While attending our "Mid-Term Reconnect"/"Consolidation Conference"/"Transition Conference" in Thies, Senegal, prior to our evacuation we had a training session entitled Mauritanian Folktales/Stories/Folklore led by a few Mauritanian teachers who shared some local folklore and symbolism with us and a few illustrative tales. This morning I found my very...um..."interesting" notes (Mr. Sisco, I imagine you know exactly to what I'm referring here...). At any rate, I read through them for old times sake and stumbled upon the folklore page, on which I had taken the time to paraphrase two of the Mauritanian Folktales; I thought perhaps some of you out there might be interested in reading these, especially those PCRIM folks who unfortunately happened to be on vacation during this conference and missed out on this session. I'm sure I tried to write as close to what was being dictated as possible, so the wording is a little odd, as it is directly translated from French, either in my head, or the head of the teacher telling the story. Enjoy!
"A hare (symbolizes honesty, intelligence) had a cow and a fox (symbolizes cunning) had a bull. The cow became pregnant and the fox insisted on being the herder for the day of the birth. When the calf was born the fox said said it was his bull's calf. The hare knew it was his cow so they went to the judge, a squirrel (no idea what this symbolizes...), who said to come back tomorrow for a judgement. When they came back the squirrel made sounds like he was in labor. The fox said that was impossible because the squirrel is a male so the squirrel said 'okay, so give the calf to the cow.' MORAL: Calves are for cows, kids are for moms."
"Once upon a time a turtle (who represents patience, wisdom) worked at a blacksmith and he tells everyone to keep their mouth shut or he'll burn their mother, but a guy just says 'wow! a talking turtle!' and runs to the king and says 'look! a talking turtle!' The king says if he's lying he will be killed so he tries and tries to get the turtle to talk but he won't. They hang the man and right before he dies the turtle says 'keep your mouth shut or i'll burn your mother!' MORAL: Keep your mouth shut about other peoples business."
Yay for Mauritania!!!
Pay it Forward
3 years ago