Posted by: ayac | September 19, 2014

Aesop’s Fables 2: The Coyote and the Deadly Mountain Lion

Based on The Fox and the Lion (Perry 10). Like foxes and coyotes, mountain lions and Old World lions were considered to be slightly different varieties of the same animal. However, rather than simply translating lion as miztli, for some reason the qualifier “deadly” is always added (tequani miztli or miztequani or miztli tequani). Apparently regular mountain lions aren’t dangerous enough to fill the role of lions in European culture.

Nahuatl text:

¶ Coyotl yhuantequani miztli.

Centetl coyotl ayccan oquittaca yntequani miztli . auh inceppa / hamo ynehmachpa oquinamic yntequani miztli : cenca omomauh / ti yncoyotl huel çotlahuac . auh ynicoppa quinamic macihuim / momauhti , aocmo cenca yxquich . auh ynic yexpa oquinamic, / yequene mochicauh, huelytlan onmiquani , yhuan oquinotz.

Yni çaçaniltontli techmachtia caynixquich tenonotzaliz tlahtolli ma / huizttic , yyancuican ticcaqui , Cenca ticohuicamati . auh intla / miecpa ticcaquini , cayhuian ytech titomachtizque ynichuelticaquiz / que .

Preliminary English translation:

¶ The coyote and the deadly mountain lion.

A certain coyote had never seen a deadly mountain lion anywhere. And the first time he accidentally encountered a deadly mountain lion, the coyote was very scared; he could have fainted. And the second time he encountered it, although he was scared, it was no longer quite as much. And the third time he encountered it, finally he was brave; he moved right up to him, and talked to him.

This little fable teaches us: the first time we hear each marvelous sermon, we consider it very dangerous. But if we hear it many times, we will calmly appreciate it so that we accept it.

Interlinear gloss, using standardized spelling and spacing (and using
code tags because it doesn’t seem like WordPress allows for anything better):

Cen-te-tl     coyō-tl    a=īc=cān       ō=qui-tta-ca         in  tē-cuā-ni         miz-tli.
one-stone-ABS coyote-ABS not=when=where PST=3sgO-see-DISTPST SUB someone-eat-HABIT mountain_lion-ABS
A coyote had never seen a deadly mountain lion anywhere.

Auh in  (ic)    cep-pa    ah=mō   ī-ne-hmach-pan   ō=qui-nāmic-Ø     in  tē-cuā-ni         miz-tli,
and SUB thereby one-times not=not 3sgP-RFL-know-on PST=3sgO-meet-PST SUB someone-eat-HABIT mountain_lion-ABS
And the first time he accidentally encountered a deadly mountain lion,

cencah ō=mo-mauh-tih-Ø            in  coyō-tl;   huel zotlāhua-c.
very   PST=RFL-be_afraid-CAUS-PST SUB coyote-ABS able faint-PST
the coyote was very scared; he could have fainted.

Auh in  īc      op-pa     qui-nāmic-Ø,  mā=c=ihui        in  mo-mauh-tih-Ø,         a=oc=mo       cencah īxquich.
and SUB thereby two-times 3sgO-meet-PST may=perhaps=thus SUB RFL-be_afraid-CAUS-PST not=still=not very   all
And the second time he encountered it, although he was scared, it was no longer quite as much.

Auh in  īc      yēx-pa      ō=qui-nāmic-Ø,    yēqueneh mo-chicāuh-Ø;
and SUB thereby three-times PST=3sgO-meet-PST finally  RFL-be_strong-PST
And the third time he encountered it, finally he was brave;

huel ī-tlan       on-m-ihcuanih-Ø,       īhuān ō=qui-nōtz-Ø.
very 3sgP-next_to thither-REFL-move-PST, and   PST-3sgO-talk_to-PST
he moved right up to him, and talked to him.

In  īn   zāzanil-tōn-tli tēch-mach-tia:
SUB this fable-DIM-ABS   1plO-know-CAUS
This little fable teaches us:

ca  in  īxquich tē-nō~nōtza-liz-tla-htō-l-li                        mahu-iz-tic,    in  yancui-cā-n   ti-c-caqui-h,     cencah ti-c-ohuih-cā-mati-h.
IND SUB all     someone-REP~talk_to-action-something-say-patient-ABS fear-action-ADJ SUB new-agent-LOC 1plS-3sgO-hear-plS very  1plS-2plO-agent-know-plS
the first time we hear each marvelous sermon, we consider it very dangerous.

Auh in=tlā miec-pa    ti-c-caqui-ni-h,         ca  īhuiyān ī-tech  ti-to-mach-tī-zque-h          in  īc      huel ti-c-caqui-zque-h
and SUB=if many-times 1plS-3sgO-hear-HABIT-plS IND calmly  3sgP-to 1plS-1plRFL-know-CAUS-FUT-plS SUB thereby well 1plS-3sgO-hear-FUT-plS
But if we hear it many times, we will calmly appreciate it so that we accept it.
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