Once there were three Maasai elders … (a parable)

(English Version)

Once there were three Maasai elders.  Like all Maasai men, they each had a Maasai sword.  Now the first elder was a strong man, and he did not fear anything.  Because he was so strong and brave, he stopped carrying his sword with him.  Instead, he kept it in a safe place, hidden in his house.  So one day when that elder went into the forest to search for a lost cow, he did not carry his sword with him.   But before he found the cow, a hungry leopard found him!  Even though that elder’s arms were very strong, because he did not have a sword, the leopard ate him.

The second elder was wiser than that elder who was eaten by the leopard.  Even though he was also strong and brave, he always carried his sword with him.  However, he did not take proper care of it.  He did not use it very often, and he never oiled it.  When the sword in its sheath became wet, he did not dry it.  One day, his favorite sheep became lost in the forest.  Before he went to look for it, he made sure that his sword was in its sheath on his belt.  Soon, he found his sheep and began to lead it back to his village.  But before he emerged from the forest, he found a lioness which wanted to eat his sheep.  Because he had his sword, the elder was not afraid.  But when he tried to draw the sword out of the sheath, it was stuck!  The sheath had shrunk and the sword had rusted, so that the sheath held the sword tightly.  While he was struggling to remove his weapon, the lioness killed both the man and his sheep.

The third elder was the wisest of all.  Everyday he carefully sharpened the blade of his sword and oiled it before putting into the sheath.  Every morning he made sure that the sword was loose in its sheath so that he could remove it quickly if he needed it.  He never left his house without securing the sword to himself on his belt.  So one day during the dry season when he was looking for a lost cow, he was prepared for any trouble he might find.  And he did find trouble!  For when he found his lost cow, it had just been slain by the largest lion he had ever seen!  In his anger, he drew forth his sword and attacked the lion. Even though he was not carrying his shield or his spear, he was able to defend himself with his sword because his disciplined practice of using it every day had given him great skill.  As he was fighting the lion, two of the elder’s friends who were also in the forest heard the battle and ran with their spears to help him.  Together, they slew the lion.

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(Maa version)

Ore apa etii ilpayiani okuni loo Lmaasai.  Neeta pooki ilalema.  Neaku ore olpayian ledukuya naa oltung’ani ogol neitu apa ninye eureyu ae toki.  Tenkaraki kegol oleng nepi, nepal enapata olalem lenye.  Neisudoo te wueji sidai, aisudoo tiatua enkaji enye.  Ore tenkolong nabo nelo ilo payian entim aing’oru enkiteng naimina.  Neitu eya olalem lenye.  Kake ore eton eitu etum enaduoo kiteng, neinepu olowuaru keri ninye.  Hoo negol neata ilpirankashi, ore tenkaraki immeata apa olalem neidimu ninye olowuaru nenya.

Ore olikae payian liare naa aing’en alang oladuoo payian oinosa olowuaru keri.  Hoo duoo negol oleng nepi sii ninye, naa keen oshiake olalem lenye anaake.  Hoo neitu easishore anaa enayieunoyu.  Neitu ae kata eel.  Ore pee eshalu enchashurr enye, neitu elo metoyio.  Ore te nkolong nabo, neimin enkerr enye nabo kirotet nanyorr oleng tiatua entim.  Ore eton eitu elo aing’oru ina kerr, neingor nenyorra inchere ketii olalem lenye atua enchashur tenebo enkeene enye olalem.  Ore nabo kata netum enkerr enye nereuu ina kata ake meeyeu enkang enye.  Kake ore eton eitu eitupuku tiatua entim, neinepu eng’antuny lipong nayieu apa nenya ina kerr enye.  Ore tenkaraki naata olalem lenye, neaku eitu ekuretu ilo payian.  Kake ore pee ejo atem ashutu olalem te nchashurr enye, nelaikino amu kerrish!  Mme sidai enchashurr ore olalem neinosa endoron aashu kutu.  Nebung katukul enchashurr olalem te ngolon.  Ore egira anyok ajo ashutu enaret enye, nebau elipong eng’atuny near pokira metuata enkerr tenebo olpayian.

Ore olpayian liokuni naa aing’en alang pooki.  Ore anaake neii inkiiyiot olalem lenye anaake neel sii eton eitu epik atua enchashurr.  Neaku ore anaake tedekenya neitisip inchere kelolong olalem tiatua enchashurr pee eaku keshutunoyu te siokinoto enkata nabo anaa enayieu.  Neitu ae kata eing’uaa enkaji enye merripo neata ake olalem te nkeene enye makewan.  Ore te rishata nabo to lameyu, egira aing’oru enkiteng naimina.  Neterretene apa ninye te pooki nyamali naba anaa enatum ninye.  Netum enyamali!  Ore pee eidip anoto ina kiteng enye naimina, neibung ninye olng’atuny sapuk oleng laa eitu ae kata edoli!  Ore tenkaraki ina goro natang’ore ninye, neshutu nabo kata olalem lenye neibung ilo ng’atuny.  Hoo duoo nemenapita apa elongo enye aashu eremet enye, kake etaasishore olalem lenye amitu kewan tenkaraki naitamoo kewan anaake netum enkarriyiano sapuk.  Ore ina kata egira aarare olng’atuny, ore ilchoreta lenyanak duo aare ooboitare te ntim nening enkurbal olarrabal nekuetu eeta iremeta enye aaretu ninye.  Ore pee etumo tenebo near olowuaru metua.

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