Download PDF
Back to stories list

Simbegwiere Simbegwire

Written by Rukia Nantale

Illustrated by Benjamin Mitchley

Translated by Georgette McGlashen

Language Jamaican Creole

Level Level 5

Narrate full story The audio for this story is currently not available.

Wen Simbegwiere mada did ded, shi did sad-sad. Simbegwiere faada did du im bes fi tek kier a im daata. Likl bai likl, dem lorn fi fiil api agen, wid out Simbegwiere mada. Evri maanin dem siddong an taak bout di die infronta dem. Evri iivlin dem mek dina tugeda. Afta dem wash di pliet dem, Simbegwiere faada elp ar wid ar uomwok.

When Simbegwire’s mother died, she was very sad. Simbegwire’s father did his best to take care of his daughter. Slowly, they learned to feel happy again, without Simbegwire’s mother. Every morning they sat and talked about the day ahead. Every evening they made dinner together. After they washed the dishes, Simbegwire’s father helped her with homework.

Wan die Simbegwiere faada kom uom lieta dan yuuzhal. “We yu de mi pikni?” im kaal. Simbegwiere ron go to ar faada. Shi stap wan plies wen shi si se ar faada did a uol aan pan wahn uman an. “Mi waahn yu fi miit sumadi speshal, mi pikni. Dis a Aniita,” im se a smail.

One day, Simbegwire’s father came home later than usual. “Where are you my child?” he called. Simbegwire ran to her father. She stopped still when she saw that he was holding a woman’s hand. “I want you to meet someone special, my child. This is Anita,” he said smiling.

“Eluo Simbegwiere, yu faada tel mi uol iip bout yu,” Aniita se. Bot shi neva smail ar tek di pikni an. Simbegwiere faada did api an fiil gud bout we apm. Im did a taak bout di chrii a dem a liv tugeda, an ou gud dem laif wuda bi. “Mi pikni, mi uop yu wi tek Aniita fi yu mada,” im se.

“Hello Simbegwire, your father told me a lot about you,” said Anita. But she did not smile or take the girl’s hand. Simbegwire’s father was happy and excited. He talked about the three of them living together, and how good their life would be. “My child, I hope you will accept Anita as your mother,” he said.

Simbegwiere laif chienj. Shi neva av no muor taim fi siddong wid ar faada inna di maanin dem. Aniita did gi ar so moch ous wok fi du dat shi did tuu taiyad fi du ar skuul wok inna di iivlin. Shi go schriet a ar bed afta dina. Ar ongl komfat a did di priti-priti blangkit we ar mada did gi ar. Simbegwiere faada neva siim fi nuotis se im daata did sad.

Simbegwire’s life changed. She no longer had time to sit with her father in the mornings. Anita gave her so many household chores that she was too tired to do her school work in the evenings. She went straight to bed after dinner. Her only comfort was the colourful blanket her mother gave her. Simbegwire’s father did not seem to notice that his daughter was unhappy.

Afta a kopl monts, Simbegwiere faada did tel dem se im wuda gaan we fram uom fi a wail. “Mi jab mek mi afi chravl,” im se. “Bot mi nuo se yu wi luk afta unu wananeda.” Simbegwiere fies did jrap, bot ar faada neva nuotis. Aniita neva se notn. Shi neva api naida.

After a few months, Simbegwire’s father told them that he would be away from home for a while. “I have to travel for my job,” he said. “But I know you will look after each other.” Simbegwire’s face fell, but her father did not notice. Anita did not say anything. She was not happy either.

Tingz get wors fi Simbegwiere. Ef shi neva don ar ous wok, ar shi komplien, Aniita lik ar. An wen a dina taim, di uman nyam muos a di fuud, an lef likl bit fi Simbegwiere. Evri nait Simbegwiere baal til shi jrap asliip, a og op ar mada blangkit.

Things got worse for Simbegwire. If she didn’t finish her chores, or she complained, Anita hit her. And at dinner, the woman ate most of the food, leaving Simbegwire with only a few scraps. Each night Simbegwire cried herself to sleep, hugging her mother’s blanket.

Wan maanin, Simbegwiere did wiek op liet. “Yu liezi gyal pikni!” Aniita baal out. Shi jrag Simbegwiere aaf a di bed. Di speshal blangkit kech pan wahn niel, an tier inna tuu.

One morning, Simbegwire was late getting out of bed. “You lazy girl!” Anita shouted. She pulled Simbegwire out of bed. The precious blanket caught on a nail, and tore in two.

Simbegwiere did wel opset. Shi mek op ar main fi ron we fram uom. Shi did tek di piisiz dem fram ar mada blangkit, pak op som fuud, an lef di ous. Shi tek di ruod we ar faada di tek.

Simbegwire was very upset. She decided to run away from home. She took the pieces of her mother’s blanket, packed some food, and left the house. She followed the road her father had taken.

Wen iivlin kom, shi klaim go op inna wahn taal chrii nier wahn riva an mek a bed fi arself inna di lim dem. Az shi a jrap asliip, si did a sing: “Maama, maama, maama yu lef mi. Yu lef mi an neva kom bak. Papa no lov mi no muor. Mama, wen yu ago kom bak? Yu lef me.”

