Scanned by: Cephas Yao Agbemenu.
With special thanks to Joe Healey (African Proverbs, Sayings and Stories)
Waliho ngosha umo wali na bhana bhakwe bhabhili, nabho bhali bhagosha gwike bhung’wila sabho giki, “Bhabha tulihaya kuja gujukwabha.” Nanghwe ubhafupa ubhawila, “Shimizagi na lubhango bhana bhane. Kwike jagi ng’utema mbago.” Nsumba ntale aho washika ng’wipolu wandya kutemagula miti, wifula.
Alikuwepo mwanamume mmoja aliyekuwa na wana wawili waliokuwa wanaume tu. Wana hao, walimwambia baba yao hivi, “Baba tunataka kwenda kutafuta mali. Tunaomba Baraka zako.” Naye aliwabariki akisema, “Tembeeni na Baraka wanangu. Lakini nendeni mkiweka alama kwenye miti.”
Kijana mkubwa katika safari yake, alipofika porini alianza kukata kata miti, anapumzika. Kesho yake alianza tena kazi yake ya kukata kata miti hiyo.
Mdogo wake katika safari yake, yeye alifika kwenye familia akatengeneza urafiki na kijana wa familia hiyo. Alilala hapo, kesho yake alifika kwenye familia nyingine, na pale ashikana urafiki na kijana wa pale.
Walipomaliza walirudi nyumbani, mzee aliwaambia, “twendeni wanangu nikakague alama zenu za kwenye miti.” Wakafika porini, mzee alioneshwa na kijana mkubwa kazi yake aliyoifanya ya kukata kata miti.
Mzee alimwambia kijana mdogo, “nioneshe nawe kazi zako.” Wakaenda akapelekwa kwenye familia, wakapokelewa vizuri mno. Wakachinjiwa na mbuzi, wakalala pale.
Kesho yake, walienda kwenye familia nyingine, na pale walipokelewa vizuri mno. Wakarudi nyumbani wakiwa na mizigo ya nyama na ngozi za wanyama waliochinjiwa.
Mzee alimwambia kijana mkubwa, “Mwanangu, huna akili, huwezi kutunza watu, nilikuambia, kuweka alama kwenye miti, wewe ukakata kata mamiti! Kwenye mamiti yako tumeona humo kizuri gani? Mdogo wako aliweka alama kwenye miti kweli. Tulipokelewa vizuri mno, tukachinjiwa mbuzi. Nitamuoza kwanza mdogo wako, wewe nitakuoza nyuma yake, baadaye kwa vile huna akili.”
ENGLISH: THE PARABLE OF THE TWO BROTHERS
Two brothers wanted to go to a distant country to make their fortune. They asked their father for a blessing, saying: “Father, we go on our way to make our fortune. Your blessing, please.” Their father agreed, saying, “Go with my blessing, but on your way put marks on the trees lest you get lost.” After they received the blessing, the two brothers started on their safari.
The older brother entered the forest and cut down some of the trees as he passed and made marks on other trees. He did this for the whole journey. The younger brother took another route. While on the way, he arrived at the house of a certain person. He knocked on the door. He was invited in and made friends with the children of that family. The younger brother continued on his journey and made friends wherever he passed.
Finally, the two brothers returned home. On their arrival their father gave them a warm welcome, saying, “How happy I am to see you back home again, my sons, especially since you have returned safely. Wonderful! Now I would like to see the marks which you have left on the trees.”
So the father went with his firstborn son. On the way the older brother showed his father all kinds of trees that he had cut down and others with the marks that he had put on along the way. They traveled a long distance without eating on the trip. Finally, they returned home empty-handed.
Then the father set out with his secondborn son. During the journey different friends warmly received the younger son and his father. They were treated as special guests at each place they visited. Goats were slaughtered to welcome them. They were very happy. They brought home many gifts including meat and other presents.
Then the father summoned his two sons and said: “Dear sons, I have seen the work that you have done. I will arrange a marriage for the one who has done better.” He turned to the firstborn son and said, “My son, I think you are foolish. You cannot take care of people. I told you to put marks on the trees wherever you pass. You have cut down many trees. What is the profit of all these trees?” Turning to the second son he said: “My son, you are clever. I am happy you have put such important marks wherever you have gone. Wherever we passed, we received a very good welcome. This came from your good personal relationships with the people we visited.”
Then he said: “My dear children, now it is good for me to give my reward. I will arrange a big feast for my younger son. We will slaughter a cow for him. For my younger son has made good and lasting marks wherever he passed.”
From this Sukuma story comes the Sukuma proverb: To make marks on the trees. The theme of the story and the proverb is “Good Personal Relationships in Life.” The meaning is that to build good relationships with people is a very important priority in our lives.