READ: The best street in the world (In English, IsiXhosa, IsiZulu and 3 more languages)
Long Street was wide and long. In summer, when Sonny and his friends walked home from school, their shoes were covered in dust. In winter, their shoes squished with mud and water. Read on...
The best street in the world (Nal’ibali)
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This story is brought to you by Nal'ibali, which means Here's the story in isiXhosa. Nal'ibali is a storytelling initiative that aims to establish a culture of reading for enjoyment in children.

This story was created by Kirstin Hartmann (author) and illlustrations by Johann Strauss.

Scroll down to download the PDF story in English, isiZulu, isiXhosa, Sepedi, Sesotho, and Afrikaans.

The best street in the world

Long Street was wide and long. In summer, when Sonny and his friends walked home from school, their shoes were covered in dust. In winter, their shoes squished with mud and water. But during the school holidays, no one cared if the street was dusty or muddy.

Long Street was where Sonny and his friends played cricket. Everyone came outside to watch and no one complained if a ball went into their garden. No one that is, except for Mr Peterson.

“These holidays we’ll have the best cricket matches,” said Sonny as they walked home one afternoon.

“YEEESSS!” said Simon and Jack.

“Thumi? What do you say?” asked Sonny.

“But what about HIM?” asked Thumi. He pointed to Mr Peterson’s house. “Jack has already broken one of his windows.”

“What about YOU?” said Jack. “You’ve already hit two balls into his garden.”

They knew that if they hit or threw a ball over Mr Peterson’s wall, they would never, ever see it again. If their ball rolled under the gate, it was his dog, Shikisha, who took it. They stared at Mr Peterson’s house. He had been in such a bad mood the last few months.

“Have we got a cricket ball? I thought he had them all,” said Thumi.

“I’ve got one,” said Jack and smiled, “so let’s plan the best cricket match EVER.”

the best street3


On the last day of school, Sonny couldn’t wait to get back home to play cricket. He was so excited, he even waved at Mr Peterson, but Mr Peterson just ignored him.

“Hi, Mom,” he called as he came inside. His mother was reading the newspaper. She was excited.

“Hello, my boy,” she answered. “Listen to this. It’s wonderful. Long Street will now go all the way to the new shopping centre. At last there will be buses and bus stops. BUT …” she said, “this also means there will be no more playing in the street.”

“WHAAAT?” Sonny’s heart sank right down to his shoes. The match had already been planned! He walked back outside and sat on the front steps of the house grumbling. A loud noise made him look up. Mr Peterson was on a ladder, making his front wall higher by adding more bricks.

“Humph!” grunted Sonny crossly. “I know he wants to keep our balls from going over his wall, but he doesn’t have to bother now.”

Then he had an idea – if all his friends got together and asked all their parents, then … maybe … they could have one last cricket match. He rushed off to find Simon.

The following Saturday there was great excitement because Sonny and Simon’s plan had worked! Today was going to be their last match – the biggest, best cricket match EVER! All the children in the street were going to play. AND there would be prizes! Some of the parents were making snacks for everyone to share at lunchtime. Thumi’s Dad was going to hand out the prizes at the end of the day.

Even though it was all just for fun, Sonny felt a little nervous. The crowd cheered as the first ball was bowled by Thumi.

Jack stepped forward. THWACK! He hit the ball so hard that it went high up into the air.

Sonny moved forward to catch the ball, but the sun was shining straight into his eyes. He squinted, waited and moved under the ball. Everyone was cheering. As Sonny started to close his hands around the ball, it popped back out again. It bounced once and rolled straight under Mr Peterson’s gate. Sonny’s heart sank.

the best street 2.


“NOW what will we do?” asked Thumi.

“We can’t carry on with our match!” said Jack.

“We’ll NEVER get the ball back!” wailed Simon.

Sonny took a deep breath. “I’ll fetch the ball,” he said.

“But Mr Peterson will shout at you,” said Thumi.

“He won’t let you get the ball … and Shikisha’s probably dug a hole and buried it already!” said Simon.

