How Goat, Sheep and Dog went on a Journey

benjamin_matawal.jpgThe following story in the Bokkos dialect of Ron was written down by Mr. Benjamin Dapel Matawal (seen here on a picture together with his family) in 1999. It is an animal tale which seeks to explain the different behaviour of goats, sheep and dogs that can be observed when a car arrives: goats will usually run away, while sheep will stay on the road until the car nearly hits them and dogs often follow the car barking. The story gives an explanation why this is so.

Shiken, tutwi hu kyara si wa ɗa’at

Si ni maɓele niin, ai lak u ni a at ti ka’ loha i ya ima si ni sufat i wur. Unai si rang ta mbiri, sin wa. Si ndok ta kel niin al i mbirii lul cef ima ati, tutwi ti tal amet, kyara hwak tal ames, yis kof hai asus a macef, fa cef hyang ɓa si fas ashen ya, shiken ti lak al ma mbirii, ti ni, “Ha ɗingi kel ti hya ima yun na mbelet, hona na ka ru ta kel muɗor kel i wa fasa cef ama.”

Unai si ru ta kel ima si wa muɗor kel ta, mbirii ti te kat ya, shiken ti pisut ya ta sang kel ti titalut, ti wit fweng tutwi ti ɗorut kel ɓes. Unai kyara lang gbaram, ɓa si fas ashen ames, unai al ma mbirii ni, “I nyai hu wa ɗa’at ta kel andek hu shiken ho? Ɓwa ha mat ta kel amet.” Kyara ni, “Mute ti fut nin kwa, gung ti fut nin kwa, i wa kel ɗeng ɓi mat ɗama ta kel mes kwa.” Uɓet hu shaal ti lang kyara hai hu al ma mbirii, anggum i sufati si lak maɓwus ti mbirii myan mayus wa ɓa u ros ta kaang, si wa hal ti findel i kyara ni ata mi shiken ti wa yes ti talus ya. Shiken ti ti wayut, ɗak si ɗingut ale?

Unai tutwi ti ɗorut kel ɓes, kyara cu fo, ra ti mat fo, maɓwus ti mbirii dul mbiri sus yus wa, unai kyara ha lang ti fai kong, tital hal alis lang ya na sang kel lyau sin wo ya yis hai ta nyai, ɓa si fas ashen ames. Tital lo’ hanus, unai hon tital ti fai ti mbirii, hum kel ɓa u wa kel shiken hu tutwi, wa wis a tutwi je, unai lul mushok hai andi timi le ya? Tutwi ti ni tiya wa mute na a nggasi ha? Unai kyara ni, “Teshi kun na fisel, mwash si hum kel, i wa mat ti ashen amen a kpak.”

A yis nai tutwi tima raakan ta fisel, hai ta nyai ti tal cef amet tiyut ɓes, ɓa si mat kyara ashen ames ayis nai kyara ma fo titalan ti fai ti mbiri, ɓa si fas ashen ames, shiken yit ti mween mbiri fo fwet; ayis nai nna shiken ti ɗing mbiri yit yes ti tital ti te i manggasi kwa. Kyara ni mbwesh i ɗyang tutwi ta, sin hu ma ɓa i ɗing shiken ta.

Ayis nai shiken ti mween mbiri fo, tutwi ti tyayut ɓes ta fisel, kyara yis tital kol ti fai ti mbiri, ɓur ti ashen ames.


Transporting goods and people in Nigeria is always a challenge (Picture: © Uwe Seibert)

Free translation

One day the animals wanted to go on a journey. So they entered a car and went. When they had gone for a while, the conductor asked for the transport fare. The sheep paid hers.The dog also paid his. Because he wanted to show off he gave the conductor a big note and asked for change. The goat told the conductor, “You see how full this place is and that I’m sitting at the edge here. Let me give you the money when we reach at the next stop.”

When they reached at the next stop, the goat jumped outside and ran away. The sheep descended quietly. Then the dog started arguing that they should give him his change. The conductor said, “Aren’t you travelling to the same place as the goat? Go and receive the change from her.” The dog said, “We are not from the same place and family. I don’t go to any place where I can get anything from her.”

The dog and the conductor started quarreling. The other animals told the driver to hurry up and not waste their time. They didn’t want to hear the dog’s complaints about when the goat would pay him the money.

The sheep got off quietly, but the dog shouted. The driver started his car. Then the dog ran after it until his tongue came out and his saliva was pouring. All the time he shouted that they should give him his change.

When his body hurt, he gave up running after the car. He returned to the sheep and the goat, but he found only the sheep. He asked where the goat had gone. The sheep said that it had gone some place. Then the dog said, “Let’s stay here on the road, they will soon return, I must get my change.”

That is why the sheep is always sleeping on the road, because it has paid its transport fare. The dog is always running after the car, in order to get his change. The goat is afraid of the car, that is why when it sees a car it will run away and not stay near it. The dog guards the sheep, so that it may help him find the goat. The goat runs away from the car, the sheep stays on the road quietly, but the dog runs after the car, because of his change.

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