Sunday, July 22, 2007

Old Man Moseki

I was in grade two (about six years old), and we were required to tell a folktale we’d heard from parents/grandparents as part of oral work.
Old Man Moseki walked down the road
Cutting across the village of Phokeng
He was going to visit his Ancestors
In graves on the other side of the river.
“I’m going to ask them to remove my bad luck and make us rich,” he told his wife..

While walking on the road, Old Man Moseki saw a round, shiny thing on the ground.
It was a R2 coin.
Old Man Mosekipicked up the coin.
He looked at it.
Then he put in back on the ground.
“Let me leave the coin here. I’m sure I’ll find it when I come back from visiting my ancestors,” he said.

Old Man Moseki kept on walking.
Along the way, he saw a piece of paper fluttering on the ground.
He bent down, grabbed the paper.
The old man picked up the R200 note.
He was very happy.
“This money will buy a lot of food for my family!” he thought.

Old man Moseki did not want to take the money with him to the ancestors.
What would they think if he came asking for riches while carrying such a large amount of money?

He decided to hide the money in the bushes.
He put the R200 note under a big rock.
The rock was hidden by the grass
Growing on the sides of the road.
“No one will find this money until I come back,” he said.

Old Man Moseki walked on.
Near the river, he met Radikgomo, one of the riches men in the village.
“Dumela Ntatemogolo,” Radikgomo greeted the old man. “I hope you are well?”
The old man told Radikgomo of his trip.
“I am going to visit the ancestors to ask them to make me as rich as you,” old man Moseki said.

Radikgomo was very happy for Old Man Moseki.
“I hope the ancestors hear your plea and make you rich too,” he said.

Radikgomo also asked the old man a favour.
“I need to build another kraal for animals, and I was wondering if you would keep some of my donkeys until the job is done.”

Radikgomo also said Old man Moseki could use the donkeys for his own business and to serve the community. :”The donkeys will bring you some money and I would be very grateful for the help,” he said.

But the old man refused to help Radikgomo.
“Get away from me!” he said. “I thought you were a good person, but now I see you are jealous of me. You know the ancestors will bless me with wealth. Now you are trying to keep me so busy taking care of your business that I will not have time to take care of my own.”

Old Man Moseki walked away, muttering to himself. ‘The ancestors will answer my pleas, see if they won’t!”

He walked crossed the river over the bridge.
He walked the short distance to the graveside, where many his parents and their parents were buried.
He stood near his mother’s grave and explained his mission.

He pleaded with the ancestors to take away his bad luck.
He begged them to make him rich.
He promised to do anything they wanted as long as they gave him this one thing.

On the way back home, he met Radikgomo.
Radikgomo was looking for a donkey that escaped from his kraal.
Radikgomo did not speak to the old man.
He looked the other way so their eyes do not meet.
He did not want to fight with the old man again.
“Humphhh!” Old man Moseki snorted.

Old Man Moseki walked to the tree where he left the two rand note.
He turned the rock.
There was nothing underneath.
“Oh no, who saw me put the money here?”

Thinking of the five cent coin, he walked as fast as his creaky bones would carry him.
His eyes were glued to the ground.
He looked for his five cent coin.
But he did not find it.
Someone else walked down the road, saw the shiny coin and took it.

Old Man Moseki got angry.
“My ancestors have abandoned me,” he cried.

When he arrived at home, he told his wife what had happened.
“I don’t know what to do now to remove our bad luck,” he said.

Old Man Moseki’s wife shook her head sadly. “Moseki, we are not poor because we have bad luck. We are poor because you are blind to our good fortune, even when it dances around your feet, begging it to take it home,” she said.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Across the sea

I have a warm and friendly feeling
As I think of you today
I wish we could visit

But you are many miles away

Your friendship becomes most dear
Everytime we speak.
Your calls bring you closer to my heart
For your soul shines through
Across the miles and sea.