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Interview with Senai Afework

Afework, Senai
Sepulveda, Charlene
Date of Interview: 
Stories and storytellers
Senai Afework recalls the short stories ("The Three Little Pigs," "Little Red Riding Hood," "Pinnochio," "Cinderella," and "The Lion King") that her aunts and grandparents have told her.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Charlene Sepulveda collected childhood stories from various people for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
SA (Senai Afework): The only one that I remember is The Three Little Pigs. Once upon a time there was three little pigs living with their mother and their they were getting big and their mother tell them they have to move. So, they say, "We can build our own house." And does, and uh, one of them went to build a house and he built a house with a straws. Then, a, a wolf, he was, try to get them and to eat them. And then, he say, "Open, open it," and uh he say, "If you don't open it I'll blow your house down," then he blow their he blow his house down. And, the other one, he was walking and he saw a man and he say, "Can I borrow those woods for money?" And the man buy, he let him have the woods and he got through. And the third one, he went to build his house with, with [pause] woods and he, he went the second one went, after he finish he, he say, "I want to, now let me go and play," and he saw the fox coming, the fox said, "Let me in, let me in," and the pig went inside and the fox said, "Let me inside or I'll huff and puff and blow your house down." Then the fox didn't, then the pig didn't believe him and the fox blow his house down. And the third, and the third, um, pig he was, he was in his house and he, the wolf come and said, "Let me in, let me in," and he say, "No," and the wolf said, "Let me in or I'll huff and puff and blow this house down," then the, those two pigs, the brothers when come inside, when the, the when the wolf try to blow he cannot knock it down and he said, "And I'm, this time I'm going to try really hard," and when he did, he cannot so he got out of breath and he died. That's it.
CS (Charlene Sepulveda): I love that story. I always loved the story of The Three Little Pigs. And I remember my aunts and my grandparents reading that story to me when I was a little girl. That's a wonderful story, Senai. What other stories do you remember that are favorites of yours, that you can recall?
SA: Little Red, The Little Red Riding Hood.
CS: Oh I love that one. Would you tell that story to me please?
SA: OK. Once upon a time the little girl named Red Riding Hood was living with her mother and she, her mother tell her to go give um, a pie to her grandmother and she tell her, "Do not talk to strangers, anybody." Then when she was walking down a fox he, he asked, her, "Let me have this pie" and she said, "No, it's for my grandmother." And um, the fox, the fox went and see his grandmother so, so he went inside and eat her grandmother. And dressed up and act like her and she he said, "Come in," and when she come in he said, "Grandma what big ears you have, grandma what big eyes you have," and he said, "To better to see you." "Grandma, what big teeth you have," and the fox said, "To better to eat you," and he eat her up. And a man was walking and he saw the fox and so he cut him up and take the, the grandmother and the, the little Red Riding Hood. And uh, and she said, "I will never talk to a stranger again."
CS: Oh that's a wonderful story. That was always one of my favorite stories when I was a little girl and, it's especially a wonderful story to me because in the books that I read little Red Riding Hood had red hair and I have red hair. In your culture did little Red Riding Hood have red hair?
SA: Yes.
CS: \\ She did have red hair? \\
SA: \\ Yes, and had a red cape. \\
CS: And she had a red cape. Yeah, in my culture she did also. And do you remember any other stories that either your parents taught you or that since you've been able to read you have read to yourself that you enjoy?
SA: Yes.
CS: Would you please tell one to me?
