READ: The bouncing cabbage (In English, IsiXhosa, IsiZulu and 3 more languages)
Cassidy Ann and her big sister, Trixie, were waiting in the car. Grandpa had gone into the garden shop, but he wasn’t going to be long. The car park was empty, except for a big truck that was parked on the other side of the fountain. Read on...
The bouncing cabbage (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 Helen Brain (author) and Vian Oelofsen (illustrator).

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

The bouncing cabbage

Cassidy Ann and her big sister, Trixie, were waiting in the car. Grandpa had gone into the garden shop, but he wasn’t going to be long. The car park was empty, except for a big truck that was parked on the other side of the fountain. The truck was filled with plants, and men were unloading them onto trolleys for the shop.

The bouncing cabbage


Through the fence Cassidy Ann could see Grandpa walking along the rows of plants. He was trying to decide which rose bush to buy.

Suddenly a cabbage fell off the truck. It bounced on the ground, and rolled past the tinkling fountain.

“Did you see that, Trixie?” Cassidy Ann asked. “That cabbage fell off the truck.”

Trixie looked up from her book. “So what?” she said. “It’s just a cabbage.”

Cassidy Ann watched, waiting for someone to see the cabbage and pick it up. But the men were so busy, they hadn’t even noticed it was gone. The cabbage rolled and rolled down the car park towards their car. It stopped right next to the car. Cassidy Ann opened the door to pick it up.

“What are you doing?” Trixie asked, turning the page. “Grandpa told us to stay inside the car.”

Cassidy Ann closed the door. She sat there in the car, worrying about the cabbage. She saw the men climbing back into the truck. “I’m just going a tiny way,” she said, opening the car door again. “Just to give the cabbage back to the men in the truck.”

The men were ready to go. They were slamming the doors and the driver had already started the engine.

“Fine,” Trixie said, “but if Grandpa comes back and finds you gone, it’s not my fault.”

So Cassidy Ann jumped out of the car, grabbed the cabbage and ran over to the truck.

But she was too late. The driver hadn’t seen her. He drove off and Cassidy Ann was left standing in the car park, holding a very big cabbage.

“What shall I do now?” she thought. “It doesn’t belong to me, but I can’t give it back. Should I leave it here? Or should I take it home for Granny to cook?”

Suddenly the cabbage began to shake! It shook so hard that Cassidy Ann could hardly hold it. It shook so hard it began to bounce around in her arms. And then Whoosh! Bang! It bounced right into the air, and Cassidy Ann went with it.

Up it flew, right up to the top of a very tall avocado tree. Then down it came again, while Cassidy Ann held on tight, and BOOOOOING! it bounced on the road and shot up again, this time onto the roof of the garden shop.

It was nice up there. Cassidy Ann could see everything – the people buying plants in the garden shop, a lady taking her dogs for a walk along the river, the water lilies in the fountain, and Trixie reading her book in the car. It was fun.

But then the cabbage was bouncy again. It was shaking and shivering and wiggling up and down, and Cassidy Ann had to hold on tight to stop it from getting away from her.

“Where are you going now?” she shrieked as the cabbage bounced once, twice, three times … then swooooosh into the air, and boooooing down to the ground. Sppppplashhh! it landed in the fountain, scattering water everywhere. Then up it went again, while Cassidy Ann clung on giggling, and booooing down again into the fountain. Even more water shot out, splashing an angry lady carrying a bunch of flowers.

The bouncing cabbage

Up it went again, high, high, high until Cassidy Ann could smell the clouds and feel them making her clothes all damp. Up, up, up till the car park looked far away, and Grandpa’s car looked as tiny as a toy car. Cassidy Ann could see Grandpa coming out of the garden shop, pushing a trolley with a big spiky rose bush on it. The cabbage started shivering and shaking and then it began to fall down, down, down. Cassidy Ann just knew she was going to land on the spiky, thorny rose bush, so she started to scream, “Grandpa, watch out, Grandpa!”

Grandpa looked up and said, “Cassidy Ann what on earth are you doing flying through the …” Just as she was about to crash into the spiky, thorny rosebush, Grandpa held out his arms and caught Cassidy Ann. He overbalanced and they both tumbled into the fountain. Luckily there wasn’t much water left in the fountain, but a frog got a terrible fright and jumped out, croaking. And Grandpa sat up in the fountain with a lily leaf draped over his head, and Cassidy Ann’s dress was all green and slimy from the pondweed.

Trixie came running over, and helped Grandpa up. “What happened?” she asked. “How did you both fall into the fountain?”

