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A Vote for the Blind Bards

Up until a few years ago, grandpa-Mijat, as the whole village and all the neighbouring villages had called him, was still alive. And it had amazed me even when I was little – even grey-haired old men called him grandpa-Mijat, saying that for as long as they could remember grandpa-Mijat was an old man. I remember him from when I was little and attended the village primary school. His house was near the school and I feel as if I were looking at him right now, strolling gently down the road by the school. Tall, stout, with long grey moustache, longish grey hair, nearly at shoulder length, beard neatly shaved, and long grey eyebrows that almost covered his eyes. He walked at a slow pace, in long strides, and always upright. He smoked a long chibouk[1] made from cherry wood, and a firesteel was always hanging at his hip; across his chest he always carried an old leather pouch, and in it a tobacco pouch made of dried sheep’s bladder, a flint stone, and a few more necessities. His household was a strong, big zadruga[2] with over fifty members. It was probably only due to respect towards grandpa-Mijat that they stayed together, because almost immediately after his death their zadruga split into several households.

Although illiterate, grandpa-Mijat still held school and science in high esteem as if it were sacred, and he rejoiced seeing any child that could read books and write letters, which was a rarity in his youth. He always advised the younger folk to send their children to school to receive education. Sometimes he would sit by the hearth, light his chibouk, letting thick wisps of smoke through his grey moustache that was slightly yellowed around the lips, and the children would read epic poetry to him, or he would tell them about the battles and the heroes of the uprising. When the first uprising erupted he was five years of age, and by the time of the second uprising[3] he was already on the battlefield. Often when telling the stories about those harrowing days, slain heroes, and devastating adversities, a tear would roll down his wrinkled cheeks and he would take the gusle[4], pull the bow over the string – the mournful sound shimmered in the air – and the sombre old voice sounded:

Dear God, a mighty marvel, such portents in the skies
Across the realm were seen, to herald Turks’ demise…

Once, some two or three years before his death, in a conversation with the teacher, grandpa-Mijat said,

– It makes one wonder, teacher, today we have liberty and literate men and schools and everything, and yet men are only becoming worse!… – and saying that, grandpa-Mijat sank deep in thought, sadly shook his head, and sighed.

Teacher said nothing.

After a short silence, grandpa-Mijat spoke again.

– My child, I will die soon, and would really love to see the children learning in school, and watch what is going on in there.

– School exams are in three days, grandpa-Mijat, you can come to the exams! – teacher invited him wholeheartedly.

And grandpa-Mijat promised he would come.

The exams were like any other: children with their faces freshly washed, dressed better than usual, sitting stiffly on their seats with a terrified look on their faces because the school inspector, that “monster” that teacher had used to scare them throughout the year, had come. The inspector, serious, frowning, sat at the table with an important air. Specially for him they put a clean cloth over the table and a bouquet of flowers in the glass. His face was dignified as if he were preparing to hold a lecture at the University, and when he browsed through the report cards, he did it with such an important and pensive expression that one would think he was in the process of solving some serious scientific problem. Children stared at him, their eyes bulging out, frightened, and from each of their expressions one could read, “Oh, my, how scary he is!”

The teacher also looked scared and changed, as if he were expecting a verdict on which his life depends. There is also another important question tormenting him: “Is the inspector a philologist or naturalist?” The answer will determine how he will proceed with the examination, and, of course, determine its success. The school board, consisting of five townsmen, sat there in all seriousness and pretended to observe and appraise the teacher’s efforts. Pupils’ parents sat at the end of the room and listened to their children’s achievements.

The exam was proceeding as it should.

Grandpa-Mijat came in. Both children and adults stood up. Inspector fretted and waved at the children to sit down and not interrupt the exam. Grandpa-Mijat was given the best seat. He sat and observed with reverence the multicoloured pictures of snakes, cows, birds and other God’s creatures on the walls, and then the abacus, blackboard, maps. On one table he noticed a lump of salt, a small bar of sulphur, a piece of iron, a steel rod, some stones, and dozens of other common items.

All these things around the school impressed grandpa-Mijat as much as the first time he saw the railroad.

And once grandpa-Mijat sat down, inspector called a pupil.

– Ask him the same topic – inspector told the teacher with dignity, assuming a position and expression of deep, solemn attention.

– Tell us, Milan, what you know about sheep. Careful, slowly, don’t be afraid, you know it well.

The child’s eyes bulged, He extended his neck a little, swallowed nervously, looked in fear at the inspector and shouted in a resonant voice,

– Sheep!… (there he swallowed again, stood on his toes a little, and shouted further) Sheep, it has a head…

– Very good! – said the teacher.

Inspector nodded approvingly.

Not knowing what the inspector’s gesture meant, the child became a bit confused, and continued:

– It has a head, neck, body and limbs; on its neck it has long hair that is called mane…

– Careful, don’t talk nonsense! – said the teacher with a slightly stricter tone.

– Have you never seen a sheep, you fool! – the child’s father shouted angrily from his seat and the other guests laughed.

– The guests will kindly not interfere! – remarked the inspector.

– But, Sir, this is my boy, he’s been herding sheep for days on end, and now he’s saying it has a mane. What did you to my child in school?!

The child started crying.

– Be careful, what’s upsetting you, you can do this well – said the teacher and patted the child’s head, although he would have rather slapped him with an open hand.

The child became even more bewildered and proceeded to mix up all the subjects:

– Sheep, it is our domestic animal, it has a head and on it the post office, telegraph and the district court.

– Think carefully. Sheep! Understand: sheep! – said the teacher, all trembling. – What post office are you gibbering about?!

– It has a head, and the national assembly convenes therein!

– Careful! Or I will send to your seat!

– It is a predator; it has two sources, one on the Golija mountain, and other… and they merge into one near Stalać and flow northward…

– Have you lost your mind today?! – the teacher shouted.

– It is our useful plant which ripens in the autumn and gives us a sweet thick-skinned fruit, its young are born blind, and it sheds its fur every year.

– Sit down! – shouted the teacher angrily and wiped large beads of sweat from his brow.

The exam continued with the other pupils.

Grandpa-Mijat was all ears and listened with amazement at the questions the children were being asked, while he knew it all as well as any child, even without any schooling.

He heard that pigs love to eat acorns, that they have a head and four legs, that the young pig is called a piglet, female is a sow, and male is a boar. He also heard that the ox has a head, four legs and a tail, it ruminates, eats grass and pulls a cart, and the cow gives us tasty milk. The ox meat is eaten, and ox hide used for shoemaking. He heard then also that salt is salty, white, and it can dampen; that steel is unyielding and used for making knives, scythes etc.

And there were some children who were unable to say all that. One child even said that horses nest in high trees and eat bugs, and another child raised their hand and said that a horse eats hay, grass and oats, and it does not ruminate; the child also guessed that horse draws a cart and can be used for riding as well.

– There you see who pays attention in class, doesn’t dawdle about, learns all lessons and knows his subjects! – added the teacher, satisfied.

Next grandpa-Mijat listened to the children talk about pears, cherries, apples, plums, and different trees. Where each one of them grows, what kind of fruit it bears, and what it is used for: grandpa-Mijat listened, and he started wondering why he knew all that better than the children without having gone to school.

Then they moved on to fourth grade Serbian language.

Inspector called one of the better students.

– Let him read, or if he knows any song by heart, recite it!

– A song? Alright.

– Which song do you know?

– I know “Departure for Kosovo”.

– Let’s hear it then!

Now when the gates were opened, what time the morning shone,
Then forth unto the gateway Queen Milica came down,
And stood beneath the portal in the shadow of the arch,
What time unto the muster the host began to march.
The spears shone over the chargers…

– Enough! – the inspector interrupted.

Grandpa-Mijat had just warmed up to it a bit and he liked the song, but frowned when the inspector interrupted it.

– Tell me now, what type of word is spears? – asked the inspector.

Spears, it is a common noun.

– Very good!

–Which grammatical case is it in?

Spears, it is the first case plural, the first case singular is spear, and it is declined by the second pattern.[7]

– Nice, and now tell me what is that word when? “Now when the gates were opened”, that’s how you started the song. So, the when?

When, it is an adverb.

– And what are adverbs?

– Adverbs are words added to verbs to show place, time and method, where, when and how the action of the verb is performed.

– Very nice! And are there any verbs in that sentence?

– Yes, verb shone, from the verb to shine.

– Very good, sit down, you passed.

– Let Milivoje Tomić continue the song! – inspector called out.

The spears shone over the chargers, before them Boško rode
On a bay steed, and his rich weed with shining goldwork glowed.

– Hold it: “and his rich weed”. What type of word is that his?

His, it is a pronoun.

– Carry on!

And the standard that he carried swept round him fold on fold;
Over the steed it bellied; thereon was an apple of gold;
From the apple rose gilded crosses, and tassels from them did hang,
And brushed against his shoulders as in the wind they swang.

– Enough! – said the teacher. – Tell me now what type of word is brushed?

Brushed, it is a verb, from the verb to brush.

– What tense is it? – asked the inspector.

Brushed – past tense.

Grandpa-Mijat started grumbling sullenly because they interrupted the song. This was the only thing he liked from all the subjects that children were taught, and even then they would not allow people to enjoy the whole song.

The next pupil they called continued:

Queen Milica sprang forward to the bay stallion’s head,
And she clasped arms round her brother, and unto him she said:
“My brother Boško, thou art become the tsar his gift to me.
Thou shalt not go to Kosovo; he gives his blessing to thee;
Thou shalt give the golden banner to the hero of thy will,
And be my brother in Kruševac, that I may have thee still.”
Boško answered her straightway: “Get back to thy hall this tide!
I would not turn nor give up the flag with the great cross glorified,
Though the tsar should give me…

– Stop! – the teacher interrupted. – What type of word is me? “Though the tsar should give me…”

Grandpa-Mijat jumped up from his seat, his grey hair shaking violently, eyes shining angrily under his bushy eyebrows, and he shouted,

– You scoundrel, why don’t you let children recite this beautiful song, but keep distracting them with that nonsense?

Teacher smiled at grandpa-Mijat’s remark, whispered something in the inspector’s ear, and the other said:

– We have to, old man, that is the curriculum.

– If you have to, then throw your curricula away, and close down all the schools so that children would not sit there in vain. That curriculum of yours baffled the children with nonsense so that after all this schooling they don’t know what a horse eats, even though they knew it all before coming to school. If your curriculum is like that, then they would be better without it and without schools. Let the blind bards roam the world, sing our old songs and praise our heroes, as it was in my youth, and we were no worse men back then!

Thus spoke grandpa-Mijat with a deep sorrow, his voice trembling. He wanted to say something more, but instead he shook off his hands, sighed deeply, turned towards the door, and sadly shaking his head walked out of the school while the guests, teacher, and children remained inside in silence, taken aback.

– By God, grandpa-Mijat is talking sense, a wise, old-fashioned man! I, too, vote for the blind bards! – a low voice came through from one of the peasants, for whom voting has already become a habit, and thus broke the gloomy, deep silence.


In Belgrade, 1902.

For the “Radoje Domanović” Project translated by Vladimir Živanović, proofread by Hannah J. Shipp.

English translation of the Serbian epic poem “Departure for Kosovo” (“Tsar Lazar and tsáritsa Mílitsa”) taken from: Heroic Ballads of Serbia, Sherman, French & Company, Boston 1913, translated by George Rapall Noyes and Leonard Bacon.


[1] Chibouk (Turk. çıbık, Serb. чибук) is a long-stemmed Turkish tobacco pipe.

[2] Zadruga (Serb. задруга) refers to a type of rural community historically common among South Slavs. Generally it was formed of one extended family or a clan of related families; the zadruga held its property, herds and money in common, with usually the oldest member (patriarch) ruling and making decisions for the family.

[3] First and Second Serbian Uprising are a part of the XIX century Serbian Revolution, during which Serbia evolved from a province of the Ottoman Empire into an autonomous state. First Uprising lasted from 1804 to 1813, and the Second from 1815 to 1817, after which the semi-independent Principality of Serbia was established.

[4] Gusle (Serb. гусле) is a traditional single-stringed musical instrument used in the Balkans; it is always accompanied by singing, mostly of epic poetry.

[5] First verses of “The Start of the Revolt against the Dahijas”, epic song created and performed by the famous Serbian blind bard (guslar i.e. gusle player) Filip Višnjić (1767–1834). The song recounts the events that lead to the beginning of the First Serbian Uprising, and it was first recorded by Vuk Karadžić in 1815.

[6] Serbian epic poem which tells the story about the departure of the Serbian army to the battle of Kosovo in 1389. The poem was first recorded by Vuk Karadžić from the famous bard (guslar) and storyteller Tešan Podrugović (1783–1815). It was titled “Tsar Lazar and tsaritsa Milica” by Vuk, but it is also known simply as “Departure for Kosovo”.

[7] Serbian nouns have three declensional types, which are further divided into different patterns.

Khilifabi (3/3)

(page bi ci topp)

Fan bi njeuk djaal, yenen fan yi ci topp am ndaam bu mel nonu. Dara lu graw khewu fi, khana mbiir yu tuti: dagno dannu ci ben canal, ba paré ci ben fossés; dagno lalante ak broussailles, ronces ak chardons, dagno dokh ci kaw bitelyi; gnu bari dagno dam seni tank ak seni lokho; gnenengni dagno gagnu ci sen bopp. Wante metityi yep dagn ko mugn. Gno bay gnen ci wetu tali bi di dé. “Lugn andononut ak gnun takh da gni dé, masamala ci yonu tukki bi!” la gni dan jeul kaddu bi wakh, di encourager gnenen pour gni bagna bay. Khaleyu tuti, ben wala gnari att, dagno fatu. Wajuryi dagno jeul lep li len meti, mugnco ndakh Yalla moco doggal. “Khaleyi plus gnini tuti, plus la nakar lolen gnakke di tuti. Lugn fato nek khale, metit bi ley wagneku. Yalla na Yalla yereum wajur yi bà lugnu gnak sen dom lugnu magge, âge bign len wara takk. Yalla lu dogale doomi njambur de, gni gnak len bigni nek khaleyu tuti mo gan ci gnom. Ndakh comme ça sen metit lu reuy!” lagni ndaan jeul kaddu jema nakh wajur yi gnak seni doom. Gnen gni dagno muur yëre sen kaw bopp te tek compresses yu sed fign dagg, gagno. Gnenen gni di muur seni lokho ak col. Dagno dam, amì yeni ndag ndag, seni yëreu khoteku, wante teréut gni continuer yonbi ak khol bu sed. Li lep manon na gana yomb luneke khif da nu len jaap si fréquemment. Wante manonugnu bay.

Ben bis, lu am importance khew.

Khilifabi moni ndon dokh di jiitu, goor yi eup fit ci mboolo bi di nek ci wetam. (Gnaar ci goor yoyu dagno rer, té ken khamut fangni nekkon. Gneup da gno khalaton que dagno tourner guinaw li len takh jook, daw nak. Ki dan jeul kaddu ben yon masna takh wakh que gnognu dagno wara russ ci nign dawé. Gnen rek gno gemon que gnaar gnognu dagno fatuu ci yonbi, wante jemugnu wakh seni khalat ndakh riroo. )Li des ci groupe bi mo nekkon sen guinaw. Gno dokh ba takhaw ci kanam faille bu rey te khot, bari kher- un vrai abîme. Déscente bi worut lol mo takh sagnu-gnu dokh un pas en avant. Gni eup fit takh dagno takhaw, kholat khilifabi. Mom nak moni nekon ci khalatam yi rek, di seug bop bi, tekk ben tank ci kanamam ak fitt, di door bantam ci suf ci kanamam, avant ci ndeyjooram bapare tchammognam, comme nim tam di def rek. Gnu bari gnini wakh lekey yokal jomm. Kholut ken walamu wakh ak ken. Kanamam waneut, expriméout ragal, wala beug delu guinaw plus miy guëneu djeggué abîme bi. Gni eup fit takh dagno tit comme gnu guiss malaka, wante ken amononut fit wakh dara khilifabi, mom mi amon khamkham te yéwu. Mu dokhat yenen gnaari pas en avant, nek ci kanam peggu bi. Ak kanam yu tit ak beut yu ibbeku ndakh ragal li nara khew, gneup di lokh. Gnifi eup fitt gnoni wajoon jeema tee khilifabi bala miy danu, même si si gnakk teggin ley nuro, wante dafa ndokhat tuti rek bala miy danu ci abîmebi. Fofla gneup yukhu nak, di jooy: tit molen jaap. Gnengni tambli daw.

