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Cal’s Speech: an extract from Gwlad yr Asyn

11 Dec 2022 2 minute read
Gwlad yr Asyn is published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch.

A new graphic novel in Welsh casts a donkey as its hero and tells of its various adventures. With a little help from its father-and-daughter creators we’ve added some English translations.

Wyn Mason, illustrations by Efa Blosse Mason

ARI:      I’m Mira’s new pet. So I don’t think I’ll be spending much time in…

CAL:     I remember you when you used to prance freely across the plains of Africa.

ARI:      What?! I’ve never even been to Africa!

CAL:     Species memory, Ari. Species memory.

ARI:     Then I had a proper sermon.

CAL:     Who do you think carried humanity’s heavy loads throughout the centuries?

Equus asinus.*

* The Latin term for a donkey.

CAL:     The water.

The wood.

CAL:     The coal.

The slate.

CAL:     Who helped humanity build the pyramids of Egypt?

The Great Wall of China, Roman roads and the churches of the Middle Ages?

Who gathered the crops? The fruit and the vegetables?

CAL:     Who carried the women and children, the slaves and noblemen on their backs?

CAL:     Who carted their weapons to war?

And then carried their dead back home?

CAL:     Don’t swallow their lies.

HORSE                       DONKEY

Beautiful                     Ugly

Intelligent                   Stupid

Cultured                     Common

Elegant                       Stubborn

Powerful                     Laughable

CAL:     Learn to respect yourself.

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