“Well, I just have to try,” said Sonny. “It’s our last match and we’ve only just started it. We won’t get another chance to play like this.”

Bravely, Sonny opened Mr Peterson’s gate and walked up the path. Shikisha was nowhere to be seen. Sonny’s tummy felt all squishy. He was a little scared. He did not want to be shouted at by Mr Peterson. Just before he got to the front door, it swung open. There stood Mr Peterson. He looked much bigger up close. His cheeks were red as if he was very, very angry.

the best street


Just as Sonny was about to open his mouth, Mr Peterson said in a loud booming voice, “Sonny! It looks like I finished just in time.”

“Excuse me, sir?” said Sonny.

“Come,” said Mr Peterson and walked to his back garden.

Sonny’s mouth dropped open.

It was the biggest garden in the street. The grass had been mowed and there were trees all around the edges. Mr Peterson had put a rope all around the edge of the garden, just like a real cricket field. And in the middle, there were cricket wickets.

Sonny looked up at Mr Peterson and smiled. Mr Peterson smiled back warmly. “I’m sorry I couldn’t warn you about the changes to the street. I work at the council, but I wasn’t allowed to say anything. BUT … I could do something.” He laughed. “NOW … get everyone to come over here and let’s play cricket.”

Now Sonny and his friends always have a place to play cricket. Mr Peterson loves it when they visit and enjoys watching all the matches. He is really good at keeping score. And when the ball gets hit or thrown a little too far away, Shikisha runs to fetch it!

To read the story in another language download a pdf document below:

Download the English pdf here

Download the IsiXhosa pdf here

Download the IsiZulu pdf here

Download the Sesotho pdf here

Download the Sepedi pdf here 

Download the Afrikaans pdf here

Umgwaqo omuhle kakhulu emhlabeni

Translated by Dumisani Sibiya

Umgwaqo uLong wawubanzi futhi umude. Ehlobo, ngenkathi uSonny nabangani bakhe bebuyela emakhaya bebuya esikoleni, izicathulo zabo zazigcwele uthuli. Ebusika, izicathulo zabo zazixova udaka namanzi. Kodwa ngesikhathi samaholidi esikole, akekho owayenendaba ukuthi umgwaqo unezintuli noma unodaka yini.

Emgwaqeni uLong yilapho uSonny nabangane bakhe babedlala ikhilikithi khona. Kwakuza wonke umuntu ophuma ngaphandle ezobuka futhi akekho owayekhononda uma ibhola lingena esivandeni sakhe. Akekho ngisho noyedwa, ngaphandle kukaMnumzane Peterson.

“Kula maholide sizoba nemidlalo emihle kakhulu yekhilikithi,” kusho uSonny ngenkathi beya ekhaya ngenye intambama.

“YEEEBO!” kusho uSimon noJack.

“Wena, Thami? Uthini?” kubuza uSonny.

“Kodwa nithini NGAYE?” kubuza uThami. Wakhomba umuzi kaMnumzane Peterson. “UJack usebulale elinye lamafasitela akhe.”

“WENA-ke?” kusho uJack. “Usushaye amabhola aze aba mabili angena esivandeni sakhe.”

Babazi kahle ukuthi uma beshaye noma baphonsa ibhola leqa uthango lomuzi kaMnumzane Peterson, ngeke baphinde balibone lelo bhola. Uma kwenzekile ibhola labo lagingqika langena ngaphansi kwesango, inja yakhe, uShikisha, yayilithatha. Bayigqolozela indlu kaMnumzane Peterson. Ubehlala equmbe kakhulu ezinyangeni ezimbalwa ezedlule.

“Likhona ibhola lekhilikithi esinalo? Bengicabanga ukuthi onke akuye,” kusho uThumi.

“Nginalo elilodwa,” kusho uJack wayesemoyizela, “masihleleni umdlalo wekhilikithi omuhle UKWEDLULA yonke.”

the best street3


Ngosuku lokugcina esikoleni, wayengxamile elinde ukubuya ekhaya azodlala ikhilikithi. Wayengeve ethokozile, waphakamisela ngisho uMnumzane Peterson isandla, kodwa uMnumzane Peterson wamshaya indiva.