– Samay mbook takhawleen! Lan neneni yakamti? Khana ni neneni tewe seni promesse? Il faut que gniy topp goor gu yew gui nek sugnu khilifabi dnakh khamna li miy deef. Lu fatoo ni khana mu dof con. Ay cha ci kanam, nagn ko topp! Bi mey natuu bi gana dis, man na nek takh bi muju. Yalla bakhna. Meun në nek que lu weso precipice bi dinegn guiss all bu yaatu, bu fertile bugnu Yalla yene. Ay cha, dokh len! Ku gnakkut dara, lu ma sa am len!

Lol la ki dan jeul kaddu di don digal bala mi dokh gnari pas en avant, di rer ci bir abîme bi. Gni eup fit topci bapare gneup teup ci bir. Kep ku fi takhawon ci kanam falaise bu yaatubi manon na degg yukhu, jooy, gnignentuyi, onkuyi. Manon na waat que ken du ci mana guen sain et sauf, masamala sans gagnu gagnu, wante domu adama dëgër na, te ndoy na waar. Khilifabi mom dafa amon chance. Bimi don daanu dafa japaandu ci garaabyi comme ça lu gagnu. Dafa yeketi boppam ba yeegat ci kaw. Pendant que yuukhu yi, jooy yi moni don yokku ci suf précipice bi, mom dafa tok nopi, sans boujer metar. Gnengni tambli di kei sani kher ndakh niy ko jeppe wante mom faa léou len. Gni amon chance dagno jappandu ci ben garaab bigni don dannu. Gnengni dagno door sen bop ba deréet bi yep di don rogolan, kenen damm tankbi, wala gni damm sen bat, yaram bi yeup nekk ay ganu gagnu yu metti. Amut ken cu amut gagnu gagnu khana khilifabi. Gneup di key khol ak beut bu gnaw, di yukhu ak di onku ndakh metit wante yekeutiut ben yon boppam. Dafa nopi, tok comme goor bu am kham kham te yeewu!

Temps bi di jaal. Nombre nit yi won tukki di wagneku rek toujours plus. Chaque jour gni gana wagneku. Gnengni dagno bay groupebi, gnibbi sen deuk.

Groupe bi nim reyon, bari ay niit, legui gnaar fukku gno fi désson. Seni kanam yu sonyi di wane djakhle, yakaar bu tass, hif, maar, doutes, wante ken teggut baat. Dagno nopi comme khilifabi, di continuer diri sen bopp ci yonbi. Ki dan wakh chaque fois tax dafa witchakh boppam ndakh jakhle. Yonbi mom metiwon dëguen tan.

Seni nombre di wagneku chaque jour ba fukku rek gno des. Ak kanam yu amatut yakaar, di gnignentu ak diy khuloo à la place de wakhtaan ci seni bir.

Dagno nuroo plus ay monstres que dommi adama. Gnengni béquilles lagn yereon, ndakh nigni sokhe. Gnenengni sen lokho yi lagni muur ak ay yëreu yugn takk sen baat. Seni lokho pansements rek lawon. Lugn bëgon sarakhi seni bopp encore ndakh tukki bi, lugn ko meun ndakh gagnu gagnu khajatut ci seni yaram.

Gni euppon fit té eup joom tax seni yakaar tasson déjà, yombononut continuer yonbi; wante, mujinegn dirii seni bopp ak metit, nakaar, ak mugn. Lan lagn monën déf luneké gnibbiougnou? Lep lign gnak pour bay yon bi légui rek? Lugn ko nangu.

Timis joot. Di diri seni bopp ci seni béquilles, dagno yeuk soudainement que khilifabi nekut ci seni kanam, jiiteulen. Gni dokhat benen pas, gni danu ci benen ravin.

– Ayy sama tank! Ay sama lokho! – la gneup di don jooy ak di onku ak di yukhu ba mano deg lenen ludut lolu. Ben baat bu oyoof takh di sani kher khilifabi wante bapare dafa mujii noppi.

Alarba bi joot, fëlé la khilifabi togon, ci même position comme jour bign key tann pour mu jiiteulen. Darà changéout ci mom. Ki dan jeul kaddu genné boppam ci ravin bim nekkon, gnenen gnaar di key topp. Seni kanam dagg, di nacci, gniy khôl sen guinaw pour kham gnata nit gnofi déss, wante gnom gnaat rek gnofi désson. Tit, nakaar ak gnak yakaar japp seni kholyi. Fign nekkon minugnu ko, all bu bari kher, amut ben yon bu woor bugn manona topp. Barkidemb guis gnen ben yon buy jëmëlé fen wante fof lagn ko bay di top khilifabi rek. Khilifabi mo len indi ba fi.

Gni tambli di khalat gnata kharit ak mbook gno fatou ci tukki bu métti bi. Nakaar bu ganaa métti gagnu gagnu yign amon ci sen yaram. Dagno khôl sen ruine sen bopp, khôl ba li lepp kheww.

Kiy dan jeul kaddu dém ba ci khilifabi, tambli wakh ak mom ak baat buy lokh ndakh meer, gnak yakaar ak nakaar.

– Fangnini jeum légui nak?

Khilifabi di noppi rek.

– Fan na gnu yobale ak fan na gnu jëmelé? Dagno ték lepp ci say lokho, topp la, bay sugnu guinaw sugnu deukk ak sugnuy mamati mam ak seni bammel yakaarni di negn mana am lu guen lign amon sugnu deukk. Wanté yakk rek nagnu def, pire que avant. Amon na gnaari temer njaboot sa guinaw. Wanté légui kholal gnata ci gnun gno fi dés!

– Da na beugg wakh gneup nekkugnufi? – la khilifabi wakh ci suf sans yeukeutti boppam.

– Nan na mané latch lu mél ni? Yeukkeutil sa bopp na khôl! Contel gnata ci gnun da gno dés ci tukki bu métti bi! Khol gnu! Dé takh mo ganon gniy nekk di dundu li.

– Munumala khôl!

– Lutakh?

– Dama guumba.

Ken ibbiout gemignam bim wakhé lolu ba paré.

– Khana da na gnaak sa guiss ci tukki bi?

– Dama juudu gumba!

Gnaatti nityi fi désson ték sen lokho ci sen khaw bopp ndakh jahlé.

Nguelaw tioroone di gnew depuis montagnes yi, indi feuilles yu wowyi. Ab lay di muur sommets yi nekkon ci kaw, ndunku pitchiy di top nguelaw bu sedd. Ben froufrou bu doy waar di résonner. Natch bi moni doon nëbeutou ci guinaw niir yi, di dém fu sori.

Gnaat gni di kholenté sen bopp tit ndakh lì len khew.

– Légui fan gnini jeum? – muni ken ak baat bu jeekh

– Khamugnu ko!


Ci Belgrade, 1901.
Pour Project de “Radoje Domanović” Anta Kebe moko firi, 2021.

Khilifabi (2/3)

(page bi ci topp)

Bes bi ci topp gneup gni amon fit, fulla ak faida pour toukkiji, wesuna gnaari temeri njambot, dagno dajaloo fas yene dém. Gnengni, bariugnu, demmugnu, dagno tokk ndakh gni mana kholale rewmilé.

Dawna khôl guiss mboolo bu rey ni, yu gnak lep ndakh nattu adduna gnolen forcer gnu tukki, bay sen deuk, fign juddé, fign maggé, fign sulé sen aïeux. Seni kanam gno lakk ndakh najjbi, sonnu, gnak kattan. Sen liguey bumeti bi atti yi yeup dafa fegn ci sen garam, di wané sen djaffe djaffe, sen nakkar ak sen djahle. Wanté moment bi yakaar dellosi na, jaxase na tuti ak nign waré namm sen deukk, lolu worna. Rangogn di danu ci kanam maguett yi don onku ndakh jahlé, gni witchakh sen bopp comme quiy taggu luna min lol. Tok ci deuk bi encore tuti molen guenalon ndakh gni mana dé ci wétu kheryi, plutôt que gni tukki di set benen deuk fugn wara dundu. Sokhna yu bari gnoni don djoy di taggu, di jooy ci kaw seni mbook yu guen adduna, seni bamél yign don bay.

Goryi gnom gnoni don djema wanne ndiaambar, di don youkhu que – Khana nalen beug dé ndakh khif ci all bu maudit bi, bu amut darà, di continuer di dundu ci masures yi – wanté deugg deugg dé lugn co manon gnini yobalé rew mi yeup ak keur yi nara danu fep fugni djeum, lol molen guenalon.

Bruit ak yukhu gli dan am ci bep mboolo bu rey gnofa nekkon. Djiguen ak gor yep amugnu nopalu, ndakh nign énervés. Khaleyi, yi sen yay fop, gnoni ndon djoy, amugnu njamb. Nag yi fi nekon manonugnu yamm ben place. Bétail bi fi nekon bariut, ben wala gnar fi ak fële ak ben fas bugn topotowut ak bop bu rëy, tank yu rey, gros, ci kawam lagn tek yen couvertures yu maguett, yen sakk ak gnari sakk ci kaw selle bi, ba ndessane fas bi ley don diri bopam ndakh lim attan dis gan. Wante fas bi fekhena ba mana takhaw di hennir yensay. Gnenen gni gnoni don tek lep ci kaw mbaam-sëf yi; khaleyi gnoni don kheuci xatyi ak sen laisseyilé. Gneup di yukhu, sani kher, djoy, xatyi di aboyer, fas yi di jëhal, sabar bu tass. Ben mbaam-sëf moni don braillé tuti. Wante khilifabi mom wakhut ben bat, comme si mbir bi yep ittewononuko, nit bu bakhla mom té manu!

Moni don khalat sans ibbi gemignam, di seug bopam. Yensay mu tifli ci suf; lol rek la won. Wante popularitém dafa yokku ba nityi lunek la gni datch pour mom ndkah djikom bu bax bim amm. Yensay na degg nityi di wakh:

– Gno wara kontan, bek ndakh nit bu melni bign fék. Ayy lugn demon sa mom! Kon dé rergnen. Ki mom kham khamam bu dëggu la amm. Ku noppi la té manu. Wakhut ben batt! – la ken wakh, di khol khilifabi ak tcheur ak mbekte.

– Lan la wara wakh? Ku bari wakh nekut kuy khalat lubari. Ku am kham kham la, lol mom wornama! Mom ku aam sagesse la sans ibbi guemignam – la kenen dolli comme caddu, mom takh di khol khilifa bi ak thiofel.

– Yombut djitu mboolo bu rey ni! Il faut que miy recueillir khalatam ndakh liguey bu mak la am ci lokhom – muni ki fi djekona wakh

Djotona gni dem. Dagno xar lu yagg ndakh beug khol ndakh dina am gnuy delu ci guinaw pour beug and ak gnom, wante ken gnëwut, mënëtononugnu tok khar ken

– Warugnu teggu tchi yonbi? – lagn latch khilifabi.

Khilifabi djok sans djokhe kaddu.

Gnifi gana ndiaambar ci sassi jok, mbolo ci wetam ba lum mana sokhla gni man ko jappale, ba dara lu jott.

Khilifa bi, mi seug bop bi, dafa dokh tuti, ndi yenguel mbantam ci kanamam ak fulla. Mboolo bi ndi dokh ci wetam te di yuhu plusieurs fois “Yalla na khilifabi guddu fann!” Dafa doh touti rek contrer balustrade bi mener mairie bi. Fofu la takhaw; group bi takhaw kon. Khilifa bi dafa delo guinaw tuti, door balustradebi ak bantam lu yag.

– Lan na beug gnu def? – la gni latch

Khilifa bi di nopi.

– Lan lagn wara def? Nagn danel balustradebi! Lol lagn wara def! Khana guisso len nimi dore bantam contre balustradebi pour wangnu lign wara def? – la gnen gni jegué khilifa bi di tontu.

– Buntubani ni! Buntubani ni! La khaley don yukhu, di djokhagn buntubi bi nekon benen côtébi

– Shhh, nopilen khaléyi!

– Dieu yëreum gnu, lanmoy khew fi? – la gnen ci sokhnai latch, di def signe de la croix.

– Nopilen! Khamna li miy def. Danelen grille bobu!

En un instant balustradebi waci-na comme si musufi nek.

Gni djal ci kawam.

Dagno dokh tuti rek bala khilifa bi ndokh ci ngaraab yi am dékk, mu takhaw. Mu guenné bopam ci ngaraab bim nekon ak djafé djafé, tambli di door bantamm fep. Gneup takhaw.

– Legui lan mey problème bi? – gni nek ci guinnaw yukhu.

– Daglen ngaarab bi am dékk bi ci suf! – lagni djegge khilifa bi di yukhu

– Yon ba ni nëlé, guinaw ngaraab bi am dékk! Fofla nek! – la khaley ak gnu bari nek ci guinaw di yukhu

– Yon ba ni nëlé! Yon ba ni nëlé! – la gni nek ci wet khilifabi di don fontoo gni wakhon lolu. – Nanla gnun gni gumba di kham fan la gni yobalé? Gnëp munugnu ndjokhe ndigël. Khilifa bi mognu gëna kham yon bi gana gaw té yomb. Daglen ngaarab bi am dékk!

Dagno dugu ci biir ngaarab bi pour mana libérer yonbi.

– Ahi-la gni di djoy: ki ndakh lokho bi dékk mo ci nek te nanguut ngenn ak kenen ki ndah caru ngaraab mûre mo dor kanam bi.

– Mbook yi, lolen bëgé lou bakh neneni gnakk len. Nalen wara mugn tuti lolen bëgé am ndaam – la kifi eup fit ci mboolo bi tontu.

Muji gnen djaal ngaraab bi ak djafé djafé pour mana avancer.

Bign dokhe tuti, gni egg ci yenen piquets d’une clôture. Bini takh dagn co damm, pour mëna avancer

Lign ndokh bis bi jeeuk ci sen tukki bi bariut ndakh il fallait que gni djaal obstacles yu bari yu melnonu. Li lep nak ak tuti gnam bign indi, ndakh gnengni buru bu wow ak tuti fromage lagn amon, gnenen gni am buru rek pour mana satisfaire sen khif. Gnen gni nak amononugnu dara. Yalla bakh na ndakh ci nawet lagn nekon, donc yensai gni am arbres fruitiers ci yonbi gni don top.

Même si tuti lagn weur ci premier bis bi ci sen tukki, dagno sonon bu bax. Fekugnufi danger ni accident. Naturellement li len khew baleguini ci yonbi yu sofla, lu tutila: ben dékk ci beut tchamogn ci sokhnasiyi mi ko muur ak ben yëreu bu toy; ben khale bu door tankam ci ben piquet ba mi jooy, di dirii tankam; ben maguet dafa farcastalu contre yen ronces ba dam tankam; bign ci diwé soble bugn dëb, la maguett mi noppi di djema mugn metit bi, di djappale bopam ak bant bi, di djema diri bopam ci guinaw khilifabi (lugn ware wakh deugg gnu bari gno wakh que maguett bi moni don fen ci tankam, dafa bëgon rek tégat ci yonbi).