SA: OK. Pinocchio. ( ) Once there was a man, he was so lonely. Once he said, "I want to have a son or childrens," so he created one with wood. And after that he went to sleep and when he wake up, the boy was alive. So he, a man saw him and walking so he tried to make him a new show. But he, he didn't do that good. Then when he went, he say that one fox and a man, and one pig tried to trick him and they say, they kept making him lie, and they say and when he start lying his nose start getting bigger every time he, he, he start lying his nose get bigger. One day he was walking he everybody started laughing at his big nose so when he one time he was mad and he was sitting down by a tree and he the man who created him was looking for him, so a fairy came come and say, "Hey Pinocchio," and he say, "Hey, why do I have a big nose?" She say, "If you start lying and that's why your nose get bigger and if you lie more your nose going to get so big." And he say, "How can I stop it?" She said, "Start telling true stuff." And he start telling true stuff and after that his nose got normal again so when, his, the man find him he say, "You are my little person,"( ) and he say, "I'm a to treat you like my son." And that's it.
CS: Oh that's a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing that story with me. Can you think of another story that you like? Or that's a favorite? [long pause] What about Cinderella?
SA: \\ Yes. \\
CS: \\ Do you have that story in your culture? \\
SA: \\ Yes. \\
CS: Would you mind telling me that story?
SA: OK, once upon a time there was a girl named Cinderella and she was living with her mother, no with her father and her father got married to the woman and he died, so the, the lady she had two kids so they treated her like dirt. They be saying do all their laundry and one day this, they find that uh the prince want to get married and these two women they start laughing in to Cinderella, "Get out clothes and stuff," and Cinderella ask her, her mother, her stepmother to come but they all laugh at her and say, "You can't come." So when they were about to go to the, the ball and Cinderellaalready have a have a dress and she come in so those sisters did went to the ball ( ) then she was mad and crying at them and her grandmother flew in and said, "Why are you crying?" She say, "I want to go to the ball but they won't let me." So she said, "You can go," but she said, "I don't have anything to wear." She said, "Go get a pumpkin," and she did something and the pumpkin turned into a wagon and then after that she cleared her clothes and she uh, the shoe that glowed. And so and, and uh she had to find two rat and one cat so she turned the, the rat, he was wear four rats and she turned them to a horse and the cat he become um, her servant so they took her to the ball and they all they all tried to dance. So the sisters when they tried to dance uh they were, they cannot dance so the prince saw Cinderella so he asked her, "Can you dance with me?" and she said, "Yes." And when she was dancing at him she remember her mother her fairytale she tell her that 12 o'clock you have to get back, or everything will go away. So she start running when she and the prince follow her. When she was running her shoe come out, so she went home and her when she went home before her sister and her stepmother so when they come she said, "Whew! It was a rough night, who was that girl?" And after that the prince said, "I want to know who she is." The he looked at his servant and said, "Find the girl who fit this shoe." She they everybody tried in the world, nobody fit so the sister tried to fit so they know they lock Cinderellaunder the closet so when they was trying to come in and he come and he fit it the mother and the mother kind of fit then said it's too big to fit. So when they see Cinderella, the mother um, she told her she and they say, "What did you do that night?" Cinderellasaid the shoe, so the shoe and she fits it and she married to the Prince and live happily ever after.
CS: That's a wonderful story. I love that story. Do you think of any other stories or maybe a story that you have read to yourself since you've been able to read to yourself? Think a second. [Pause] OK, Senaiif you would go ahead now and tell us your favorite story.