“Sawubona, Mama,” washo ngenkathi engena ngaphakathi. Unina wayefunda iphephandaba. Wayethokozile.

“Yebo, mfana wami,” ephendula. “Lalela lapha-ke. Kuhle lokhu. Umgwaqo uLong manje usuzohamba uze ufike enxanxatheleni entsha yezitolo. Ekugcineni sekuzoba namabhasi nezitobhi zamabhasi. KODWA …” kusho yena, “lokhu futhi kusho ukuthi ngeke kusaba bikho ukudlala emgwaqeni.”

“I-NI-I-I?” inhliziyo kaSonny yavele yawa yafika ezicathulweni zakhe. Umdlalo ubusuvele uhleliwe! Wahamba waphumela phandle qede wahlala esitebhisini esingaphambi kwendlu evungama. Umsindo omkhulu wamenza waphakamisa amehlo. UMnumzane Peterson wayephezulu elelini, enza uthango lwangaphambili lomuzi wakhe lube lude kakhulu ngokungeza izitini.

“Ahha!” kuhonga uSonny ngentukuthelo. “Ngiyazi ufuna amabhola ethu angalweqi uthango lwakhe, kodwa manje akusamele azihluphe.”

Khona manjalo wafikelwa umcabango othile – uma ngabe bonke abangani bakhe bengahlangana bacele bonke abazali babo, emva kwalokho … mhlawumbe … bangaba nomdlalo wokugcina wekhilikithi. Wahamba ngokushesha eyobheka uSimon.

NgoMgqibelo olandelayo kwakunentokozo enkulu ngoba isu likaSonny noSimon lalisebenzile! Namuhla kwakuzoba wumdlalo wokugcina – omkhulu, omuhle umdlalo UKWEDLULA yonke! Zonke izingane ezakhele lo mgwaqo zazizodlala. FUTHI kwakuzoba nemiklomelo! Abanye abazali babenza okokwehlisa amathe ukuze wonke umuntu ezokwabelana ngakho ngesikhathi sesidlo sasemini. Ubaba kaThumi wayezonikezela ngemiklomelo ekupheleni kosuku.

Nakuba konke kwakwenzelwa ukuzithokozisa nje, uSonny wayezizwa enovadlwana. Iqoqwana lezibukeli lashaya ihlombe ngenkathi ibhola lokuqala lishwitshwa nguThumi.

UJack washoshela phambili. QHUUU! Walishaya ibhola ngamandla ngendlela yokuthi lahamba laya phezulu emoyeni.

USonny waya phambili ukuze ayobamba ibhola, kodwa ilanga lalikhanya liqonde ngqo emehlweni akhe. Waligqolozela, walinda wayesema ngaphansi kwalo. Wonke umuntu wayeseshaya ihlombe. Ngenkathi eqala ebuyisa izandla ukubamba ibhola kahle, lavele laphuma futhi. Lagqoma kanye lase ligingqika laqonda ngaphansi kwesango lomuzi kaMnu Peterson. Inhliziyo kaSonny yavele yacwila.

the best street 2.


“MANJE sizokwenzenjani?” kubuza uThumi.

“Ngeke sikwazi ukuqhubeka nomdlalo wethu!” kusho uJack.

“Ngeke SIPHINDE silithole futhi ibhola!” kubibitheka uSimon.

USonny wadonsa umoya kakhulu. “Ngizolilanda ibhola,” kusho yena.

“Kodwa uMnumzane Peterson uzokuthethisa,” kusho uThumi.

“Ngeke avume uthathe ibhola … futhi uShikisha mhlawumbe usevele wagubha umgodi maqede waligqiba nje!” kusho uSimon.

“Kulungile, kumele ngizame kodwa,” kusho uSonny. “Wumdlalo wethu wokugcina kanti yikhathi siqala ukudlala. Ngeke siphinde silithole elinye ithuba lokudlala kanjena.”

