The Sultan and the peasant's daughter

In memory of Dido and Varda Bukobza, and to the Tunisian community in Israel for preserving the language and memories

Name of speaker: 
Leʾa Maimon
Gender of speaker: 
Female
Occupation of speaker: 
Electronics technician
Age of speaker at time of recording: 
77
Year of immigration: 
1956
Speaker's country of origin: 
Speaker's community of origin: 
Language: 
Judeo-Arabic
Conversation topics: 
Documentation: 
Yaʿel Baruch
Year of recording: 
2019
Translator: 
Dr. Wiktor Gebski

Translation: 

(1) this story is from my grandmother, ummi žə́yma (2) there was a girl, whom people used to call ‘cursed seven years’ (3) this girl cursed seven years, one day her father met the sultan (4) he asked him: how are you and so on (5) he said: thank God, everything is all right (6) he told him: I would like to ask you a question (7) oh! when the sultan was passing by, he found the man planting the onion (8)  he asked him: this onion, you will eat it or it will eat you? (9) he said: listen, you have three days to bring me the answer (10) if not, they would kill him (11) poor man went home hitting his head: what a mistake I made (by planting the onion) (12) his daughter came, the one that is cursed seven years (13) the father told her (what happened), she said: do not be afraid, father, in three days I will tell you what to answer to the sultan (14) on the third day she told him: go and tell him ‘if I am alive, I will eat it, and if I am dead, it means it ate me’ (15) he went to the sultan, he told him this and that (16) but I want you to tell me now: what would they say, a coffee kettle, when they put it on  fire, what does it say? When people prepare a coffee in a kettle, what does it say? (17) oh! he said, what a mistake I made now! (18) she (the daughter) said: father, do not be afraid (19) three days later, she told him: go and tell him ‘I am coffee, and those who drink me enjoy, and those who get used to me - I become their curse’ (20) the king was amazed by this man (21) he said: now I want you to tell me, a water well (22) when people take out a bucket from a well, what does it say? (23) he said: what will I do now? He went to his daughter (24) she said: father, do not be afraid (25) three days later, she said: you will tell him ‘I am wood, my smell is pleasant and my body hurts’ (26) he told him: who explains you all these things? (27) he said: now I want you to do for me this (28) naked and dressed, cries and laughs, rides and walks on feet (29) poor man got scared (30) he went to his daughter and she told him: father, do not be afraid (31) three days later she told him: bring me a donkey (32) a small one, she said, a short one (33) she put him on the donkey (34) he was riding the donkey and his feet were shuffling on the floor (35) and she undressed him and put on him a piece of fabric (36) in a fabric there were holes, so he was both dressed and naked (37) and she took an onion and rubbed it on his forehead (38) tears started dripping from his eyes, his situation was awful and he almost died (39) and he was crying, almost dying from laughter (40) he went to the king, the king told him: now I want you to tell me who this person is, who explains you all those things (41) he said: your majesty, it is my daughter (42) he told him: this daughter, I would like to marry her (43) the king came and took his three servants (44) he told them: fill up a basket with the best clothes, perfumes and soap and go to the bride (45) they arrived at the man’s house and knocked at the door (46) and she said: my mind is on my knees, I cannot stand up now (47) they went to the king (48) they told him: are you going to marry this woman? She is insane, she said that her mind was on her knees (49) he told them: you are insane, her mind was on her knees because she was finishing [combing] her hair and her hair reaches the legs, when she stands up she will let you know, go back there! (50) they came back and knocked on the door (51) she told them: put your legs on the bricklayer, one hand on the carpenter and the other hand on the blacksmith (52) they went to the king and told him: what are those things? (53) this woman has messed with our heads! (54) he told them: [it means] put your legs on the doorstep, one hand on the door and the other on the lock and knock (55) they went in, she received them with happiness and saw the basket (56) she told them: give my best regards to the king (57) but tell him: there are three starts missing on the sky and three ships in the sea (58) they went back and told him: what a dear bride and how she received us! (59) oh! your majesty, but she said that there are three stars missing on the sky and three ships missing in the sea (60) and the king told them: what had you stolen from the basket? (61) indeed, they had stolen three items from each kind (62) he wanted to get married with her so they started the wedding (63) he told her: listen, I have one condition with you (64) from the day we get married you will not talk to people (65) they got married and one day the king was passing by, walking on the beach and what did he find? (66) a man came to the king with a complaint (67) he told him: what happened? he said: your majesty, I have a thoroughbred mare and I spent a night with her in an inn and she gave birth to an interbred foal, how come a thoroughbred mare delivers a donkey?! (68) he told him: let me think about it (69) the man was worried (70) while he was walking worried on the beach, she sat down on the balcony and saw him walking (71) she told him: what is wrong with you? (72) he told her: let it go, oh woman, leave me in peace (73) she told him: you have to tell me (74) he told her: I have a mare and she gave birth to a donkey and the king told me that she craved a crossbred horse and this is what happened (75) she told him: tomorrow at seven in the morning the king is supposed to take a stroll on the beach (76) tomorrow morning you take barley and start sowing it in the sand (77) the king was passing by and told him: are you insane? How come are you sowing barely in the sand? (78) he told him: and how come the mare delivers a donkey? (79) the king understood and said: only my wife (could have staged that), there is nobody else (80) he went home and told her: I am a king now and I do not want gaffs (81) late in the night take whatever is valuable for you and go back to your father (82) I gave a condition and you did not keep your promise (83) whatever you decide, will happen (84) at night she gave him sleeping drugs, she put him asleep, took his bed, brought his servants and moved him to her father’s premises (85) he woke up in the morning and found a cat meowing and a cock crowing and he said: what is that? Where I woke up? What am I doing here? (86) she told him: aren’t you my condition? (87) he told her: your condition? How? (88) she told him: a thing that is valuable for me (89) the thing that is valuable for you take it and leave (90) you are valuable for me so I took you (91) he told her: they will come to me in the daytime and at night I will consult with you and the court will only happen the day after, after I consult with you.  

