyemmbu
na waylite fuu nyalooma Geno,
Mo waylite jamma talle gere.
how the eldest son of the blacksmith becomes a shepherd 156
and how the shepherd becomes a blacksmith,
you who know the origin
of what are called cousinship jokes 157
that unite two men
and form a bond with their descendants.”
The old beggar did not answer
and began searching in his rags,
trying to crush an elusive flea
which had drunk its fill of his blood.
Seeing this, Hammadi forgot
his kingly role.
He grasped the old man's pants,
examined them, found a bloated flea
and was about to squeeze and crush it.
The little man took his hand, kept him from doing so,
“I ate a chicken before this flea went after me.
Throw down my ‘eater.’
Another day, the earth will eat it.
Life is like that.
The termite gnaws at roots 158, eats them.
The hen, in turn, swallows the termite.
Man takes nourishment from the hen
and the wild beast eats man.
Patient earth waits.
Eyeless, she contemplates and sees.
She observes the dung-beetle.
She laughs mouthlessly.
The dung-beetle says wordlessly:
‘Oh Earth! I imitate Geno, your Creator
that turns you all day long,
turns you back at night, turns you in all directions
Notes (Lilyan Kesteloot)
156. Blacksmith and shepherd: cf. the myth of the origin of the Fulani and the legend of Buytorin, ancestor of the Fulɓe of western Africa according to the tales of the Fulɓe of the Senegal Ferlo, Moolo Gawlo and Arɗo Dembo.
157. This has to do with the denɗiraaku or joking relation that exists between blacksmiths and the Fulɓe.
158. The law of universal mutual devouring which is akin to the law of annihilation of the 11 forces, one by the other: stone is crushed by iron, which is melted by fire, which is put out by water, which is dried by the wind; man triumphs over the wind, drunkenness annihilates man; sleep kills.