Greed knows no bounds

The following story was composed in the Daffo variety of Ron by Mr. Mafulul Lek. It is retelling a short story by Leo Tolstoy about a man who, in his lust for land, forfeits everything. (you can find the story online here) In the Ron culture, too, greed is regarded as something very bad.

At the end of the story, Mafulul Lek asks a few questions. You are invited to comment on the story and the questions either in Ron or English.


Mma naaf a masai ma sare, sum ti hwaa, si nii, sek maɗafal mai. Mma si nii, shin e? Shin si nii ndee a mun yo shini mai. Mma a faris mal gbaak, ta ceng. Safat ma lai shak, ta nii, akwai itii mai, ta mun ti. Mma a mun a hatat, ta ɓyal diyar ayis a fa ɗaam ma naf. Mma a shitai aa tuni, ta nii, ɗakwai ti mun nzis; mma a shitai fo’ kyani ahun gong tuni, dir ti kwet ti. Ta fwaa a hatai gwang ma naf ka cahi, ta njuɓwyaalai, ɗakwai si mun mmis. Ta mun a maringi, yit a findel ahwis. Nya si kai sis kwa, yit a aring ti ramami, wa’ ma gam safat! Si nii, hai nzis ti ngga’ taa kima kwa.

Naf si furai hwash ti, si nii: “Ca masai tite ti shin sani?” Si lak ti, si lakis saf. Saf ta niyis, si lakis, ta yes. Ta yes. Saf ta niyis “Lo”; si mashur. Ta kul ca, si cu. Taa nani ta niyis: “Awei ti, ɗam mma naf mi laki sani ha?” Ta niyis: “Si lak, si nii mi?” Saf ta niyis: “Si nii, aa gam safat, a ɗusai kwa.” Ta niyis: “Andai ti.” Saf ta niyis: “Ɗam mma aa ti sani fwet, a ceng ha?” Ta niyis: “I ceng.” Saf ta niyis: “Ye, ni lakan ti si naf shak. Si nii, tahun ɓa ca tof a nani ta mbule’ a she’. Ha mayes, a yes ti shita’ mma!”

A kam kil ta mbule’, si tof ti. Saf a niyis: “A kir hwam, a halai ɗam mma naf si nii, i laka!” A niyis: “Yaa halayi!” Saf a niyis: “A shitai ɓwe!” A niyis: “I shitai.” Saf a niyis: “A yu a hatai gwang shak! Mama si hyawa shak, a hanai yish – si katan mma! Naa gyok ha na a nani, ɓa a tik la ɓwe yit hani (a ti’isai ɓwe ra). A niyis: “A shitai ha?” A niyis: “I shitai!”

A yu, a shitai tuni gongi, a nii tuni, a kai maring, a fotis ti a lan. Ndu ti ham tuni, si nii, shin ndee a kai a ra kwa! Nan ma gam mater ti matik la a wur wet kwa; a nii ma fisai kil manggi mai a hai ɗak – a kat ti!  Ɓwe ti fur, saf si naf si gywak wet, si lang a gami. Si ɗusai funi. Saf a niyis naf: “Safat mma shin ma gami yit mani: kil mma ca ɗusis na kwa ha? Kil sani, yit mai, a mun fwyai mmis, a mun safat mmis.” Si her ti funi la, si yong fwyayi, si tik ti shin ti. Si mun a ɓuran, si nii: “A shin, ahun a ceng fwyayi ɗes?”

Lul taa tu ti findel sani, yit mai:

  1. Mma a gam safat, a ɗusai kwa, a yinde?
  2. Mma a ɗusai, a yinde?
  3. Mma a ɗusai, a ceng, a ceng fwyayi ahun wet?
  4. Mimai ndee a hek shin?
  5. Ndee si tek hai ti shin, si shitai, ahun wet?
  6. Mma ndee si shitai, mimai ndee a hek sis?
  7. Ndee si shat shin ahun wet?
  8. Shin ma na a layi ti kwai ahun wet?
  9. Shin ndee a lu’is wamai / a al?

Greed knows no bounds

When a person does what is good, his name is well known and Ron people say that he is a sek (“good guy”). What if they say he is a shin („bad guy“)?

There once was a man who was really a shin. He would never say thanks even to a gift. He thought that all the riches in the world should belong to him. While walking, he would stumble, because his eye was always gazing at other people’s things. Whenever he saw other people’s goats or acca or farms, he envied them, wishing they were his. He always roamed about people’s farms and food and regretted that they were not his. While roaming, he always talked to himself. He couldn’t find sleep, because he was always roaming about, searching for wealth. He was said to go anywhere, leaving no stone unturned.

People became disturbed and asked themselves: „What shall we do with this shin?“ They decided to report it to the chief. The chief told them to call the man. He came. The chief welcomed him. He brought food and they ate. Then the chief asked him: „Is it true what people keep telling me?“ The man asked back: „What do they say?“ The chief replied: They say that you are looking for wealth but don’t get it.“ The man said: „That is true.“ The chief asked him: „Are you not satisfied with the many things you already have?“ The man said: „No!“ Then the chief told him: „O.K., we have already decided what to do. We shall meet here early tomorrow morning. You shall come with your hoe!“

He timely arrived early in the morning for the meeting. The chief told him to listen to what the people wanted him to tell him. He said: „I’ll hear it!“ The chief asked him to look at the sun. He said: „I see it!“ The chief told him: „You shall go and see all the farms. All those which please you, you shall mark with your hoe. They will then be yours. We will wait for you here until the sun is there (he pointed at the place).“ He asked him whether he had understood. He said „Yes.“

He went to look at all the farms, but couldn’t decide which were best. In the end he went lost in the bush. He had not even thought of taking some drinking water along. He was perhaps at lost which way to take back home and wanted to jump over a certain place – in any case, he remained there (dead)!

When the sun set, after they had waited for a long time, the chief and the people went to look for the man. They found his corpse. The chief said to the people: „The place where we have found this shin, that is now his grave and wealth.“ They moved his corpse aside, dug a grave and put the man into it. As they buried him, they asked him: „You shin, are you still not satisfied?“

Here are a few questions for you to think about:

  • When you look for wealth and don’t get it, what do you do?
  • If you get it, what do you do?
  • If you get it, but are not satisfied, will you be satisfied with a grave?
  • What killed the man?
  • Did they have to do a post-mortem to check for the cause of his death?
  • If they did a post-mortem, what would be the cause of his death?
  • Did they cry for the man?
  • Is this type of man still found today?
  • Who is he reincarnated in?


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