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Die Aambeeld - The Anvil

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1. Baie maal, is 'n ware verhaal, moeiliker om te glo, as sommer-net ‘n storie. Nou die verhaal van Jeffries, wat ek nou gaan vertel, is 'n ware verhaal, en daar is niks verander nie, behalwe dat, hier en daar is die sterk taal vervang met emosionele brabbeltaal – net om die gevoel oor te dra. Ons wil dit nie verloor nie.

1. Many times, a true story is more difficult to believe than a make-up story. Now, this story about Jeffries, that I am about to tell, is a true story, and nothing has been changed, except for here and there, the strong language has been replaced with emotional mumbo-jumbo – just so as to transfer the feeling. We do not want to lose that.

2. Nou Jeffries was al in sy negentigs toe ek hom ontmoet het. Hy het vir my oupa gewerk op die plaas en my pa help grootmaak en toe later het hy nou vir ons ook grootgemaak. En ophou werk? U-uhh, nie Jeffries Makapaan nie.

2. Now old Jeffries was already in his nineties when I met him. He worked for my grandpa on the farm, and he helped raise my dad, and then later he also helped raised us. And quitting his job? U-uhh, not Jeffries Makapaan.

3. Nou, die een oggend sit ons so lekker aan die ontbyt tafel en die volgende oomblik klop hy aan die deur. Tok, tok tok tok. En my pa maak die deur oop.

3. Now, one morning we were cozily sitting around the breakfast table and the next moment there was a knock at the door. And my dad opened the door.

4. "Môre Jeffries."
"Eh! Môre ou boetie. Hey, ons moet 'n bietjie praat jong! Dinge hier by die plaas is nie reg nie."
"Jeffries, wat's fout?"
"Hey ouboetie, jy weet hierdie 'kenners' (kinders) – daai Frik en sy tjommies; hey, daai kinders, hulle is te stout."
"Jy weet gister, as ek so kyk, dan sien ek daar loop hulle so saam met die kanoe. Dan as ek weer kyk, sien ek hulle loop so daar anderkant, binnekant by die skuur in. Dan hulle kom uit saam met die aambeeld. Hulle dra met daai knop kniege, hulle dra daai hele aambeeld weg, met hulle maer agterente.

4. "Morning Jeffries."
"Eh! Morning old boy. Hey, we have to speak together a little, man. Things here on the farm are not in order"
"Jeffries, what is the matter?"
"Hey old boy, you know these children – that Frik and his buddies; hey, those kids, they are too naughty."
"You know, yesterday, as I was looking, then I see them walking together there with the canoo. Then when I look again, I see them walking there on the other side into the shed. Then they come out with the anvil. They carry with those knob knees, they carry the whole anvil away, with their skinny backsides.

5. Dan hulle gaan daar onder by die rivier in, met die boot saam. Hulle kom daar by die rivier, hulle sit die boot by die rivier, hulle gaan in binnekant by die boot in. Ook, hulle vat daai hele aambeeld, hulle sit hom binnekant by die boot in. Dan hulle roei so saam met die spane tot daar by die middel van die rivier. Dan, as hulle daar by die middelkant van die rivier kom, hulle vat daai aambeeld, hulle vat die tou, die nylontou, hulle ... swish, swish, swish, hulle maak hom vas. Dan, as ek kan weer kyk, hulle vat daai aambeeld, hulle gooi hom daar binnekant by die rivier in. Woedoep! Bloep bloep bloep .... gaan daai aambleed af binne by die water in. "

5. Then they go down by the river, together with the boat. They come there by the river, they go in by the boat. Also, they take that whole anvil, they put it inside the boat. Then they row together with the oars to there by the middle of the river. Then, when they get to the middle of the river, they take that anvil, they take the rope, the nylon rope, they ...swish, swish, swish, thy make it tight. Then, as I look again, they take that anvil, they throw him there inside by the river. Wadoep! Bloop, bloop, .. goes that anvil down by the water in."

6. "Dan daar onder hy kom by die modder, hy sit net so Uh! Dan hulle vat die ander punt van die tou, hulle maak hom daar by die boot vas, so whoesh, woesh. Hulle maak hom vas. Dan hulle sit die hele dag daar. Daai boot hy staan so doodstil daar binnekant by die water. Hy beweeg nie so of so nie. Hy staan net. Hulle vang die hele dag, hulle vang die visse. Hulle vang hom die barboer, en die karpe, en die swartbaars. Hulle vang lekker vis die hele dag.