Ngesibindi, uSonny wavula isango likaMnumzane Peterson wangena wenyuka ngendledlana. UShikisha wayengabonwa nangokhalo. Isisu sikaSonny wasizwa sihlambuluka.Wayezwa uvadlwana. Wayengafuni ukuthethiswa uMnumzane Peterson. Ngaphambi kokuthi afike emnyango wangaphambili, wavele wavuleka! Khona lapho wayemile uMnumzane Peterson. Wayebonakala emkhudlwana kulokhu. Izihlathi zakhe zazibomvu sengathi wayethukuthele ngokwedlulele.

the best street


Ngenkathi esefuna ukuvula umlomo uSonny, uMnumzane Peterson washo ngezwi elikhulu elibhodlayo, “Sonny! Kubonakala sengathi ngiqede nje ngesikhathi esifafnele.”

“Uxolo, mnumzane, angizwanga?” kusho uSonny.

“Woza,” kusho uMnumzane Peterson wayesehamba eya esivandeni sakwakhe esingemuva.

USonny wavele wakhamisa nje.

Kwakuyisivande esikhulu kunazo zonke kulo mgwaqo. Utshani babugundiwe futhi kukhona izihlahla ezizungeze emaphethelweni. UMnumzane Peterson wayefake intambo yazungeza amaphethelo esivande, njengasenkundleni yangempela yekhilikithi. Futhi phakathi nendawo, kwakukhona izindukwana zekhilikithi.

USonny wabuka uMnu Peterson maqede wamoyizela. UMnu Peterson wamoyizela naye ngemfudumalo. “Ngiyaxolisa ukuthi angikwazanga ukunixwayisa ngezinguquko emgwaqeni. Ngisebenza emkhandlwini, kodwa bengingavumelekile ukusho noma yini. KODWA … ngikwazile ukwenza okuthile.” Wahleka. “MANJE … woza nabo bonke abakhona lapha sizodlala ikhilikithi.”

Manje-ke uSonny nabangani bakhe njalo nje banendawo yokudlala ikhilikithi. UMnumzane Peterson uyathanda uma bemvakashele futhi uyakuthokozela ukubukela yonke imidlalo. Unekhono elihle lokubagcinela amaphuzu. Futhi uma ibhola lishaywe noma liphonswe laya kude kakhulu, uShikisha uyagijima alilande!

Veza ubuciko bakho!

Khuthaza izingane zakho ukuthi zidwebe isithombe senkundla yekhilikithi esivandeni esingemuva emzini kaMnumzane Peterson. Mazisebenzise imininingwane esendabeni ukuzisiza. Zikhuthaze ukuthi zibhale isigaba esichaza le nkundla yekhilikithi ngaphansi kwezithombe zabo.

Esona sitalato sigqwesileyo ehlabathini

Translated by Mlamli Matshingana

ILong Street yayisisitalato esibanzi neside kakhulu. Ehlotyeni, xa uSonny nabahlobo bakhe bevela esikolweni, izihlangu zabo zazigcwala luthuli. Ebusika, izihlangu zabo zazigcwala udaka namanzi. Kodwa ngexesha leeholide zesikolo, kwakungekho mntu ukhathalayo nokuba isitalato sinothuli okanye sinodaka.

ELong Street kulapho uSonny nabahlobo bakhe babedlala khona iqakamba. Wonke umntu wayesiza kubukela kwaye kwakungekho mntu ukhalazayo xa ibhola iwele ngaphakathi esitiyeni somntu. Kwakungekho namnye, ngaphandle nje kukaMnumzana Peterson.

“Kwezi holide zizayo siza kuba nemidlalo emikhulu yeqakamba,” watsho uSonny xa bagodukayo nganjikalanga ithile.

“YHAAAAAA!” kwatsho uSimon noJack.

“Thumi? Uthini wena?” wabuza uSonny.

“Phofu nicinga ntoni NGAYE?” kwabuza uThumi. Watsho ekhomba endlwini kaMnumzana Peterson. “UJack sele eyophule enye yeefestile zakhe kwangoku.”

