The cursing of Sagibleu
Etou began to prepare his soldiers for battle. Like a robber plundering the city, he set tall ladders to the walls of Ngahêxôldod; he brought fierce axes that were to be used against the city.
Noses were crushed, bowels were slashed, bodies were piled up, heads were sown like seeds. Dead heroes were laid on top of dead heroes, and the blood of traitors fell upon honest men.
Thus all the gods cursed Sagibleu severely. “Sagibleu, you have pounced on Lasomo: it is as if you had pounced on Êtsdehad!
“May your proud cities resound with mourning! May your temples crumble to dust! May your bricks be returned to the earth! May your grain be returned to its furrow! May your timber be returned to its forest!
“Sagibleu, may your strong men be deprived of their strength; may they lay idle all day! May this make Ussor die from hunger! May your citizens grow hungry; may they chew on leather! May misery strike your luxurious palace!
“May the grass grow long on your roads, and may rams and snakes let no-one travel on them! May brine flow in your rivers! If someone decides, ‘I shall rest in Sagibleu!’, may he not enjoy the pleasures of a resting place!”
And before the gods on that very day, so it was. Op'euseu be praised for the destruction of Sagibleu!
[adapted from an Old Babylonian text The cursing of Agade]
I think this one could have been written by the Ndok following the failed Fáralo invasion of Lasomo; it certainly seems likely that they would exaggerate the defeat of Huyfárah...
The outlandish knight
“An outlandish knight came from the northlands,
And he came wooing to me;
He said he would take me to foreign lands
And he would marry me.”
She mounted upon her milkwhite steed,
And he on his dapple grey;
They rode till they came unto the seaside,
Three hours before it was day.
“Light off, light on, thy milkwhite steed;
Deliver it up unto me;
For six pretty maidens I have drown'd here,
And thou the seventh shall be.
“Doff off, doff off thy silken things,
Deliver them up unto me;
I think that they look too rich and too gay
To rot all in the salt sea.”
“If I must doff off my silken things,
Pray turn thy back unto me;
For it is not fitting that such a ruffian
A naked woman should see.”
He turned around his back to her
And bent down over the brim.
She caught him around the middle so small
And bundled him into the stream.
“Lie there, lie there, you false-hearted man,
Lie there instead of me,
For six pretty maidens hast thou a-drowned here
The seventh hath drown-ed thee.”
[abridged from the English folk song The Outlandish Knight, also known as Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight]
I have now translated this into Woltu Falla.
The host at arms
They assemble in arms, the ranks are formed, tumult approaches. In front are the warlike, in front the noble, in front the good; while the ranks are full of motion, the curved horns are heard all around, the curved swords are seen.
To the praise of the king whose host is devastation, I see dark blood arising on the plants, on the cloaks, on the spear. And ruddy is the sea-beach; and on the sea-beach, glory prevails.
A year of longing for these men is cherished by me - their steel blades, their mead, their vehemence. They assemble in arms, the ranks are formed; do I not hear the tumult?
[adapted and heavily abridged from the poem Gwarchan Tudfwlch, by the bard Aneurin]
Much of the original text is specific to the heroes of the Old North, but the description of the host at arms could belong to almost any setting.
The bat and the rat
A bat was jealous of his neighbour the rat.
When the bat cooked the food it was always very good, and the rat said, “How is it that when you make the soup it is so tasty?”
The bat replied, “I always boil myself in the water, and my flesh is so sweet, that the soup is good.”
He then told the bush rat that he would show him how it was done; so he got a pot of warm water, which he told the rat was boiling water, and jumped into it, and very shortly afterwards came out again. When the soup was brought it was as strong and good as usual.
The rat then went home and told his wife that he was going to make good soup like the bat’s. He told her to boil some water, which she did. Then, when his wife was not looking, he jumped into the pot, and was very soon dead.
When his wife looked into the pot and saw the dead body of her husband boiling she was very angry, and reported the matter to the chief, who gave orders that the bat should be made a prisoner. All day long the people tried to catch him, so he had to change his habits, and only came out to feed when it was dark, and that is why you never see a bat in the daytime.
[based on a Nigerian fable]
I proposed this one as a sample text for eastern Tuysáfa, although nobody else seems to like it.
A tale of the city
I will speak of this city, and of what it contains. I will speak also of the laws which govern its holy rites, of its popular assemblies and of the sacrifices offered by its citizens. I will speak also of all the traditions attaching to the founders of this holy place: and of the manner of the founding of its temple. I write as an Ëda born who have witnessed with mine own eyes some of the facts which I am about to narrate: some, again, I learnt from the priests: they occurred before my time, but I narrate them as they were told to me.
[from Lucian's De Dea Syria]
I imagine this could be about one of the Delta cities; I have the notion of an Ëda writer called Mazëja being the author.