6. "Then, it gets down there by the mud, it sits just so Uh! Then they take the other side of the rope, they tie it up like this there by the boat. So whoosh, whoosh, the tie it on. Then they sit there the whole day. That boat it stands dead still there inside by the water. He does not move so or so. He just sits. They catch the whole day, they catch the fish. They catch him the catfish, the carp, the 'swartbaars'. They enjoy fishing the whole day."

7. Hierso, so saam four o'clock, as hulle kan sien nou die donker hy gaan nou kom. Dan hulle sê, "Kom dat ons by die huis toe gaan." Dan, hulle vang daai tou, hulle trek hom -- daai aambeeld hulle moet hom terugsit binnekant by die boot. Maar nou, daai aambeeld, hy het daar onder daar by die modder gekom, hy het so gesak, so gesak, bietjie gewikkel, bietjie gewikkel, toe suig hy so, chuuuup! vas daar binnekant by die modder in.

7. Now here, around 4 o' clock, as they can see the dark, he is going to come; then they say, "Come on, let's go home." Then, they catch that rope, they pull it -- that anvil, they have to put it back at the inside of the boat. But now, that anvil, it got down there by the bottom of the mud, and it sunk, and sunk, wiggling a little, wiggling a little, and it sucked in like this, choooop! tightly inside by the mud.

8. Hê, en hulle trek, daai kinders, hulle trek. En hulle sê: 'Twara.' Hulle trek die hele tou, maar die hele tou staan doodstil. Dan sê hulle, "Huh, hier is bietjie probleme!" Dan vat hulle die mes, maar hulle weet nie ek kyk hulle nie. Dan hulle vat die mes. Hulle vat daai mes hulle sny die hele nylontou, hulle sny hom af. Dan hulle kom hier by die huis toe hulle is soos sweet kinders. Hulle gee die vis, en hulle praat mooi, en hulle bêre die boot en alles. Maar nou, hey! Ons het ander probleme hier by die plaas. Ons het nie meer die aambleeld nie, en nou almal die spykers, as hulle is so krommerig ... , en die plate en party ysters, hulle is ook so bietjie gebuig (het) ... nou, hoe moet ek die perde se skoene regmaak as ek nie kan slaan by die aambeeld nie. En die spykers, as hy so krom is, hoe moet ek hom reguit maak?

8. Hey, they pull these kids, they pul! And they say, 'Twara' They pull the whole rope, but the whole rope stands deadstill. Then they say, "Hey, here is a bit of trouble!" Then they take the knife, but they don't know I am checking them out. They take that knife and they cut the whole nylon rope, they cut him off. Then they come here by the house and they are like sweet children. They give the fish, the talk sweetly, the stow away the boat, and everything. But now, hey! We have other problems here on the farm. We no longer have the anvil, and all of them, the nails, when they are a little crooked, ... now, how must I fix the horse shoes when I can't pound on the anvil? And the nails, when they are so crooked, how must I make him straight?

9. En net daar belowe my pa vir ou Jeffries twee dinge. Die een is dat ons agterente sal brand, en die ander ding is dat hy dadelik weer vir hom 'n nuwe aambeeld sal gaan koop. En, in daai volgorde voer my pa toe sy beloftes uit. Eers brand ons gaaie, en toe is hy af na die dorp toe om 'n nuwe aambleed te gaan koop. En die hele tyd terwyl my pa toe weg is, trippel ou Jeffries soos 'n opge'charge'de hoenderhaan op en af op die werf. En die volgende sien ons, daar kom die stofstreep in die verte aan. En hierdie Jeffries is opgewonde.

9. And right there my dad promises old Jeffries two things. The one is that our hides will be tanned, and the other thing is that he immediately will go and buy him a new anvil. An in that order my dad honored his promises. First our back ends burned, and then he went to town to buy an new anvil. And the whole time while my dad was gone, old Jeffries trotted like a charged up rooster - up and down on the yard. And next we see, there approaches a dust streak from the distance.

