1. Idɔi ni icɛŋ e iTifanu sha dur — Stephen and the Python

Uyire e idɔi ni icɛŋ e iTifanu sha dur

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Unom unyom hum, unom o ulahadi, she e wur ni ucɔc ke ba yir ni aɛi ni enomwe ba e sher ni aɛi ni aŋwɛ e ime, ni e jɛ̃ iTifanu sha nene igboŋe e iye ni a nene umashin a wurke.

Aŋwɛ e ime ka a hɛɛ ɛti, ‘Ma jɛ̃ iTifanu! Ma jɛ̃ iTifanu sha jɛɛ apeti ubindiga! Ma jɛ̃ iTifanu sha jẽẽ apeti ubindiga!’

Ashe iŋgenak kom a ba a yeshi, ɛti a dak a maa a jẽẽ a yik iye ni ushi, biki icɛŋ inyom i dur idɔishe e iye i ɔishe. Iye shi ga jẽẽ icɛŋ jẽẽ a nyi ni enɛŋe e iŋgenake sha kõ ínake naa yai alea.

A jɛ̃ icɛŋe shi dur idɔishe iŋcɛŋ, i ɔ̃i amma shi i ɔ̃i, hã i ɔ̃i i maahe kocak ba, ni i dika i shok i jẽẽ i nyi ni asangara eti sha dɛ̃ɛ̃ ni hum. iyɔɔ shi dɛ̃ɛ̃ iŋcɛŋ, iyɔɔ shi nɔ hum, iTifanu jẽẽ a jɛ̃ icɛŋe inyomno i nɔ dai, iyɛɛ ne i nɔ ne amma kuma yada e iye shá peta hã a doki enɛŋ e iye shá dɛ̃ɛ̃ ni a per domin icɛŋe diki nyi ni asangara abin ha i kana, ni aki i nyihe ecei ni iworke.

Tɔ da iye a bera peti ni ecei yo, iye a ri a ri hã a jɛ̃i ecei, iye dik e dɛ̃ɛ̃ ni a perke inoom. Icɛŋe shi gõõ ogwi sho nyi ni iworke, iyɔɔ i shok i whɔr i wur. I wɔu wɔu wɔu wɔu wɔu shi i nyi ni akoi akom hum, iTifanu a jɛ̃ shi i naŋi iyɔɔ ijii, iye a jẽẽ a dur ni ushaukpe a jirŋa a jirŋa a jirŋa, icɛŋe i mɛɛk ecei i ba iyɔɔ ni imbɔɔ, a nyasha a tũhe.

Tɔ iye iTifanu sha jẽẽ hum a sho ni uŋwɛnɛ e iNa’o, iJɔ̃ɔ̃n, iKoch. Ikoch incɛŋ ga kõ e iye ubindigai ni a per a takihe. Icɛŋe igbamwe e iye i baŋa rege amma har nikincɛŋ i ni sho ni igbam. i nika niki ni i nyi ni akoi ha, iTifanu a gui a jẽẽ a dur ni ushaukpe, a jirŋa a jirŋa a jirŋa, iyɔɔ gi mɛɛk ecei i ba, iye ga a nyasha a tũhe.

Tɔ ingenak ha ma a kõ ni e iye igboŋe. Ingenak ha maa a per a taka incɛŋ ni igbamwe e icɛŋ ha i ta iyɔɔ, maa i nɔ hum imbɔɔ maa a per.

Icɛŋe incɛŋ ni iyɔɔ shi wur ni enɛŋ ecom e iyɔɔ shi nɔ odeshek ha, i cishihe idoishe.

Imbɔɔ incɛŋ maa a nene idɔishe a ŋwahe a ŋwarŋihe dai ni a kõ a ba bɔɔ ni aɛi, e ba e nyia ni aɛi kom inte ke tẽna e jẽẽ.

Ke jɛ̃ a sho idɔi ni icɛŋ, andorok unom ha iŋo shãhã e yeshi bɔɔ, nimocuha a ba kam ni enɛŋe a ashɛɛi icɛŋe. Tɔ ke gune lea alea kom unom hano!

English Translation

Translation by Gideon Madaki, edited by David Rowbory

It all began one fine Sunday just after we came back home from church.

There I was, sitting at home with my children, when Stephen dashed in, grabbed his gun and disappeared off on his motorbike. At this the children jumped up and down with excitement. ‘See Stephen is going to shoot a gun! See Stephen is going to shoot a gun!’ they said.

(Now, it turned out a Fulani man had come and called him to go and help him in the countryside, because a python had caught his sheep was about to swallow it.)

So off Stephen went to the place where the Fulani man had his flock of sheep and herd of cattle. He saw the python! It had caught the sheep and swallowed it but as it swallowed it didn’t quite manage to swallow everything. So it just rose up and slithered off to hide in the undergrowth and try to swallow its feast. Now, as it lay quietly there, Stephen crept forward and got a look at the python. There it was, very close, but then as he tried to work out how to attack it he couldn’t work out where to stand and shoot. The python had crawled into the grass, rolled up and very cunningly hidden its head in the middle, buried inside its body.

The head of the python was what Stephen was looking for, and he looked and looked but couldn’t see it at all. So he just stood and shot it as best he could. As soon as the python felt bullets slam into its body, it came out. It dragged, dragged, dragged, dragged, dragged itself into a bushier bit of forest. Just as Stephen was thinking it would completely escape, he reached out and caught it by the tail. He pulled and pulled and pulled and the python turned its head, looked right at him and at that he let go!

By now Stephen had been joined by ‘Coach’ (that’s what we call Naomi’s son Jona). Coach took his own gun and shot the python again. At that, the python started losing strength but it still had some power left. It still struggled to slither off into that forest. Stephen went and caught it by the tail again. He dragged and dragged and dragged it and again it turned its head and came back at him and again Stephen let go!

It turned out the Fulani man also had his own gun and he took a shot at the python. Finally the strength of the python was exhausted and it finally just lay still and everyone beat it to make sure it was properly dead.

But what about the sheep?

Well as the disturbed python came out from where it had been quietly trying to swallow the sheep, it had vomited it out. But it was too late to save it. So now they took the sheep and slaughtered it and brought it home.

As they reached home, we ran there to meet them. We saw they had a sheep and a python. Soon the whole town of Kondoro came out as if they’d been summoned to a meeting, and we all gathered to gaze at the python. What a great feast we had that day!