À la fin, gni amon dékk ci sen yaram wala kanam bu dagg gno euppon gni ko amut. Goor yi gno mugn lep ak fulla ak faida, djiguen yi nak gnoni don mòolu moment men bign tukke, khaleyi di jooy, ndakh ndessan comprendrugnu gnak bi ak metityi yeup dinegn soti ci lu bakh, lu bax rek lagni indi.

Ak mbegte ak kontante gneup, khilifabi dara jjootu ko. Wante lugn ware wakh deug nak mom, gnonkey doon protegé bou bakh ba dara lu ko gagn, tereut amon na takh chance.

Guddi bi jeuk ci sen tuki bi, gneup dagno sant Yalla ndakh journée bi ndam rek la indi te khilifabi dara jootuko. Ken ci gni guena ndiambaar ci gooryi djeul kaddu, kanamam la dékk bi lal tuti, wante mom yëggouko, di wakh:

– Samay mbook – muné – tay def gnen li gnu waar, di sant Yalla. Legui yonbi yombut, wante gno wara doli mugn ndakh gnun gneup kham gnen ka yonbi bu metibi mognii yobale ci mbégte deugeuntan. Yalla na Yalla arr sugnu khilifabi ba dara lu co gagn comme ça mom mogniy topp yilif ak ndam.

– Suba dinà perdre benen bët bi luneke suba ni tay ley mel! – mune ak khol bu tang ben ci sokhnayi yi gagnu ci bët bi.

– Ahi, sama tank! – la ben maguett onk, encouragé ndakh li sokhnasosu wakh.

Khaleyi di continuer gnignantu ak di jooy, yayi takh mënonoulen nakh bagn mana degg wagi wakhon.

– Waw, dina gnak benen bët bi – la yukhu wagi – te Yalla na gnak gnar yeup! Lolu du gnak bu rey, gnak ben wala gnaari bët pour ben jigueen ndakh cause bu reyni. Nà wara rus! Khana do khalat sa banekh domyi? Na khaju mboolobi dé ci tukkibi! Ban différence ley def? Bët lanla? Ban njarign la bët bi di am lu nekke am na ku gni tek yonu banekh? Khana gno wara bay tukkibi ndakh se bët rek ak tank maguett balé kese?

– Moni fen! Pa-bi moni fen! Ley fenrek ci tank bi pour mana gnibbi – lagnap di don wakh.

– Sama mbookyi, ku bugut continuer – la ki djelon kaddugui doli – baylen co mu gnibbi plutôt que miy nek fi di gnign ak di jakhase sugnuy khel. Khauma yen, wante man de di na top khilifa biini ba mey dé!

– Gnun gneup gni key top! Gnun gneup gni key top ba dé fekgnu!

Khilifabi yeketiout kaddu ben yon.

Gneup di key tambli di khol, di ngun-nguni:

– Khalat rek ley def, lu ibbi gemignam!

– Goor gu yew la!

– Khol len kanamam!

– Te di mugn rek!

– Ku bariuout tchakhan!

– Dafa am fit, fulla ak faida! Gneup guisgnenlolu ci mom.

– Deuglamom! Balustrades yilé, garaape, piquets yilé, buntu – lep lu manti nek ci canamam, ley djaar cikawam. Mom dina dor, feug bantaam sans yeukeuti kaddu, yaw ya wara deviner li nek ci khelam.

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Khilifabi (1/3)

– Samay mbook ak samay kharit, deglunalen yen gneup seni kaddu, donc légui deglulen ma wakh len sama khalat. Sugniy wakhtan ak jotaay amugnu njarign luneké fi la gniy tokk, ci deukk bi mi amul darà. Al bi suf rek la ak kher, darà lu fi sax, même buy don am nawetane, con masamala ci al bu wow mi, ken musut guiss lu mélni. Gnata yon lagn wara dejowoo sans soti darà di wakh ci ngeulawgui? Sugnu bétail moni dé ndakh hif, té lugn défut nank gnun ak sugnuy doom gnociy topp dé. Il faut que gniy khalat ben pekhé, li guen ci gnun ak sugnu ëleuk. Bay deuk bi amut darà, ci sama guiss guiss, mo guen ci gnun té tukki li weur adduna pour set fi guena bakh ndakh meneutougno deuk fi.

Lol la ken ku deuk fu dut dara sax masa wakh ak baat bu sonnu ci ben jotaye.

Fanla ak kagn la won amut solo ci sama guiss guiss. Li am importance mey nen gemm ma, li khewna fenn, yag na, te lol doyna kham. Mantax gemon na quen ma guenton histoire bi yeup, wanté nank nank dama yeuk que li du guent. Legui guemna fermement que li mey nara netali, lufi khewla fen ben bis, té fenuma, guentuma.

Gni deglu, sen kanam wex taal, sonnu, sen kanam yu sombre té diss ak des regards yu comprendrut li khew bignu deggue kaddu yoyu dagno yewati, yakaar dellosi, kunek moni don guent moni won ci ben sorte de rew enchanté, khana cijannah ndakh fofu sen liquey bii damm ndiguë dina djokhé mbannekh ak njarign.

– Wakhna deugg! Wakhna deugg – la gnenen yi don wakh ci souf.

– Dafa… sori? – la ken latch ak batt bu sufé.

– Samay frères – la kenen djeul na kaddu bi ak bat bu gana am dolé – Il faut que gni key djeffé li ci sassi ndakh li mounout diy continuer. Sunu yaram manatougnou ndakh liguey bu meti bi rek té budut soti dara. Dagno baay lign menona lek, pour manco semer, wanté naweetan gnewna té yobalé na lepp ba darà desatufi ludul kher. Fi lagn wara tokk ba abadaan boleko ak liguey gouddi ak beceuk wanté tokfi lu teré gni continuer di khif ak di maar, di nek yaramuneen? Gno wara gen, khôl lì fi suf guene bax ak gana fertile bi guene riche fu sugnu liguey dina fegn ci sugnu dundu.

– Nagn dém! Nagn dém ci sassi ndakh fi mom ken manatufi dundu!

Ngun-nguni di yek ci kaw, mboolo bi di tassaro te sans que gni khalat fan gnini djeum.

– Kharlen samay tchamign! Fan ne ni djeum? – mune ki fi njeukkona jeul kaddu- Wakh nen deugg dagno wara dém, wanté du ni. Dagno wara kham fan gnini djeum, sinon gnini yoku sunu problémeyi, con lugn ci guen. Li mey ndigal mey que gni tan ben khilifa, ben leader bugn mana topp, di degglu ndiguelam, di bay ay tërem, té di na nangu wangnu yoonbi bi guen té guena gaw ci gnun.

– Nagn tann! Nagn tann ken ci sassi – la gneup don wax.

Légui rek nak la khouloyi tambli, musiba deugg. Gneup gnoni don yeketti sen kaddu té ken deglul moro am. Nityi tambli tassaru ci groupes, kunek di wax ci suf, té ba paré groupes yi tax tassaro. Par gnaar, gni tambli di ngun-nguni, di wax ci bir nopp, di njeguessante, di djema wanéout, di waxanté kunek sen biir, té di teuch guemign morombi, comme gniy complogi. Bign paré nak dajaloo pour waxtan encore

– Samay tchamign – la ken ku am baat bu am dolé jekki jekki wax ba nopali gnenen gni. – Lugnu egg fen lunek ké ni lagnkey defé. Gneup gnoni wax te ken lu déglu moromam. Nagn tan ben khilifa! Kan lagn mana tann? Kan ci gnun tukki na ba xam yonyi? Gnun gneup khamanté gnen bu bax, wanté lu ma bay sama bakan ak bossu samay doom ci lokho ken ci yen, nek ci mboolobi. Plutôt ndakh ken ci yen khamna voyageurbi nek falé, té mutok ci ombrebi, ci côté yonbi ba ci subbasi balegui ni?

Ken waxut. Gneup tourner di khôl étrangerbi ba ci kaw ba ci suff.

Gan ba, d’âge mûr, ak kanam bu khamut kaf té nëbeutou, sikim bu guddu bii rek ney mana guiss, karawam gouddu, dafa togon té noppi, comme sank, nék ci khalatam, di na feug bantam ci suf yensay.

– Demb guisson na goor bobilé muy and ak ben khalé, moni don djapp ci lokho di dokh talibi. Demb ci guddi khalébi bayna village wanté gan bi fi la tokk.

– Samay tchammign, nagn fatté yu gnak fayda yi, dignu def perdre sugnu temps, ci mbir yi. Qum manti don fu sori la juggé ndakh ken ci gnun khamuko; té wornama khamna yon bi guena gatt té bax pour gnun. Ci sama guiss guiss nit bu am khel la ndax fofu la tokk nopi, di nek ci khalatam. Lu nekkon kenen ley sop ci sugnuy mbiir fukku fois plus légui wala tambli na di wax ak gnun wanté mom fofla tokk, temps bi yeupp mom kasé té waxut ak ken.

– Pour sûr, goor gui dafa tokk, moni noppi ndakh moni khalat len. Manut nek nenen ndakh ku am khel là- lol lagn muji wakh gnenen gni, bala gni tambli di kholat wagi encore. Cunec ci gnom diy seen len ci waagi luy wané, di fegnal djiko ak khelam wagi bu bax.

Gno continuer di wax bala gniy faso à la fin que lì guen mey latch wagi ci boppam, ndakh gnom gno guemni Yalla moco yonni pour mu wanlen yon bi ci addunabi ndakh gni mana guiss all bu geun ci gnom fugn mana bayy té fu suf fi guena riche. Mom mo wara nek sen khilifa, dinegn ko deglu, di topp ay ndiguelam, bayi ak terem sans tekk ci baat.

Dagno tann fukki nit ci seni biir, gnuy dém ci waagi pour expliquer seni yene. Nityign tann dagnco wara wané conditions yu miserables yigni dundu, latch co mu nek sen mbuur.

Foukkou nityoyu dém takhaw sukku ci kanam wagii. Ken ci gnom tambli wakh ci al bi bu infertile bi, di wax ci atyi de sécheresse ak toskaré bign nek gnom gneupp ba légui ni. Lim mujje wax lila:

– Anam yini gnonu forcer gni bay sugnu deukk, tukkiji di set ci biir addunabi rew bu mana nek sugnu keur. Bign décider benno, la gnu Yalla yeurem, bolegnu ak yaw, yaw mi nek nit bugn wolu ték ci am khel, yawmi rek yagnu mana wan yonbi bi guena bax ci gnun ndakh khana na mangnu guené ci djafe djafe yign nekk. Nguir deukendo yeup yi nek fi, gnoley latch na nek sugnu khilifa. Funa manti djeum, di negn la topp. Yaw ya kham yon yi fi nek, té wornama fu guena fekh fi na deukkon. Dinegn def lepp linagnu sant di deglu say ndiggal. Yawmi wagilé am kham kham nanguna and ak gnun ndakh na musal gnu ci djaffé djaffé yign nek? Dana beug nek sugnu khilifa?

Wagi am sagesse, pendant waxji yeup milé, yeuketiut ben yon boppam. Boujéout, fim tok la tok, nign ko fekke bala gniy waxtan ak mom non lagn co fekkaté bign eggalé sen kaddu. Boppam seug ci suf, ak kanam bu froncé, ibbiout gemignam. Di na feug bantam ci suf rek yensay, di khalat. Bign eggalé sen kaddu, ngoor gui tontu lign ko latch nank nank sans mi jokk fim tokk:

– Waw!

– Con mangnen and ak yaw té set deuk bi fi guena fekh?

– Meun nen ko! – la tontu sans yeukketi boppam.

Bign degué lolu, dagno contane am mbegté wanté goorgui wakhuci daraa.

Fukki nityoyu delu ci mboolo bi wax len sen ndaam, gnoni soga guiss kham kham wagii fim tol.

– Juggut tax fim togon wala mu yeukeuti boppbi pour kham kan mo yeukeuti kaddu bi. Dafa tok rek djapp gnamburam di khalat kesé. Lep lign wax ak lep lign co guereum, mom gnienti caddu rek la ci doli.

– Ku bari kham kham deugg! Ku am khel, li bariutta guiss! – la gneup di yukhu fepp, guemni que Yalla molenko yoni comme sorte de malaka ndakh mou guenelen ci sen nattu. Gnom gnap dagno guem que khewel wacci na bign fekke khilifa, cudut darà mana djahal ci aduna.

Con non lagn faso bes bi ci topp teggu ci yonbi.

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Nguent bu gnaw la amon. Guent bi ci boppam jakhaluma, wante nan lay amé fit di nguent mbiir yu graw ni, luneké man nit bu manu la, dekeundo bugn jokh tcheur, doomu bu yaaru ci sugnu deukk Serbie bign beug loll, te sonnu comme yenen domam yi. Khana, lu ma waron nek ben exception ci len, kon du yamm, wante dedet, sama kharit, li gneup di def lay def, et pour ce qui regarde teeylu, amut ku ma ci guen. Ben bis mas na guiss ben bouton buy briller bu alkaati dan sol nek ci suf taali bi, man mani don khôl lek ni miy don leeral, ba mani ndon dém sama yon, sama khel fes ak fatali yu refet, ba sama lokho mu jekki jekki lokh yeketti pour def un salut militaire; sama bopp seugg, sukku ci suf, sama gemign bi ibekku pour retan come boy guiss say supérieurs.

– Dreetu garmi moy dokh sama yaram – loll la! – Lol de lay don khalat moment bobu, ma khôl ak djéppi faraw bi ndokh ci kaw boutton bi sans khôl fi mi jeum.

– Un brute! – la wakh ak khôl bu métti, tifli, baparé continuer di ndokh sama ndokh, am yakaar que nit yu melni koku bariougnou; te mani don sant Yalla mi ma jokh khôl bu refet bi ak dreetu garmi sugnuy maamati mam.

Guis nen ni ma nekke nit bu bakh, nuro ak deukendo yigni jokh tcheur, te khamna yaleni latch sen bopp na la lu graw ni di khew ci sama nguentyi.

Darà lu doyy war khewut jour bobu. Rer bu nekh la amon, bi ma paré tok sotchu sama gemign; di nan sama sangara, bi ma accomplir samay droits en tant que deukendo nign ko mbinde ak khel té ak djom, dama dém tëddi yobale ben teere pour mana gawa nalaw.

Teere bi danu sama lokho, ndakh évidemment def na li takh ma tambli lireco, te manmi lep li ma war defon nako, dama teud nalaw comme khalé

Ma jekki jekki fek sama bopp ci yon bu khaatt, bari ndokh te takk biy yobale ci yon tangor. Ben gudi bu sombre, te sedd. Nguelaw gu sedd gui di uppu gaarab di dagg comme paka chaque fois miy lal sama yaraam. Asamansi gnul, mana tital nit, ak neige, comme pënd, di duggu ci bir bëtt, di dor kanam yi. Ken nekkufa. Mey gawantu te yen say may glisser ci kaw yon bi bari ndokh bi ci sama cammon, yensay ci sama ndayjoor. Dokhna, danuna, rer na yonbi, dama dokh rek, ken khamut fan, te du ben gudi bu gatt comme yenen yi, wante bu guddu, interminable, te mey continuer ndokh khamuma fan.