“Cassidy Ann pushed me,” Grandpa said. “I think that’s what happened! I can’t quite remember.”

“It was the magic bouncing cabbage,” Cassidy Ann explained. “It bounced me right up into a tree, and onto the roof, and into the fountain, and then as high as the clouds. And then it bounced me down again and I nearly landed in Grandpa’s rose bush.”

“Hmmmmph,” said Trixie. “You’re naughty to make up stories like that and pretend they are true, Cassidy Ann! Next time you must do as you’re told and stay in the car.”

Cassidy Ann wanted to show them she wasn’t making up stories, so she looked around for the cabbage. It was gone. Then she saw it – so high in the sky that it looked like a bird. A fat green bird, bouncing up and down on the clouds.

“There it is,” she said pointing to the sky. “Up there.”

But they still didn’t believe her. Grandpa wasn’t cross though. He began to laugh and they laughed all the way home.

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

Iklabishi eligxumayo

Translated by Dumisani Sibiya

UCassidy Ann nodadewabo omdala, uTrixie, babelinde emotweni. UMkhulu wayesangene esitolo sezinto zasengadini kodwa engezukuthatha isikhathi eside. Izindawo zokupaka zazingenalutho ngaphandle kweloli elalime ngaphesheya kwesiphethu. Iloli laligcwele izitshalo, kanti kwakunamadoda ayezehlisa ezifaka ezinqoleni ukuze zingeniswe esitolo.

The bouncing cabbage

UCassidy Ann wayekwazi ukubona ngaleya kocingo uMkhulu ehamba phakathi kwezinhlu zezitshalo. Wayezama ukukhetha isihlahlana sezimbali zamarozi ayezosithenga.

Kusenjalo kwawa iklabishi lisuka phezulu elolini. Layogqoma phansi enhlabathini, lase ligingqika ledlula esiphethwini esihazayo.

“Ukubonile yini lokho, Trixie?” kubuza uCassidy Ann. “Leliya klabishi liwe elolini.”

UTrixie waphakamisa amehlo ewasusa encwadini. “Pho-ke?” ebuza. “Yiklabishi nje.”

UCassidy Ann wabuka elindele ukuthi othile alibone iklabishi bese elicosha. Kodwa la madoda ayematasatasa kakhulu, ayengabonanga nokuthi alisekho. Iklabishi lagingqika lagingqika njalo ezindaweni zokupaka liqonde emotweni yabo. Lafike lama eduze nje kwemoto. UCassidy Ann wavula isicabha ukuze alicoshe.

“Wenzani?” kubuza uTrixie, ephenqa ikhasi. “UMkhulu uthe sihlale phakathi emotweni.”

UCassidy Ann wavala isicabha.Wahlala emotweni, ekhathazekile ngeklabishi. Wabona amadoda esegibela futhi elolini. “Ngizohamba isikhathi esincane nje,” kwasho yena, evula isicabha semoto futhi, “ukwenzela ukubuyisela iklabishi kula madoda aselolini.”

Amadoda ayesevele elungele ukuhamba. Ayegaklaza izicabha kanti nomshayeli wayesevele eyidumisa iloli.

“Kulungile,” kwasho uTrixie, “kodwa uma uMkhulu ebuya ethola ungekho, akulona iphutha lami lelo.”

Ngakho uCassidy Ann wehla emotweni, wathatha iklabishi wayesegijima nalo ebheke elolini.

Kodwa kwase kungemuva kwendaba. Umshayeli wayengazange ambone. Umshayeli walisusa iloli, uCassidy Ann wasala emile endaweni yokupaka izimoto, ephethe isigaxa esikhulu seklabishi.

“Ngizokwenzenjani-ke manje?” wazibuza. “Akulona elami, kodwa futhi angikwazi ukuliphindisela. Ngabe kumele ngilishiye lapha? Noma ngihambe nalo ngiye ekhaya ngilinike uGogo alipheke?”

Khona manjalo iklabishi laqala ukunyakaza! Lanyakaza ngamandla ngangokuthi kwaba nzima kuCassidy Ann ukuthi alibambe. Lanyakaza kakhulu ngamandla lase liqala ukugxumagxuma ezingalweni zakhe. Emva kwalokho Woshi! Nke! Lagxuma landiza emoyeni, ntweziyane nalo uCassidy Ann.

Landizela phezulu, laze lafika esicongweni sesihlahla sikakwatapheya eside kakhulu. Laphinde lehla futhi, uCassidy Ann esalokhu elibambe ngqi, kwaphinde kwathi GQO-O-OMU! lagqoma emgwaqweni lase lintweza liya phezulu futhi, kulokhu laqonda ophahleni lwesitolo sezinto zengadi.