Transcription: 

 

Transcription: Dr. Wiktor Gebski

(1) hā́di əlxarrā́fa tʿa nā́nti úmmi žə́yma (2) qállət: tə́mma wáḥda bnə́ya yəšəmmiū́ha maqsū́fat šə́bʿa šnīn (3) hadī́k əlmaqsū́fat šə́bʿa šnīn, nhār ḅaḅā́ha tʿádda u lqā́ha əṣṣəḷṭā́n (4) qállu: šnū́wa hwā́lək wa šnū́wa hā́da (5) qállu: náḥəmdu ṛə́ḅḅi, la bāš ʿalī́na (6) qállu: nḥaḅḅ nə́šdək nə́šda (7) aaa! aṣṣəḷṭā́n tʿádda, lqā̄ yə́ẓṛa filḅṣə́l (8) hū qállu: əlḅṣə́l hā́da, tā́klu wə́lla yā́klək? (9) qállu: ə́šmʿa, tlā́ta yām fiyə́ddək tžī́bli əlxbā́r (10) kān lā baʿd yə́qtlu (11) ḥžīn mšā ləḍḍā́r, yə́ndəb ʿal aṛṛásu, əlʿámla mšū́ma ʿamə́ltha (12) u yə́bki (12) žāt əlbə́ntu hā́di šəmī́a maqsū́fat šə́bʿat šnīn (13) ḥqā́ha ḅaḅā́ha, qátlu: ḅaḅa mā txā́fṣ, nhār təlt əlyū́m anā́ nqúllək šnū́wa twā́žbu ləṣəḷṭā́n (14) nhār təlt əlyū́m, qalə́tlo: báṛṛa qúllu ṣəḷṭā́n: kān ʿášt, nā́klu u kān mīt klā́li (15) mšā ləṣəḷṭā́n, qállu: áka áka, wúka wúka (16) áma nḥáḅḅək tqúlli: šnū́wa yəqúllu, əlšə́žwa, fa ḥáṭṭū́ha ʿal əlnā́r, šnū́wa tqūll, kif yəṭṭī́bu əlqáḥwa bəšə́žwa, šnū́wa tqúll? (17) uuu, qálla, əlʿámla mšū́ma ʿamə́ltha ṭúwwa (18) qátlu: ḅáḅa mā txā́fṣ (19) nhā́r təlt əlyū́m, qátlu báṛṛa qúllu: anā́ qáhwa wu li yəṣṛə́bni šā́ḥwa wu li yətʿáləm bī́ha tə́mknu dáʿwa (20) əlmélex ṣā́rlu ʿažə́b hā́di háža əlʿabə́d (21) qállu: ṭúwwa nḥábbək tqū́lli əẓẓrā́ra (22) kif yətáḷḷʿu ṣṭaḷḷ mən bīr, šnū́wa tqūl? (23) qāl: kəfáš nʿáməl tū́wwa, mšā lbə́ntu yə́bki (24) qátlu: ḅáḅa mā txáfaṣ (25) nhār təlt əlyū́m, qalə́tlo: qūl lṣuḷṭā́n: anā́ lūḥ u rə́ḥti tfū́ḥ u láḥmi maẓrū́ḥ (26) qállu: əḥwā́yəž hā́du, škūn qāʿd yəfašə́rlək fíhəm? (27) qállu: nḥáḅḅək ṭúwwa tʿamə́lli hə́kka (28) ʿariā́n u lā́bəš, yə́bki u yə́dḥak, u rā́kəb u yə́mši ʿal rážli (29) aḥžī́r xāf (30) mšā lbə́ntu qátlu: ḅáḅa mā txáfṣ (31) nhar təlt əlyū́m, qátlu: žī́bli bhīm (32) bhīm zġirū́n qalə́tlo, qṣīr (33) ḥaṭṭátu ʿal əlbhīm (34) rā́kəb ʿal əlbhī́m u rážli filuṭá (35) u nḥátlu ḥwā́yəž u ləbšə́tlo tī́la (36) tī́la fíha nqāb, wa hadā́k ʿariyan u lā́bəš (37) wa hā́di xdāt ṛaṣ əlḅṣə́l u ḥakkə́tlo ʿal žbī́nu (38) tawə́lla ʿadmu ʿabtin, ḥáltu ḥlī́la u rū́ḥu tálʿat (39) u yə́dḥak mə́yyət mən əddḥák (40) mšā lmélex, lmə́lex qállu: túwwa nḥabək tqúlli škūn hā́di li qā́ʿda tfašárlək fihwā́yəž hā́di kúlla (41) qállu: ya šə́di HEmélexHE, hā́di bə́nti (42) qállu: bə́ntek hā́di nḥaḅḅ naxū́dha (43) žā əlmélex, xdā tláta sənáʿ ntáʿu (44) qállu: əmlā́u qóffa bilḥwā́yəž bahīn lkull, u ffāḥ u ṣaḅū́n u ə́žu lʿarū́ṣa (45) wúṣlu ldār tʿa əlrā́zəl, ḍárbu ʿal əlbā́b (46) wa híya qā́lət: ʿáqli fi ḥázri, mā nžəmš nqūm ṭúwwa (47) rū́ḥu əl lmélex (48) qállu: hā́di ṃṛa ə́nta txūd? híya mahbū́la, qalət ʿáqla fiḥzárha (49) qāl: ə́ntum mahbulī́n, ʿáqla fiḥzárha hadī́k txáḷḷaṣ fisʿárha u sáʿrha wuṣə́l ḥáṭṭa ražlíya, kān tkū́mi txáddər, ə́ržʿu lġā́di (50) rə́žʿu, tə́blu ʿal əlbā́b (51) qaltə́lhəm: ḥáṭṭu ržə́lkəm ʿal əlbənnā́y u yə́dd ʿal ṅəẓẓā́r u yədd ʿal əlḥaddā́d (52) mšáu lmélex, qállu: šnū́wa əlḥwā́yəž hā́du? (53) xarbətətə́nna múxna ṃṛa hā́di (54) qálləm: ḥáṭṭu ražə́lkəm ʿal ʿáṭḅa u yə́dd ʿal əlbā́b u yə́dd bilḥálka u tə́ḍrəbu (55) dáxlu, fárḥət bíhəm u šáfət əlqáffa (56) qaltə́lhəm: šəlmū́ lmélex bə́rša bə́rša bə́rša (57) áma qullū́lu, nəqsī́n fišmā tlā́ta qwā́qəb u filbḥár tlā́ta marā́kəb (58) rū́ḥu u qállu: ya ʿarū́ṣa, ya ʿažī́ža, u qablə́tna (59) eee, qāl, ya šə́ddi mélex! qaltə́nna naqṣī́n fišmā tlā́ta qwā́qəb u filbḥār tlā́ta marā́kəb (60) wa qalə́lhəm lmélex háka: šnū́wa xnə́btu mən qóffa? (61) HEbemétHE xə́nbu tlā́ta mən kul ḥā́ža (62) húwa yəḥáḅḅ yʿarəš ʿalə́ya