Con ma continuer dokh lu yagg, dey att ba ma egg fen, fu sori, sori sama deukk, ci ben deuk bu ken khamut ci adduna, ci ben all bu doy waar bu ken yegut amna te wornama ci guent rek na key guiss.

Di weur all bi takh ma egg ci deukk bu rëy fes ak nit. Ci marché bu yaatu bi amon na mboolo bu mak, bruit bu graw ney degg, bay fat noppi. Dama dém tokk ci ben auberge bi nek ci kanam marchébi, ma latch borom keur bi lutach nit yi dajaloo nii, fesal fepp…

– Nit yu manu te gnun jokh tcheur lagnu- la tambli wakh- man na gnu wolu te di negn deglu ndigalu sugnu borom gokhbi.

– Kon borom gokhbi meci deuk bi khana? – la ko latch, dagg kaddom.

– Borom gokhbi mey njiit fi te mom mey sugnu buur bi guena kawé; alkaati bi topci.

Ma retan.

– Lutakh ney retan?… Yëgoko?… Fan na juggé?

Dama wakh ko dama rer te ma juggé deuk bu sori, muy Serbie.

– Deg na ko, rew bu siw bobu! – la borom keur gui don wakh ci suff, di mey khôl ak tcheur, ba paré mu wakh ci kaw:

– Gnun ni nignini dokhalé rew mi – muy continuer di wakh-sugnu borom gokh mom mey dogal fi ak alkaatiyi.

– Sen alkaati nan lagn mel?

– Amna alkaati yu différents, li leni outé mey sen rang. Am na gnign ragné ak gnign ragnéout… Gnun mom fi nityu gnu maanu, gnu bax lagn, wanté clochard yu doy waar jugé alentoursyi, dignuy yakk and dignuy njangale lu bon rek. Pour différencier deukkendoyi de yenen nityi, sugnu borom gokh daa gnu jookh ndigal demb pour que deukkendoyi yeup dém ci tribunal communal bi nek fi, fof lagnu ték mandaarga ci sugnu kanam, sugnu je. Lol motakh gnu baari dajaloo : pour gni kham lagn lagnu wara def.

Dama lokh, di khalat que ma wara daw deuk bu graw bi bala ma key rechi, ndakh même si Serbe la, tammuma guiss nityiy wanne fit, fulla, faida bu mat sëk ni, té nekkut lu mey tital la!

Borom keur bi retaan, lal ak lokhom sama mbagg, wakh ak mbegté:

– Gan gui, li rek man nala tital? Lolu jakhaluma, des na pour na am fit ak joom comme gnun!

– Lan nen yené def? – ma latch ak bat bu am kérsa

– Lol dafa jara latch! Légui na guiss nign âmé fitt. Des nala lu bari bala ney am fit comme gnun, man malo ko wax. Yaw tukki na jugge fu sori, guiss deuk ak rew yu bari, wanté wornama moso guiss ndiambaar yu bax te am fulla kom gnun. Nagn and dém fa. Nagn gawantu.

Gnoni wajona dém, bala gnini degg, ci buntu keur gui bant biy door.

Dama khôl ci bitti: lì ken musu ko guiss-ben goor ak ben tricorne, bu leer te refet ci kaw boppam, solu pour wanéou, di yek ci kaw benen nit bu sol lu classique, wanté sensé, comme ku deukk ville. Dafa arrêter ci kanam auberge bi, ki yegon guinawam watchi.

Borom auberge bi gen, sukku ci suf, té ki solu pour wanéout duggu ci biir, ci table bugn defer bam bakh. Ki solon yërëu comme ku deukk ville takhaw ci kanam auberge bi, di khaar. Borom keur gui sukku ci kanamam tamit.

– Lì lanla? – là latch borom aubérge bi, ndakh jahlé ci li mey don guiss

– Nina ko guissé, ki douggu ci biir alkaati bu am grade bu kawé, kenen ki nak ci deukendo yign gana ragné, jookh tcheur ci la bokk, bari alal, té ku beugg te wormal rewam-la wakh borom keuur gui ci suf.

– Wanté lutakh miy bay kenenki di yegg ci kaw am?

Borom keurr gui witchakh boppam, mu puss ma ben côté. Mu sign, jokhe kaddu yi:

– Gnun ndam bu rey lagn ko jappé, té gnu bari amugnuko!

Mu tamblima netali histoires yu graw wanté dama kontanon trop pour mana deglu li miy don wakh. Wanté deg na bu bax kaddom yi mujji: – Lolu nonu ligueyeul sa deukk la té rew yu bari khaméougnuko balegui!

Gni egg fi dajalobi nek, élection pour tann président bi tambli na.

Premier groupe bi dafa présenter comme candidat ben goor bu tuddu Kolb, luneke fatelina tur gui bu bakh; benen groupe bi Talb la tannon, gnatteli groupe bi sen candidat bopp lagn yere.

Dafa am confusion bu rey buy tital; kunek beugi ndil ndaam candidat wam.

– Dama guem que amut ku guen Kolb fini comme président mboolu bi dajaalo tay. – la kenku bokk ci premier groupe bi wakh-ndakh gnun gneupp khamgnen njëuggam en tant que deukendo ak kattanam. Yakaruma am na ken ci gnun ku mana watni que nityu am importance tamgnen yek ci kawam.

– Yaw yay kan pour wakh ci mbir bi – laken ku bokku ci gnareelu groupe bi yukhu – Yaw ken musut yek sakaw, nanek takh alkaati bugn soga nommer!

– Gnun khamgnen la mey sa njëgg, – la kennku bokku ci gnattelou groupe bi wakh – lo mana mugn sakh ben door sans yeukeuti sa baat!

– Deglulen, samay mbook! – la tambli Kolb di wakh – Deug la, nit yugn ragné ddan gnen yeuk sama kaw fuki attiy yi jaal; door gnen ma pour ma dém té musuma jooy, wanté lol lou teré mu am nit yu ma tané fi. Mën ne nek am na nit yu ma gënë nek khalé.

– Dedet, dedet amut kenn – la gni ko bëg fall di yukhu.

– Bugugnu dégg sa ndaam bu wesu bobilé! Matna fukki att bign gejé yekk sa kaw, – la gni bok ci gnaarelou groupe bi di yukhu.

– Baylen khaleyi gnou prendre le relais, baylen xatch yu maguett yi di segnu yakh yu magëtt, lign def doyna seuk – lagnu bokk ci gnattelou groupe jok di wakh.

Mu jekki jekki lep nopi; nityi de lo ci guinaw, ndeydoor ak tchammogn, pour ibbi yon, bay ben goor bu am à l’entour gnatti fukk att djal. Miy jegési, gneup seug sen bopp.

– Ki kanla? – la ngun-nguni borom auberge.

– Koku mey champion sugnu deukk bi gneup ragné. Khalé la, wanté ëlleuk bu rey té bax la nara amm. Bim tambli won, manon vantéou que borom gokhbi yek na ci kawam gnatti yon. Mo guena siw gnenen gneupp.

– Kon mom lagni fall? – la latch

– Lol wesuna wor, ndakh pour yenen candidats yi – gnini jeum mak, aduna dis sen kaw, tandis que tay borom gokhbi yekk na ci kawam.

– Nanla tuddu?

– Kleard.

Dagno bay ko mu tokk ci kaw ndakh tcheur bign ko jokh.

– Dama défené – la Kolb tambli wakh, dagg silence bi, – munugnu am nit gu guen Klead pour position bi. Khalé la, wanté ken ci gnun, gni jeum magg, egg na fim egg.

– Deglulen, deglulen!… Yalla na guddu fann Klead!… – la baatyi yeup di yukhu.

Kolb ak Talb yobaleko fi président bi di tokk.

Gneup sukku ba ci suf, té noppi.

– Jeurejeuf, samay mbokk, ci tcheur ak teranga binen ma wann yen gneup. Seni yakaar, yinen ték sama lokho, la mey dolil jom. Yombut deuggëlal yaakaru ben rew ci bir waxtuyu am solo yign nek, wanté lepp li nekk ci sama kattan pour wanlen jumoolen woluma, pour seni seni défendre intérêts, té pour wanlen confiance bi finen co tekk fofula. Jeurejeuf, samay mbooku, ndakh ni nen ma fallé.

– Hourrah! Hourrah! Hourrah! – la électeurs di yukhu fepp.

– Léguinak, samay mbook, maleni gnaan nen bay ma jokhe yen kaddu ci événement bu am solo bi. Yombut di wara mugn metit, nakaar yu mélni; yombut gniley taf ak feer bu tang jërr mandaarga ci sa je. Wanté deugg la, amna yeni metit gneupp munugnu ko mugn. Baylen lâche yi di lokh, baylen gni teup ndakh tit, wanté warugnufatte ben moment que gnun domii nit yu amon jom ak fit lagn, dreetu garmi bobu mey dokh ci sugnu yaraam, dreetu ndiaambaar, dreetu sugn mamati mam gni dan dee sans khulli beut ndakh ndambiir, ndakh li guena bakh pour gnun seni doom. Sugnu nattu tutina, lugn khalaté sen boss – khana gno wara dundu comme nityu book ci khetuu bu lâche, yu gnak joom, fulla ak faida ndakh nigni dundé mo tanné demb? Kepp ku sopp deukkem, keep ku bagn ték gatché sugnu rew ci kanam aduna bi yepp, dina mugn métit mandaargabi comme dambar ak nit bu bax.

– Deglulenlì! Deglulenlì! Yalla na guddu fan Kleard!

Amna gnenen gnu farlu jeul kaddu, après Kleard;dagno farfarlè, nehal nit yi ragaloon, répéter lì Kleard wakhon.

Ci kanam tuti ben magueet bu wekh tal, jekh takk ak kanam yu bari rides, karawam ak sikkimam wekh comme neige, latch gni may ko mu wakh. Tankam yi di lokh ndakh maguett, lokhom yi takh di lokh, ndiggam seugg. Batam di lokh, beutem di briller comme kuy nara jooy.

– Samay doom, – la tambli, ak rangogn yi di rogolan ci suff léh yu maguett youu ba egg ci sikkimam bu wekh tal bi, – Duma daara, té sama dé sori out, wanté sama khalat mey que warolen bay gatchébu tolni dannu sen kaw. Am na temeeri att, dundu na té musuma sokhla mandargaa bu melnonu!… Lutakh nen wara bay symbole jaaam yi dan yéré miy nek sama kaw je bu wekh bi te magueet?

– Bulen deglu badoo bobu – la président bi di yukhu.

– Maguett bi noppil – la gnenen gni yukhu.

– Maguett bu gnak jommna!

– Moni tital gneup à la place muleni may dolé!

– Da fa wara russ ak karawam bu wekh bobu! Dunduna ba tolnonu, te man gnen ko tital balegui – gnun gni nek khalé gnoko eup ngoor takh…

– Na dém!

– Guené len ko ci bitti!

– Na dém!

Mboolo de diambaar, nek khalé yu sopp sen deuk, and ak mer daw ba takhaw ci kanam maguett bi, tambli pousseco, hetchiko, doorco ak say.

À la fin gno bay ko ndakh magguett la- lu nekkon kenen la, sani gnen ko kher bam dé.

Gneup watt ci kanam gneup dinegn gnomé suba té di negn wané tcheur ak ndaamu sen réw.

Nityi bay tasébi en ordre bu parfait. Bign don dém, di wakh:

– Suba di ney kham deguentaan!

– Suba di lepp di leer!

– Jotna gni outé daambar yi ci gnenen saysayi, comme ça bep katchor lu mana gèdâgèdâlù am kholu ngoor!

Dama dellosi ci bir auberge bi.

– Guis na nign mel? – la borom keurr gui dimay latch ak mbegté.

– Guis na ko key, – la tontu ci sasi, sans khalat, di yeuk kattan ak sama dolé di wagneku té sama bopp moni doon totch ak khalat yu doy waar.

Ci même biss bi dama lire ci khibaaryi ben éditorial bu am solo buy wakh que:

– Deukkendoyi, jottna gniy arrêter sugn wanéou ci sugnu biir budut jemëlé fen; jotna gniy deglu kaddu yu amut solo yi gni jokhé continuellement pour wanéou sugnu ndaam ak ngoor. Jotna, samay mbook, gni prouver sugnuy kaddu, dugnu fo, dugnu kaf, kan mo matalé ak kan mo mataléout! Wante gno yakaar khana du am ben saysay ci sugnu biir buy wara indi ak force pour gni teggal ko mandaarga ci kaw je, ndakh lolu gatché la. Kunek ci gnun di yeeuk ci yaramam tokku dreetu garmiyi, yi nekkon sugnuy mam, dina beugg nek ci gniy jeukk tegal mandaarga ci kaw je, di negn ko mugn ak joom, sans ibbi sen guemign, ndakh lì nattu Yallala, sacrifice la pour sugnu ndaam rew ak pour gnun. Ci kanam, samay mbook, ndakh suba mey jour pour wané ndakh garmi nen wala deet!…

Borom keur gui dém tëddji ci sassi, bign paré jootay pour mana egg tél ci jootay subà.

Gnu bari nak dagno dém ci sassi directement ci mairie pour mana guena jeggé queuebi.

Ça ëlleug bi man mi takh dama demm ci tribunal bi. Gneup gnoni won fofu- khalé, magg, ndaw, goor ak jigueen. Yen yayii dagno fopp, indi seni bébé takh, comme ça gnom takh dinegn mana taff mandargaa jammyi ci seni je, gnengni di key tuddé aussi mandaarga de ngoor, ba mana amm ben ëllëk droit pour duggu ci service civique

Nityi di puss ak di sanni khér (ci lolu dagno nuroowanté ak Serbes yi, té dama contancilolu), gneup di jeukkenté ci kanam buntubi. Gnen gni takh gnoni khòt gni nekkon ci kanam ndakh di djeukkenté.

Kiy don taf mandaarga bi ben fonctionnaire civil bu solu lu wekh té formelle, buy don jema wagni riroo bi ak gnayoobi.

– Baylen sen khuloobilé, nguir Yalla, kunek di na am – doleni ay xatch, yakarna poussanté bi man na gnak.

Dagno tambli taf mandaargayilé. Ken jooy, kenen di yukhu, wanté amut ken cu co manona mugn sans ibbi guemigngui, bimafa nekke ba légui.

Manonuma mugn di khôl torture bi lu yagg, kon dama gnibbi ci bir auberge bi, wanté gnengni gnini won fofu déjà, di lek ak di nan.

– Jekhna! – la ken ci gnom wakh.

– Kholal, yukhugnu deuggëntan, wanté Talb mom moni don yukhu comme ben mbaam-sëf!… – la kenen tegg.

– Guiss na ak sa beutt sa Talb nim mel, yawmiko baggona fall présidént jootayu demb.

– Ah, nanlakey khamé nak!

Dagno continuer di wakhtan, di gnignëntu ndakh mettit, wanté di key jema neubb, ndakh kunek dafa bagnon gniy khalat lâche la.

Kleard teggal na boppam gatché, ndakh dafa yukhu, wanté ben goor bu tuddu Lear ndiaambar la won ndakh dafa latchté gni tafco gnaari mandaarga ci kanamam té ibbiout ben yon gemignam. Deukk bi yeupp di don wakh ci mom kese ak tcheur.

Gnengni dagno daw, wanté gneup jeppignen gnonulé.

Après quelques jours, qui amon gnaari mandaarga ci kaw je am moni don dokh kanamam ci kaw, di dokh ak fulla ak faida bu matt seukk, geum boppam, té fum jeum, gneup gnoni don sukku ci kanam, di sanni seni mbakhana pour saluer ndiaambaru taay.

Goor ak jigueen, khaleyi, gneupp gnini don daw guinawam ci talliyi pour mana guiss ndaanan bi guene rey ci seni rew. Fum jeum, nityi di wakh ci suf nign ko ragné won: “Lear, Lear!… Momla!… Koku mey ndiaambaru bi dawut, ken deggut baatam bign key don taf gnaari mandaarga ak fer bu tang jeur ci kaw kanamam!” monekkon à la une ci presse bi, gneup di key don sante ak di key maggal.

Tégneup dagnco beugg, ken munuko bagn.

Fuma dém mey dégg gniy wakh ci mom lu bakh, ba ma tambli yeukk sama dreetu Serbien bu diambaar di daw sama yaram, sugnu ancètres ndiambaar lagn won, dagno fatu ndakh mana am sen liberté; gnun takh dagno am sugnu ndiambaaru demb ak sugnu Kosovo. Mani don lokh ndakh nima soppé sama rew, yakamti wanéout fan la juggé, di daw baci tribunal bi, mana yukhu:

– Lutakh neneni tagg sen Lear?… Masolen guiss ndiaambar deugg! Kaylen khôlal sen bopp lan mey dreetu Serbien, nanla mel! Taf len fukki mandaarga ak fer bu tang jeurr ci sama kaw bopp, na wesu gnaar, lulen nekhe, khôl!

Fonctionnaire civil bi solon lu wekh jeggesi mandaarga ci wetu sama kanam boppu, ma tambli… dama jokk ci sasi ci sama guent.

Dama wokatu sama je ndakh tit, def signe de la croix sama kaw, di khalatt nanla mbiir yu doy waarni di khew ci samay gnueent yi.

– Tuti mo désson mey neubb ndaam sen ndiaambar Lear – la khalat, té contaci, ma tourner benen côtébi, masawo ndakh eggaleuma sama guent bam jekh.


Ci Belgrade, 1899.
Pour Project de “Radoje Domanović” Anta Kebe moko firi, 2021.

Khalatu nakk Serbien bu jaduu

Amna mbiir yu doy waar ci addunabi, té sugnu rew, ni gnen diy wakh, dafa bari mbiir yu doy waar ba lu dooy waar dafa jaadu legui. Amna nityu nek ci rangs yu kawé gnudut khalat, té pour lep matt, wala pour yenen raisons , ben nakk bu normale bu ben baykaat mom, bu outéut dara ak yenen nakk yi nek Serbie , tambli di khalat. Yalla rek mo kham lan mo khew ndakh nakk bu xaré bi am fitti mélni, rawatina bign wané que ndokhalin bu melnonu ci Serbie nattu ak fitna rek ley indi. Baylen ma wakhlen que ndeysanë jinné bi, ci nim nekke naïve, khamononut que ndokhalin bu mélni amut njarign deukkëm, con ken luko jokh ben ndaam civique. Wanté balegui ken khamut lutakh ben nakk wara mana khalat ndakh nekkut cu mana fall, wala conseiller, wala khilifa, wala mboopu rew wala gni fall co comme député ci ben assemblée bovine, wala (lunekké guen na maguett) sénateur. Lunekkon moni khalat, ndéssane, pour gni fall co comme ministre ci ben deukkou nakk, dafa wara khamni que dafa wara, au contraire, wagni khalatam, comme ministres yu mën sen liguey yoyu nekk ci deukk yu fekhyi di def, même si sugnu rew amut chances ci côté bobu. Ndax à la fin lutakh gni wara nekk di soor lutax ben nakk en Serbie tambli am dokhalin bu nityi bay? Ndakh, man na nekk dafa tambli khalat ndakh ben disposition bu naturelle bu jugge ci mom.

Con ban sorte de nakk la? Nakk bu normal, comme zoologie nim gnu jangale, bu am bopp, yaram ak pattesyi, comme nakk yëpp. ; ley diri charrete yi, di lekk nahh mi, di lem khrom bi, di dugni ak di ngâkh. Gni tuddé won co Sivonja, nakk bu gris bi.

Nila tamblé di khalat. Ben bis, boromam dafa khecci mom ak kharitam, Galonja, ték ci kaw charrettebi yen piquets yum sacci, yobalelen ci biir deukbi pour jaay. Bim ekse ci bir deuk bi mu jaay piquets yi ci sassi, baparé fetchi Sivonja ak kharitam, takk corde biy takh lugn takaliko ak joug bi, maylen gnakh bu wow bugn mana lekk , dém yonam di ndokh kontan duggu ci ben bar pour nan tuti lu sedd. Amna festival ci bir deukk bi, donc khalé, mak, ndaw, goor ak jigueen yep gnomi don dokh taliyi. Galonja, yenen nakk yi ragné won kom ku amut khél, kholut darà, mom key ci agnam rek ley don lijenti, mu lekci lu mat sëk, mu ngâh tuti ndakh kontan, mu tëdd ci suf, diy def siestam ak di tcakami ak jamb. Faléout gni don jaal, di dém ak gneuw. Momde moni noppalu rek ak di tcakami nank(dommagela que nekkut dommu adama, ndakh luko nekkon di na mana am ligure yu bax). Wanté Sivonja manut dugal darà ci guemignem. Beutem yi don guent ak kanamam bu triste bi gnini don wanne pour ku key sogga guiss que ki quy khalat la, ku am khel la, ku bax lolu, té bariouta guiss. Nityi, Serbes-yi, gnoni jaad ci kanamam, di dokh am mbegté ci seni demb, ci seni tuur, ci seni réw, té sen reyreylu bobu moy don wané ci nigni dokhé ak sen attitude bu sedd guy. Sivonja di khôl li lepp, ba rukham jekki jekki nek ci nakaar ak metit ndakh injustices yu metiiyi, té mom manonut bay émotions yu rey ni, am solo ni di key daneel; dafa ngâkh ak nakhar, nu métti, rangogn yi di rogolan bëttam. Té ci nakaram bu rey bi, la Savona tambli di khalat:

– Lan lagn am sama boroom ak mbookam Serbes yi di reyreylu? Lutakh gnini yëkketi sen bopp ba ci kaw, di khôl nityi ba ci kaw ci suf ak reyreylu ak djéppi? Dagno bègue ci sen réw, bègue ndakh gno may len ci juddu en Serbie. Sama yay takh fi lama juur, en Serbie, té Serbie nekkut rek deuk fi sama yay juddo, wanté sama baay takh fi la juddo, té samay mamati ma’am takh, comme seni yoss, gno juggé ci ancienne patrie slave gnew ci allyi. Wanté ken ci gnun nakk gno amici mbégté, gnun gno bègue rek ndakh mangnen dirii lu diss bigni yekk; balégui ni musut am ben nakk buy wakh benen nakk bu allemand: ‘Lan na sokhla ci man, man nakk bu serbe la, deuk bi ma juddo mey réw mi ma sopp miy Serbie, samay mamati maam yeup fi lagn deukk, fi, ak fi, ci réwmi, lagn sul samay baay. “ Yalla téré, gnun musugnu bégg ci li, musut egg ci sugnu khel, té gnom nak am gnen béggté ci lolu. Nityu doy waar gnen gnoni nonu!

Khalat yi di fes khelam, nakk bi di witchakh boppam bilé, cloche bi nek ci batam bilé di sonner té di nara daam joug gui. Galonja ibbi beutam yi, khôl kharitam ba paré meugler:

– Yani nonu encore ak sa yu gnak fayda yoyu! Lekal, khana na dof, yokal yaram, kholal sa yakh yeupp di fegn; lu nekkon khalat amna solo, con nityi lugn ko bayé ak gnun nakk yi. Munugnu am chance bu tollni!

Sivonja di khôl kharitam di key yërem, di tourner boppam fenen, nekkat ci khalatam:

– Gnoni bégg ci seni ndaamu demb. Am gnen sen champ de Kosovo ak la bataille de Kosovo. Yeuff bu rey, khana nekkut samay mamati mam gnoy don puss ak di dirii li armée bi sokhlaon ak kekyi ak ganayy yilé? Lugn fa nekononut, nityi gno key waral diiri sen bopp. Baparé gni jappanté ak Turcs yi. Lu rey la won, té dokhalin ndaanan, wanté can mo fa nekkon? Nityi amut khél yi, di jay jomba gnaw té amugnu khel gno nekkon boppu soulèvement billé. Jeul len par exemple sama borombi. Dafa rey trop, dey ndamu ci soulévement bilé, rawatina ndakh mamatimamam bu goor dafa guén adduna ci guerre de libération bilé comme ndiambaar deuguentan. Ndakh li liguey sama borom mi la? Mamatimamam manon na bégg ci boppam, wanté du momdé; mamati mamam dafa fatu pour que mom , sama borom, mi nek mbookam, mana am ndambiir. Mom dambûr la, té nan ley djerigno libertém bobu? Dey sacci piquets gnengnilé, di tok ci kaw charrette bi, té man ma co wara khëcci mom ak piquets yi pendant que mom moni teudd. Légui jay na piquets yi, moni nan sangara, lu déf dara té di bégg ci dembam bu am ndaam yu bari. Té gnata ci samay ancètres lagn ray ci soulévementbilé pour mana dundal gni don khekh? Té sama ancètres yi khana diriugnu seni ganay, canons, lek ak munitions? Té teréout gnun lu gnu bégg ci lign soti ndakh darà sopiut pour gnun; balégui gnoni def lign gnu waar, comme ni sugnu ancètres dan def, ak tey ak sago.

Dagno bégg ci nakkaru seni mamatimami ak ci junni att de ndâia. Sama khet souffrir na lim dund baléguisi, té balégui gnoni souffrir, gnongnuy jappe jaam, té lol takhut gni key yukhu fen. Dagni wakh que Turcs yi dagno torturer, ray, empaler; wanté sama ancètres Turcs yi ak Serbes gnolen bokka ray, di leni lakk, def bep sorte de torture.

Dagno bégg ci seni religion, wanté guemugnu darà. Ci lan la, man ak sama khet, jum, bakaar ba munugnu bokk ci Chrétiens yi? Seni ngem ngem mo leni wakh “bu sacci” wanté sama borom moni non di sacci ak di nan sangara ak khalis bim gagner ak sacci bi. Seni ngem ngem mo leni wakh gni beuk seni deukendo, wanté kunek moni gagn moromam. Pour gnom, ki guen ci nityi, royuukay la, kudut gagn ken la , té évidemment, ken khalatut latch wala ndigal moromam di def lu bax, lu weso bagna gagn. Lol mey wané seni rooyukay nim sufé, ba man na nek takh yeuff bu amut njarign bu dut gagn.

Nakk bi diy soupirer profondamment, ba yeukeuti pendâ bi nekkon ci yon bilé.

– Kon- la nakk bi di continuer di khalat ak khalatam yu nakkari yoyu-ci situation bu mélni , khana man ak sama khet tanéugnu gnom gneup? Musuma ray ken, musuma togn ken, musuma sacci darà, musuma dakk fonctionnaire té defut darà, musuma amel boor étatbi lé, musuma déclarer fausse faillite, musuma tak wala teuch kaso ku defut dara, musuma xas samay kharit, musuma dém contre sama principes de nakk, musuma wakh ludut deugg, musuma nekk ministre sama rew té musuma def luy gagn sama deuk, té non seulement gagnuma sama deukk, man mey jeffé lu bax ki mey gagn tax. Sama yay mama juur, té ci sassi, nit yu bonn gno sacci mew bi sama yay don ma nampal. Yalla wanté defarna gnakhbi pour gnun nakk, pas pour domou adamayi, wanté teréut gnom lol tax da gnkoy nangu ci gnun. Teréut, lu weso dooryilé, gnun gniy khëcci charettes s yilé, gnun gno liguey tollyilé bagn mana lekk mburu. Wanté ken ci gnom lu nangu sugnu barké, ligni liguey ndakh sugnu réwmi lé.

– Nan jël woor par exemple; pour doomu adamayi sen ngem ngem mo len sant gniy woor jours de jeune yi yeup, wanté mugnuko takh mugn woor bu gaat nonu, wanté man ak sama khet sugn aduna bi yeup dagn ko woor, bign gnu xagné sugnu mew yaayi.

Nakk bi seugg boppam comme cu jahlé, baparé mu yëkkeutiwat co, mu hahnadiku ak mer, té moni don nuro lu am solo moni don dellosí khelam, di key sonal; mu jekki jekki def muuu, comme cu contan:

– Khamna co légui, lol rek la mana don- la continuer di khalat- lol la ; dagno bégg ndakh sen liberté ak sen droits civiques. Dama wara khalatci bu bax.

Moni don khalat, di khalat, wanté munufa egg, amna lu dis khelam

– Lan mey seni droits? Lunekke police bi moleni jokhé ndiguël gni fall nit, wala lu déme nonu, gnun di negn ko mana meugles “Nangg-uu-uuugnen!” Té lunekké ken jokhulen ndigal, lugn sagn fall ken, wala di duggu ci mbiiru politique, comme gnun. Gnom di negn len door ci bir kasso, lunekké takh defugnu darà. Gnun tax au moins man gnen ngâh, di yenguel sugnu gën, té gnomnak amugnu courage civique bu melni.

Moment bobu nak, la boromam guenn ci bar bi. Mandi, titubant, beut yi lendëm, di wakh lu ken munut degg, munut tax té boppam bimi don dokh ba ci charrette bi.

– Kharlen, nanlay setat bini di jarigno liberté bu mamamati mam gnak ak sen dreet? Waw, deugg la sama borom mandikat ak satchikat la, wanté gnenengni nan gnini jarignoo liberté bobulé? Di key fowé rek ak di damu sen demb, ndaam yi sen ancètres yi mom, dagno bokku lolu. Té gnun nakk yi, dagno continuer di nekk gnafécat ak gnuy am solo ci liguey mi comme sugnu baayilé. Gnun nakk gnen, wanté bégg gnen ci nignu sonne ci sugnu ligueey ak sugnu ndaam yi taay.

Nakk bi onku di defar batam pour jougbilé.


Ci Belgrade, 1902.
Pour Project de “Radoje Domanović” Anta Kebe moko firi, 2021.

Mexxej (3/3)

(il-paġna ta’ qabel)

B’hekk, l-ewwel jum kien għadda, u wara, aktar ġranet segwew, ukoll mimlijin bl-istess suċċess. Xejn t’importanza kbira ma’ ġara, affarijiet żgħar biss: Tgerbu rashom għal isfel ġo fossa, imbagħad ġo gandott; ħakkew ma’ xi sies tal-ħaxix u sġajjar tat-tut tal-għollieq; rifsux-xwiek; kien hemm ħafna li kisru dirgħajhom jew saqajhom; xi ftit sofrew feriti f’rashom. Dan it-turment ġie mifluħ. Ħallew xi rġiel xjuħ imutu fit-triq. “Kienu jmutu anki kieku baqgħu d-dar, aħseb u ara fit-triq!” Il-kelliem qal, sabiex iħeġġeġ lill-oħrajn biex ikomplu. Xi tfal żgħar, li kellhom bejn sena u sentejn, ukoll spiċċaw mietu. Il-ġenituri tagħhom mingħajr ebda emozzjoni, issopprimew l-uġigħ ta’ qalb għax kienet ix-xewqa t’Alla. “L-iżgħar t-tfal, l-anqas in-niket. Meta jkunu żgħar, anqas diqa. Alla, ikkonċedi lill-ġenituri li ma jitilfux lit-tfal tagħhom meta jkunu laħqu l-età taż-żwieġ. Jekk it-tfal hekk ikunu destinati, aħjar imutu kmieni. Imbagħad, in-niket ma jkunx daqshekk kbir!” il-kelliem reġa’ farraġhom. Xi ftit geżwrulhom rjushom biċ-ċraret u waħħlulhom il-garżi fuq it-tbenġil. Uħud ġarrewlhom dirgħajhom fil-faxex. Kollha kienu mċarrta u imqattgħin. Ħwejjiġhom imdendlin imtertqin, minkejja kollox, baqgħu mixjin. Dan kollu kien ikun aktar faċli biex jissopportaw li kieku ma kienux mejtin bil-ġuħ. Imma kellhom jibqgħu mixjin.