Kwakumnandi ukuba lapho phezulu. UCassidy Ann wayekwazi ukubona yonke into – abantu bethenga izitshalo esitolo sezinto zengadi, owesifazane ehamba nezinja zakhe eceleni komfula, iminduze esiphethwini, noTrixie efunda incwadi yakhe emotweni. Kwakumnandi lapha.

Kodwa emva kwalokho iklabishi laqala ukugxuma futhi. Lalinyakaza liqhaqhazela futhi ligxuma liya phansi naphezulu, uCassidy Ann sekumele alibambisise ukuze alivimbe lingasuki kuye.

“Uyaphi manje?” wamemeza ngenkathi iklabishi linyakaza kanye, kabili, kathathu … emva kwalokho shwi-i-i-i-i emoyeni, laphinde lathi shwi-i-i selehla libheke phansi. Gxumbu-u-u! selisho phakathi esiphethwini, lasaphaza amanzi yonke indawo, labuye labheka phezulu, uCassidy Ann esalinkonkoshele, egegetheka, ebuye ephonseka emthonjeni. Kwabuye kwaba namanzi amaningi athela intokazi eyayisithukuthele iphethe isixha sezimbali.

The bouncing cabbage

Lasuka laya phezulu, phezulu, phezulu futhi, uCassidy Ann waze wezwa sekunuka amafu, wawezwa esemanzisa nezingubo zakhe. Laya phezulu, phezulu, phezulu, imoto kaMkhulu yaze yabonakala isincane njengethoyizi lemoto. UCassidy Ann wambona uMkhulu ephuma esitolo sezinto zasengadini, eqhuba inqola enesihlahla sezimbali zamarozi ezinameva. Iklabishi laqala ukuvevezela, lanyakaza lase liqala ukwehla laya phansi, phansi, phansi. UCassidy Ann wavele wazi nje ukuthi uzowela esihlahleni sezimbali zamarozi esinameva, ngakho waqala ukumemeza kakhulu, “Mkhulu, qaphela, Mkhulu!”

UMkhulu wabheka phezulu wayesethi, “Cassidy Ann, mihlola mini lena oyenzayo undize e …” Ngenkathi uCassidy esezowela esihlahleni sezimbali zamarozi esinameva, uMkhulu welula izingalo zakhe wabamba uCassidy Ann. Wathi uyazimelela wageja, yibo labaya beyowela esiphethwini. Ngenhlanhla kwakungasasele manzi amaningi esiphethwini, kodwa ixoxo elalikhona lethuka kakhulu, lagxuma laphuma, lizikhalela. UMkhulu wahlala emanzini kuneqabunga lomnduze elithandele ekhanda lakhe, kanti ingubo kaCassidy Ann yayisiluhlaza, futhi ishelela ngenxa yokhula lwesiziba.

UTrixie weza esegijima, wasiza ukusukumisa uMkhulu. “Kwenzekeni?” ebuza. “Kwenzeke kanjani ukuthi nobabili niwele esiphethwini?”

“UCassidy Ann ungidudulile,” kwasho uMkhulu. “Ngicabanga ukuthi yilokho okwenzekile! Angikhumbuli kahle.”

“Bekuyiklabishi lemilingo eligxumayo,” kwachaza uCassidy Ann. “Ligxume nami laya esihlahleni, lase liya ophahleni, labuya leza esiphethwini, kwathi emva kwalokho laya phezulu emafini. Emva kwalokho labuya lehla nami lacishe langifaka esihlahleni samarozi sikaMkhulu.”

“Hhayi bo!” kusho uTrixie. “Awuve ugangile ngokwazi ukuqamba izindaba ezinjalo bese wenza sengathi ziliqiniso, Cassidy Ann! Ngokuzayo kumele wenze njengoba utsheliwe uhlale emotweni.”

UCassidy Ann wayefuna ukubakhombisa ukuthi wayengaziqambeli izindaba nje, ngakho waqalaza nxazonke ebheka iklabishi. Lalingasabonwa. Emva kwalokho walibona – liphezulu esibhakabhakeni selifana nenyoni. Inyoni eluhlaza okotshani ekhuluphele, igxuma yehla yenyuka emafini.

“Naliya,” washo ekhomba esibhakabhakeni. “Laphaya phezulu.”

Kodwa naphezu kwalokho babengamkholwa. Nokho uMkhulu wayengacasukile. Waqala wahleka nasendleleni eya ekhaya babelokhu behlekile.

