حكايات كليلة و دمنة - The Tales of Kalila and Dimna 1# - The Lark and the Elephant
Kalila and Dimna is a really old book dating back to the 6th century! It was originally written in Sanskrit and has Indian roots, but at around the 8th century it was translated into Arabic and made famous through Arabic. It has spread ever since, into Spanish [through Muslim rule of Spain], Italian, English [of course], French and many more.
When I say famous, I kinda laugh because I’m sure anyone reading this right now hasn’t ever heard of it before but it’s a well-known book in Arabia for sure!
Well what’s it even about? It’s a collection of fables that have a moral behind them, fixed into the plot of a fable with a moral. Get it? :o
So the main story is the tale of two jackals, one [in the Arabic version] called Kalila and the other called Dimna. Now Kalila is like the “better” jackal, but you know all jackals are bad in the stories [for some reason] so Kalila isn’t exactly the perfect guy and so he dies in the end [oops spoiler alert! XD]. Dimna is the typical bad, sneaky [also dead] jackal and so basically Kalila will often tell Dimna a tale with a moral behind it every time Dimna does something stupid [which is like a hundred times if you look at how many tales there are]. There are also other characters in the story which also tell each other tales and we’re here eating popcorn.
Now, I’m not gonna tell you the plot and everything because I don’t want to spoil it for you guys ;p .I’m just going to be posting a tale that Kalila tells Dimna in Arabic, and my translation in English, every now and then to whoever wants to read it. I know that this wouldn’t be so beneficial for those who are beginners, but rather those who are advanced, so I’ve also picked out a few more challenging words from the text that they can learn. If you’re just here to read the English, you’re welcome, and if you already know Arabic and want to read then “مرحبا بك”:
القبرة و الفيل
عششت قبرة على طريق فيل، فمر الفيل في يوم من الأيام و مشى على العش فكسر البيض و قتل الفراخ التي فيه. فلما رأت القبرة ما حدث لبيضها، عرفت أنا الفيل هو الذي كسره. فطارت و وقفت على رأسه و هي تبكي، و قالت: "أيها الفيل العظيم، لماذا كسرت بيضي و قتلت فراخي و أنا جارتك؟ هل فعلت ذالك لأنك قوي و أنا ضعيفة؟" قال الفيل: "نعم، هذا هو السبب
تركته القبرة و ذهبت إلى الطيور الأخرى و أخبرتها بما حدث. فسألتها الطيور: "و ماذا نقدر أن نعمل للإنتقام من الفيل و نحن طيور ضعيفة؟" فطلبت من الغربان أن تنقر عيني الفيل. فذهبت الغربان و نقرت عينيه، و صار أعمى؛ لا يرى طريقه إلى مأكله و مشربه. ثم ذهبت إلى غدير فيه ضفادع كثيرة، و أخبرتها بما فعل الفيل ببيضها، و طلبت منها أن تذهب إلى حفرة كبيرة و تنق فيها بصوت عال حتى يسمعها الفيل و يظن أن في الحفرة ماء و يذهب ليشرب. فذهبت الضفادع و تجمعت في الحفرة و بدأت تنق. عندما سمع الفيل نقيقها، ذهب إلى الحفرة من شدة العطش فوقع فيها
ثم جاءت القبرة و وقفت على رأسه و قالت له: "أيها الظالم المغرور، لقد احتقرتني و قتلت فراخي و إعتقدت أنني ضعيفة و لا أقدر على الانتقام منك. أنظر إلى حالك الآن!"
[قبرة = A lark]
[غدير = pond]
[تنق = to croak]
The Lark and the Elephant
A lark nested in the path of an elephant, and so one day the elephant passed by and walked on the nest, breaking the eggs and killing the chicks inside. When the lark saw what had happened to her eggs, she knew that the elephant was the one who broke them. So, she flew and stood on his head, crying, and said: “O’ Great Elephant, why did you break my eggs and kill my chicks and I am your neighbour? Did you do that because you are strong and I am weak?” The elephant said: “Yes, that is the reason”.
The lark left him and went to the other birds and told them what had happened. So, the birds asked her: “And what can we do to avenge the elephant and we are weak birds?” So, she asked the ravens to peck at the elephant’s eyes. And so the ravens went and pecked at his eyes, and he became blind; unable to see his way to his food and water. Then she went to a pond, that had a lot of frogs, and told them what the elephant did with her eggs, and asked them to go to a big hole and croak inside it, in a loud voice so that the elephant hears them and thinks there is water in the hole and goes to drink. So, the frogs went and gathered in the hole and began to croak. When the elephant heard their croaks, he went to the hole, of severity of thirst, and fell inside it.
Then the lark came and stood on his head and said to him: “You arrogant oppressor, you have treated me with contempt and killed my chicks and thought that I was weak and unable to avenge you. Look at yourself now!”
I hope you’ve enjoyed the first tale in the collection! :D I also want to note that there are multiple versions of the mini tales, but this was one I had access to in Arabic.
- Sorry for the left to right problem :/
Any other problems, please feel free to comment below and I’ll try to fix them ;)
Yup! And flipping back to the page in my book and reading the next word and typing it up then realising someone left the window open and the page has disappeared and I find it again and type the same mistake I made 2 secs ago and typing it again XD
اتمنى ان تتحسني قريبا :) Boat ride? Lucky! I went city centre yesterday and I came back with aching feet and a headache XD and no clothes.
MMmmm 18 days? Maybe? I'm planning to miss a few days off the beginning of next year YESS! ;D Anyways it's only a 3 week "holiday" cus my dad doesn't have a long holiday sooo phew! Less days of getting strangled by aunties ;p and aunties debating on your value -.-