When it came to evening, she climbed a tall tree near a stream and made a bed for herself in the branches. As she went to sleep, she sang: “Maama, maama, maama, you left me. You left me and never came back. Father doesn’t love me anymore. Mother, when are you coming back? You left me.”

Di neks maanin Simbegwiere did a sing di sang agen. Wen di uman dem did kom wash dem kluoz dem a di riva, dem did ier di sad sang a kom fram di taal chrii. Dem did tingk se a did onggl di briiz a bluo di liif dem, an did gwaan du dem wok. Bot wan a dem lisn gud-gud tu di sang.

The next morning, Simbegwire sang the song again. When the women came to wash their clothes at the stream, they heard the sad song coming from the tall tree. They thought it was only the wind rustling the leaves, and carried on with their work. But one of the women listened very carefully to the song.

Di uman did luk op inna di chrii. Wen shi si di gyal pikni an di piisiz a di priti-priti blangkit, shi baal, “Simbegwiere, mi breda pikni!” Di ada uman dem stap wash an elp Simbegwiere fi klaim dong outta di chrii. Ar anti og op di likl gyal pikni an chrai fi komfat ar.

This woman looked up into the tree. When she saw the girl and the pieces of colourful blanket, she cried, “Simbegwire, my brother’s child!” The other women stopped washing and helped Simbegwire to climb down from the tree. Her aunt hugged the little girl and tried to comfort her.

Simbegwiere anti tek di pikni go a fi ar yaad. Shi did gi Simbegwiere waam fuud, an put ar fi sliip inna wan bed wid ar mada blangkit. Da nait de, Simbegwiere baal az shi a jrap asliip. Bot a did yai-waata kaaz shi fiil riliif. Shi nuo se dat ar anti wud a luk afta ar.

Simbegwire’s aunt took the child to her own house. She gave Simbegwire warm food, and tucked her in bed with her mother’s blanket. That night, Simbegwire cried as she went to sleep. But they were tears of relief. She knew her aunt would look after her.

Wen Simbegwiere faada kom bak uom, im fain ar ruum emti. “A wa apm, Aniita?” im se wid a evi aat. Di uman tel im se Simbegwiere did ron we. “Mi did waahn ar fi rispek me,” shi se. “Bot miebi mi did tuu schrik pan ar.” Simbegwiere faada lef di ous an go inna di direkshan a di riva. Im kantinyuu go schriet a im sista vilij fi fain out ef shi did si Simbegwiere.

When Simbegwire’s father returned home, he found her room empty. “What happened, Anita?” he asked with a heavy heart. The woman explained that Simbegwire had run away. “I wanted her to respect me,” she said. “But perhaps I was too strict.” Simbegwire’s father left the house and went in the direction of the stream. He continued to his sister’s village to find out if she had seen Simbegwire.

Simbegwiere did a ramp wid ar kozn dem wen shi did si ar faada fram wie out. Shi did fried im mait a beks, so shi ron go inna di ous fi aid. Bot ar faada go tu ar se, “Simbegwiere, yu fain di porfek mada fi yuself. Wan uu lov yu an andastan yu. Mi proud a yu an mi lov yu.” Dem agrii se Simbegwiere wud a stie wid ar anti fi az lang az shi waahn.

Simbegwire was playing with her cousins when she saw her father from far away. She was scared he might be angry, so she ran inside the house to hide. But her father went to her and said, “Simbegwire, you have found a perfect mother for yourself. One who loves you and understands you. I am proud of you and I love you.” They agreed that Simbegwire would stay with her aunt as long as she wanted to.

Ar faada go luk fi ar evridie. Ivenshali, im did kom wid Aniita. Shi uol aan pan Simbegwiere an, “Mi sari-sari likl wan, mi did rang,” shi baal se. “Yu wi mek mi chrai agen?” Simbegwiere luk pan ar faada an im fies did luk kansorn. Den shi tek taim waak tuwaadz Aniita an og ar op.

Her father visited her every day. Eventually, he came with Anita. She reached out for Simbegwire’s hand. “I’m so sorry little one, I was wrong,” she cried. “Will you let me try again?” Simbegwire looked at her father and his worried face. Then she stepped forward slowly and put her arms around Anita.

Di neks wiik, Aniita aks Simbegwiere an ar kozn dem an anti, fi kom a di yaad fi it fuud. Wat a fiis! Aniita mek aal a Simbegwiere fievarit fuud dem, an evribadi nyam so til dem beli ful. Den di pikni dem ramp miinwail di big piipl dem did a taak. Simbegwiere did fiil api an briev. Shi mek op ar main se suuhn-suuhn, shi wuda go bak uom fi liv wid ar faada an ar stepmada.

The next week, Anita invited Simbegwire, with her cousins and aunt, to the house for a meal. What a feast! Anita prepared all of Simbegwire’s favourite foods, and everyone ate until they were full. Then the children played while the adults talked. Simbegwire felt happy and brave. She decided that soon, very soon, she would return home to live with her father and her stepmother.

Written by: Rukia Nantale
Illustrated by: Benjamin Mitchley
Translated by: Georgette McGlashen
Language: Jamaican Creole
Level: Level 5
Source: Simbegwire from African Storybook
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 International License.
Read more level 5 stories:
Back to stories list Download PDF