June 23, 1997
The following story was written by Andrea Beaubrun from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Andrea is the mother of three teenagers. She is involved in adult education at the Stevenson-Britannia Adult Literacy Program to improve her reading and writing.
In my country there is a family named Lillia Jannots. There are many in my house. Lillia is the head of the family. She is single. She raised the children for her sisters, her brothers, and her cousins. She lived together with her parents. She likes pets very much. When somebody did something wrong or stole something, no one accused that person. Usually someone knew what had happened but they didn't tell on one another. One day something happened and nobody said a word. Lillia decided to get a talking bird. A lady called Maria came to the house to work as a helper. One day she finished cooking the meat for the family. She put the meat on the table. No one saw her. After she finished putting everything on the table, she cut the meat in half, put it in her bag and went home. When Lillia came she asked everyone what happened to the meat. Nobody said anything. Then the bird stood and closed his eyes for a few minutes. He waited for Lillia to ask him the question. Lillia doesn't think he knows but as everyone talked about it, the bird said "Why don't you ask me? Why don't you ask me?"
Lillia said, "Do you know who took the meat?"
The bird said, "Yes, I know my mistress Maria cut it in half, put it in the bag and go home". Lillia still didn't believe him and she asked him again. "Do you know who took the meat?".
He said, "Yes, I do, Maria cut the meat, put it in her bag, and go home".
The next day when Maria came she denied the story but the bird kept saying "Maria cut the meat, put it in the white bag, put it under her arm and go home and go home and go home". He repeated it all day. He walked back and forth on the shelf all day saying "go home".
Maria got so mad at him that she tied his tail feathers around his bum so he couldn't go to the toilet. Then he started to repeat over and over "Mistress Maria sewed my bum, Maria sewed my bum".
Lillia untied his tail feathers and fired Maria.
[This story was taken with permission from the Manitoba Literacy Star - Spring 1996 edition, produced by Community Headways, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba]