A Qári Tale: The King and Jafo’s Balls

While the Qáritu were the first people of Adeia to develop writing, true functional literacy was always limited to a few practitioners: scribes, priests and augurs, mainly. The true literature of the people therefore was always oral literature. As well as songs and epic poems, the Qáritu were fond of short aperçus, typically humorous in nature, and often featuring the canny folk-hero Jafo. Here is one such:

Pé qár lentxoli atxe, at lutkár q’at lagitxá iqé he lentxolit.
exist city prone_to_gambling very | DEF king and=DEF palace COP PERL prone_to_gambling-DEF
There once was a city very fond of gambling, the king and his court most of all.

Tafá Jafo txerikxe at qár qéyo so ho selaki at lutkár q’at lutyar x’at ululiqaya.
thus Jafo travel DEF city and 3SG PASS welcome DEF king and=DEF augur LOC=DEF throne_room
And so Jafo travelled to the city and was received in the throne room of the King and the Chief Augur.

A cultural note here: although far from being universal in practice, the Qári ideal of governance is a dyarchy where power is shared by the lutkár, nominally the head of the kitsánu warrior sodality, and the lutyar, who is the chief functionary of the city’s main temple.

Jafo éqi: “Té Lutkár, já lentxi aná.”
Jafo QUOT | lord king | 1SG wager-IRR ALL.2SG
Jafo said, “Lord King, I would make a wager with you.”

At lutkár éqi: “Já xekyu lentximi ná.”
DEF king QUOT | 1SG hear-IRR wager 2SG
“Let me hear your wager,” said the king.

Jafo éqi: “Té Lutkár, já lentxe aná é txa iqé tle kangqa xeliyá kidol ujá fé loqat já qe loqat ná.”
Jafo QUOT | lord king | 1SG wager ALL.2SG COMP AFF COP EQT date new-PL testicle-PL COM.1SG INST wife 1SG and wife 2SG
“Lord King, I wager my wife against yours that my testicles are actually fresh dates,” said Jafo.

At lutkár éqi: “Rá gehixu.”
DEF king QUOT | 1INC agree
“I accept the wager,” said the king.

Jafo ipat padayi kidokura qéyo tláré x’ayeqa at lutkár i senditaye.
Jafo throw disrobe loincloth and.so 3SG stand LOC=eye DEF king REL laugh-ASP
Jafo tore off his loincloth and stood in front of the king, who began to laugh.

At lutkár éqi: “Sol iqé he suyá, sol utut iqé tle kangqa xeliyá!”
DEF king QUOT | 3PL COP PERL hairy, 3PL NEG~NEG COP EQT date new-PL
“They’re all hairy,” he said, “they’re clearly not fresh dates!”

Jafo éqi: “Té Lutkár, toyo itsulo yetot ta itsulo ngeyat.”
Jafo QUOT | lord king | blind_person distinguish meat cow ABL meat goat
“Lord King,” said Jafo, “the blind man can tell the difference between beef and mutton.”

This warrants some explanation: Jafo quotes an idiom which has a meaning something like “appearances can be deceptive”. The implication is that while a blind person can tell beef and mutton apart by their taste, a sighted person may mistake the two solely based on how they look.

At lutkár qayi sitlá kidol le Jafo. At lutyar hagi tyáqaye qéyo Jafo senditaye.
DEF king come taste testicle-PL COM Jafo || DEF augur angry shout-ASP and Jafo laugh-ASP
The king came forward and tasted Jafo’s testicles. The augur began to shout angrily and Jafo began to laugh.

At lutkár éqi: “Ná sendita nye? Loqat ná antxi iqé ujá!”
DEF king QUOT | 2sg laugh Q? wife 2SG now COP COM.1SG!
The king said: “Why are you laughing? Your wife is now mine!”

“Txa Té Lutkár. Lipa já antxi iqé tle ugabat, heyá já yé lentxe m’at lutyar fé ugabe iso é sipa kidol já at lutkár!”
yes lord king || but 1SG now COP EQT wealthy_man | because 1SG ANT wager ALL=DEF augur INST wealth all COMP lick testicle-PL 1SG DEF king
“Yes, Lord King. But now I’m a wealthy man, because I’d already bet the augur everything he owns that the king would lick my balls!”

3 thoughts on “A Qári Tale: The King and Jafo’s Balls

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