This tale is taken from our first book of tales, ‘At School with Nigerien Tales’, now out of print. You can order our second book of tales ‘Once Upon a Time in Niger’ from ourshop.
Halin Kichi : Jealousy
A man had two wives, and the smaller one had a daughter. The wife died leaving her daughter alone. The girl grew up and did all the work she was asked to do.
One day she heard the name of the King’s son, Aboudouka. When her stepmother went to the market she gave her 25 francs to purchase Aboudouka. The stepmother looked for him all around saying,
- Sell me Aboudouka.
And the answer was,
- Aboudouka is not here. Keep going. You will find him.
When she arrived at the right place she asked for Aboudouka, and a man stood up and said,
- I am Aboudouka. You can go back home. I will find you.
The woman said,
- No, my daughter gave me 25 francs to purchase and bring back Aboudouka.
- Yes, I know. I will find you at your house.
The woman went home and said to the girl:
- Do you know that Aboudouka is a person?
The girl hung her head, sighing.
In the evening Aboudouka came to her house and said,
- Sallam Allekum.
He moved aside with the young girl to talk. When their chat ended he went back home. The next day he came back and brought gold to put into the girl’s bedroom. Then the bedroom became more beautiful and shone like the stars in the sky
The wicked stepmother said,
- I am going to have a look at your room
She looked at the room, and the “kichi” (jealousy) caught her . She went to the market and purchased needles. She put the needles on the bed where Aboudouka lay down when he came to visit the young girl. When the prince Aboudouka lay down on the bed he got pricked by all the needles. After the talk with the girl he went home and became seriously ill.
One day the young girl said,
- Aboudouka has not come for a long time. I will go and visit him in his village.
The girl walked and walked. Then she became ‘Badossa’. She ended up in front of a tree that said to her,
- The little prince Aboudouka is seriously ill. Here is a remedy. Take my bark and mix it with some water in a small calabash. He will be cured when he drinks this water.
The girl arrived in the village, found the palace of the king and asked,
- Is Aboudouka sick?
The king replied that his son was sick.
- Please let me go and take him a medicine.
The king told her,
- All the bark we have given him has not cured him and you, the Badossa, you tell me that you have medicines. Go! He is lying over there.
She went into the hut and asked for a small calabash and some water. She put the bark into the calabash and told Aboudouka,
- Drink this water.
Aboudouka drank the water and was cured. He gave her his gold ring, and the girl went back home and became a girl again.
But the king sent elders to the village of the girl to kill her. The elders came to the girl’s house and they saw the the prince’s gold ring in the room. Surprised, they went back to the king and told him what they had seen.
The king told them to return to the village and bring back the girl. The king questioned her. She explained what had happened – her wicked stepmother had caused Aboudouka ‘s serious illness.. The king understood, and the prince married the young girl.
Nigerien tale submitted to a tales contest by the school of Ajole. The contest was organized by « Aide et Action » and the RAEDD at the tales festival Gatan Gatan.
- Teller: M Zabeirou Dan Zama
- Pupils: Boumaminou Abdou, Ibrahim Koché, Mahamadou Abdourahamane, Aziz Barké, Hassira Halidou, Mariama Abdou.
- Staff teachers: M. Boubacar Sani, Mme Aïchatou Abba