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51 20 The Orphan Girl A woman had died leaving her young child with her husband’s second wife. The second wife went to sow okra in the bush. The okra grew and was ready to harvest. The step-mother forced the orphan girl to go out into the bush to harvest the okra. The little orphan girl got up. Crying, she went towards the okra field, singing: Sî lengen lengen leende! Sî lengen lengen leende! My father had a second wife, sî lengen lengen leende! Who took her two okra plants, sî lengen lengen leende! She planted them on the road to Kadyoog, sî lengen lengen leende! She planted them on the road to Tagrima, sî lengen lengen leende! She ordered me to go and pick them, sî lengen lengen leende! Hoping that the wild animals would eat me, sî lengen lengen leende! Hoping that the genies would eat me, sî lengen lengen leende! 52 Alain-Joseph Sissao (Translated from the French by Nina Tanti) She was chanting in this way when she met an old woman. The latter told her to keep singing so that she could dance. The orphan girl obeyed. The old woman danced and was very pleased. So she said to the orphan girl to accompany her home. And she brought her home with her. Once at the house, she began to wash herself, then she asked the little orphan girl to scrub her back. The latter obeyed. After her bath, she asked the girl: ‘‘Do you want me to make you some red sorghum porridge1 or some corn porridge?’’ She replied that at home she didn’t even have any red sorghum porridge, let alone any corn porridge. So, the old woman made her some corn porridge to eat. After eating, she went to bed. The next day, the old woman called to her and said: ‘‘Thrust your right hand into this!’’ She inserted her right hand, and when she took it out again it was covered in gold, up to the arm. The old woman told her to put her left hand in. When she brought it out, she had the same amount of gold as on the other. Then, the old woman gave her permission to go home. When she got home, the step-mother’s daughter told her mother that the orphan girl had arrived covered in gold. The step-mother said that the orphan girl couldn’t have anything like that. Her jealous daughter assured her that it was in fact the case, and she declared that she too wanted to have as much wealth as the orphan girl. The step-mother became angry and began beating her own daughter while ordering her to go harvest her okra. 1. Dish made from millet or corn flour, eaten daily by the Moose, sagbo in Moore. 53 Folktales from the Moose of Burkina Faso The girl left crying and singing: Wεε wεε yi yee! Wεε wεε n kê yee!2 She was chanting in this way when she met the old woman who took her home with her. In the evening the old woman wanted to take her bath and she called for her to scrub her back. The girl replied that she didn’t want to ruin her hands on a back as rough as hers. The old woman was silent, and washed herself. After her bath, she asked the child if she wanted her to make her some red sorghum porridge or some corn porridge. The girl answered that at home, she ate only corn porridge. The old woman got up to prepare her some red sorghum porridge. When she had finished eating, the old woman asked her to thrust her right hand into a hole. When the girl inserted her right hand, a snake coiled around it. She took her hand out. The old woman told her to thrust her left hand into another hole. When she put her left hand inside, a scorpion bit it and stuck to the hand she brought out of the hole. The old woman told her to thrust her head into another hole. When she thrust her head inside, it came off. This is why we should take care of orphans, and stay humble in life. 2. Song of lamentation. ...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9789956578009
Related ISBN
9789956616558
MARC Record
OCLC
680618032
Pages
136
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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