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Donkey Child Donkey Child L’enfant-âne

Written by Lindiwe Matshikiza

Illustrated by Meghan Judge

Read by Darshan Soni

Language English

Level Level 3

Narrate full story

Autoplay story


It was a little girl who first saw the mysterious shape in the distance.

It was a little girl who first saw the mysterious shape in the distance.

Une petite fille fut la première à voir la forme mystérieuse au loin.


As the shape moved closer, she saw that it was a heavily pregnant woman.

As the shape moved closer, she saw that it was a heavily pregnant woman.

Tandis que la forme se rapprocha, la petite fille vit que c'était une femme enceinte de plusieurs mois.


Shy but brave, the little girl moved nearer to the woman. "We must keep her with us," the little girl's people decided. "We'll keep her and her child safe."

Shy but brave, the little girl moved nearer to the woman. "We must keep her with us," the little girl's people decided. "We'll keep her and her child safe."

Timide mais brave, la petite fille se rapprocha de la femme. « Nous devons la garder avec nous, » le peuple de la petite fille dit. « Nous la garderons en sécurité, ainsi que son enfant. »


The child was soon on its way. "Push!" "Bring blankets!" "Water!" "Puuuuussssshhh!!!"

The child was soon on its way. "Push!" "Bring blankets!" "Water!" "Puuuuussssshhh!!!"

L'enfant arriva bientôt. « Pousse ! » « Apportez des couvertures ! » « De l'eau ! » « Pouuusseeee ! »


But when they saw the baby, everyone jumped back in shock. "A donkey?!"

But when they saw the baby, everyone jumped back in shock. "A donkey?!"

Mais quand ils virent le bébé, tous firent un saut en arrière. « Un âne ?! »


Everyone began to argue. "We said we would keep mother and child safe, and that's what we'll do," said some. "But they will bring us bad luck!" said others.

Everyone began to argue. "We said we would keep mother and child safe, and that's what we'll do," said some. "But they will bring us bad luck!" said others.

Tout le monde commença à se disputer. « Nous avions dit que nous garderions mère et enfant en sécurité et c'est ce que nous ferons, » quelques-uns ont dit. « Mais ils vont nous porter malchance ! » ont dit d'autres.


And so the woman found herself alone again. She wondered what to do with this awkward child. She wondered what to do with herself.

And so the woman found herself alone again. She wondered what to do with this awkward child. She wondered what to do with herself.

Ainsi, la femme se retrouva seule encore une fois. Elle se demanda quoi faire avec cet enfant malcommode. Elle se demanda quoi faire avec elle-même.


But finally she had to accept that he was her child and she was his mother.

But finally she had to accept that he was her child and she was his mother.

Mais elle dut finalement accepter qu'il était son enfant et qu'elle était sa mère.


Now, if the child had stayed that same, small size, everything might have been different. But the donkey child grew and grew until he could no longer fit on his mother's back. And no matter how hard he tried, he could not behave like a human being. His mother was often tired and frustrated. Sometimes she made him do work meant for animals.

Now, if the child had stayed that same, small size, everything might have been different. But the donkey child grew and grew until he could no longer fit on his mother's back. And no matter how hard he tried, he could not behave like a human being. His mother was often tired and frustrated. Sometimes she made him do work meant for animals.

Maintenant, si l'enfant était resté petit tout aurait été différent. Mais l'enfant-âne grandit et grandit jusqu'à ce qu'il ne puisse plus être porté sur le dos de sa mère. Et malgré ses plus grands efforts, il ne pouvait pas se comporter comme un être humain. Sa mère était très souvent fatiguée et frustrée. Parfois elle l'obligeait à faire du travail destiné aux animaux.


Confusion and anger built up inside Donkey. He couldn't do this and he couldn't do that. He couldn't be like this and he couldn't be like that. He became so angry that, one day, he kicked his mother to the ground.

Confusion and anger built up inside Donkey. He couldn't do this and he couldn't do that. He couldn't be like this and he couldn't be like that. He became so angry that, one day, he kicked his mother to the ground.

