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71 27 The Liar’s Tale T here was a liar who lived in a village. He died, leaving a son. The village chief called to the son and said to him: ‘‘Your father spent his time lying in order to feed you. Now that he is dead, we will see how you get along!’’ He replied that the lack of money could not kill him, for at his death his father had left him a horse whose dung was gold. Meanwhile, he forced the horse to swallow a gold nugget. The chief asked him to make his horse defecate, which he did by hitting him. A piece of gold was found in the horse’s dung. The chief told the child to sell him his horse and he asked him the price he wanted for it. He told the chief that if he wanted to have the horse, he would first have to give him one hundred cows, one hundred donkeys, one hundred goats, and one hundred sheep. The chief gave him everything he asked for and took the horse. He had a stable built in order to keep the horse locked up. He locked up the horse and waited for the stable to be full of golden turds, before letting it out. When the stable was full of turds, the horse was let out. The chief demanded that the turds be washed, in order to find the gold. But, no gold was found. Furious, the chief demanded that the liar’s son be brought to him. Before arriving at the chief’s house, the son killed a chicken. He took the blood, 72 Alain-Joseph Sissao (Translated from the French by Nina Tanti) put it into the gizzard which he then tied around his mother’s neck saying: ‘‘When we arrive at the chief’s, if he speaks to us, answer him rudely for I know what I’m going to do.’’ When they were at the chief’s, the latter asked the boy for his animals back because the horse did not defecate any gold. At these words, the boy’s mother told the chief that no one forced him to give his animals to her son. Just then, the son took his knife, and, as if seized by a sudden fury, cut the gizzard hanging from his mother’s neck. The blood spurted out, and the mother fell down as if she were dead. The child took an animal’s tail and whipped his mother’s head and bottom with it and she stood up. At this, the chief asked the boy how much he wanted for his tail. He asked for the same number of animals as the previous time. The chief accepted and the boy left with his mother. One day as the chief was speaking, his favorite wife interrupted him. The chief, who didn’t accept this from his wife, cut her throat. When his servants asked him why he had struck his wife he replied that if it wasn’t for them, he would finish her off. He then took the tail and struck his wife’s head and bottom in order to resuscitate her. But the woman remained still. He hit her again, but the poor woman’s body was lifeless. He realized that the tail could not revive her. He ordered a bull to be killed and the stomach to be brought to him. He demanded that the liar’s son be placed inside the stomach and thrown into a deep river. He had children carry it. On the way to the river, the children met an animal which had hurt its paw. They put down the stomach in order to chase after it. 73 Folktales from the Moose of Burkina Faso A man carrying a sack of gold happened to come by. When the liar’s son heard his steps he began to talk to himself: ‘‘Look here, for a gold nugget the chief had me trapped inside here so that I would be thrown into a gold mine.’’ When the passerby heard these words, he asked the boy to repeat them; then he said to him: ‘‘I will get you out of there, and you, you will give me your place in the stomach so that I will be thrown into this gold mine!’’ So the passerby entered the stomach and the liar’s son left with the gold. The children were unable to catch the injured animal...


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