Narrated by Abebe Kebede
Kinama was a young Sidama shepherdess. And she used to have many goats. And Kinama lived in this big, huge cave with a big boulder as its door. So she used to take her goats out to graze but she had two big problems. One was a leopard who always stole her kids and the other was a hyena who always troubled her. But her biggest enemy was the leopard. So she used to try and fool him.
She’d get up in the morning and take her goats out of the cave by saying, “My huge cave, open your gates!”
And when the boulder rolled back, she’d walk out with her kids.
Then she’d speak up nice and loud and say, “Today I’m going to make my goats graze at Digarre.”
And instead of going to Digarre she’d go to Temede.
Or, another day, she’d get up and say, “Today I’m going to Temede,” but instead she’d go to Digarre.
So every day she’d try to trick the leopard in this fashion and she’d go out of her cave by saying, “My great cave, open your gates. My great cave, close your gates.”
And she always made sure that nobody was listening to her.
So the leopard used to look at her beautiful kids and salivate and think of how he could trick her. So one day he hid in a tree just above the cave and she looked out and she couldn’t see anybody.
And in her voice she said, nice and loud, “My cave, close your gates,” and she went away.
So the leopard jumped down from the tree and ran up to the cave and said, “My cave, open your gates.”
And the cave did open. And he went in and hid himself up on a perch.
So Kinama comes back to her cave and she says, “My great cave, open your gates,” and the boulder rolls back and she goes in with all her kids and she says, “My great cave, close your gates,” and the boulder rolls back
And 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 said, “I can smell the scent of my lord. He must be in this cave.”
And she continues blowing down on the fire.
Another drop of saliva falls down 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 do you prefer? Do you want me to jump down and kill you, or shall I jump down on your fattest kid, Warpo, and eat him?”
And she said, “My great lord, you know I have been rearing this fat kid Warpo for you. Why should you jump down on me? Do jump down and kill Warpo.”
So the leopard pounced down and grabbed the fat kid Warpo and sucked his blood.
And she said, “Now my great lord. Shall I make 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.”
And he said, “Go to the river and get it.”
So she went out of the cave, 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 in and covered it with the white fat of Warpo the kid. And she put the fat on the fire and let it become really hot.
The leopard was very hungry and salivating and licking his lips.
And she said, “My lord, let me feed you. Do open your mouth wide.”Putting food into someone’s mouth used to be, in some parts of Ethiopia, a mark of respect.
And he said, “Aah!” and opened his mouth wide and she put the burning rock into his mouth and killed him.
So now she had got rid of one of her most dangerous enemies and she decided to deal with the hyena as well. So she took out the bones of the kid and left them at the gate.
After some time the hyena came.
And he said, “What are all these bones?”
“They are bones for you.”
“Why don’t you have some?”
“I’ve got plenty of bones. I’ve got plenty of things for you to eat.”
And of course, as you know, the hyena was greedy.
“Oh, you do?”
“Yes, I’ve got lots of things for you to eat. But I’ll only do it on one condition. That is, if I can stitch your tail and my tail together.”
And the hyena was greedily salivating and he said, “OK, go ahead.”
He started eating the bones, and, as she pierced his tail with the needle, he said, “Stop! That hurts!”
She said, “Then stop eating.”
He said, “No, I want to eat. I’m hungry.”
She said, “Well if you want to eat, I’ve got to stitch our tails together.”
He said, “OK, go ahead.”
So she 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 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 anything, into a chasm, probably.”
She said, “Are you sure?”
So she waited until he ate a few bones.
She said, “Our lord is behind you! The leopard is behind you!”
And he turned and saw the colouring of the leopard, and he went running and because their tails were stitched together he dragged his body along with him. And they went through the thicket and he fell down a cliff and died.
This shows that we can defeat our enemies by using our brains.
|< Prev||Next >|