La confusion et la colère s'accumulèrent à l'intérieur d'Âne. Il ne pouvait pas faire ceci et il ne pouvait pas faire cela. Il ne pouvait pas être comme ceci et il ne pouvait pas être comme cela. Il devint tellement fâché qu'un jour il botta sa mère par terre.


Donkey was filled with shame. He started to run away as far and fast as he could.

Donkey was filled with shame. He started to run away as far and fast as he could.

Âne fut rempli de honte. Il commença à se sauver aussi vite et aussi loin qu'il pouvait.


By the time he stopped running, it was night, and Donkey was lost. "Hee haw?" he whispered to the darkness. "Hee Haw?" it echoed back. He was alone. Curling himself into a tight ball, he fell into a deep and troubled sleep.

By the time he stopped running, it was night, and Donkey was lost. "Hee haw?" he whispered to the darkness. "Hee Haw?" it echoed back. He was alone. Curling himself into a tight ball, he fell into a deep and troubled sleep.

Quand il arrêta de courir, la nuit était tombée et Âne était perdu. « Hi han ? » il chuchota à la noirceur. « Hi han ? » la noirceur retourna en écho. Il était seul. Se lovant en petite boule, troublé, il s'endormit profondément.


Donkey woke up to find a strange old man staring down at him. He looked into the old man's eyes and started to feel a twinkle of hope.

Donkey woke up to find a strange old man staring down at him. He looked into the old man's eyes and started to feel a twinkle of hope.

Âne se réveilla et vit un vieil homme étrange qui le regardait. Il regarda dans les yeux du vieil homme et commença à ressentir un brin d'espoir.


Donkey went to stay with the old man, who taught him many different ways to survive. Donkey listened and learned, and so did the old man. They helped each other, and they laughed together.

Donkey went to stay with the old man, who taught him many different ways to survive. Donkey listened and learned, and so did the old man. They helped each other, and they laughed together.

Âne parti vivre avec le vieil homme, qui lui montra plusieurs façons de survivre. Âne écouta et il apprit, et le vieil homme aussi. Ils s'aidèrent tous les deux et ils rirent ensemble.


One morning, the old man asked Donkey to carry him to the top of a mountain.

One morning, the old man asked Donkey to carry him to the top of a mountain.

Un matin, le vieil homme demanda à Âne de le transporter jusqu'au sommet d'une montagne.


High up amongst the clouds they fell asleep. Donkey dreamed that his mother was sick and calling to him. And when he woke up...

High up amongst the clouds they fell asleep. Donkey dreamed that his mother was sick and calling to him. And when he woke up...

En haut, parmi les nuages, ils s'endormirent. Âne rêva que sa mère était malade et qu'elle l'appelait. Et quand il se réveilla...


... the clouds had disappeared along with his friend, the old man.

... the clouds had disappeared along with his friend, the old man.

... les nuages étaient disparus avec son ami le vieil homme.


Donkey finally knew what to do.

Donkey finally knew what to do.

Âne sut finalement quoi faire.


Donkey found his mother, alone and mourning her lost child. They stared at each other for a long time. And then hugged each other very hard.

Donkey found his mother, alone and mourning her lost child. They stared at each other for a long time. And then hugged each other very hard.

Âne trouva sa mère, seule et en deuil pour son enfant perdu. Ils se regardèrent longtemps. Puis ils s'embrassèrent très fort.


The donkey child and his mother have grown together and found many ways of living side by side. Slowly, all around them, other families have started to settle.

The donkey child and his mother have grown together and found many ways of living side by side. Slowly, all around them, other families have started to settle.

L'enfant-âne et sa mère ont grandis ensemble et ils ont trouvé plusieurs manières de coexister. Lentement, tout autour d'eux, d'autres familles ont commencés à s'installer.


Written by: Lindiwe Matshikiza
Illustrated by: Meghan Judge
Read by: Darshan Soni
Language: English
Level 3
Source: Donkey Child from African Storybook
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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