“Uthini NGAWE?” wabuza uJack. “Sele ubethe iibhola ezimbini zonke, zaya kungena esitiyeni sakhe.”

Babesazi ukuba xa bathe bajula okanye bayibetha ibhola yaya kungena ngaphaya kodonga lukaMnumzana Peterson abasokuze baphinde bayifumane. Xa ibhola ithe yaqengqelekela ngaphantsi kwesango likaMnumzana Peterson, inja yakhe uShikisha, yayiyithatha. Bema bhuxe, beqwalasele indlu kaMnumzana Peterson. Wayeneengcwangu, efunyenwe lulaka kwezi nyanga zimbalwa zidluleyo.

“Sisenayo ibhola yeqakamba esaseleyo? Bendicinga ukuba zikuShikisha, uzithathe zonke esinazo,” watsho uThumi.

“Ndinayo enye endinayo,” watsho uJack encumile, “ngoko ke masicwangcisele ukubamba owona mdlalo weqakamba OWAKHE wagqwesa.”

the best street3



Ngosuku lokugqibela lwesikolo, uSonny wayengasakwazi nokuzibamba, engxamele ukugoduka ukuze adlale iqakamba. Waye onwabe ngeyona ndlela, de wabulisa noMnumzana Peterson ngokuwangawangisa ingalo, kodwa uMnumzana Peterson akazange amhoye konke.

“Molo, Mama,” wakhwaza xa angena endlwini. Umama wakhe wayefunda iphephandaba. Naye wayezonwabele ngeyona ndlela.

“Molo, nyana wam,” waphendula umama wakhe ngobubele. “Khawumamele apha. Nantsi into emangalisayo. ILong Street ngoku iza kwandiswa, de iye kufikelela koluya dederhu lutsha lweevenkile. Ekugqibeleni kuza kubakho iibhasi nezitophu zokumisa iibhasi kule ndlela. KODWA …” watsho, “oku kuthetha ukuba akukho mntu uza kuphinda adlale esitalatweni ngoku.”

“INTOOONI?” Wothuka kakhulu waphantse wawa uSonny akuva oku. Umdlalo omkhulu wawusele ucwangcisiwe! Waphuma phandle wachopha phambi kwendlu ezitephsini, embombozela eyedwa. Weva ingxolokazi enkulu eyamenza waphakamisa amehlo, wajonga. YayinguMnumzana Peterson lowo, ekhwele elelini esonyusa udonga lwakhe, ngokongeza ezinye izitena.

“Yhuuuuu!” wabhavuma uSonny ngumsindo. “Ndiyazi ukuba ufuna ukunqanda iibhola zethu ukuba zingaqabeli ngaphaya kodonga lwakhe, kodwa akusafunekanga azikhathaze ngaloo nto ngoku.”

Kuthe kusenjalo wafikelwa yimbono – ukuba nje bonke abahlobo bakhe bangadibana bacele bonke abazali babo, kungenzeka … mhlawumbi nje … babenawo nokuba mnye umdlalo wokugqibela weqakamba. Wakhawuleza waya kukhangela uSimon.

KuMgqibelo olandelayo yayisisankxwe kuba icebo likaSonny noSimon lalisebenzile! Namhlanje yayiza kuba ngumdlalo omkhulu wabo wokugqibela – OWONA mdlalo mkhulu weqakamba kweyakhe yakho! Bonke abantwana esitalatweni babeza kudlala. KWAYE kwakuza kubakho namabhaso! Abanye babazali benza izimuncumuncu zomntu wonke belungiselela ukuba kwabelwane ngexesha lesidlo sasemini. UTata kaThumi wayeza kukhupha amabhaso, enika abo baphumeleleyo, ekupheleni kosuku.

Nangona babedlalela nje ukuzonwabisa, uSonny wayenalo uvalwana. Abantu baqhwaba izandla ngethuba uThumi ebhowulisha ibhola yakhe yokuqala.