Ġurnata minnhom, xi ħaġa sinjifikattiva seħħet.

Il-mexxej kien miexi fuq quddiem, imdawwar bl-aktar irġiel kuraġġużi tal-ġemgħa. (Tnejn minnhom kienu mitlufin, u ħadd ma kien jaf fejn kienu. Kienet opinjoni ġenerali li ttradew il-kawża tagħhom u ħarbu. F’okkażjoni minnhom, il-kelliem kien qal xi ħaġa fuq it-tradiment tagħhom tal-mistħija. Ftit biss kienu jemmnu li dawn it-tnejn kienu mietu waqt il-vjaġġ, iżda ma kienux qalu l-opinjoni tagħhom, biex ma jirrabbjawx lill-oħrajn.) Il-bqija tal-grupp kienu kollha warajhom. F’daqqa waħda, tfaċċa wied enormi, fond u blati – abbiss ta’ veru. L-għolja tant kienet imżerżqa li ħadd minnhom ma ssogra jimxi pass ‘il quddiem. Anka l-aktar kuraġġużi waqfu u ħarsu lejn il-mexxej. Jitkerrah u ħosbien b’rasu mniżżla, bil-qlubija kollha, itektek il-bastun fuq quddiem, l-ewwel fuq il-lemin, imbagħad fuq ix-xellug, bħalma jagħmel is-soltu. Bosta qalu li dan ġiegħlu jidher aktar dinjituż. Ma ħares lejn ħadd u lanqas qal xejn. Fuq wiċċu, ma kienx hemm tibdil tal-espressjoni jew traċċi ta’ biża’ waqt li kien qed javviċina l-preċipizzju. Anka l-aktar irġiel qalbiena bjadu bil-biża’, iżda ħadd minnhom ma wissieh lill-mexxej l-għaref u kuraġġuż. Żewġ passi oħra u kien fix-xifer. Bil-biża’ kollha, u b’għajnejhom miftuħin beraħ, kollha bdew jirtogħdu. L-aktar irġiel kuraġġużi kienu fil-punt li jżommuh lura, anka kieku kienet tfisser ksur ta’ dixxiplina, meta mexa darba, darbtejn, u fonda fl-irdum. F’daqqa waħda inqala ġenn sħiħ, għajjat, biki; il-biża’ ħakmithom. Kien hemm bosta li qatgħu qalbhom.

– Aħwa, stennew! X’inhi l-għaġla? Hekk iżommu kelmitkom? Irridu nsegwuh lill-għaref għax jaf x’inhu jagħmel. Irid ikun miġnun biex iħassar lilu nnifsu. Ejjew warajh! Dan x’aktarx l-aħħar ostaklu. Min jaf? Forsi n-naħa l-oħra ta’ dan l-irdum, insibu art manjifika u fertili li Alla xtaq jipprovdilna. ‘Il quddiem! Mingħajr sagrifiċċju, ma naslu mkien! – Dawk kienu il-kelmiet għarfa tal-kelliem u anki hu mexa żewġ passi ‘il quddiem għal ġol-irdum. L-aktar kuraġġużi segwew u wara, kulħadd qabeż.

Kien hemm ħafna garr u biki fuq l-għolja mżerżqa ta’ dan il-preċipizzju enormi. Wieħed kien jaħlef li ħadd qatt ma kien ħa joħroġ ħaj, aħseb u ara mingħajr tbatija u kollu sħiħ, iżda l-ħajja umana hija tenaċi. Il-mexxej kellu fortuna ta’ barra minn hawn. Iddendel mas-sġajjar sakemm kien nieżel, u b’hekk ma weġġax. Irnexxilu iqum u jitla. F’dak il-mument irbombja il-qrid, biki u garr taħtu, hu poġġa bla ċaqliq, ħosbien. Xi nies li kienu f’qagħda ħażina u rrabbjati bdew isemplulu iżda hu ma tax kashom. Dawn li kienu fortunati biżżejjed li żammew ma’ xi sġajra waqt li kienu niżlin, bdew jistrapazzaw biex jippruvaw jitilgħu. Ċerti minnhom kellhom rashom maqsuma, tant li demmhom kien qed inixxi għal fuq wiċċhom. Ħadd ma kien sħiħ ħlief il-mexxej. Kollha f’daqqa waħda bdew jitkerrħulu u jkarbu bl-uġigħ iżda hu lanqas biss għolla rasu. Kien sieket u assuma il-poża riflettiva t’għaref ta’ veru!

Xi ftit ħin għadda. In-numru ta’ vjaġġaturi baqa’ jonqos. Kuljum kienu qed jonqsu n-nies. Ftit minnhom ħallew il-grupp u ma reġgħux marru lura.

Min-numru kbir li bdew bih, xi għoxrin biss kien għad fadal. Wiċċhom kien jidher mixrub u għajjien, u kellhom dehra b’sinjali ta’ disperazzjoni, dubjuża, għejja u ġuħ, iżda ħadd ma fetaħ ħalqu. Kienu kwieti daqs il-mexxej tagħhom u baqgħu mixjin bil-mod. Anka l-kelliem entużjastiku xengel rasu bid-disperazzjoni. It-triq kienet diffiċli tassew.

In-numri tagħhom komplew jonqsu kuljum, sakemm kien fadal biss għaxra. B’uċuħ bla tama, minflok jitkellmu kull ma kienu jagħmlu jġorru u jkarbu.

Kienu jidhru magħtuba iktar milli rġiel. Ftit minnhom kienu bil-krozzi. Ftit minnhom kellhom dirgħajhom infaxxati u mdendlin m’għonqhom. Fuq idejhom kellhom ħafna faxex u garżi. Anki kieku riedu jagħmlu sagrifiċċji ġodda, ma setgħux għaliex bil-kemm kien hemm spazju fuq ġisimhom għal aktar feriti.

Anki l-aktar fosthom li kienu b’saħħithom u qalbiena kienu tilfu t-tama u l-isperanza iżda xorta baqgħu sejrin il’quddiem; jiġifieri, huma b’xi mod karfsu bil-ħtabit, bil-garr, u bl-uġigħ. X’setgħu aktar jagħmlu la ma setgħux imorru lura? Dawn is-sagrifiċċji kollha imbagħad jabbandunaw il-miġja?

L-għabex waqa’. Waqt li zappu ‘il quddiem bil-krozzi, f’daqqa waħda indunaw li l-mexxej ma kienx għadu quddiemhom. Pass ieħor u kienu jerġgħu jispiċċaw fi rdum ieħor.

– Ajma sieqi! Ajma idi! – Irbombja n-newħ u t-tikrib. Leħen dgħajjef ukoll għajret lill-mexxej, u wara reġgħet siktet.

X’ħin telgħet ix-xemx, hemm poġġa l-mexxej, l-istess bħalma kienu sabuh meta ntagħżel. Ma kienx hemm bidla waħda fl-apparenza tiegħu.

Il-kelliem telgħa barra mill-irdum, segwit minn tnejn oħra. Sfigurat u imdemmi, daru biex jaraw kemm kien għad fadal, iżda huma biss kien għad jonqos. Biża’ infernali u nuqqas ta’ tama, ħakmuhom. Iż-żona ma kienitx magħrufa u kienet tlugħija – ma kien hemm l-ebda passaġġ. Jumejn qabel kienu nzertaw triq iżda kienu komplex għaddejjin. Il-mexxej mexxihom dik in-naħa.

Ħasbu fuq il-ħafna ħbieb u qraba li kienu mietu waqt din il-miġja orribbli. Niket aktar mill-akbar uġigħ tar-riġlejn imfarrak. Kienu xhud tal-qerda tagħhom stess.

Il-kelliem mar lejn il-mexxej u beda jkellmu b’leħen imriegħed, għajjien u mimli uġigħ, disperazzjoni u mrar.

– Issa fejn sejrin?

Il-mexxej baqa’ sieket.

– Fejn ħa teħodna, u fejn ġibtna? Aħna tfajna lilna nfusna f’idejk u segwejnik, ħallejna djarna u tlaqna l-oqbra ta’ missirijietna bl-isperanza li nsalvaw ruħna mill-irvina iżda int irvinajtna b’mod agħar. Kien hawn mitejn familja warajk u issa ara kemm għad fadal!

– Trid tgħid, kulħadd mhuwiex hawnhekk? – gedwed il-mexxej mingħajr m’għolla rasu.

– Kif tista’ tistaqsi domanda hekk? Ħares ‘il fuq u tara! Għodd kemm għad hawn minna f’din il-miġja misħuta! Ara f’liem qagħda qedgħin! Aħjar mietna milli mfarrkin hekk.

– Ma nistax inħares lejk!

– Għala le?

– Jien għami.

Jaqa’ silenzju assolut.

– Tlift il-vista waqt il-vjaġġ?

– Jien twelidt għami!

It-tliet segwaċi ddispraw.

Riħ il-Ħarifa nefaħ fost il-muntanji u ġab miegħu weraq niexfa. Iċ-ċpar isseqqer fuq l-għoljiet, u ġwenħajn iċ-ċawlun ferfru fl-arja kiesħa u mċajpra. Tqaqija, qisha ta’ twissija irbombjat. Ix-xemx kienet moħbija wara s-sħab li kien qed jitgerbeb  u jgħaġġel ‘il quddiem.

It-tlieta ħarsu lejn xulxin bit-twaħħix.

– Fejn nistgħu mmorru issa? – gedwed wieħed minnhom serjament.

– Ma nafux!


F’Belgrad, 1901.
Għall-Proġett “Radoje Domanović” tradotta bil-Malti minn ChristiannePortelli, 2021.

Mexxej (2/3)

(il-paġna ta’ qabel)

L’għada, kull min kellu l-qlubija sabiex imur għal vjaġġ twil inġabar. Aktar minn mitejn familja inġabru fil-post il-magħżul. Ftit biss kienu baqgħu d-dar biex jieħdu ħsieb ta’ din iż-żona.

Kienet fil-fatt xena nikkitija, li tħares lejn din il-ġemgħa nies li tant kellhom sfortuna li kellhom jabbandunaw lill-art twelidhom u l-istess art fejn kienu jidfnu lill-antenati tagħhom. In-nies dehru mfarrkin, mherrijin u b’ġildthom maħruqa mir-raġġi kefrin tax-xemx. It-tbatija ta’ dawk is-snin kollha, mimlijin ħidma, ħallew impatt fuqhom u juru viżwali mimlija miżerja u disperazzjoni. Iżda, f’dan il-mument, raw raġġ ta’ tama – mħallat man-nuqqas li ħassew ħabba li kellhom jitilqu minn art twelidhom. Id-dmugħ beda jroxx fuq ħaddejn xi rġiel xjuħ li karbu desperatament u ċaqilqu rashom b’arja ta’ stmerrija ta’ ħażen. Kienu jippreferu jibqgħu hemm ftit ieħor, sabiex huma wkoll kienu jkunu jistgħu jmutu fost dan il-ħaġar, minflok ifittxu art aħjar. Ħafna nisa ħambqu u selmu lill-maħbubin mejtin tagħhom, ta’ min kellhom jitilqu l-oqbra.

L-irġiel pruvaw jagħtu xeħta ta’ qlubija u bdew jgħajjtu, – Mela tridu tibqgħu tmutu bil-ġuħ f’din l-art misħutau tgħixu f’dawn il-griebeġ? – Fil-verità, kieku setgħu, kienu jippreferu jieħdu dawk l-inħawi misħuta u dawk il-griebeġ fqajrin.

Kien hemm il-ħsejjes u l-għajjat bħalma ġeneralment tisma’ minn ġemgħa nies. Kemm l-irġiel u n-nisa kienu qed jiqomsu. It-tfal kienu qed iwerżqu fil-benniena fuq dahar ommhom. Anki l-bhejjem kienu nkwetati. Baqar ma kienx hemm ħafna, forsi xi għoġol l’hinn u l’hawn u mbagħad tara żiemel mixrub u msewwef b’ras daqsiex u b’saqajn imbaċċin li fuqhom kienu qed jgħabbu twapet qodma, basktijiet, kif ukoll żewġt ixkejjer fuq is-sarġ, b’tali mod li dan il-povru animal ixxengel taħt dak il-piż kollu. Minkejja dan, irnexxielu jibqa’ fuq saqajh u jiżher darba kultant. Xi nies oħra kienu qed jgħabbu l-ħmir; it-tfal kienu qed jiġbdu l-klieb miċ-ċineg. It-tbalbil, l-għajjat, id-dagħa, in-newħ, il-biki, l-inbiħ, iż-żhir – irrenja fuq kollox. Anki ħmar minnhom beda jonħoq xi kultant. Madanakollu, il-mexxej lanqas kelma ma qal, bħallikieku ma kien xejn affari tiegħu. Għaref ta’ vera!

Baqa’ bilqiegħda ħosbien fis-skiet, b’rasu mniżżla. Darba kultant, kien jobżoq mal-art; dak kollox. Ħabba din l-imġiba stramba li kellu, tant kibret il-popolarità tiegħu li kulħadd kien lest jagħmel kollox għalih. Dawn it-taħditiet setgħu jinstemgħu:

– Għandna nkunu kburin li sibna raġel bħal dan. Ma nafx x’konna nagħmlu mingħajru, Alla jberikna! Konna mmutu mingħajru. Kif ngħidlek jien, bravu wisq! Kwiet, għadu lanqas biss qal kelma! – Qal wieħed minnhom waqt li kien qed iħares lejn il-mexxej b’ħarsa mimlija rispett u kburija.

– Xi tridu jgħid? Dawk li jitkellmu ħafna ma tantx jaħsbu. Raġel bravu żgur! Jaħseb u jibqa’ sieket, – żied ieħor, u ħares lejn il-mexxej bl-għaġeb.

– Mhux xi ħaġa faċli tmexxi dawn in-nies kollha! Irid jiġbor ħsibijietu peress li għandu biċċa xogħol kbir fuq idejh, – reġa’ qal l-ewwel wieħed.

Il-ħin sar biex jibdew il-vjaġġ. Stennew ftit iżda, sabiex jaraw jekk ikunx hemm xi ħadd ieħor ibiddel fehmtu u jiddeċiedi jmur magħhom, iżda la ħadd ma ġie, ma setgħux idumu iktar.

– Imorru, x’taħseb? – staqsew lill-mexxej.

Huwa qam mingħajr ebda kelma.

L-aktar irġiel qalbiena dlonk iċċirkondawh biex jipproteġġuh, fil-każ ta’ xi periklu jew emerġenza.

Il-mexxej, jitkerrah b’wiċċu l-isfel, għamel xi ftit passi u xejjer il-bastun quddiemu b’mod dinjituż. Il-ġemgħa bdiet mixja warajh u għajtet diversi drabi, “Viva il-mexxej!” Hu għamel xi ftit passi u ħabat ġol-ħajt, li kien quddiem is-sala tal-villaġġ. Hemmhekk, naturalment, waqaf; allura l-grupp waqaf ukoll. Il-mexxej resaq ftit lura u tektek diversi drabi fuq il-ħajt.

– Xi tridna nagħmlu? – huma staqsewh.

Huwa ma fetaħx ħalqu.

