Joseph Aduedem


Kaa, Amalik ale jam a de Asuom pami ayaa kan ngmaa siak ayen wa tuni. Asuom kasim limisi limisi kpie alege Amalik kan puom bara va du la alege ka wa tuni Asuom wa pamini. Asuom ayaa yiti da yeng a cheng Amalik ale bo juijui la ayen wa beg wa pamini. Wa ni ga pai la, malisinga din piisi ka nna yegyega ale mwaa niesi chaab ati Asuom puom ze ni ka malik kai dek ale de wa pamini la. Asuom a yaa beg alege malisinga miena pagsi ayen ba wai an vuo nag alege ka ba de Asuom pamiya. Asuom yaa man mwan kuli ale wa supuuti nga, wa dek puom ze wa ni yen wa nye ka dii la.
Asuom ale din kuli dila la, Abunoruk me a yaa bariva dula jigini a taam. Wa yaa mob cheng Asuom yeni ayen wa puusi Asuom. Abunoruk ale nya ale Asuom nina an nala la, wa yaa beg ati Asuom tog wani miena sag wa. Asuom yaa beg Abunoruk ayen wa nin ta pupola a maara maa wa, ati wa tuesi wa ligni Amalik jigi. Abunoruk a yaa zeri ale beg wa ayen, Asuom dek paa ale kan sebi wa ni wa nye dii tuesi wa ligni la? Ani daa Asuomua! Asuom yam miena nyono wa? Ai, daa Asuomua.
Asuom a yaa siak ayen nya wani de din kperi wa kama. Abunoruk a yaa siak ayen wa le maari wa.
Ku vienti vari yaa, ba yaa va chaab a cheng malisinga ale bo juijui la. Ba ni din ga moata la, ati malisinga din kasim daa nuem nna yegyega. Ba ni pai la, Abunoruk deri na ani yuen yen “malisi nga de a yaali nuenka yooo, puomka wai dek ale ta Asuom pamini la”. Wa ni din gaa guori la ale malika ka nyi deri vai yiri a de tuom ayen, “Fi nya ka mi nyiini ale a nuomu? Ka boa ati fi pa a sie mi nyiini dila”? Abunoruk me yaa deri yueni Asuom ayen yig fi pamini nyono wa. Malik sinsila yaa chiem va ba vannchua wa a tuarim wa ni pagsi dai din dila dani alege sum ta Asuom pamila. Ba yaa yig ati wa tuni Asuom wa ligni. Asuom me yaa virim nye Abunoruk jienta wa ni maari wa ati wa tuesi wa ligni la.

Free English translation by Joseph Aduedem


In those days [when all the animals were living together], Amalik (type of bird, probably Pilostimus afer, Piapiac) went to Asuom (Mr Rabbit) for loan and he gave him. Amalik left and afterwards never made any effort to pay back the loan. Asuom waited for all the grace period he thought was considerable enough but still, Amalik never showed up. So Asuom decided to go and look for him and when he got to where Amalik was staying, there were many malisa (plural of malik), and he did not know which of them took the loan. He asked and none owned up (Amalik took advantage of Asuom’s inability to identify him among his colleagues) so Asuom went home disappointed.
In the house, Asuom was very angry and thought of all the ways to use and get his money but to no avail. In this his state of anger and disappointment, Abunoruk (Mr Chameleon) was going home and passed by Asuom’s house to say hello to Asuom. Seeing Asuom in that mood, Abunoruk asked and Asuom narrated everything. Asuom asked Abunoruk if he could help him out to get his money from Amalik. However, Abunoruk resisted stating that: “Are you not Asuom again? You have been parading yourself around that you are the wisest person. Use your smartness to get your money.” Asuom admitted that he did not have it all when it comes to wisdom and as such, was limited in that singular situation. Finally, Abunoruk agreed to help Asuom get his money.
The following day, the two of them went to where Amalik was staying. When they were approaching the house, the malisa were making a lot of noise (chatting). So upon arrival, Abunoruk shouted, “Malisa nga de a yaali nuenka yooo, puomka wai dek ale ta Asuom pamini la” (these malisa like making noise a lot, especially the one owing money to Asuom). At that, one of the birds jumped out and protested saying, “Am I the only person you have noticed talking? Why do you just put a blame on me alone, when everybody is making noise.” Abunoruk laughed and told Asuom that this was the one owing him money, and the other malisa rebuked their fellow for denying in the first instances and asked him to pay back the loan. He finally paid and Asuom thanked Abunoruk for helping him get his money.


This story explains why the saying goes that wisdom is not the monopoly of one person. For more information on why Asuom has been ascribed as the wisest with a canny attitude, visit the link:

Each of the three main characters in the story gives us an insight into the reality of our world. Starting with Asuom, all his wisdom could not help him get his money back. In as much as wisdom is not the monopoly of one person, it is equally true that man does not live in isolation or entirely independent from others, we need one another.
For Abunoruk, he has been considered as a weakling in the animal kingdom. Well, physical strength is not everything one can rely on, and it is therefore not surprising that in our society today, some people are consulted even on their sick beds, provided the mind is still intact. And for Amalik, his sense of guilt betrayed him at the words of Abunoruk. Guilt imprisons the mind to the extent that it builds self-defence even in instances where defence is not needed. And when this defence outgrows, it bursts out. The truth is, when you are conscious of a guilt, even your walking, speech and looks betray you.

While one can reflect on this story from different perspectives, I wish to underscore the fact of a sense of guilt in a sinner. One great gift aside the gift of freedom that God has given to man is conscience. And this conscience is the very voice of God in each and every one of us. No matter how small the voice of this conscience may be, it pricks us constantly in everything that we do. It is this conscience that clouds our minds with guilt and this is manifested in our voice, facial expression and walking at the mention of whatever we have done even in the privacy of our lives. But how long can we hide our sins? Why are we not freeing ourselves from the burden of guilt? Who are we even hiding from? God? Ourselves? or the world? Dear friend, free yourself from guilt now before it betrays you later.

NB: the original story is in Buli, the writer translated it into English and garnished it to suit his purpose. The moral and theological reflections are his, too.

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