Tag Archives: maternal

The Lion who thought himself wiser than his mother

9) The Lion who thought himself wiser than his mother

A Lion, a man, a baboon, a buffalo and some other animals were playing together in the land of Aroxxams. There is a thunderstorm area and a rain area in Aroxxams and the lion and the man both wanted to go to the thunderstorm area. Since they couldn’t agree with each other or reach a compromise, they left angry.

That night, the lion went back to his mother and told his mother about the quarrel. The mom lion in turn told him that he should be careful of the man that walks on his feet, has weapons, wear tiger tails on his neck and keeps white dogs as pets. The lion however, refused to listen to the mom and said that he doesn’t understand why he needs to beware of someone that he knows already.

The next day, the Lion went to the same place they quarreled and he hid in the bush preparing to ambush. Eventually the man came with his dog; they went by the river to drink, and by the time they finished drinking, the lion jumped out and tried to attack the man, but before he even knows it, the man had speared him, and the dog had came to capture him. The Lion suddenly realized that he has been captured and he is struggling but he can’t get out. Then, the man ordered the dog to let the lion go, and said “let him go, so he can learn to listen to his mother.”

On his way back, the lion fell down and is too weak to continue. So he cried and cried for his mother to come save him.

Finally, the mother heard his wailing, and said “My son, this is what I’ve warned you about:

“Beware of the one who has pinching weapons,

Who wears a tuft of tiger’s tail,

Of him who has white dogs!

Alas! thou son of her who is short-eared,

Thou, my short-eared child!

Son of her who eats raw flesh,

Thou flesh-devourer;

Son of her whose nostrils are red from the prey,

Thou with blood-stained nostrils!

Son of her who drinks pit-water,

Thou water-drinker!’

I personally have never heard of any African tales before. My friend Mo told me this tale, and she also told me that lots of african tales involve animals as examples. Mo could recall this story pretty easily, but she had to look up the poem bit of it. From this story, I could really feel a different vibe to it, and that it seems to really value the maternal link/power.

Giving You My Strength

My mom started this junior or sophomore year of high school I think. I always get super nervous, you know, for like a big test or for volleyball and what she did is, she grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me violently and said, “This is me giving you my strength!”

She does it to all of us. Just the other day, I guess, she did it to Tommy, and he goes, “That’s not your strength, you’re just shaking my shoulders!” (she laughs). Oh, Tommy.

I told my roommate, Kayla, about it and she texted me it before my accounting exam. She goes, “This is me giving you my strength.”

I think my mom made it up.

I’ve offered my services to a few people here and there and they always laugh it off.

But, yeah, I think it works. It always does make me feel better, to be honest.

You know, I always thought if I ever got a tattoo, it would be of that. “This is me giving you my strength.” I’m probably not going to get a tattoo, though…I’ll definitely do it for my kids.

context of the performance: 

This description of a family custom before a big event from mother to child was described in a one-on-one conversation between the informant and the collector. We are close friends, which is why she does not explain necessarily who the different characters are in her telling. Tommy is her youngest sibling.

thoughts on the piece:

Though this is a relatively new family custom, it demonstrates a maternal selflessness and concern for her children. As the informant mentioned, what started as something specific to her, the eldest daughter, has become a customary practice. The different children’s perceptions of it is interesting, as well. The informant believes in it so much that she has tried to share it with others and new people in her life say it to her before major events, still. Her younger brother is much more skeptical.