– X’għandna nagħmlu? Inwaqqawh dan il-ħajt! Hekk għandna nagħmlu! M’intiex tara li urina bil-bastun x’għandna nagħmlu? – għajtu dawk li kienu madwar il-mexxej.

– Hemm hi x-xatba! Hemm hi x-xatba! – għajtu t-tfal waqt li ppuntaw lejn ix-xatba li kienet oppost tagħhom.

– Isktu, tfal!

– Alla għinna, x’inhu jiġri? – in-nisa għamlu s-salib b’idejhom.

– Tgħidux kelma waħda! Jaf x’inhu jagħmel. Waqqaw il-ħajt!

F’daqqa waħda, kissruh il-ħajt, bħallikieku qatt ma kien eżista.

Qabżu l-fdalijiet tal-ħajt u baqgħu mixjin.

Bil-kemm kienu għamlu mitt pass, meta il-mexxej ħabbat ġo sġajra xewkija, u waqaf. Irnexxilu jillibera ruħu b’diffikultà kbira u wara, beda jtektek il-bastun f’kull direzzjoni. Ħadd ma ċċaqlaq.

– U issa x’ġara?– għajtu dawk li kienu qedgħin fuq wara.

– Aqtgħu din ix-xitla! – għajtu lura dawk li kienu bilwieqfa ħdejn il-mexxej.

– Hemm hi t-triq, wara ix-xitel! Hemm ara! – werżqu t-tfal u ħafna nies li kienu qedgħin fuq wara.

– Hemm hi t-triq! Hemm hi t-triq! –daħqu bihom dawk li kienu madwar il-mexxej, waqt li bdew jimitawhom bir-rabbja kollha. – Aħna rġiel għomja, kif nistgħu naraw inkunu nafu fejn ħa jeħodna? Mhux kullħadd jista’ jagħti l-ordnijiet. Il-mexxej jaf l-aħjar u l-aktar rotta diretta. Aqtgħu ix-xitla!

Huma intefgħu jiżbarazzaw il-passaġġ.

– Ajma! – għajjat xi ħadd li kellu xewka mwaħħla f’idu u xi ħadd ieħor li kellu wiċċu milqut minn fergħa tat-tut tal-għollieq.

– Aħwa, ma tistgħu takkwistaw xejn għal xejn. Tridu titbagħlu biex tirnexxu, – wieġeb l-aktar kuraġġuż fost il-ġemgħa.

Irnexxilhom iwaqqaw l-isġajra wara ħafna sforzi u komplew il-mixja tagħhom.

Wara li komplew it-tidwira tagħhom, inzertaw ċint magħmul miz-zkuk. Dan, ukoll ġie mkisser. Imbagħad komplex il-mixja tagħhom.

Fl-ewwel jum, ma tantx mxew għaliex kellhom jaħkmu ħafna ostakoli tal-istess tip. Dan kollu kellhom jagħmluh fuq stonku bażikament vojt għax xi ftit minnhom kulma kienu ġabu kien ħobż xott u xi ftit ġobon, waqt li xi nies oħra kulma kellhom xi ftit ħobż biex ixabbahom. Kien hemm xi ftit minnhom li lanqas xejn ma kellhom. Fortunatament, kien is-Sajf, allura l’hinn u l’hawn, setgħu jsibu siġar tal-frott.

B’hekk, minkejja li fl-ewwel ġurnata ma tantx kienu għadhom imxew, kellhom għeja enormi fuqhom. Ma kinux inzertaw perikli, u ma kellhomx inċidenti lanqas. Naturalment, fi proġett daqshekk kbir, dawn l-avvenimenti jridu jiġu meqjusa tnietef: xewka mweħħla fl-għajn ix-xellugija ta’ waħda mara, li għattiet b’ċarruta; tifel minnhom laqat siequ ma’ zokk u spiċċa jinfexx jibki w jzappap; raġel xwejjaħ tgerbeb fi sġajra tat-tut tal-għollieq u fekkek l-għaksa; wara li indilkitlu basla mgħaffġa, ir-raġel bil-kuraġġ kollu felaħ l-uġigħ u, imxaqleb fuq il-bastun tiegħu, zappap ‘il quddiem qalbieni wara l-mexxej. (Onestament, ħafna nies qalu li x-xwejjaħ kien qed jigdeb ħabba l-għaksa, li kien biss qed jilgħabuha tal-ferut għax kien fuq ix-xwiek biex imur lura.) Malli għadda ż-żmien, ftit biss kien għad baqa’ li ma kellhomx xi xewka f’dirgħajhom jew wiċċhom migruf. L-irġiel felħu kollox erojikament waqt li n-nisa seħħtu s-siegħa u l-mument li telqu u t-tfal bkew, naturalment, għaliex ma fehmux li dan il-ħtabit u l-uġigħ kien se jiġi premjat bil-kbir.

Għal grazzja t’Alla, lill-mexxej ma kien ġralu xejn. Frankament, biex inkunu onesti, kien protett ħafna, però xorta, dan ir-raġel kien sempliċiment fortunat. Fil-kamp tal-ewwel lejl, kulħadd talab u rringrazzja l-Alla li l-vraġġ tal-jum kien ta’ suċċess u li lill-mexxej ma kinux inqalaqlu disgrazzji. Imbagħad wieħed mill-aktar irġiel kuraġġużi beda jitkellem. Wiċċu kien migruf mis-sġajra tat-tut tal-għollieq, iżda xejn ma mpurtah minn dan.

– Aħwa, – beda. – Ġurnata ta’ suċċess tinstab warajna, għall-grazzja t’Alla. It-triq mhux faċli, iżda rridu nissapportu għaliex kollha kemm aħna nafu li din it-triq diffiċli se twassalna għall-hena. Jalla l-Mulej iżomm idejh fuq il-mexxej tagħna, minn kull deni sabiex ikun jista’ jkompli jigwidana bis-suċċess.

– Jekk għada l-affarijiet imorru bħal ma marru llum, ħa nispiċċa nitlef l-għajn l-oħra! – għajtet waħda mara bir-rabbja.

– Ajma, sieqi! – ix-xwejjaħ għajjat, imħeġġeġ mir-rimarka ta’ din il-mara.

It-tfal baqgħu jeqirdu u jnewwħu, u l-ommijiet bdew isibuha diffiċli isiktuhom sabiex il-kelliem ikun jista’ jinstema.

– Iva, ħa titlef l-għajn l-oħra, – qal bir-rabbja kollha, – u jalla titlifhom it-tnejn! Mhux xi disgrazzja għal mara waħda li titlef il-vista minn għajnejhom it-tnejn, għal kawża tajba. Imissek tistħi! Ma taħsibx għall-futur tat-tfal tiegħek? Tħalli nofsna imutu f’dan il-proġett! X’differenza tagħmel? X’inhi għajn waħda? X’użu għandhom għajnejk meta hemm xi ħadd ieħor iħares għalina u jigwidana lejn l-hena? Għandna nabbandunaw din il-biċċa xogħol biss minħabba għajnejk u minħabba sieq ix-xwejjaħ?

– Qed jigdeb! Ix-xwejjaħ qed jigdeb! Qed jagħmilha taparsi weġġa sabiex imur lura, – l-ilħna bdew jirbombjaw jgħidu minn kull naħa.

– Aħwa, kull min ma jridx ikompli mixi magħna, – Reġa’ qal il-kelliem – Ħallieh imur lura, minflok il-garr u minflok inħalluh ibaqbaqna. Sa fejn jikkonċerna lili, jien ħa nsegwi lill-mexxej għaref tagħna sakemm nibqa’ ħaj!

– Aħna kollha ħa nsegwuh! Aħna kollha ħa nsegwuh sakemm nibqgħu ħajjin!

Il-mexxej kien siket.

Kulħadd beda jħares lejl u jfesfes:

– Mitluf fi ħsibijietu!

– Raġel għaref!

– Ara ġbinu!

– U dejjem jitkerrah!

– Serju!

– Huwa kuraġġuż! Dan tista’ tara f’kull ħaġa li jagħmel.

– Dażgur! Ħitan usġajjar tat-tut – jaħrat kollox. Itektek il-bastun, ma jgħid xejn, u dejjem trid taqta’ xi jkolli fuq moħħu.

(il-paġna li jmiss)

Mexxej (1/3)

– Aħwa u ħbieb, jien smajt dak li kellkom tgħidu, iżda issa nitlobkom tisimgħu lili. Id-deliberazzjonijiet u t-taħditiet tagħna, ma jiswew għalxejn sakemm nibqgħu f’dan ir-reġjun sterili. F’din il-ħamrija ramlija u fuq dan il-blat, xejn ma seta’ jikber, anki meta kellna snin ta’ xita, aħseb u ara f’din in-nixfa li ħadd qatt ra bħalha qatt qabel. Kemm se ndumu niltaqgħu hekk u nitkellmu fix-xejn? Il-baqar qed imutu bil-ġuħ mingħajr ikel, u daqt aħna u wliedna nispiċċaw immutu bil-ġuħ bħalhom. Hemm bżonn li nsibu soluzzjoni li hija aħjar u iktar sensibbli. Naħseb li l-aħjar, nitilqu minn din l-art niexfa u mmorru infittxu art aħjar, b’ħamrija aktar fertili għaliex inkella, ma nafx kemm nistgħu nkomplu ngħixu hekk.

B’hekk, abitant ta’ xi provinċja infertili, darba kien qalilna f’laqgħa, b’vuċi għajjiena. Naħseb li fejn u meta ġara dan kollu, la jikkonċerna lilek, u lanqas lili. Huwa importanti li temmini, li din il-ġrajja ġrat x’imkien f’xi art ħafna snin ilu, u dak biżżejjed. Onestament, f’xi punt, ħsibt li ivvintajt din l-istorja kompletament, iżda ftit ftit, ħlist lili nnifsi minn din id-delużjoni. Issa, nemmen bis-sħiħ, li se nirrelata x’verament ġara, u dak li żgur ġara x’imkien u f’xi darba u li qatt ma stajt inħarref din il-ġrajja.

Is-semmiegħa, b’uċuh pallidi, imqallba u ħarsiet vojta, dgħumin, kważi ħarsiet mingħajr ebda fehim, b’idejhom taħt iċ-ċinturini tagħhom, qishom qamu mill-mewt bil-ħoss ta’ dawn il-kliem għarfa. Kollha kemm huma kienu qed jimmaġinaw li kienu f’xi ġenna tal-art maġika, fejn il-premju għat-tip ta’ xogħol li jkissirlek dahrek, kien ikun ħsad enormi.

– Għandu raġun! Għandu raġun! – fesfsu minn taħt l-ilsien l-ilħna għajjenin, minn kull naħa.

– Dan il-post qr…i…b? – instemgħet gemgima mill-kantuniera.

– Aħwa! – beda ieħor b’leħen aktar qawwi. – Irridu nsegwu dan il-parir minnufih, għax ma nistgħux nibqgħu sejrin hekk. Ħdimna u tbagħalna, kollu għalxejn. Żrajna ż-żrieragħ li stajna użajna għall-ikel, iżda għamel l-għargħar u ġarr iż-żerriegħa u l-ħamrija minn fuq l-għoljiet, sakemm ħalla biss blat mikxuf. X’nagħmlu: nibqgħu hawnhekk għal dejjem u nitbagħlu minn filgħodu sa filgħaxija biex xorta nispiċċaw bil-guħ u bil-għatx, għarwenin u ħafjin? Imissna mmorru u nfittxu art iktar fertili, fejn tħabitna jrodd il-ħxejjex.

– Ejja ħa mmorru! Ejja ħa mmorru minnufih, għax f’dan il-post, m’għadekx tista’ tgħix!

Qam il-gemgim, u kulħadd beda jitbiegħed, mingħajr ebda ħsieb.

– Stennew, aħwa! Fejn sejrin? – reġa’ beda l-ewwel kelliem. – Dażgur li għandna mmorru, imma mhux hekk! Irridu nfasslu l-pjan ta’ fejn ħa mmorru l-ewwel, inkella ħa nispiċċaw qagħda agħar milli qegħdin fiha, milli nsalvaw lilna nfusna. Nissuġġerixxi li nagħżlu mexxej li jkollna nobdu u li jurina l-aħjar triq.

– Ejjew ħa nfittxu nagħżlu! Ejjew ħa nfittxu nagħżlu minnufih, – dlonk instema’ minn kull naħa.

F’daqqa waħda, bdew ifeġġu l-argumenti…kaos totali. Kullħadd jitkellem fuq kulħadd, u ħadd ma setgħa jisma’ . Bdew jinqasmu fi gruppi, u kull persuna bdiet tfesfes f’qalbha, u mbagħad anki l-gruppi spiċċaw inqasmu. Tnejn tnejn, bdew ilabalbu, jitqażżu, jiġbdu lil xulxin minn kmiemhom, u jagħmlu s-sinjali b’idejhom biex jissilenzjaw lil ħaddieħor. Minnufih, inġabru u reġgħu bdew jitkellmu.

– Aħwa!–dlonk feġġet vuċi qawwija li għattiet l-ilħna maħnuqin l-oħra. – Hekk m’aħna ħa naslu mkien. Kulħadd qed jitkellem, imma ħadd mhu qed jisma’. Ejja ħa nagħżlu mexxej! Lil min fostna nistgħu nagħżlu? Min fostna vjaġġa biżżejjed biex ikun jaf it-toroq? Aħna kollha nafu lil xulxin sew. Anzi, għiduli min huwa dak il-vjaġġatur li qiegħed hemm li ilu bilqiegħda fid-dell, fit-tarf tat-triq minn dalgħodu?

Faqqas is-silenzju. Kulħadd dar lejn l-għarib u analizzah minn rasu sa saqajh.

Il-vjaġġatur, mezza-età, b’wiċċ mudlam li bil-kemm stajt tarah, barra x-xagħar twil li kellu u d-daqna, poġġa u baqa’ siket bħal qabel, ħosbien, u tektek il-bastun kbir tiegħu mal-art kull ftit.

– Il-bieraħ rajt lil dak l-istess raġel ma’ tfajjel żgħir. Kienu qed iżommu jdejn xulxin, huma u mixjin fit-triq. Il-lejl li għadda, it-tfajjel telaq mill-villaġġ, imma il-vjaġġatur hawn baqa’.

– Sieħbi, insa dawn it-tnietef ħalli ma naħlux ħin. Hu min hu, ġie mill-bogħod, peress li ħadd minna ma jafu allura, bilfors jaf l-iqsar u l-aħjar triq li nistgħu nieħdu. Jien naħseb li huwa raġel għaref ħafna, għax qiegħed bilqiegħda hemm fil-kwietjaħseb. Ħaddieħor kieku ġa kien jiġi jitkixxef fl-affarijiet tagħna xi għaxar darbiet jekk mhux iktar, jew kien jibda jitkellem magħna, imma baqa’ bilqiegħda hemm fis-skiet.

– Ovvja li qiegħed bilqiegħda fis-skiet, għaliex imħasseb fuq xi ħaġa. Bilfors hekk…sakemm mhux xi wieħed bravu ħafna – qablu l-oħrajn, u minnufih, reġgħu bdew jeżaminaw lil dan l-għarib. Kollha kemm huma skoprew xi karatteristika brillanti fih, bħala xhieda tal-intellett straordinarju ta’ dan ir-raġel.

Ma damux wisq aktar jitkellmu, allura fl-aħħar, kollha kemm huma qablu li jaqblilhom jistaqsu lil dan il-vjaġġatur – li madanakollu dehrilhom, li kien mibgħut minn Alla biex jiggwidahom waqt it-tfittxija għal territorju aħjar u ħamrija aktar fertili. Hu jmissu jkun sidhom, u jmisshom jisimgħu dak li jgħidilhom u jobduh mingħajr ebda dubbju.

