The audio for this story is currently not available.
Ay kaayi kalo ga beejandi. A ga to no nda haamo, hayni nda logo. Amma wo kaŋ ga hanse ga kaanu boro se ga ti banaaney. Ba kaŋ ay kaayi gonda haama boobo, ay ga bay kaŋ ay no a ga hanse ba gumo. A ga cin ga ay ce nga fuwo ra. A ga nga sirri kayna yaŋ ci ay se. Amma a gonda afo kaŋ a ga wanji ay se: nango kaŋ a ga banaaney funbandi.
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.
Han fo ay di kondo bambata fo go wayna ra, ay kaayi fuwo mayo ga. Kaŋ ay na hã hari kaŋ a ga te nda, a na me ka ga ne: “Ay maamaaci konda no.” Konda jare ga gonda banaana kopto boobo kaŋ ay kaayi ga cin ga bare-bare. A mo ga sootiya gumo. Ay na a hã: “Ay kaayi, ifo ga ci banaana koptey wo nafa?” A ye ga ne ay se: “Ay maamaaci banana koptey no.”
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.”
Ay kaayi, banaaney, banaana koptey nda kondo beero gunayaŋ ga beejandi. Amma ay kaayi na ay donton, ay ma koy ga hari ceeci ay ɲa do. “Baani ay kaayi, naŋ ay ma di hari kaŋ ni go ga te” Kayo ne a se: “Naŋ hanga-sanday kocciyo, te day wo kaŋ ay ci ni se” ay zuru ga koy dontono do.
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.
Kaŋ ay ye ga ka, ay na ay kaayi gar taray a go ga goro, amma konda si no, banaaney mo si no. Ay ne a se: “Ay kaayi, man ga konda?man ga banaaney kulu? Nda” A ye ga ne ay se: “Ay na i tugu” Ay bina kulu sara.
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!
Jirbi hinka banda, ay kaayi ne ay ma koy nga fuwo ra ga kande nga se nga goobo. Za ay na fuwo feeri no banaana ninante haw na ay kubay. Fuwo bindi ra no ay kaayi maamaaci kondo beero go ga gisi. I na a daabu nda zaara zeeno fo. Ay na zaaraa sambu ga haw kaana din ta.
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.
Kaŋ ay kaayi kuuwa ga ne: “Ifo no ni go ga te waasi ga kande ay se ay goobo”, kala ay sar. Ay waasi ga fatta nda goobo. Ay kaayi ne ay se: “Ifo no go ga ni haarandi?” A hããyaŋo no naŋ ay bay kaŋ a maamaaci nango diiyaŋo no naŋ ay go ga mumusu.
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.
A suba, waati kaŋay kaayi ka ga faajikaaray ay ɲa se, ay zuru ga koy a kwaara ga di a banaaney koyne. Iboobo go no kaŋnin i ra. Ay na afo sambu ga tugu ay kwaayo ra. Ay na konda daabu ga zuru ga koy fuwo banda ga a ŋwa waasi-waasi. Banaanayzo din kaanu nda banaana kulu kaŋ ay bay ga ŋwa.
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.
A suba, waati kaŋ ay kaayi go ga nga kopto kosu kalo ra, ay zuru ga koy fuwo ra ga banaaney guna. I baayaŋo kulu no nin. Ay mana hin ga ay boŋ gaayi, ay na taaci sambu. A go ga deebe-deebe ga fatta, kala ay ma ay kaayi kotoyaŋ taray. Ay na ay banaaney tugu ay kwaayo rag a ka ga bisa a jine.
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.
A suba no ga ci habo zaaro. Ay kaayi tun za nda hinay. Waati kulu loogo nda banaana niney no a ga koy ga neera habu. Hano din hane, ay mana waasi ga koy ga faajikaaray a se. Amma mate kulu kaŋ te, a si gay kaŋ a ga bay ay ga.
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.
Cino ra, ay ɲa nda ay baaba nda ay kaayi na ay ce. Ay bay hari kaŋse no. Cino din, kaŋ ay jirbi, ay na zaytaray haram. Ay si ye ga kaayi, wala ay ɲa wala ay baaba zay sanku fa boro waani fo.
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.