u bdā́u əlʿárš (63) qálla: ə́šmʿi, áʿndi maʿk ṣəṛṭ wā́ḥad (64) nhār li náxdək mā tədwə́yyəš mʿa əlnā́š (65) ʿáršu, nhār əlmélex tʿad, mā́ši ʿal əlbḥár, yə́rqa, nū kifáš? (66) žā wā́ḥəd əl mélex yəškī́lu (67) qállu šnū́wa, qállu: ya šə́ddi mélex, anā́ áʿndi fárṣa bəyyə́tha filfúnduq u wə́ldət bʿīr, tə́mma fárṣa tžīb aḥmī́r? (68) qállu: xallī́li ntfákkər (69) əlʿábəd hā́da kān mḥáyyər (70) húwa ka-yə́mši əlṣəṭṭ əlbḥā́r mḥayrā́n, wa hī́ya qáʿdət filbalkū́n šafə́thu yə́mši (71) qátlu: šbīk? (72) qálla: ḅrā́sək ya ṃṛa, xallī́ni (73) qáltlu: lā́žəm taḥqī́li (74) qállu: ʿándi fə́rṣa u žā́bət bhīm u lmélex qāl twáḥmət aʿl bʿīr u hā́dək húwa li žāb (75) qalə́tlu: ġádwa əlmélex fišə́ttʿa tʿa sbāḥ lā́žəm yətə́mša ʿal ṣəṭṭ lbḥār (76) ə́nta ġádwa fisbā́ḥ xūd šʿaī́r u ə́bda áġəršu figəzgā́z albḥár (77) tʿádda əlmélex, qállu: ya mahbū́l, tə́zrʿa lšaʿī́r filṣə́ṭṭ əlbḥár? (78) qállu: mána tə́mma fə́rṣa tžī́b bʿir (79) ʿaráf əlmélex, qāl: hā́da HErakHE mə́ṛti, ma təmmáš ḥā́ža áxra (80) žā lḍār qálla: ə́šmʿi, túwwa anā́ mélex u ma nḥabbū́š fdḥā́ya (81) lī́la fillī́l xū́di li ʿažīž ʿalī́k wa trū́ḥi lḅaḅā́k (82) anā́ ḥkə́mt ʿalī́k u ə́nti ma wqəftís fikə́lmtək (83) qalə́tlu: ə́lli táḥkəm yəṣī́r (84) fillī́l ḥaṭə́ṭlu ḅənṣ, raqdátu ráqda ḅrī́ma, xdāt əlfrə́š ntʿáhu, žā́bət əlxaddā́ma ntʿáha u ḥawlátu lḥūš ḅaḅáha (85) qām fəṣṣbā́ḥ u lqā lqaṭṭū́ṣa tmáʿwi u ldžádža tgə́rgər u hā́da qállu: šnū́wa hā́da? wən sbə́ḥt? šnū́wa náʿməl hū́ni? (86) qáltlu: muš ə́nti ṣṣərt ʿalī́ya? (87) qálla: ṣə́ṛt ʿalīk? šnúwa? (88) qalə́tlo: ḥā́ža ʿažī́ža ʿalī́ya (89) lḥā́ža ə́lli ā́ʿžī́ža aʿlī́k xudī́ha u ə́mši (90) qátlu: ə́nti ʿažī́ž ʿalī́ya u xdī́tək (91) qā́lla: anā́, yəžiū́ni finnhā́r u fillī́l nsā́wər mʿak u lmáḥkma tṣār bərk mən ġádwa, bʿad mā nsā́war mʿak.