Paukwa! Pakawa! Hadithi njoo……
Kima lived in a great mti (tree) on a riverbank. In de mto (river) there were many mamba.
“How am I to catch a Kima?” asked de lil Crocodile. “I do not travel on land, en de Kima does not go into de wota.”
“Put your wits to work, en you’ll find a way,” said the mother.
And de lil Crocodile thought en thought.
At last he said to himself: “I know what I’ll do. I’ll get that Kima that lives in a big tree on de riverbank. He wishes to go across de river to de island where de fruit is so ripe.”
So de Crocodile swam to de mti where de Kima lived. But he was a stupid Crocodile.
“Oh, Kima,” he called, “come with me over to de island where de fruit is so ripe.”
“How can I go with you?” asked de Kima. “I do not swim.”
“No-but I do. I will take you over on mi back,” said de Crocodile.
The Kima was greedy, en wanted de ripe fruit, so he jumped down on de Mamba’s back.
“Off we go!” said de Crocodile.
“This is a fine ride you are giving me!” said de Kima.
“Do you think so? Well, how do you like this?” asked de Crocodile, diving.
“Oh, don’t!” cried de Kima, as he went under de wota. He was afraid to let go, en he did not know what to do under wota.
When de Crocodile came up, de Kima sputtered en choked.
“Why did you take me under wota, Mamba?” he asked.
“I am going to kill you by keeping you under wota,” answered de Crocodile. “My mother wants Kima heart to eat, en I’m going to take yours to her.”
“I wish you had told me you wanted mi heart,” said de Kima, “then I might have brought it with me.”
“How queer!” said de stupid Crocodile. “Do you mean to say that you left your heart back there in de tree?”
“That is what I mean,” said de Kima. “If you want mi heart, we must go back to de tree en get it. But we are so near de island where de ripe fruit is, please take me there first.”
“No, Kima,” said de Crocodile, “I’ll take you straight back to your tree. Never mind de ripe fruit. Get your heart en bring it to me at once. Then we’ll see bout going to de island.”
“Very well,” said de Kima.
But no sooner had he jumped onto de bank of de river than-whisk! Up he ran into de tree.
From de topmost branches he called down to de Crocodile in de wota below:
“Mi moyo is way up here! If you want it, come for it, come for it!”
Dis hadithi, from India, is among the Best Loved Folktales of The World. I heard similar versions of it from mi papa, who had plenty Kima tradishuns to share. For not only those hadithi but all the time he took teaching, protecting, providing for en playing with me en de village in pikneyhood, I yam infinitely grateful.