The Baby Chooses a Wife and Refuses Names

When Ibonia had been three years in the womb of Beautiful-Rich,
     the baby demanded a wife, saying, (33)
"Joy-Giving girl is my wife.
     See that she is not stolen by some dangerous man."

                         But Beautiful-Rich said,
"How can you choose a wife? You are still only a seed."
                         And the baby said,
"I know, I know I am a seed,
     but I betroth myself while yet a baby, (34)
          and I marry while yet a fetus.
Also: I will want no other woman.
                    I will give my name to no other woman,
               and I will favor no other land nor person.
If Joy-Giving Girl dies, I will not leave her in the earth,
     and if she lives, I will not leave her to any man.
Behold: a Nothing-Man-Seeking-Misery,
     one Owner-of-Big-Lands, Owner-of-Wide-Lands (35)
     makes trouble because I take a wife,"
                         said the baby still in the womb. (36)
                         Then said Beautiful-Rich,
"My baby, he is Big Boy. (37)    More Info
He bathes and does not smell bad,
     swims and is clean,
          unchallenged in his village.
He is master of many servants,
     sugarcane with young shoots,
          breeder of many fattening oxen.
A hundred dogs cannot swallow his fingernail clippings,
     ten thousand cannot swallow his toenail clippings.
One of his thighs can separate banana fibers,
     the other is a whetstone.
His head is an anvil to forge iron,
     his hands are hammers,
          his fingers are tongs.
The hollows of his knee joints are fireplaces,
     his calves are bellows,
          his arms can temper iron.
The hedgehog lodges in the hair of his armpit,
     little birds lay their eggs in the hair of his nose,
          crows lay their eggs in his eyebrows.
Or maybe he is Big-Maned Cat. (38)
What he cuts up cannot be eaten,
     What he puts on the fire cannot be cooked.
He says, ╬Put it on the fire, put it on the fire,'
     and ╬Take it off, take it off.'
He slices without a sickle and cuts without a knife. (39)
     Those are dangerous men in the world,"
                         said Beautiful-Rich.
                         And the baby answered,
"Oh, Mama, those are children.
They could not catch the first hogs I will spear."
                         And Beautiful-Rich went on,
"Maybe he is The Smith-of-Silver-Gods
               and The Princess Like-A-Man.
For they are descended from the Sharers
     and grandchildren of the Givers.
They are descended from the Killers
     and grandchildren of the Life-Givers.
They are descended from gold
     and grandchildren of silver.
They are descended from the Prosperous
     and grandchildren of Well-Fertilized-Land.
On the earth they tread are no insignificant men,
                         no cowardly men.
Those are dangerous men in the world.
Animals are not animals, crocodiles are not crocodiles
     if those men are not huge crocodiles by the ford.
If a pirogue strikes them, they sink it; (40)
     if someone crosses at their ford, they bite his chest.
Those they do not catch are not heard from;
     when they catch someone, he is guinea fowl for the spit
          and is seen no more, neither his insides nor outsides,"
                         said Beautiful-Rich.
                         "No, Mama," said the baby,
"they could not turn back the first oxen I will whip.
They are still children."
                         Then said Beautiful-Rich,
     "Maybe he is Father-of-the-Powerful and He-Who-Continues-to-be-Powerful.
Those indeed are animals.
     They are crocodiles, descended from Rich One,
          sons of Much Loot.
A thousand men united they are,
     a hundred men together.
When they spear swine, they do not spear at close range;
     they go seven valleys off to spear them.
Yet they miss none of it:
     the bones are crushed,
          the flesh is rotten.
When they strike someone one year, he dies in a day,
when they give someone life one year,
                              he has life for a day.
Bulls they are, with front-curving horns.
     It is dangerous to fight them.
     On the point of their horns, they pierce,
     in their jaws, they chew up,
     on their ears, they shake off,
     on their tails, they shake off,
     under their hoofs, they tread,
     in their nose, they burn.
Those are dangerous men in the world,"
                    said Beautiful-Rich.
                    "No, Mama," said the baby.
"Those are children;
     they could not stop those I will kill."
               Then said Beautiful-Rich,
"Maybe he is Handsome Gray-Eyed Man and Young-Man-Worth-Six.
     They are descended from the Assembler,
          of the lineage of The Great Prosperer,
               a dangerous man in the world.
     Sons of the Unkilled-Attacker-Who-Attacks-and-Kills.
When Handsome Gray-Eyed Man throws the spear,
     the one hit by his blade gets his due,
     the one hit by his blade grows no more,
     the one hit by his handle loses his breast.
His sword kills a thousand in his path,"
                    said Beautiful-Rich.
                    And the baby said, "No, Mama,
They could not turn back the first army I will lead.
     They are children."

Now from his mother's womb the baby said,
"Call the master of Long-Standing,
     for Joy-Giving Girl has been taken away
          by a dangerous man with powerful charms. (41)
She has been stolen by Trouble Stone Man.
Cry out and say, ╬She is stolen by Trouble Stone Man!
     Stolen by Stone Man!
     Stolen by Hard Stone Man!'
He may be a calamity, but I am a disaster," said the baby.     More Info

The people of Long-Standing went in fast pursuit of Joy-Giving Girl, but they could not catch her.
And the baby said in his mother's womb,
"They did not catch Joy-Giving Girl, Mama,
and the villagers are returned."

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