Search
  • Stitch Sainte Luce

The Story of Voronelo

At the Women of the World Festival we were delighted to sell a beautiful ‘Madagascar Story’ made by Fideline. We knew that the story was about a woman marrying an egg but we didn’t know any more. Paula has tirelessly transcribed and translated this story so that we could all understand what it showed.

Madagascar Story Embroidery

The Story of Voronelo, photographed outside our office


Here it is, make sure you read to the end as there is a video….

The Story of Voronelo

By Fideline

A long time ago, there were people in this village who didn’t have anything to eat, and they had to walk many miles to find food. Only the young people were strong enough to do this. In this village lived an old lady called Voronelo. She had never been married and she had no children to look after her. She was so old she wasn’t able to walk far to look for food, she could only look near to her home. Many mornings she found nothing and went hungry.

One day, God felt sorry for Voronelo and sent his son to look after her, disguised as an egg. That morning, Voronelo went outside: “Where can I find something to eat today?” After a short walk of only 15 minutes, she was surprised to find an egg by the side of the path. She took the egg and put it in her basket, then put the basket on her head to carry it home. She was very surprised to hear the egg singing to her.

“Voronelo, O, Voronelo,

Voronelo, O, Voronelo,

Don’t carry me on your head,

Don’t carry me on your head!”

So Voronelo took the basket from her head and put the handles over her arm. She had barely set off when the egg sang again:

“Voronelo, O, Voronelo,

Voronelo, O, Voronelo,

Don’t carry me on your arm,

Don’t carry me on your arm!”

So Voronelo asked what she should do. When she got no reply, Voronelo put the egg on her back and wrapped it in cloth tied around her body, as she would carry a baby. The egg said nothing until they arrived at the old lady’s house. She placed him in a warm spot near the hearth, thinking that an egg would surely hatch and turn into something else. But the egg sang again to Voronelo again,

“Voronelo, O, Voronelo,

Voronelo, O, Voronelo,

Don’t put me near the hearth,

Don’t put me near the hearth!”

So Voronelo asked the egg where it would prefer to sit.

“Voronelo, O, Voronelo,

Voronelo, O, Voronelo,

Put me in the store house, Voronelo,

Put me in the store house Voronelo!”

So Voronelo put the egg in the storehouse and from that day onwards she was always able to find something to eat. After a time, the egg called Voronelo to the store house to sing to her again,

“Voronelo, O, Voronelo!

Voronelo, O, Voronelo!

Please find me a wife Voronelo,

Please find me a wife Voronelo!”

Voronelo was puzzled – where would she find a woman who wanted to marry an egg? She went around the village asking all the young unmarried women, but none of them wanted to marry an egg. So she walked to the next village, and there she found one family with three unmarried daughters. Voronelo told them that if they wanted to be married, they should come back with her to her own village, where there lived someone who was in want of a wife. All of the women wanted to be married, so they set off with Voronelo.

The youngest of the three sisters was the prettiest and the sweetest, and the older two were jealous of her beauty. After some time on the path, the group came to a muddy puddle, and the two older sisters pushed the younger one in. They wanted to conceal her beauty in the hope that they would be chosen as the bride. However, the youngest girl was not perturbed, she carried on walking in the hope of meeting a husband.

As they reached Voronelo’s house, she heard a familiar singing coming from the store house.

“Voronelo, O, Voronelo!

Voronelo, O, Voronelo!

Cook some food for our guests,

Cook some food for our guests!”

So Voronelo cooked a good meal and fed their guests. When the group had eaten, Voronelo brought the egg from the store room. The first two sisters were horrified, “You brought us all this way to see an egg? Who would want to marry an egg?”. Voronelo sighed, and explained that the egg had asked her to find him a wife. The two elder sisters left in disgust.

The younger sister was more interested. “This is no ordinary egg, he is a talking egg. If he can love me and wants to marry me, maybe he could be my husband”. The old lady crept out, and left the young woman to talk with the egg. Slowly but surely, the pair struck up a conversation, and soon they were laughing away together merrily. After a long while, the old lady heard the egg calling her name,

“Voronelo, O, Voronelo!

Voronelo, O, Voronelo!

Make some hot water Voronelo,

Make some hot water Voronelo!”

So Voronelo took a big pan and filled it with water. She set it on the fire. As was coming to the boil, the egg called again.

“Voronelo, O, Voronelo!

Voronelo, O, Voronelo!

Put me in the boiling water, Voronelo,

Put me in the boiling water, Voronelo!”

So the old lady took the egg and placed him carefully in the pot. After just one minute the egg broke open, and a handsome young man stepped from the cooking pot! Surely enough, he married the pretty young women. For many years they lived happily and looked after Voronelo, and the couple had a son and a daughter. Eventually Voronelo died, and a lavish funeral was held.

Finally, the son of God wished to return to his father and asked permission, “Father, may I bring my wife and children to live with you in paradise?” and God agreed. Then the man returned to meet his parents in law, who gave their permission as nothing in heaven could harm their daughter. Finally, the egg brought all his family up to live with God.

Here is a clip of Fideline describing her story in Malagasy, thank you again to Paula for working so hard to translate this!


0 views0 comments