T P O

T   P   O
The Patient Ox (aka Hénock Gugsa)

G r e e t i n g s !

** TPO **
an irreligious blog
with egalitarian and individualist tendencies!


On the menu ... politics, music, poetry, and other good stuff.
There is humor, but there is blunt seriousness here as well!


Parfois, on parle français ici aussi. Soyez bienvenus!

Intelligent comments are always welcome!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

KINAMA - by Hénock Gugsa


KINAMA
[a folklore from Sidamo in Southern Ethiopia] 
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~

Kinama was a brave young Sidama who lived alone in the wilds with her sheep and her goats.  She lived inside a huge cave that had a big boulder right outside blocking the entrance.  Kinama was always on the lookout for her two persistent and dangerous enemies --- the mighty leopard who was lord of the jungle, and the pesky hyena who was always sneaky.  Everyday as Kinama took her charge out to the meadows to feed, she had to be extremely alert and be prepared for danger.  She had to be especially wary of the leopard because he was unpredictably dangerous.

But being human, Kinama was prone to habit ... she had gotten into a routine of sorts.  In the mornings, as she prepared to take her sheep and goats out of the cave, and she would say: My great cave, open your gate!

And when the boulder rolled back, she’d walk out with her animals.  Once outside, she would turn and say to the cave: My great cave, close your gate!

Then she’d speak up nice and loud and say, “Today, I’m going to take my goats to graze at Digarre!”  And instead of going to Digarre she’d go to Temede.  But, the next day, she’d get up and say, “Today, I’m going to Temede,” but instead she’d go to Digarre.  And although every day she’d be tricking the leopard in this fashion, she always made sure that nobody was listening to her when she was addressing the cave's entrance.

The great leopard was always lurking around not too far away, and he would be looking longingly at Kinama's goats and lambs and salivate.  He was frustrated that Kinama had been outsmarting him every-time he made a move.  He had to seriously devise a plan to outmaneuver Kinama, and so he came up with an idea.  Over the next few days, the leopard decided to learn every aspect of her routine from beginning to end. Early in the morning everyday, he would clamber to a tree just above the cave and hide.  When Kinama came out with the animals, he would make sure that she would not see him.  The leopard would then put his ears to the ground so that he would be able to hear what Kinama was whispering to the cave. 

As usual, each morning, Kinama would come out with her brood, talk to the cave in the same way that she always did.  She would also broadcast, to anybody that might listen, where she was headed, and she would go on her way.

The morning came when the leopard was totally ready and he patiently waited for his moment.  As soon as Kinama was gone, the leopard jumped down from behind the tree and ran up to the cave and said, “My great cave, open your gate.”  The boulder rolled to the side and the cave opened up for him.  The leopard went in, jumped up on a perch, and hid himself.

Later that day, Kinama and her animals returned to the cave.  She was safely home, so she says, “My great cave, close your gate,” and the boulder rolls back shut !

She sits down and starts lighting a fire. But the leopard was on the perch and he starts salivating and a drop of his saliva falls into the fire. And immediately she knows that the leopard’s in the cave. And she also smells his scent.
So she says, “I can smell the scent of my lord. He must be in this cave.”
And she continues blowing down on the fire to keep it going.  “Phoo phoo phoo ....”
Another drop of saliva falls down from above and she says, “I’m sure my lord is in the cave. I can smell his scent very strongly.”

And from his perch the leopard says, “Yes, I am in the cave. Now, what is your choice? Do you want me to jump down and kill you, or shall I jump down on your fattest kid, Warpo, and eat him whole?”

And she said, “My great lord, you know I have been rearing fat Warpo for you.  Why should you jump down and attack me?  Instead, please come and grab Warpo.”

So the leopard pounced down on poor Warpo and killed him instantly.  As the leopard slavered on the goat's blood, Kinama asked: Now, my great lord, shall I prepare the meat for you?

And he said, “Yes, do.”  So she skinned the kid, and she said, “I need some water to boil the meat in.”

The leopard sad, “Then go to the river and get it!”

So she went out, got the water and came back. But, at the river she picked up a huge white stone called chela glaka. And she brought the stone back with her, and she surreptitiously covered it completely with the white fat of Warpo the kid.   Then she put the fat-soaked rock on the fire and let it get sizzling hot.

The leopard was salivating and licking his lips.  He was indeed very hungry!  So Kinama said, “My lord, let me feed you. Please open your mouth wide.”

And he said, “Aah!” and opened his mouth very wide, and she quickly deposited the burning rock in his mouth and killed him promptly.

So now that she had gotten rid of one of her most dangerous enemies, Kinama decided to next deal with the hyena once and for all.  Kinama was ready for the challenge.  The first thing she did was to take out the bones of the kid and scatter them outside the entrance of the cave.  After that, she waited patiently.

But she didn't have to wait long; the dastardly hyena arrived on the scene as expected.

“What are all these bones?” He inquired.
"They're all for you.  Why don't you have some?  I’ve got plenty of food here for you to eat."

And of course, as you know, the hyena was a greedy lout.  “Oh, you do?”

“Yes, there are lots of yummy things for you to eat. But I’ll only feed you on one condition. That is: you must let me stitch together your tail to mine.”

The ravenous hyena was not very attentive, he was only focused on the food that was laid out on the ground in front of him.  So he said,  “OK, go ahead.”

He began eating the bones ... and, as she pierced his tail with the needle, he yelled, “Stop! That hurts!”

She said, “Then stop eating.”
He said, “No, I want to eat. I’m hungry.”
 “Well if you want to eat, I’ve got to stitch our tails together.”
He said, “OK, go ahead.”

And Kinama hurried and stitched the leopard’s tail and the hyena’s tail together while the hyena was crunching on the bones.

Then she said, “Look, hyena, what will you do if your lord, the leopard, appears?”

And he said, “No, don’t even mention his name. If he appeared, I’d dash away running for my life. I’d be so scared that I’d jump over thickets and everything, and fall into a chasm, probably.”
She said, “Are you sure?”
“Yes.”

So she waited until he ate a few more bones.  Then she yelled, “Our lord is behind you! The leopard is behind you!”

The hyena turned and saw the leopard's spots, which scared him no end.  Coward that he was, he went running.  And because he was now permanently tethered to the leopard's tail, what he was now seeing was the leopard pouncing on him.  Almost like lightening, the terrified hyena bolted through bushes and thickets until he finally reached a cliff ... and he couldn't stop ... he fell screaming and cackling to his death!

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Moral of the story:  Brawn and cunning are no match to brains and acumen!