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55 21 Keep your Promises! S ome women went into the bush. During their walk, they were thirsty. Seeing a tree called Afzelia1 , they asked it to turn into water to that they could quench their thirst. The tree replied: ‘‘If I become water for you to drink, what will you give me in exchange?’’ One of the women promised a guinea hen. Another, a goat. A third promised a bull. A fourth promised to give him a donkey. A fifth one said that if he became water, she would give him her eldest daughter. The tree accepted and turned into water. The women quenched their thirst. All of the women who had promised the tree something kept their promise, except the one who had promised her daughter. Tired of waiting, the tree decided to demand what he was owed. He sent the hawk kõõâa to the woman’s house. He went and perched on a tree behind the woman’s hut and sang: Kõõvâa kõõâa! The Afzelia sends me to tell you this: the blood of the donkey came, the blood of the chicken came, 1. Kânkalgâ in Moore. This tree has a nutritive role and some of its parts are used in traditional medicine. 56 Alain-Joseph Sissao (Translated from the French by Nina Tanti) the blood of the sheep came, the blood of the goat came, the blood of the guinea hen came, but that of the person is late in coming! The woman threw a stone at the bird, who flew away. After leaving the woman, the bird saw the woman’s eldest daughter, whose name was Ringalé, in the process of pounding millet for making dolo.2 He approached and began to sing: Ringalé, Ringalé, Ringalé is drawing the water for her funeral! Don’t worry, Ringalé! Go to bed, Ringalé! Nothing will happen to you! Ringalé, too, began to sing: Father, listen to a bird who utters evil words! Listen to a bird who utters evil words. And the father replied: ‘‘It is a bird from ancient times, my daughter!’’ Even though her father tried to reassure her, the daughter was convinced that the bird wanted her dead. She knew that it was the tree which had turned into a bird and that he had come to kill her. 2. Millet beer. 57 One day while Ringalé was pounding millet, the bird came again: Ringalé, Ringalé! Ringalé is grinding the millet for her funeral! Don’t worry Ringalé! Go to bed, Ringalé. Nothing will happen to you! The child, too, sang, to tell her mother and father. Father, listen to a bird who utters evil words! Listen to a bird who utters evil words! Her father replied: ‘‘It is a bird from ancient times, my daughter!’’ The days passed, and the dolo was not ready on the day it was to be drunk. The bird came back and began singing again: Ringalé, Ringalé! Ringalé is drinking the dolo for her funeral! Don’t worry Ringalé! Go to bed, Ringalé! Nothing will happen to you! Ringalé’s father went into a rage and threw stones at the bird, who flew away. Then, he beat his wife and his daughter to death, thinking that this would make the bird leave him alone. This is why we say that if someone makes a promise, he must keep it. ...

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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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