The following story in the Daffo dialect of the Ron language was told by my late friend, Mr. Benjamin Macif Malau from Daffo (seen here on the right of the picture). I recorded it in Daffo in 1990 and transcribed it with the help of Mr. Mafulul Lek.
It is an animal tale. The leading actor of the story is the hare, a cunning and notorious character. Like the Hausa Gizo and the Akan Anansi, he tricks other animals for his own advantage and to their detriment. In the present story, he fools a boy who goes hunting with him into killing himself. When he tries the same trick on the boy’s brother he gets fooled himself.
Waatan ti kamo’ sin si nafu ti fe ful
Ren ɗiin kamo’ ma fuk, ɓa ta yu a far a lan. Ta yu a kil ta nafu ti fe ful. Ta niyete: “Kabok, shi faren mar mmish, yaa fuk ni yu a far akul.” Nai ti niyise: “Hu yu, ɓwe ta far weng!” Mar si har yish mawan a lan, ta nii, ma tek bakam, kamo’ ta niyise: “Caa wan ti bakam ami? A hon!” Ta nii, ma tek taf, kamo’ ta niyis: “Aa wan ti taf ami? A hon!” Ta nii, ma tek mwan, kamo’ ta niyis: “Aa wan ti mwan ami? A hon!”
Nai si kai mater mayes a lan, si yes a lan, si furai fari. Ɓwe ti faris weng, si kai lo ti lan. Si kai lo ti lan, kamo’ ta niyis mari: “A kul cin bakam!” Mari ta nii: “Kwai a nii, ɓii hon.” Nai kamo’ ta nii: “A tok kang, a yu a wur, a har ɗaam kyai, a kul cin amwash!”
Mar ta kai tutok mawan a wur. Ka ma mandok a wur, kamo’ ta har lo, ta wetai la a jalpo mmis. Ta mun a mamun, ta fut mwan.
Mar ta tik la taa wur, ta ɗusis kamo’ ma hoash. Ta niyis kamo’: “Aa hoai mi?” Kamo’ ta nii: “Naf ɓiil si yes, si tekai sen lo ti lani. Ko nzin ti magas fwet, ka i furen a ham kil. Mma a shitai wash mmin si shar a fa ham hai, ha a fur a mwan ɗes!” Nai mar ta nii: “Ye!”
Nai kamo’ ta fur a ham kil, yis ka hwer nzis a ra. Ta wop a wak hwer tindai a ra a fa ham hai. Mar ta shitai hwer ti shar a fa ham hai, ta nii kamo’ a mot. Nai yis ta tok, ta furis a mwan, ta nyesh.
Kamo’ ta halai mando ma mar taa mwan, ta tok, ta lang la ta ham a kil. Ta yes, ta tek fun ti mar taa mwan, ta yanggwasai la, ta sisal, ta nii: “Kwai i ɗusai lo fwet!” Ta kir la a jalpo, ta kai mater mawis a wur. Ta yes a wur, ta laket naa ti mar, ta nii: “Mar mmish a fotis a lan”. Nai naa ti mar ti ho, ti ho.
Sin naa, tahun ta tik a matik la ta nafu tindai, ta niyet: “Kabok, i kabok shesh, shi faren mar mmish, ɓa ni yu a far a lan.” Nai naa ti mar ti nii: “Hu yu, ɓwe ta faru weng!” Mar sai ma ti ti ndaret fwet, a wu kamo’ ndaret. Nai si lang mayes, si har yish, mar sai ta nii, ma tek bakam, kamo’ ta nii: “Aa wan ti bakam ami?” Mar ta wetai la. Ta nii, ma tek mwan. Kamo’ ta nii: “Aa wan ti mwan ami? A hon!” Mar ta wetai la. Mar sai ta haar ɗaam shak, ta wetai la a jalpo mmis.
Si kai mater mayes a lan, sin si kamo’i. Si yes, si furai far.Si kai lo ti lan. Kamo’ a sisal, a nii: “Ɗaam mma kwai i nii ɓa a har cin ka bakam ka mwan mi ali?” Mar a ti’ ra a jalpo , a nii: “Sin myan!” Ko ti kamo’ ti magas, nai si lu’ai mwan. Si fash lohi, si cu, si wal la.
Kamo’ a mbi’ ndaret nzis, a nii: “A shitai, kwai ko nzin ti magas fwet, ka i furen a ham kil, i moten. Mma a shitai wash mmin si shar a fa ham hai, a nii i motan a ham kil ndai. Hayaa a tok, a fura a mwan ɗe s!” Mar a nii: “Andai ti!”
Kamo’ a fur a ham kil, yis ka hwer nzis a ra. A wak hwer a ra a ham kil, hwer ti shar a fa ham hai. Nai mar a shitai, a sisal. A har sakpak ma kamo’, a wop a but a mwan, a tok, a langis a jalpo ta kamo’.