10. En my pa stop op die werf en hy gee vir ou Jeffries die aambeeld, en daar gaan Jeffries. En hy is reguit in die skuur in, en vir die volgende uur hoor ons net "k'ting'kting'têng, tang, tang¨. En dit hou aan, en dit hou aan, vir 'n hele uur lank. En skielik is dit doodstil. En die volgende oomblik "tok, tok, tok, tok, tok"
Hier is Jeffries weer by die deur.
"Ehh ouboetie, ehh, ons moet weer 'n bietjie praat."
"Wat is dit nou Jeffries?"
"Ehh ouboetie, ek dink hierdie storie kan ek jou nie sommer sê nie. Ek dink hierdie storie is bietjie beter as jy kan kom daar by die skuur, laat ek jou kan wys."

10. And my dad stops on the yard and gives old Jeffries the anvil. And he went straight into the shed, and for the next hour we only heard 'k-ting-kting-têng, tang, tang'. And it keeps going on, and on, for a whole hour long. And suddenly it is dead quiet. And the next moment "tok, tok, tok, tok, tok"
Here is Jeffries by the door again.
"Ehh old brother, ehh, we have to talk again a little bit."
"What's it now Jeffries?"
"Ehh old brother, I think this story I just can't tell you. I think this story is beter if you can come over to the shed, that I can show you."

11. En daar gaan my pa en ou Jeffries, en hulle gaan in die skuur in, en ons klomp staan almal by die venster, en ons kyk want ons wil weet wat gaan daar aan. En die volgende oomblik hoor ons net daar uit die skuur uit, "Goeie hebbede-hebbededede. Hoe de hebbede kry jy dit reg om 'n splinter nuwe aambeeld so op te hebbedede?"

11. And there goes my dad and Jeffries, and they go into the shed, and the lot of us, we all stand by the window, because we want to know what is going on there. And the next moment we hear this coming out of the shed "My dear hebbede bebbedede. How the hebbedede did you manage to hebbedede such a brand new anvil?"

12. En nie lank daarna nie, hier kom my pa uit die skuur uit met 'n halwe aambeeld, en Jeffries kort op sy hakke met die ander helfte van die aambeeld. En ons klomp is almal uit die huis uit en ons storm nader, en hulle laai dit agter op die bakkie en is nou oppad terug dorp toe. En ons sit almal agter op die bakkie, en my pa en Jeffries sit voor. En die pad oppad dorp toe, sien ons net my pa se mond wat nie vir een oomblik stilsit nie, en ou Jeffries was so elke nou en dan net sy kop so skud, net so inkennig knik. En op die dorp aangekom stop my pa reg voor die koöperasie. En hy storm daar in, en sommer so van die deur se kant af al begin hy te skel op die mense wat daar werk wat sulke simel aambeelde verkoop. En dis nie 'n minuut later nie, toe staan alwat leef en beef, wat in die koöperasie werk en die wat daar kom koop het vir die dag, rondom die bakkie.

12. And not long after this, there my dad comes out of the shed with half of the anvil, and Jeffries short on his heels with the the other half of the anvil. And the bunch of us all came out of the house and stormed closer, and they loaded it on the back of the bakkie (pickup) and were headed back to town. And all of us sit on the back of the bakkie, and my dad and Jeffries sat in front. And while on the way to town, we checked how my dad's mouth did not rest for one minute, and old Jeffries nodding every now and then with deep understanding. And when we got to town my dad stop right in front of the co-op. And he stormed inside, and right from the door he starts to berate the people who work there that they couls be selling such a simple anvil. And it was not a minute later when all that moved, those who worked in the co-op and all those who came there to buy that day, were around the bakkie.

13. En my pa staan nader, en met groot gebaar, ruk hy die seiltjie van die gebreekte aambeeld af. En soos een man, sê almal wat rondom die bakkie staan, "Goeie hebeddedede!" "Hoe de hebbededede kry 'n mens dit reg om 'n splinternuwe aambeeld so op te hebbededede?" En my pa kyk beterkenisvol na Jeffries en hy reken hy moet nou maar seker vir die mense sê, en hy sê: "Ehhh, dis nie so moeilik nie. Net, jy vat die ses duim spyker, wat hy is so bietjie krommerig staan, en die twee pond hamer -- en jy slaan."

13. And my dad stands closer, and with a grand gesture, he plucks the tarp off the broken anvil. And like one, all those who were standing around the bakkie, said "Good hebbedede!" How the hebbedede does one succeed to hebbede such a brand new anvil?" And my dad looks at Jeffries with a face that has much to say, and he reckons, that he certainly now has to tell the people, and he says: Ehhh, it's not that difficult. Just, you take the six inch nail, that stands a little crooked, and a two pound hammer -- and you hit."