Our THIRD WEST AFRICAN FOLKTALE

This story is about Salt, and Daudawa (sauce) and Nari (spice), and Onion-leaves, and Pepper and Daudawar-batso (a sauce).
A story, a story! Let it go, let it come.

Salt, and Daudawa, and Ground-nut, and Onion-leaves, and Pepper, and Daudawar-batso heard a report of a certain youth, by name Daskandarini. Now he was a beautiful youth, the son of the evil spirit. They (all) rose up, (and) turned into beautiful maidens, (and) they set off. As they (Salt, Onion-leaves, &c.) were going along, Daudawar-batso followed them.

They drove her off, telling her she stank. But she crouched down until they had gone on. She kept following them behind, until they reached a certain stream. (There) they came across an old woman; she was bathing. She said they must rub down her back for her, but this one said, ‘May Allah save me that I should lift my hand to touch an old woman’s back.’ And the old woman did not say anything more.

They passed on, and soon Daudawar-batso came, (and) met her washing. She greeted her, (and) she answered (and) said, ‘Maiden, where are you going?’ She replied, ‘I am going to where a certain youth is.’ (And) she (the old woman) said, ‘Rub my back for me!’ She said, ‘All right.’ She stopped, (and) rubbed her back well for her. The old woman said, ‘May Allah bless you.’ And she said, ‘This youth to whom you are (all) going to, have you known his name?’ She said, ‘No, we do not know his name.’

Then the old woman said, ‘He is my son, his name is Daskandarini, but you must not tell them.’ Then she ceased. She was following them far behind till they got to the place where the boy was. They were about to enter, but he said, ‘Go back, (and) enter one at a time.’ They said, ‘It is well,’ and returned. And then Salt came forward, (and) was about to enter, little girl, go back.’ She turned back. So Daudawa came forward.

When she was about to enter, she was asked, ‘Who are you?’ She said,’It is I.’ ‘Who are you? What is your name?’ ‘My name is Daudawa, who makes the soup sweet.’ And he said, ‘What is my name?’ She said, ‘I do not know your name, little boy, I do not know your name.’ He said, ‘Turn back, little girl, turn back.’ She turned back, (and) sat down.

Then Nari (spice) rose up and came forward, (and) she was about to enter when she was asked, ‘Who is this little girl? Who is this?’ She said, ‘It is I who greet you, little boy,
it is I who greet you.”What is your name, little girl, what is your name?’ ‘My name is Nari, who makes the soup savoury.’ ‘I have heard your name, little girl, I have heard your name. Speak my name.’ She said, ‘I do not know your name, little boy, I do not know your name.’ ‘Turn back, little girl, turn back.’ So she turned back, (and) sat down.

Then Onion-leaves rose and came up, and she stuck her head (into the room) and was asked, ‘Who is this little girl, who is this? It is I who salute you, little boy, it is I who salute you.’ What is your name, little girl, what is your name? My name is Onion-leaves, who makes the soup smell nicely.’ He said, ‘I have heard your name, little girl. What is my name?’ She said, ‘I do not know your name, little boy, I do not know your name.’ ‘Turn back, little boy (girl), turn back.’ So she turned back.

Now Pepper came along; she said, ‘Your pardon, little boy, your pardon.’ She was asked who was there. She said, ‘It is I, Pepper, little boy, it is I, Pepper, who make the soup hot.’ ‘I have heard your name, little girl, I have heard your name. Tell (me) my name, little girl, tell (me) my name.’ ‘I do not know your name, little boy, I do not know your name.’ He said, ‘Turn back, little maid, turn back.’

There was only left Daudawar-batso, and they said, ‘Are not you coming?’ She said, ‘Can I enter the house where such good people as you have gone, (and) been driven away? Would not they the sooner (drive) me out who stink?’ They said, ‘Rise up (and) go.’ So she got up (and) went. He asked her, ‘Who is there, little girl, who is there?’ And she said, ‘It is I who am greeting you, little boy, it is I who am greeting you.’ ‘What is your name, little girl, what is your name?’ ‘My name is Batso, little boy, my name is Batso, which makes the soup smell.’ He said, ‘I have heard your name, little girl, I have heard your name. There remains my name to be told.’ She said, ‘Daskandarini, little boy, Daskandarini.’ And he said, ‘Enter.’

A rug was spread for her, clothes were given to her, and slippers of gold; and then (of) these who had driven her away one said, ‘I will always sweep for you’; another, ‘I will pound for you.’
Another said, ‘I will see about drawing water for you’; and another, ‘I will pound (the ingredients) of the soup’; and another, ‘I will stir the food.’ They all became her handmaids.
And the moral of all this is, if you see a man is poor do not despise him; you do not know but that some day he may be better than you.

That is all.
Off with the rat’s head.

From: Hausa Folklore
ISBN: 978-1-907256-16-5
URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/hausa-folklore_p23332623.htm

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