Kamo’ a halai mando ma sakpak ta ham a kil. A tok, a lang la, a yu, a shitai sakpak awu walan yis a manyesh, a nii: “Yaake’, mar sani awu walan yis a manyesh ha?” A har, a yanggwasai la, a nii ma cwai sakpak, a loshishis, a nggwaar, sakpak a loshishis, a nii: “Lo ma mar sani a ɓal lwashashat”, a but la.
Nai ta tek jalpo mmis, a kir a la, a furai mater mayes a wur. Jalpo a ɗukis, a nii ma hatat ti, a mba hatat wet. Nai mar a shitai andai, a furai dor ta jalpo ta kamo’, a nii: “Kamo’ haling, ta cwai sakpak mmis, kamo’ haling, ta cwai sakpak mmis.” Kamo’ nai a halai dor, a nii: “jalpo nzin tuni ti sun dor fwet, jalpo nzin tuni ti sun dor fwet.” A nii, ma hatat ti, ti ɗukis hai, a fwar ti. A nii, ma hatat ti, ti ɗukis hai, a fwar ti. Nai a nii, ma mashit ti a jalpo. Mar a fis la taa jalpo, a sisal, a sisal, a sisal. Ko ti kamo’ ti magas, ti magas, ti magas fwet. Nai a kai mater nzis, mar a kai mater nzis, si makar. Kamo’ a wis yo ma yangga’an a tu.
Ngga’ ma waatan nai.
The tale of the hare and the woman with two children
One day, the hare wanted to go hunting in the bush. He went to a woman who had two sons. He said to her: “Please, let your son go hunting with me!” She answered: “Go, may God give you luck!” The boy prepared everything for the hunt. He wanted to take along a knife, but the hare said to him: “What do we need a knife for? Leave it!” He wanted to take along a spoon, but again the hare said: “What do you need the spoon for? Leave it!” He wanted to take along fire, but again the hare said: “What do you need the fire for? Leave it!”
Then they set out for the bush and started hunting. God gave them luck, they caught some animals. Then the hare asked the boy to give him a knife. The boy answered: “A while ago, you told me to leave it!” Then the hare said: “Run quickly to your house and collect the things now!”
The boy quickly ran home. He had not yet reached home, when the hare collected the meat and hid it in his bag. He sat down and lit a fire.
When the boy returned from home, he found the hare crying. He asked the hare why he was crying. The hare answered: “Some people have come and seized the meat from me. I’m so sad, I will drown myself in that pool. When you see my blood coming up to the water surface, throw yourself into the fire.” The boy agreed.
Then the hare jumped into the water, holding some red soil in his hands. He released the red soil under the water. The boy saw the red colour coming up on the water surface and thought that the hare had died. Then he quickly threw himself into the fire and burned.
When the hare smelled the stench of the burned boy, he quickly came out from the water. He took the corpse from the fire, and scraped the burned parts of. He laughed and said: “Today I have got a lot of meat!” He put it into his bag and went home. Back home, he told the boy’s mother that the boy had got lost in the bush. Then she cried for a long time.
The next day, he went to the same woman again and asked her: “Please, let your son go hunting with me!” She answered: “Go, may God give you luck!” That boy was very clever, cleverer even than the hare. When they got ready for the hunt, the boy wanted to take a knife, but the hare said: “What for? Leave it!” The boy hid it in his bag. He wanted to take along fire. The hare again said: “What do we need the fire for? Leave it!” The boy hid it in his bag. The boy collected all the things and hid them in his bag.
The two of them set out for the hunt. They started hunting and caught some animals. The hare laughed and said to the boy: “Where are the things I ordered you to take along, knife and fire?” The boy pointed to his bag and said: “Here they are!” The hare became very angry. Then they lit a fire. They roasted the meat and ate it.
Then the hare remembered his trick of the day before. He said to the boy: “Look, I am so angry that I will drown myself in that pool. When you see my blood coming up on the water surface, you will know that I have died. Then, you yourself should also jump into the fire. The boy said: “As you like!”
The hare jumped into the pool, again holding red chalk in his hand. He released the red chalk from his hand and again the water turned red. When the boy saw that, he laughed. He collected the hare’s sandals and threw them into the fire. Then he entered the hare’s bag.
The hare smelled the burned sandals. He quickly came out from the water and found the sandals completely burned. He said: “Oh dear, the boy has already burned!” He collected the sandals, scratched the burned parts off and tried to eat them, but they were too tough for him. He said: “This boy’s meat is too tough” and threw them away.
Then he took his bag and started going home. He wanted to go, but the bag was too heavy, so he couldn’t go with it. When the boy saw that, he started singing from inside the bag: “The hare is a fool, he has eaten his own sandals!” When the hare heard the song, he said: “My bag really knows how to sing!” He wanted to go with it, but it was too heavy, so he fell down. Then he wanted to look inside the bag. The boy jumped out of the bag and laughed and laughed. The hare became very angry. Then each of them took his own way. The hare went away very angry.
That was the end of the story.