The audio for this story is currently not available.
Jaden grann mwen an se bèl bagay, li chaje ak roroli, pitimi, kasav. Men, pi bon nan tout se fig yo. Malgre grann mwen gen anpil pitit pitit, mwen konnen ke se mwen li pi pito. Li fè m vini lakay li toutan. Li rakonte’m ti sekrè li yo men gen yon grenn ladan yo ke li pa janm di’m « se kijan fig li yo mi konsa ».
Grandma’s garden was wonderful, full of sorghum, millet, and cassava.
But best of all were the bananas.
Although Grandma had many grandchildren, I secretly knew that I was her favourite. She invited me often to her house. She also told me little secrets.
But there was one secret she did not share with me: where she ripened bananas.
Yon jou, mwen wè yon gwo panyen pay chita nan solèy lakay grann mwen. Lè’m mande ki sa li ye, li reponn mwen sèlman “Se panyen majik mwen.” Bò kote panyen an, te gen plizyè fèy bannann ke grann mwen tap vire tanzantan. Mwen te anvi konnen sa ki tap pase “Poukisa fèy sa yo, grannn?” Li reponn sèlman “se fèy majik mwen yo.”
One day I saw a big straw basket placed in the sun outside Grandma’s house. When I asked what it was for, the only answer I got was, “It’s my magic basket.”
Next to the basket, there were several banana leaves that Grandma turned from time to time. I was curious. “What are the leaves for, Grandma?” I asked. The only answer I got was, “They are my magic leaves.”
Mwen te renmen gade grann mwen, bannann yo, fèy bannann yo ak panyen an. Men, yon jou grann mwen voye’m al fè yon komisyon bò kote manman mwen “Grann, tanpri, kite’m gade sa wap fè…” Li reponn mwen “Pa fè tèt di pitit, fè jan yo di’w la”. Mwen pran kouri.
It was so interesting watching Grandma, the bananas, the banana leaves and the big straw basket. But Grandma sent me off to my mother on an errand.
“Grandma, please, let me watch as you prepare…”
“Don’t be stubborn, child, do as you are told,” she insisted. I took off running.
Lè’m tounen, grann te chita deyò men mwen pa te wè ni panyen an ni bannann yo. “Grann kote panyen an, kote tout bannann yo enpi kote …” Li reponn mwen « yo nan panyen majik mwen! Mwen te desi !
When I returned, Grandma was sitting outside but with neither the basket nor the bananas.
“Grandma, where is the basket, where are all the bananas, and where…”
But the only answer I got was, “They are in my magic place.” It was so disappointing!
De jou pita, grann mwen voye’m al chache baton li ki te nan chanm lan. Lè’m louvri pòt la, mwen pran yo gwo lodè fig mi. Panyen majik la te byen kache nan yon kwen chanm nan. Mwen leve’l enpi mwen pran bèl lodè majik la.
Two days later, Grandma sent me to fetch her walking stick from her bedroom.
As soon as I opened the door, I was welcomed by the strong smell of ripening bananas. In the inner room was grandma’s big magic straw basket. It was well hidden by an old blanket. I lifted it and sniffed that glorious smell.
Vwa grann mwen fè’m sote “Ki sa wap fè? Fè vit, pote batonm nan.” Mwen kouri sòti ak baton an. Grann mande’m ‘ “pouki sa wap souri konsa?” se lè sa a ke’m reyalize ke mwen tap souri toujou depi lè mwen te dekouvri panyen majik la.
Grandma’s voice startled me when she called, “What are you doing? Hurry up and bring me the stick.”
I hurried out with her walking stick. “What are you smiling about?” Grandma asked.
Her question made me realise that I was still smiling at the discovery of her magic place.
Nan demen, lè grann mwen vin wè manman’m, mwen kouri ale lakay li pou’m tcheke fig yo ankò. Te gen yon bann nan yo ki te mi. Mwen chwazi yonn ladan yo enpi mwen kache li nan rad mwen an. Lè’m fin kouvri panyen an m’ale dèyè kay la pou’m manje’l byen vit. Mwen poko te janm manje yon fig sikre konsa anvan.
The following day when grandma came to visit my mother, I rushed to her house to check the bananas once more.
There was a bunch of very ripe ones. I picked one and hid it in my dress. After covering the basket again, I went behind the house and quickly ate it. It was the sweetest banana I had ever tasted.
Demen, pandan grann mwen te nan jaden a ap keyi legim, mwen tounen tou dousman anndan kay la pou’m gade fig yo amkò. Prèske tout te fin mi. Mwen pat ka kenbe ankò, mwen pran yon pakèt ki gen kat ladan’l. Pandan map sòti tou dousman nan pòt la, mwen tande grann mwen ap touse deyò. Mwen reyisi kache fig yo anba rad mwen enpi mwen pase devan’l.
The following day, when grandma was in the garden picking vegetables, I sneaked in and peered at the bananas.
Nearly all were ripe. I couldn’t help taking a bunch of four.
As I tiptoed towards the door, I heard grandma coughing outside. I just managed to hide the bananas under my dress and walked past her.
Jou apre sa a, se te jou mache. Grann mwen leve bonè bonè. Li toujou pran fig mi ak kasav pou’l al vann nan mache. Mwen pa ale lakay li jou sa a. Men, mwen pat kapab evite ale lakay twò lontan.
The following day was market day. Grandma woke up early. She always took ripe bananas and cassava to sell at the market.
I did not hurry to visit her that day. But I could not avoid her for long.
Pita nan aswè a, manman’m ak papa’m ak grann mwen rele’m. Mwen te konnen poukisa. Jou sa a mwen te dòmi mal paske mwen te konnen ke’m pa tap janm vòlè ankò ni nan men grann mwen ni nan men granmoun mwen yo ni nan men nenpòt ki lòt moun.
Later that evening I was called by my mother and father, and Grandma. I knew why.
That night as I lay down to sleep, I knew I could never steal again, not from grandma, not from my parents, and certainly not from anyone else.
Written by: Ursula Nafula
Illustrated by: Catherine Groenewald
Translated by: ACE Haiti-University of Notre Dame USA