UJack weza ngaphambili. QHWAAAA! Waqhokra ibhola kakhulu kangangokuba yenyuka yaya phezulu kakhulu emoyeni.

USonny waya ngaphambili ezama ukuya kuganga ibhola, kodwa ilanga lalimphandla. Wancina amehlo, elindile waya phantsi kwebhola. Wonke umntu wayeqhwaba izandla. Wathi xa uSonny evala izandla eyinqakula ibhola, yasuka yataka, yaphoncuka. Yaqamza kanye yaqengqeleka ukuya kungena phantsi kwesango leyadi kaMnumzana Peterson. Wavele watyhafa, ephelelwe lithemba ngoku uSonny.

the best street 2.


“NGOKU siza kuthini?” kwabuza uThumi.

“Asikwazi ukuqhubeka nokudlala umdlalo wethu!” watsho uJack.

“SOZE siphinde siyifumene ibhola yethu!” wagxwala watsho uSimon.

USonny watsala umoya onzulu. “Ndiza kuyikulanda ibhola yethu,” watsho.

“Kodwa uMnumzana Peterson uza kukungxolisa,” watsho uThumi.

“Akazukukunika ibhola ... kwaye noShikisha inokuba sele eyombele, wayingcwaba!”

“Akunani, kodwa kuza kufuneka ndizamile,” watsho uSonny. “Ngumdlalo wethu wokugqibela lo kwaye besisaqala ukudlala. Asisokuze siphinde silifumana elinye ithuba elinje.”

Ngobukrotikazi obukhulu, uSonny wavula isango leyadi kaMnumzana Peterson wangena. UShikisha wayengabonakali ndawo. USonny waxuxuzelelwa ngamathumbu. Wayesoyika. Wayengafuni kungxoliswa nguMnumzana Peterson. Nje phambi kokuba afike kwisango elingaphambili, lazivulekela ngamandla. Gqi ngoMnumzana Peterson. Wayekhangeleka emkhulu kakhulu xa ukufutshane naye. Izidlele zakhe zazibomvu, oku komntu onomsindo kakhulu.

the best street


Xa kanye uSonny eza kuvula umlomo athethe, uMnumzana Peterson wabhomboloza ngelo lizwi lakhe likhulu wenjenje, “Sonny! Kubonakala ngathi ndigqibe kanye ngexesha.”

“Khawuphinde Mhlekazi?” watsho uSonny.

“Yiza,” watsho uMnumzana Peterson, baza baya esitiyeni sakhe esingasemva.

USonny wawuvula ng’a umlomo.

Yayisesona sitiya sikhulu kwisitalato sonke. Ingca kwanemithi yayichetywe kakuhle, iheji le nemithi ijikeleze kakuhle ngathi sisangqa. UMnumzana Peterson wayebophelele intambo ebhijelayo ngasesitiyeni, ngokungathi libala leqakamba lokwenyani kanye. Phakathi, embindini webala kwakukho amaphini okuqhokra nezinti zeqakamba.

USonny waphakamisa amehlo wajonga kuMnumzana Peterson waza wancuma. UMnumzana Peterson wancuma naye ngovuyo. “Ndiyaxolisa kuba khange ndikwazi ukunilumkisa nokunazisa ngeenguqu eziza kwenziwa apha esitalatweni. Ndiphangelela ikhansela, kodwa bendingavumelekanga ukuba ndithethe nto ngezi nguqu KODWA … ikho into endinokuyenza.” Wayothula phezulu intsini. “NGOKU KE … babize bonke abantu bangene ngaphakathi, sidlaleni iqakamba.”

Ngoku uSonny nabahlobo bakhe banendawo yokudlalela iqakamba. UMnumzana Peterson uyavuya xa bemtyelele kwaye uyakonwabela ukubukela yonke loo midlalo yabo. Uwarekhodisha kakuhle kakhulu amanqaku ebhodini. Kwaye xa ibhola ithe yaqhokrwa, yaya kuwa kude kakhulu, ukhona uShikisha, ubaleka ayilande!

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