Three friends

I will retell a fable. I follow the traditions. Once upon a time there were three friends: Cricket, Frog and Mosquito. They would go to every place together; they would do everything together. 

One day Frog said: “Once the water returns into the river, perhaps we’ll catch a carp. Let us take up a net and go searching. Mosquito said: “Yes, let’s go! I’m certain that there are many". Cricket said: “Come, let’s go, we will get and lack for nothing".

They continued together. They said someone should not precede another, because else (literally: it is like that), all their friendship would be spoiled. They reached the bank of the water. Frog said: “Well, Cricket. It is of a truth we came to fish, but my sight will have to watch out and see for us until the water will be deep; thereafter until there are carps. Till they aren’t, till then let us go somewhere else. Till the water is deep, till then let us go over there.


a) What are the names of the three friends?

b) What will they do with the net?


1 "ay jandi-jandi" is translated by me here as  "I will retell a fable". The word "jandi" means  tell a fable. Doubling of a verb usually gives the idea of repeating the action (see Lesson 18). Sandra Bornand gives a somewhat different first sentence in her thesis as she writes about a women who starts to tell a fable about a hare and a hyena: "ay jandey jandey" (page 85). She translates this by "mes contes mes contes" (my stories/fables, my stories/fables). In a footnote she reports that one of her informants suggest another introduction: "ay jandey ay jandey". According to the same informant this translates as "je conte je conte" (I tell, I tell).  

2 "ay naamey-naamey" is translated by me here as "I follow the traditions". This translation is uncertain and it is based upon the meaning of the word  "naamu"  (culture, habit, tradition). In her thesis Sandra Bornand reports (page 85, footnote 2) that this expression is translated by some as "mes traditions mes traditions" (my traditions, my traditions). This expression is exclaimed -in the context of Bornand- by the audience and not by the storyteller. Thatis why it is translated by others as "je réponds je réponds" (I answer, I answer), as a reaction to the "je conte je conte" (see footnote 1 above). 

Last updated: 26 december 2009