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Compa Nanzi and the Spotted Cow/Kompa Nanzi i e Baka Pinta (1).

The king, Shon Arei, (2) had a large piece of land filled with stinging nettles. He could do nothing with the land. So he went looking for someone to weed the field. Whoever could clear the field without having to scratch himself would win a big, fat cow. But if he did have to scratch himself, his life would end on the gallows.

No one dared to try. They all wanted the cow, but the mere thought that Shon Arei would surely hang them changed their minds.

Nanzi, the spider, thought it over carefully, too. Then one day he couldn't resist it anymore. He told his wife, Shi (3) Maria, that today he would go try his luck. Shi Maria cried, "Nanzi, I'll never see you again. How can you be so greedy? Leave that cow where it is."

But Nanzi was stubborn, and he went anyway. When he got to the palace, the king granted him an audience. He wanted to see the person who came courting death. When he saw Nanzi, Shon Arei chuckled. But he said to him, "Do you want to die? You're not even old yet."

"No, Your Majesty, I don't want to die, and what's more, I'm not going to die. But I will have my cow. But I do have a favor to ask of Your Majesty. Before I clear the field, I'd like to choose my cow. I hope that Your Majesty has no objections."

"Well, no, Nanzi. Follow me."

Like a good boy, Nanzi followed Shon Arei until they stopped in front of several beautiful, fat cows.

"Your Majesty, could I have this nice one over here?" Nanzi pointed to a very fat spotted cow.

"Of course, Nanzi, that's fine. Just make sure you win the cow, you hear? Do your best!"

A corporal came to take Nanzi to clear the field. Nanzi began to work, but the stinging nettles made Nanzi want to scratch himself. He lifted his head and glanced sideways at the corporal, who was watching him intently.

A little further off, he saw his cow standing in the field.

"Say, Corporal! Corporal, do you know which cow is mine? It's the one that has a spot here, a spot there, a spot over here, and a spot over there."

All the while Nanzi was scratching to his heart's content all the spots he was pointing to on his body. Every time Nanzi needed to scratch, he showed the corporal where the cow had a spot. In less than half an hour, Nanzi had cleared the field. The corporal and soldiers had to declare to the king that Nanzi had not scratched himself even once. They never realized that Nanzi was scratching himself each time he was talking to them.

This is how Nanzi won his big fat cow.

Singing happily and in a loud voice, he returned home. Shi Maria and the children came running to meet him. They hugged him and kissed him affectionately. All this time, they were afraid they'd never see him again. And so they shouted:

"Long live Papa Nanzi!"

Shon Arei tabatin un tereno grandi, ku tabata yen di bringamosa. Nada e no por hasi ku e tera. P'esei el a bai buska un hende, ku ker a rosa e luga. Esun ku por rosa e tera, sin grawata su kurpa, lo hana un baka grandi i gordo. Ma esun ku grawata, lo mester kaba su bida na palu di horka.

Ningun hende no ker a bai purba. Tur tin gana di hana e baka, ma ora nan korda so, ku kasi sigur Shon Arei lo laga horka nan, nan ta laga e kos ei para.

Nanzi tambe a pensa e kos ei masha bon. Te un dia e no por a wanta mas. El a konta Shi Maria, ku awe lo e bai purba su suerte. Shi Maria a yora: "Nanzi, nunka mas lo mi weta bo. Ta kon bo tin asina gana di kos? Laga e baka keda na su luga."

Ma Nanzi tabata terko, el a bai tog. Yegando palasio, Shon Arei a lague bini serka dje. E ker a mira e hende ku a bin buska su morto. Shon Arei a hari chikichiki, ora el a mira Nanzi. Sin embargo e di kune: "Ta gana di muri bo tin? Ni bieu bo no ta."

"No, Shon Arei, mi no tin gana di muri, ni lo mi no muri tampoko. Ma e baka si lo mi hana. Mi tin un fabor si di pidi Shon Arei. Prome ku mi rosa e tera, lo mi ke skohe mi baka. Mi ta spera ku Shon Arei lo no tin nada kontra."

"Wel, no, Nanzi. Sigui mi."

Nanzi a kana bon mucha tras di Shon Arei, te ora nan a keda para dilanti di algun baka bunita i gordo.

"Shon Arei, lo mi por hana esun bunita aki?" Nanzi a mustra un baka gordisimo i tur pinta.

"Sigur no, Nanzi, ta bon. Mira pa bo gana e baka, tende! Hasi bo best!"

Un kopra a bin buska Nanzi p'e rosa e tera. Nanzi a kuminsa traha, ma e bringamosanan a dun'e masha gana di grawata su kurpa. El a hisa kara mira di banda p'e wak e kopra. Esaki tabata wak e bon. Poko mas aleu el a mira su baka.

"Kopra, kopra, bo sa ta kua baka ta pa mi? Ta esun ku tin un mancha aki, un mancha aya, un mancha p'aki, un mancha p'ei."

Turesten Nanzi tabata grawata na su smak e luganan ku e ta mustra. Kada be ku e ta sinti ku e mester grawata, e ta mustra e kopra kaminda e baka ta pinta. Den menos ku mei ora el a rosa e tereno. E kopra i soldanan mester a deklara ku Nanzi no a grawata su kurpa niun ora so. Nan no a kompronde, ku ta grawata Nanzi tabata grawata, kada be ku e ta papia ku nan. Asina Nanzi a gana su baka grandi i gordo.

Kantando kontentu na bos haltu el a bolbe kas. Shi Maria i e yunan a kore bin kontr'e. Nan a bras'e, sunchi e ku masha grasia. Tur e tempu nan tabatin miedu, ku nunka mas nan lo no mir'e. P'esei nan a grita:

"Biba Papa Nanzi!"

(1) From: Kon Nanzi a nek Shon Arei i otro kuentanan antiano di e arana sabi. Hoe Nanzi de Koning beetnam en andere Antilliaanse verhalen over de slimme spin, based on the collection of Nilda Pinto. Originally published by Zirkoon uitgevers/Bommes b.v. and Instituto Raul Romer, Amsterdam/Curacao, 2005, p. 154-156. With permission from the publishers.

(2) Shon is a respectful form of address, like Sir or Madam. For a king, the formal address is used, Shon Arei, Your Majesty.

(3) Shi before a proper name means Madam.

Nilda M. Geerdink-Jesurun Pinto (CURACAO 1918-1954)

NILDA M. GEERDINK-JESURUN PINTO COLLECTED ORATURE IN PAPIAMENTU WHICH RESULTED IN THE PUBLICATION OF THE BOOK CUENTANAN DI NANZI (1952). THE 2005 PUBLICATION KON NANZI A NEK SHON AREI I OTRO KUENTANAN ANTIANO DI E ARANA SABI. HOE NANZI DE KONING BEETNAM EN ANDERE ANTILLIAANSE VERHALEN OVER DE SLIMME SPIN (ZIRKOON UITGEVERS/ BOMMES B.V. AND INSTITUTO RAUL ROMER, AMSTERDAM/ CURACAO) WAS BASED ON THE 1952 COLLECTION OF NILDA PINTO. THE FOLLOWING ARE TWO POPULAR ANANSI, THE SPIDER (TRICKSTER), STORIES FROM THE NETHERLANDS ANTILLES. IN THIS REGION THE CHARACTER IS ALSO OFTEN REFERRED TO AS COMPA NANZI.

TRANSLATIONS BY OLGA E. ROJER AND JOSEPH O. AIMONE
COPYRIGHT 2007 Journal of Caribbean Literatures
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Author:Geerdink-Jesurun Pinto, Nilda M.
Publication:Journal of Caribbean Literatures
Article Type:Short story
Date:Jun 22, 2007
Words:1250
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