Humorous Couplets: Bir Laʿṭayṭ
According to Ḥājj: "Once there was a man from Hōmīt Ḳebrəbōr. He was married to a woman who refused to sleep with him, so everyone told him to divorce her. He refused. She became pregnant(!), and they agreed that if the child was a boy, he would divorce her and keep the child. His wife delivered a boy, so he took custody of the child and divorced his wife, per their agreement. However, it became evident that he was unable to take care of the baby by himself. One day, Bir Laʿṭayṭ saw the man in the market carrying his baby son to his parents’ house. Bir Laʿṭayṭ told the man to take the baby back to its mother; still, the father refused. The baby cried all night and day until the father relented and took the baby back to its mother. Bir Laʿṭayṭ composed this couplet to commemorate the man’s stubbornness."
|1) ǧēma ḏe-śkōyā kell // be-bdēn ḏ-maḫḫəlīḳ // faḳh hīsen we-ṭbūb||All of the complaints // in the body of a mortal // there is wisdom and medicine for them|
|2) hād eǧiśm we-ṭbāt // edwēsen ṭhēm // le šrāyeb w-le ktōb||Except for stupidity and human nature // their cure does not exist // neither folk medicine nor reading the Qurʾan|
Another example: Many years ago, a Mahri man left home to work abroad. After a three-year absence, his wife had a child, and people began to gossip. Bir Laʿṭayṭ states the obvious fact of her infidelity by saying that no female camel (Ar. nāqa) ever stayed pregnant for three years; typical gestation is twelve months. If a nāqa stayed pregnant for three years, it would bear a fully grown foal able to stand and walk.
|1) mōn yʾawmer hāyəbīt // teślūl snēt ṯrēt // w-b-śelṯet tehḳawṭ||Who says a camel // bears [a fetus] for three years // and gives birth in the third?|
|2) ḥebrē ḏ-berkīs // bēr šeḳnōh ʾātē fḏōm // hēs enaṭb ertəḳawṭ||The child that is in her // has already matured until it can walk // when it is born, it can already stand|
Another couplet about women who have extramarital affairs:
|1) kell ḏ-ber zmōt hnefs // ʾālḳōt men essəbēḫ // ḳalb ṭawneḥ ke-hhəwē||Every [woman] who gives herself // she bears the child of the trackless desert [ie. boundless potential paternity] // [her] heart follows its desire|
|2) emḳalles tendōm // yektūlī men ešūš // tālōḳ b-hebrē||At the end of it, she regrets // she is hurt by the people’s blame // and finds herself in trouble because of the child.|