Of the dangers lurking outside the HO village, the tiger was foremost. He inspired mortal fear in the solitary hunter, as shows this first story ever published in the HO language.
‘Did you kill your son Kapur? Umdo amma hon Kapore goikeea chee?’, asked Samuel Richard Tickell a man who delivered himself up to him. ‘Eyá, goikiddáïng. Yes, I killed him.’ It was 1837–38, a night in the woods of Ooisooia in Hodisum. His son Kapur was starving.
Eyá, goikiddáïng. Rengé’ leeng gojotanna. Jometeá do ján jeta do k’aïng emaï dya. Rákiddaï, eean medre nelkidaï. Pe do ka týkidda, entenado otéré geetee enáï. En beer ré getee enaï, ondo k’aï tingoo rooý dýa. Needa hendiènte, koola o rátanna aioomadáïng. Enkoola do jeedakanre habmiaï torá, eeng bagee endredo, mente adakiddaïng, kóa! Entenádo. Goikedmiaïng! Enté do hooang ré eeng topotadýa. Beer jeeloo do kako jomaï, menté. Maïté eeng seniena, jan pé o bannoá, essoo eeng hassooièna. Ondo nádo en beer ré bolokedté, iewaïng tannaï, adakidaïng. Enté nado eeng goyenaïng. Mendo nádo dimsee aï kewaing tana. Setta ré, singee ré, needa ré kewawing tannaï, Appooing, appooing, hey appooing! Enté k’aïng jómdýa, k’aïng pýtee dýa, k’aïng landa dýa, jeed do k’aïng jeed dýa, ná do! Mar, fansee emáïng mén, mar, buddee té goikeeing mén, gomké enté chabiena nee gé!
Yes, I killed him. He cried, and looked in my face. I had nothing to give him to eat. He was weak, and laid down on the ground. He laid down in the jungle and could not rise again. Night was coming on, and I heard the tiger roaring. And I thought ‘he would seize you, my poor boy, if I left you’. And so I killed you! I then buried him in a ravine, lest the wild beast devour him. I went away slowly, for I was weak and ill. And when I had got further into the forest, I thought I heard him call. And then I fainted away. But now he calls me every day. In the morning, and noon, and night I hear him call: ‘Father, oh Father!‘ I cannot eat, I cannot work, I cannot laugh, I can live no more! So hang me, Sir; kill me quick, and this wretchedness is over!
This story by Kapur’s father was published and translated by Lieutenant Samuel Richard Tickell in 1840.
Published on Facebook, 12 October 2016