A Life of Too Many Ups & Downs
pgs. 5 & 6
The country hero saying, “we’ll show this jackass,” spread so much that the talk did not miss reaching Italian ears. Without us staying long, it was made clear that an order arrived for my younger brother and I to go to Rome, upon the invitation of the Roman kingdom. At this time, without hesitating, Wibayé Legese grabbed us and fled to the warm lowland Wegera desert. Within a few days of this happening, talk of patriots rising up and getting ready to strike the Italian Barracks was publicly heard, terrorized (by the talk), the Italians burned the spears and arms they had gathered and escaped by fleeing. But the patriots, carving the Cordia Abyssinica, reconnected and returned the burnt arms (to their former state) to publicly grasp the war. And we were able to return to our village and live, since preceding this Wibayé Legese had already had us flee. As I made it clear above, since plenty of our kin could be found in the country we were in, the people gave us the apropos things we needed so that we could live and we continued to live without our way of life being spoiled.
After the Italian spearchuckers occupying Ajiré escaped by fleeing, since the ground was bountifully mountainous, bulging, and bent, it took time for the enemy’s spearchuckers to audaciously come (again). One day in the evening, one time and for the last time, after having prepared a lot, to destroy Janora, the warm land Wegera, Tegedé, and all the warm lowland countries of the surrounding area, over 12,000 militarily equipped soldiers with elevated preparation planned to make their journey toward the warm land(s). Since the patriots journeying toward the cold highland where the Italians could be found were struck, on the day when the Italian spear(chuckers) journeyed to the warm lowland, calamity fell upon the house of the man called Gebremaryam Desta (later Front-Commander). When this patriot killed 12 spear(chuckers), and escaped, the war began. In a country, and the surrounding area, called Qenta, before the Teleemayn river was seized, since the place of the enemy’s spear(chuckers) was subdued, the sound of shooting woke up the people of the surrounding area. As the patriots of distant places heard talk, they gathered, and heated war began. A big problem was created when the enemy’s spear(chuckers) started a skirmish in an area without water. As the thirst of water maddened them, many soldiers closed their eyes and flew to the river seized by the enemy’s hand. As they arrived, they became good target(s) (practice) for the patriots’ bullets and were finished. With this occurrence, after 12 days and nights of this evil war happening, except for a few Italian soldiers escaping, the left overs laid and remained there. Above the patriots being robed in the marvelous victory of this war, they were able to have surrendered to them innumerable and unquantifiable instruments (of war) that would abet them in their next battle.
Since this war happened close to the place, and surrounding area, of where my family and I lived, we spent some time falling into anxiety. All the people were seized by lament (chanting “o lord”) and prayer. After the victory, wounded countrymen would return to their neighborhoods, and the news of the dead started to reach their families, in each village wailing began to be heard. As I remember, after this war the enemy’s spear(chuckers) would not turn their face toward the warm lowland, but heroic patriots would stay trampling them in each of their fortresses.
Since all of the people of my country turned their face toward the war, to encourage the patriots, a chief would be chosen, the gate-commander title would be given, and then the appointee would choose people to be: front-commander, right-commander, left-commander, head-of-a-hill etc. Since these appointment names were given to all the patriots, they were lathered in appointments, the matter of cultivation was neglected, the ground became one who spends all day fasting, amazingly the harvest cultivated by a few people was devoured by locust, and so the patriots of the warm lowland country fell into an elevated famine. Since the way above us in the cool highland was occupied by the enemy, and the country we were in was made naked of grain, we had nowhere to go. And since we were sharers of this surrounding area’s problems, in the months of our infancy we shared in the suffering and famine. Even whilst all of these problems met the people, they did not cease thinking of us; sharing the seeds that they had, and we did not cease drinking warm soup. Since there was nothing left to save us from spending our day and night without being finished, it was decided that we would ask the Italian kingdom for mercy, go to the cool highland, and then toward my mother’s country of Gayint. To make this plan profitable, the technique we followed, since the man called Front-Commander Derso Keedanu (later Gate-Commander) had his leg wounded and broken at the war in Shiré, and the enemy’s spear(chuckers) found him at Dabat, after healing him up and him getting better, Italy employed him, and he was given the biggest authority under the foreigners. This man had been married to our close kin, the woman called Mrs. Mameeté Zelelew, the granddaughter of my mother’s aunt, and on my father’s side Gate-Commander Merso Hailemaryam’s granddaughter. To take advantage of this happenstance, we began sending messages back-and-forth so that he could have the Italians grant us mercy. I think the Italian ruler had a grudge against us. Even though he wouldn’t quickly grant us mercy, he allowed us to spend the day and night, so my mother, my brother, and I were seen off by him from the place we were, to beneath a ravine called Dradra near Dabat.
In this place, the people who received us as guests immediately gave my brother and I injera scrambled with yogurt so that we could eat as we entered their house, but I sorrowed because in that time they presented nothing for my mother. That being the case, without waiting too long, they presented a dinner of the injera, that we had seen before many times, to be eaten. Even though the people where we stayed the night are said to be counted in the fortieth district, since they were heading toward the Italian Market, the next day they helped us scale the mountain and reach the city of Dabat, to enter the house of Front-Commander Derso.