Huma għażlu għaxart irġiel fosthom, li kienu ħa jmorru jispjegaw id-deċiżjoni tagħhom lil dak ir-raġel. Din id-delegazzjoni, kienet sabiex juruh, kemm hija miżerabbli s-sitwazzjoni attwali u biex jitolbuh isir il-mexxej tagħhom.

Allura l-għaxra, mxew lejh u sellmulu umilment. Wieħed minnhom beda jitkellem rigward il-ħamrija ħwejla ta’ dak il-post, rigward in-nixfa li kellhom għal snin sħaħ u d-diqa li kienu kollha jinstabu fiha. Hu lesta f’dan il-mod:

– Dawn il-kundizzjonijiet iġiegħluna nitilqu djarna u artna, u mmorru għal għonq it-triq biex insibu art aħjar. F’dan il-mument, meta fl-aħħar irnexxielna naqblu, qishu Alla ħenn għalina, u bagħtilna lilek – int, raġel għaref u xieraq – u li int ħa tmexxina u teħlisna mid-diqa li għandna. F’isem l-abitanti t’hawn, nitolbuk tkun il-mexxej tagħna. Kull fejn tmur, insegwuk. Int taf it-toroq u żgur twelidt f’post aħjar u aktar hieni. Aħna ħa nisimgħuk u nobdu kull kmand li ttina. X’taħseb, raġel għaref, taċċetta li ssalva dawn l-erwieħ kollha mill-faqar? Ħa tkun il-mexxej tagħna?

Waqt dan id-diskors, l-għaref qatt m’għolla rasu. Kif kien qed jiġri dan kollu, baqa’ fl-istess pożizzjoni li kienu sabuh fiha. Rasu kienet baxxuta, kien qed jitkerrah, u xejn ma ħareġ minn fommu. Kull ma kien qed jagħmel, huwa jtektek il-bastun mal-art minn ħin għall-ieħor u – jaħseb. Meta waqfet il-priedka, gedwed b’mod konċiż u bil-mod, mingħajr ma ċċaqlaq:

– Hekk se nagħmel!

– Mela nistgħu niġu miegħek u nfittxu post aħjar?

– Tistgħu! – Kompla mingħajr m’għolla rasu.

Minnufih, wiċċhom xegħel mimli entużjażmu u apprezzament, iżda l-għaref ma rreaġixiex.

L-għaxra informaw lill-ġemgħa bis-suċċess li kellhom, u żiedu wkoll li issa biss raw kemm verament fih għerf dan ir-raġel.

– Lanqas biss iċċaqlaq jew għolla rasu biex almenu jara min kien qed ikellmu. Baqa’ bilqiegħda fil-kwiet jimmedita. Għat-tpaċpiċ u l-apprezzament kollu tagħna, erbgħat ikliem biss lissen.

– Għaref ta’ veru! Intelliġenza ta’ barra minn hawn! – għajtu kollha kemm huma, mimlijin bil-ferħ. Sostnew li Alla stess kien bagħtu bħala anġlu mill-ġenna biex isalvahom. Kollha kemm huma kienu konvinti li dan il-mexxej, li ħadd ma seta’ jferfex, suċċess biss seta’ jġibbilhom. Allura, il-pjan kien imfassal biex l’għada jibdew il-vjaġġ tagħhom ma’ tbexbixet il-jum.

(il-paġna li jmiss)

Abolition of Passions

We Serbs, praise be to the merciful Lord, have settled all of our affairs, and now we can, just like that, in leisure, yawn to our hearts’ content. We can doze, lounge about and sleep, and once we are bored even of that, we can, just for a lark, drop by to see what’s going on in other unfortunate countries. They say – deliver us, God, from all misery and temptation, and keep them away from us! – that there are countries where people still bicker and quarrel about some rights, about some freedom and personal safety. It makes one’s hair stand on end to think about such poor folk that still haven’t dealt with their internal affairs, while we already had the time to set China and Japan in order. Each day we go further and further from our country, and if it goes on like this, our journalists will start bringing reports from Mars, Mercury, or, at the very least, from the Moon.

I am also a member of this fortunate nation, so, in order to go with the fad, I wish to tell you about what happened in a far, very far away non-European land, a long, very long time ago.

It is not known exactly where this country was, what was the name of its people, but in all likelihood, it was not in Europe, and the name of the people could have been anything whatsoever, just not Serbs. All earlier historians agree upon this, and modern ones will maybe claim the opposite. Anyway, that is not really our job, so I will leave it at that, even if I have to run afoul to the custom that one must speak even about the things one does not understand, and do the job for which one is not suited.

It is known for certain that these people were very corrupt and wicked, hearts packed with vices and filthy passions, so I will entertain you with all that in this little story.

Of course, my dear readers, you cannot even believe at first that such corrupt people could ever have existed, but you must know that I wrote all this based on ancient manuscripts which I have on me.

Here are, accurately translated, a couple of tip-offs sent to different ministers:

Today, after ploughing, husbandman N. N. from Kar dropped by the tavern, where he drank coffee and passionately read the newspaper which attack incumbent ministers…

Teacher T. from Borak, the moment he leaves school, gathers the peasants around him and tries to persuade them to form a singing band. Other than that, this teacher plays tip-cat[1] with apprentices and tossing buttons with his students, which makes him very harmful and dangerous. He had read books to some peasants and offered them to buy the books. This evil can no longer be tolerated, as he debauches the whole county and incites peaceful and honest citizens to ask for freedom; while in fact it is only he himself who keeps saying that freedom is sweeter than anything else. He is a passionate smoker, and spits while he smokes.

After church service, priest Đ. from Sor went to a political rally in the nearby town.

There, you see, what disgrace occurred in the world!

Look here:

Judge S. cast his vote today in the municipal elections. This disgraceful judge is subscribed to an opposition newspaper, which he reads passionately. He dared telling the court that a peasant who had been accused of slander and defiance to the government was not guilty for saying in front of witnesses that he will not buy anything from magistrate[2] Gabor’s shop. Apart from that, the same judge always looks pensive, which clearly proves that his mind is packed with vices, and must be plotting some major conspiracy against the current regime. He must be accused of lèse-majesté, because he couldn’t possibly be a friend of the dynasty, since he drinks coffee in Mor’s tavern, and Mor’s grandfather was a good friend with Leon’s blood brother[3], who incited that turmoil in Yamb against the aide-the-camp on the court of current ruler’s grandfather!

There were even worse people in this misfortunate land. Have a look at these reports:

Barrister from Tul represented some poor soul whose father had been murdered last year. That barrister passionately drinks beer and goes hunting, and, worst of all, he founded some society for helping poor people in our district. This impertinent degenerate, who says that government spies are the worst of men!

Professor T. was running around town with all sorts of kids stealing pears from the grocer, and yesterday he shot at pigeons with a slingshot and broke a window on a public building. This could still be forgiven to him, but he also attends political rallies, votes in elections, speaks with citizens, reads the newspaper, discusses the state loan, and what other disgrace does he not do to the detriment of education!

Peasants from Var started building a new school, and, it would seem, this vice will infect the whole county. This nasty trend which is detrimental for the country must be suppressed as soon as possible!

Craftsmen from Var have established a reading room and gather therein every night. This passion has become very deeply rooted, especially among younger folk, and the older ones are considering to establish also, besides a reading room, a retirement fund for craftsmen! This cannot be tolerated in our district, as it leads astray all the decent people who do not bad-mouth ministers!… One craftsman is even advocating for division of labour!… Horrendous passions!…

Peasants from Pado are demanding municipal self-government!

Citizens of Troy want free elections.

Multiple local clerks perform their work conscientiously, and besides that one of them plays a flute and knows how to read sheet music!

Scribe Miron passionately dances at parties and eats salted nuts with his beer. He must be sacked so that he could be cured of these passions.

Teacher Hela buys flowers each morning and scandalises the neighbourhood. She can no longer be tolerated, because she will spoil our youth.

Who could enumerate all the disgusting passions of these poor people? Suffice to say that there were only ten decent and honest people in the whole land, and the remainder, both male and female, both old and young, corrupt, as they say, to the marrow.

What do you think, how could these ten good and decent people feel in this rotten land?… Difficult, very difficult, especially because they were forced to watch their own country, which they loved so dearly, go to ruin. Worries kept them up on days and nights on end: how can they rectify their sinful compatriots, how to save the country from demise?

Filled with ardent patriotism, virtues and nobility, they were ready to suffer all and any sacrifice for the fortune of their homeland. So, one day they clenched their heroic hearts, bowed their heads before the will of the bitter Fate which imposed such a heavy burden on them, and became ministers, to undertake the noble task of cleansing the country of sins and passions.

All of them were learned men, but still, it was not easy to accomplish such a difficult undertaking.

In the end, the dumbest (which among those people meant wittiest) of them, came to the idea to convene the National Assembly, but to have foreigners make decisions in it. Everybody accepted this wonderful idea, so they rented, at state cost, two hundred people, and they rounded up the same number of foreigners who happened to be in that country by accident, on business. They pleaded and protested, but might makes right!

Thus, they gathered four hundred foreigners to be members of parliament and solve various issues for the fortune of the country, and to express people’s wishes.

Once they have finished this and found a sufficient number of people whom they appointed as members of parliament, they called an election for parliament immediately afterwards. Don’t be amazed at it, since such was the custom of that country.

Parliamentary sessions started. – Decisions, speeches, debates… it is not easy to complete such an important undertaking. Everything went smooth and quickly, but the moment it came to passions, difficulties arose immediately. Right up until someone came up with a suggestion to make a decision to abolish all passions in the country.

– Long live the speaker! Long live! – joyous shouts from all present echoed throughout the hall of parliament.

Everybody accepted the proposal with elation, and the decision was made:

People’s Assembly, seeing as passions hinder popular progress, finds itself prompted to introduce also the following point in the new law, which will read:

„Starting today passions are to cease, and are abolished as perilous for the people and for the country.“

Only five minutes had passed since the law on abolition of passions was enacted, and only the parliamentarians had known about it, but lo and behold what occurred among the people in all counties equally.

Suffice just to relate just a translated segment of one person’s diary.

Here is the diary verbatim:

…I used to be a passionate smoker. The moment I opened my eyes, I would reach for a cigarette immediately. One day I woke up, took the snuff box and (as usual) rolled a cigarette. I felt somewhat uneasy (that was the moment when the MP was putting forward the motion), until I suddenly felt my hand shaking all by itself, and the cigarette dropped to the floor; I glanced at it, and spat with repulsion… “I will never smoke again” – I thought to myself, and tobacco looked so disgusting to me, I could not even look at it. I was astonished what happened and I went out into the yard. And there was a sight to behold! There stood my neighbour, an old drunkard who could not keep away from wine even for one instant, standing there sober, with a blank stare, scratching his head.

– Here’s the wine – said the servant and passed him the bottle, as usual.

My neighbour grabbed the bottle and smashed it into the ground, breaking it into a hundred pieces.

– Bah, nasty thing! – shouted he in disgust, looking at the spilled wine.

He stood for a long while in silence, and then asked for slatko[4] and water.

Servants brought it, he took a spoonful, and went to work.

His wife cried tears of joy seeing her husband’s sudden change for the better.

Another one of my neighbours who passionately read newspapers was sitting by the open window, and he also seemed somewhat transformed, with a strange look on his face.

– Did your newspaper arrive? – I asked him.

– I’d never look at a newspaper again, I’m so disgusted by them! I was just thinking to myself to take up archaeology or Greek grammar!… – he replied, so I passed him by and went into the streets.

The entire town was transformed. One passionate politician had set off to a political rally. He was walking down the street and then all of a sudden, he turned round and ran back, as if he were being chased.

I was surprised at his change, so I asked him what made him go back so abruptly.

– I was heading for a rally, and all of a sudden it came to my mind that it would be better to return home and order a book on agriculture or cottage industry, read it and develop my skills. What is there for me at a rally? – he said, and ran home to study crop farming.

I could not stop wandering to all these strange and sudden occurrences, so I went back home and started browsing through a book on psychology. I wanted to read the part about passions.

I reached the page titled “Passions”. Only the headline could still be seen, and the remainder had paled away, as if nothing had ever been written there!…

– Oh, what is all this, in the name of God?!

Not a single person that was wicked or passionate about anything could be found anywhere about town, even the livestock had become smarter!

Only tomorrow did we read in the newspaper about the act of Parliament on the abolition of all passions.

– A-ha, that’s what it was! – everyone shouted. – We were all wandering what had happened to us, and, there you see, Parliament abolished passions!

This diary is sufficient to show what had happened among the people at the time when Parliament was enacting the law on abolition of passions.

Later it had become known to one and all, so there was no more amazement, and when it came to passions, teachers taught their students like this:

Once upon a time, passions also inhabited human souls, and that was one of the most intricate and most difficult aspects of psychology; but, by an act of Parliament, passions have been abolished, and thus they became absent from psychology, as they are from human souls. Passions were abolished on such-and-such date, such-and-such year.

– Thank God we don’t have to learn these! – students whispered, happy with this act of Parliament, because for the next lesson they only needed to learn:

On such-and-such date, such-and-such year, an act of parliament abolished all passions, thus they no longer exist among the people!…

Once a student recites this unerringly, he gets a top mark.

There you go, thus were these folk abruptly saved from passions. They changed for the better, and, some legends say, it was these people that became angels!…


In Belgrade, 1898.
For the “Radoje Domanović” Project translated by Vladimir Živanović, proofread by Adam Levon Brown.


Remark: In the last decades of the XIX century, Serbia was in political turmoil. After the abdication of king Milan Obrenović in 1889 and fall of the Radical Party-led government in 1892, the reactionary Liberal Party came into power again, cancelling the otherwise few steps towards democratisation that were taken by the previous government, which eventually lead to Goračići uprising in 1893. Due to the uprising, sixteen-year-old prince Alexander proclaimed himself to be of age, abolishing the Regency and taking authority into his own hands. This was followed by a new, “neutral” government, whose main purpose was “to appease passions”. Appeasing of passions has become a motto of the reactionary forces, and it was invoked regularly while in the background regime persecuted opposition politicians, shut down opposition-leaning newspapers and disbanded political parties.

At the time when this short story was written, another “neutral” government by Vladan Đorđević was propped up by the regime in 1897 with the same goal of “appeasing passions”, and, due to his open allegiance to the People’s Radical Party, Domanović himself was targeted by the government, firstly by transferring him from one city to another, and eventually discharging him from public service in 1898. After his discharge, Domanović moved with his family to Belgrade, quickly becoming one of the leading voices of the opposition in literary circles.



[1] Tip-cat (Serb. клиса/клисе) is a traditional pastime (or folk sport) which consists of tapping a short billet of wood with a larger stick; the shorter piece is tapered or sharpened on both ends so that it can be “tipped up” into the air when struck by the larger, at which point the player attempts to swing or hit it a distance with the larger stick while it is still in the air. There are numerous local variations of the game in Serbia and worldwide.

[2] In XIX century Serbia, a magistrate (Serb. кмет) was usually a rich, reputable villager who was elected or appointed by the government to arbitrate legal disputes among the peasants in the county. Magistrates were abolished in 1934.

[3] Blood brothers (Serb. побратим) here stands for men that are not related by birth, but have sworn loyalty to each other.

[4] Slatko (Serb. слатко) is a thin fruit preserve made of fruit or rose petals. Traditionally, all guests are greeted with a spoonful of slatko and a cup of water as soon as they are seated.