Ikhaphetshu eqakathayo

Translated by Mlamli Matshingana

UCassidy Ann nodadewabo omdala uTrixie, babehleli belinde emotweni. UTamkhulu wayengene evenkileni ethengisa izityalo, kodwa engazukuhlala xesha lide. Kwindawo ekwakumiswa kuyo iimoto kwakungekho moto ngaphandle kwetrakhi enkulu qha, eyayibekwe kwelinye icala lomthombo onkcenkcezayo. Le traki yayigcwele qhu zizityalo, kukho namadoda othulela kwiitroli ezo zityalo zasevenkileni.

The bouncing cabbage

UCassidy Ann wayembona ngaphaya kocingo uTamkhulu, ehamba-hamba phakathi kolo krozo lwezityalo. Wayekhetha ukuba uza kuthenga eyiphi na imithi yeentyatyambo.

Ngesiquphe kwawa ikhaphetshu, isuka phezulu etrakhini. Yaqakathela phantsi, yaqengqeleka idlula ngasemthonjeni onkcenkcezayo.

“Uyibonile le nto ndiyibonileyo, Trixie?” kwabuza uCassidy Ann. “Laa khaphetshu iwe etrakhini.”

UTrixie waphakamisa amehlo akhe, ewasusa encwadini ebeyifunda. “Ke ngoku?” waphendula ebudikwa. “Yikhaphetshu nje kuphela.”

UCassidy Ann wahlala eyijongile, efuna ukubona ukuba kukho umntu oza kuyichola ikhaphetshu kusini na. Kodwa la madoda ayexakeke kakhulu, kangangokuba zange abone nokuba kukho ikhaphetshu ewileyo. Yaqengqeleka yona ikhaphetshu, isihla ngendlela isiya ngasezimotweni. Yafika yema kanye ngasemotweni ababekhwele kuyo. UCassidy Ann wavula ucango wayichola.

“Wenza ntoni?” wambuza kabukhali uTrixie, etyhila iphepha lencwadi. “UTamkhulu uthe ze singaphumi emotweni.”

UCassidy Ann waluvala ucango. Wahlala apho emotweni, enxutyiswe yile nto yale khaphetshu. Wawabona amadoda ebuya, ekhwela ngasemva etrakhini ngoku. “Ndiza kubuya kwangoku,” watsho evula ucango lwemoto kwakhona. “Ndifuna nje ukuphindisela le khaphetshu kulaa madoda asetrakhini.”

Amadoda ayesele elungele ukuhamba. Ayembakraza iingcango kwaye nomqhubi wayesele edumisa injini yetrakhi.

“Kulungile,” watsho uTrixie ebudikwa, “kodwa wazi ukuba uTamkhulu ubuye ungekho, asilotyala lam elo.”

Waphuma ebaleka uCassidy Ann apho emotweni, ephethe ikhaphetshu, eleqa itrakhi.

Kodwa wayesuke kade. Umqhubi wayengambonanga. Waqhuba wahamba eshiya uCassidy Ann emi bhuxe kuloo ndawo ibimi kuyo itrakhi, ematshekile, esindwa nayiloo khaphetshu inkulu kunene.

“Ndiza kuthini ke ngoku?” wazicingela ngaphakathi. “Asiyoyam kaloku le khaphetshu, kodwa andikwazi kuyibuyisela kumniniyo. Ndiyishiye apha bethu? Okanye ndihambe nayo ndiyiphathele uMakhulu ukuze ayipheke?”

Ngesiquphe ikhaphetshu yasuka yangcangcazela! Yangcangcazela kakhulu kangangokuba yabuphucuka ezandleni zikaCassidy Ann. Yaqakatha ngoku ngamandla ezingalweni zakhe. Yasuka yee Phutshuuu, gqam! Zwiiiiiii! Yantingela emoyeni noCassidy Ann lowo imbala wenyuka nayo.

Yantingela phezulu kakhulu, yayakutsho enkcochoyini yomthi omde kakhulu weponyoponyo. Yaphinda yabuyela ezantsi, uCassidy Ann eyinkomongele, yaze ye ZWIIIIIII! yayakuthi gqam endleleni yaphinda yantinga kwakhona, yayakufika kuphahla lwevenkile yezityalo kwesi sihlandlo.

Kwakumnandi phezulu. UCassidy Ann ebona yonke into – abantu abathenga izityalo kwivenkile yezityalo, inenekazi elihamba, liwaka nenja yalo ngasemlanjeni, iinyibiba ngasemthonjeni, noTrixie efunda incwadi yakhe emotweni. Kwakumnandi kakhulu.