SA: Um, The Lion King. Um, at the um, country, the forest, the lion was a king his name was Mufasa. And he caught every animal in the kingdom. ( ) He had a godfather, he was a monkey. So um, the lion, Mufasa, had a brother and he was not there. So they name his son, S, S, Simba. So when he was leaving Mufasa, he ask his brother why didn't he come and he said, "I have much better stuff to do." So, one day when he was playing with his father he said he the dark side he said and he said the father said, "You cannot go there, no lion goes there, that is not part of where we live." So when he was talking to him, he was kind of mad and his father tell him not to go there. So he saw his uncle and he, he ask him, "I'm mad," and he said, "Why?" "My father will not let me go to the darkside." So he said, "Yes you can go," and he was very happy and so his mother was talking with his friend so he ask her to go so um, um, the father said go look after them, they were singing the animals was singing with them so it was a parrot who followed him, and so he was looking for him, he say, "You have to come, the king said you have to come." So they didn't they say they trick him and went there, so when they went there, hyenas were there and they start laughing and was were three of them, they were going to eat him but they ran away and they caught the bird then put him in the fire, but he, he flew away and when he went there he flew away to the king. When the hyenas started chasing the lion and his friend and they were running and were scared then he tricked them and one of them said, "You have to do much worser than that," so when he tried to yell, and but he said, "Hum hum," and he start laughing and said, "Do that again," and the king yell and they say, "Whoooa!" And the king jump up and say, "Don't ever try to touch my kid or I will kill you." He said that. So the king was kind of mad, he went there he tell the bird take his friend home, so he, he said, "Are you mad?" He said, "I'm not mad, I'm disappointed at you." So when they start walking, he look at the stars and he said, "What's that?" "Dad say if you love someone you have lost, some day they can come to you and you can see them." So he said, "And whatever you do don't go there." So his uncle got mad and he said, "What happened?" So he kill a zebra and give a zebra leg to the hyenas and they say, "You nice." And one thing he want to kill Simba and and his father say he be king, because if the king dies, Simba gonna be new king. So um he Simba as walking in the mountains say, "I'm mad. You got me in trouble." He said, "It's OK, for what I do, I have got a bigger surprise for you." He said, "Go walk in the mountains." He's gonna see when he start walking the hyenas they chase the buffaloes, so the buffaloes start running and he start running and everybody was chasing him and he was scared and the bird, he saw him and he told the king, so the king ran after him and when he caught him he threw him in a tree and when he was coming a buffalo step on him so he got hurt. So, Simba when he was climbing up to the mountain where his uncle was, ( ) he jumped all the way up to the mountain, caught it he was with his finger. He said to his brother, "Help me brother!" He say, "OK I will." But the brother make him fell in he clawed his hand and the king, died. So Simba was crying he said, "Help!" He said, "Run away this is all your fault, or your mother will kill you." Because he was mad so when he went away, the hyenas started chasing him so he jumped and he when he was there, he fell asleep, so he was sleeping, so birds start coming were looking for him. And then there were two friends, their names where Timon and Pumba. Pumba was the pig and Timon was the small animal. So when they were looking for him and they say he is alive, he's a king so they ask him, "What's your name?" He said, "Simba and I'm lost and I have kill my father." So when the were going they start giving him food, but he said, "I don't like this," and they say, "Come on, taste it," and he tasted it and one day when he was playing and he saw his friend, he was grown up, grown up like a king and he see his friend and she try to eat his friend. But he got her and say and she say, "Simba?" and he remember her and then after that she said, "Come on you can be the king because his uncle took over and he let the hyenas live there." So the, so the monkey was lying down and ( ) and the monkey said, "Smell him." He still alive, so went after him then, come back and he still trick him the monkey say, "Follow me," and when he run he start going but he say, "I'm tired," and the monkey said, "Look!" and down to the water boy and when he look he look, he say, "Himself like the king," so when he was lying down he, from the stars his father come and say, "You are my son and I love you so go do me a favor go, go be the king." So when his, his friend, she already left, and she when comes, she say, "Why you do this to his uncle?" He slapped him. Simba jump on him and say, and he say, "Mufasa?" The uncle say, "Mufasa?" and he say, "No, I'm Simba." And they both got frighten and so they start fighting and the lions versus the hyenas, so Timon and Pumba help him, and when he was, Simba was fighting with his uncle, so when he thought he was going to drop him, he said, "Please I'm your uncle," and when he go, he jump on him and he make him and he try to make him fall and he say, "I'm going to do the same thing to you like I did to your father." And Simba flip him and make him flip, make him, so he tell them the hyenas that he's the traitor so the hyenas got him. And one day Simba marry to his friend her and they have a kid and everybody was enjoying it, so the monkey did the same thing like he did to Simba and the prince looked just like him and he hand him up and that's the end of the story.
CS: Thank you, that's wonderful.