Kodwa ikhaphetshu yasuka yaqakatha kwakhona. Yayizidlikidla ngoku, iphatha kungcangcazela iphinde ishukume ngamandla isihla inyuka ngoku, kwaza kwafuneka ukuba uCassidy Ann abambelele nkqi ukwenzela ukuba angaphuncuki kuyo, awe.

“Siyaphi ke ngoku?” watswina watsho ngelixa ikhaphetshu iqakatha ityeli lokuqala, elesibini nelesithathu … zwiiiiii emoyeni, yakugqiba yabuyela gqammmm emhlabeni. Dyumpuuu! yawela emthonjeni, amanzi agcwala yonke indawo. Yaphinda yantinga kwakhona eli xa uCassidy Ann abambelele kuyo ehleka, yabuyela gqammmm emthonjeni kwakhona. Kweli ityeli amanzi akratyazela ngaphandle emthonjeni, akhwiva inenekazi elaliphethe ibhantshi yeentyatyambo, lacaphuka.

The bouncing cabbage

Yantinga kwakhona, isiya phezulu, phezulu, phezulu kakhulu ngoku de uCassidy Ann weva enukiselwa ngamafu, nto leyo eyenza ukuba nempahla yakhe yonke awayeyinxibile ibe bufuma ngenxa yamafu. Indawo yokumisa iimoto yayibonakala ikude kakhulu, nkqu nemoto kaTamkhulu yayibonakala ngathi yimotwana nje yabantwana yokudlala. UCassidy Ann wambona uTamkhulu ephuma evenkileni yezityalo etyhala itroli enemithi ehlabayo yeentyatyambo, ngaphakathi. Ikhaphetshu yangcangcazela, yazidlikidla yaze emva koko yehla ukuya ezantsi, ezantsi, ezantsi. UCassidy Ann waqonda kwangoko ukuba uza kuwela ngqo kwimithana enameva ahlabayo yeentyatyambo eyayithengwe nguTamkhulu, wakhwaza kwangoko, “Tamkhulu, Tamkhulu, lumka!”

UTamkhulu wajonga phezulu wathi, “Cassidy Ann wenza ntoni apho, ubhabha nge …” Uthe xa eza kuwela kwimithana enameva yeentyatyambo, uTamkhulu wavula iingalo zakhe wamganga uCassidy Ann. Watyibilika, baya kuwela emthonjeni bobabini. Ngethamsanqa amanzi ayengemaninzanga emthonjeni, yaba lisele elothukayo kakhulu latsiba likhala. Wachopha apho emthonjeni uTamkhulu, amagqabi enyibiba emogqume intloko, eli xa ilokhwe kaCassidy Ann yayiluhlaza inyhukunyhuku, ingcoliswe bubulembu nengca yasemthonjeni lowo.

UTrixie weza ebaleka, wancedisa uTamkhulu ukuphakama. “Kwenzeke ntoni?” wabuza. “Niwiswe yintoni nobabini emthonjeni?”

“UCassidy Ann undityhilizile,” watsho uTamkhulu. “Ndicinga ukuba kwenzeke oko! Andisakhumbuli kakuhle tu.”

“Yikhaphetshu engummangaliso eqakathayo intingele phezulu,” wacacisa uCassidy Ann. “Indintingisele emthini, naseluphahleni lwendlu, nasemthonjeni, kanti ide yafika nasemafini. Yaphinda yandibuyisela emhlabeni, ndaphantsa ukuwela kwimithana yeentyatyambo kaTamkhulu.”

“Mnxim,” watsho Trixie. “Ugeza ngale nto yokuqamba ubalise amabali angekhoyo ngokungathi ayinyani, wena Cassidy Ann! Kwixa elizayo uzifundise ukumamela wenze njengoko uxelelwa, uhlale emotweni.”

UCassidy Ann wayefuna ukubabonisa ukuba asiyontsomi le ayithethayo, walaqaza, ekhangela ikhaphetshu. Yayingabonakali nangotshengele. Wajonga phezulu – nantso esibhakabhakeni phezulu, ikhangeleka okwentaka ebhabhayo. Yayingathi yintaka enkulu netyebileyo, eluhlaza, eqakathayo phezulu emafini.

“Nantsiya,” watsho ekhomba esibhakabhakeni. “Phezulu phaya.”

Kodwa babengamkholelwa nangoku. UTamkhulu wayengenamsindo. Wathi gquzu wahleka, baza bagquzuka bonke bahleka kuloo ndlela igodukayo.

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