Culture

Punchinella – The Cinderella Story Jamaican Style

Punchinella - The Cinderella Story in Jamaican Patois

Punchinella never got along with her two stepsisters – Precious and Peaches
She had an Evil stepmother who was married to her first Uncle before she married her fada
Poor likkle Punchinella day and night on har knees scrubbing the floor wid di Geenie Floor polish.
Di step sista dem neva do no work aound di  house..all day long dem dress up an gone maggle pon street.

One day when Punchinella was cleaning out di cella an old woman approached her and asked
OLD LADY: “Is yuh name Punchinella? …Maas Pappi one duaghta? Laawd have merci mi chile, How yuh clothes
dem dutty soh and di piece a tie head pan yuh head black like tar??!

PUNCHINELLA:  Is who you moda, after mi neva si yuh ’roun dis district before.
OLD LADY:Yuh evil step moda know mi well dowe ..she come to mi every Sunday morning..Mi is di obeah ooman weh live up di street side a di grave yaad. Yuh can jus call mi God moda
PUNCHINELLA:  Obeah ooman??! Is obeah mi step moda set pon mi mek mi tan soh Godmoda?”
OLD LADY:No mi dear chile is not yuh she a wok obeah pan ..a yuh daddy. But yuh neva hear dat from mi.. Yuh know if yuh waan mi can wok some good obeah fi yuh ..jus tell Godmoda what yuh want.
PUNCHINELLA:  Well, tonight a Boxing Nite and mi waan goh a STING dance and mi noh have no clothes and no transportation….but mi caan goh cause mi stepmoda sey mi nuffi lef di yaad.
OLD LADY:Pickney chile your wish is fimi command yuh can go a STING if yuh waan.. but unda one condition!
PUNCHINELLA:  Eh eh  Yes! A dat mi a talk bout  ..unda what candition Godmoda?
OLD LADY: Yuh mus reach back a yuh yaad before 12 midnight because di car whey mi have fi yuh, di engine noh start paas 12’oclock ..an yuh clothes a go turn back to dem piece a claat yuh a wear now..so mi a warn yuh –  lef di place before di strike of midnight!
PUNCHINELLA:  12 oclock!?!!.. Is mite as well mi noh bodda goh cause a dat time dance start fi lick an di man dem start pour in like ants!!.
OLD LADY: Den yuh noh can galang tan a yuh yaad den ..afta mi noh caah!
PUNCHINELLA:  Airight moda. Mi wi goh  den. Whe di car deh? and what mi a go wear to di show?….mi noh waan mi sista dem fi recognize mi do!

The Godmoda chants in a religious tongue and POOF! Punchinella was dawned in a batty rida shorts, a silver sequence bra top wid some silver pumps to match. Hair style was about 3 ft high with spurts of colored hair sprinkles. Outside was a shocking red Island Cruiser with gold plated rims an a spoila  wha  mek di car look like Air Jamaica a get ready fi tek off.
PUNCHINELLA:  Kiss mi toe tail!! – GodModa mi a go mad di matie dem tonite!!.. all mi outfit a tek life noh rahtid!!…but have mercy di shorts out fi cut off mi circulation..a mek it soh tite?
OLD LADY: Punchinella Hurry up an lef an tap ask question..yuh run up yuh blasted mout too much..Hurry up  so yuh can come back before Midnight cause di car naah go start if yuh if midnight ketch yuh a road. Caan sey mi neva warn yuh.

Punchinella kissed her the God mother and off she went ..VRRROOOMMMM!!!
She arrived at the dance and all eyes wandered in her direction.. Punchinella kept walking. Soon the music got louder as she approached the Stage. She could see her stepsisters drinking and smoking in the far corner with and looking on. They did not recognize her. As she got closer, she felt a stranger’s eyes watching her every move. She felt uncomfortable. The stranger approached her.
He looked her in the eyes and held her close and said the sweetest thing any man has ever said to her:

DREADY: “Greetings daughta, I and I is King Dready and an yuh a  di  Queen mi a look fah fi come live up ina I Kingdom.. soh whe di daughta a sey bout dat?”
PUNCHINELLA:  Me? Yuh waan me to be your Queen? Yuh own a Kingdom? Which Part?
DREADY: How yuh mean?? Mi res  up ina di hills a St.Ann….my Kingdom is as close to nature like I close to you  now.. Strictly naturality I deal wid .. no roof top, no tielet, no walls fi kip I an I in bondage ya’noh seeit
PUNCHINELLA:   Dready mi noh tink dat soun like any weh mi woulda waan live but anyway.. come wi jus dance wid wi one aneda an chat bout yuh Kingdom lata ..cool?
DREADY: YahMan dat cool… And so they danced all night to the dance hall tunes as the artist performed one by one. The stage show MC announced: “Well crowd a people is 12 midnight and di band a go tek an intermission yah now so hole tite ‘til di next segment zeen”
PUNCHINELLA:  Kiss mi rahtid.. is 12midnight .dready mi havi goh ..(laawd jesas di car naah go start yah now) …  She rushes out of the dance quickly with Dready in pursuit…
DREADY: Hole on dey princess a how yuh a rush fi leave di I lonely and destitute soh? Waait deh man .weh yuh a goh … **kiss teet** ..a how some ooman so flighty flighty sah?? (he wondered to himself)..kiss teet
… As she ran out of the dance, Punchinella’ s boot heel fell of on the pavement.

Punchinella ran as fast as she could with one good shoes until she got to the car. She turned the keys in the ignition and got no response from the engine…Lawd jesas is what kina crassis dis pan mi gal tonite (holding her head)…  Do caar..start fi mi ..beg yuh do.. She made another attempt, still nothing. She gave in after the third attempt. She decided to walk home ..Poor Punchinella walked for miles. Then she began to run until she was finally home just as her dancehall outfit turned back to rags. That evening as Dready left the show, he noticed the shiny silver boot heel Punchinella left behind. He was sure that was his Queen’s boot heel as he recognized it from earlier….”Yes faada!, Jah Bless!, is dah boot heel yah a go mek mi fine back mi Queen Jah Know!!”

He waked from house to house the next day trying to find the woman that have a silver pumps missing di boot heel. Soon he came across this big house and knocked on the front gate.
He called out : Anybody dey a yaad?? Hole di Daag!!!..Rasta noh trus no mongrel ya’noh seeit!
When he was let in, the stepsisters claimed they had worn pumps dat night an di heels were missing. But when Dready asked them to bring out the evidence, the shoes they brought were gold slippers and proved not to match the silver heel.
DREADY: Nobody else doan live on yah?

PEACHES: No..ongly wi stepsista and she too ugly fi goh a dance soh mi know a caan she
DREADY: Bring har out here mek I ask har if she recognize dis boot heel yah
They called for Punchinella and when she appeared she looked at the man standing on the verandah steps in amazement.. “can I help you?” she asked.
DREADY: Mi jus a try fi fine a ting dat bruck off har boot heel a di STING show last night. Yuh own a silva boot?
PUNCHINELLA: Yes mi have one trow unda mi bed ina di house
PRECIOUS:  But si yah.. Is where yuh get get silva pumps from? Fi yuh capital W foot caan fit ina shoes much less.
PUNCHINELLA:  Yuh noh worry bout dat …excuse mi sar mek mi goh fi di boot show yuh
She came back showing her pumps that was clearly missing the heel.
DREADY: My Queen! ..is yuh di teif mi heart last night like when Tony did teif mi pound a weed last week.?! Come yah mi lovely black princess mek a squeeze yuh tite.
PRECIOUS:   But is what going on in here?Yuh did dey a Sting last night wid Dready!
DREADY: Hey you big lip gal jus mine how yuh a talk to my Queen yunoh ..I an I screw pon di loud talking ina my Queen ears ole yunoh. Punchinella pack up yuh tings and come wi lef outa babylon!
PUNCHINELLA:  Mi ready like Freddy Dready …afta mi noh have nutten fi pack up.
DREADY: Soh yuh mean yuh not even have couple draws an one nighty fi pack?
PUNCHINELLA:  No..not a ting Dready!
DREADY: Airight come wi leave out. If  yuh stepsista Precious knee dem neva so knock mi woulda carry har  wid mi to,  but Rasta know di knee dem mek up too much nize when she walk.

Off they went as King and Queen on Dready’s Honda 50 bike. The two was soon lost in the cloud of smoke trailing behind the bike. That was the last the community and her family saw of Punchinella

© Written by Joelle C. Wright October, 2014
Books by the Author: A Soh Wi Do It!A Soh It Goh & A Soh Dem Gwaan!

About the author

Joelle "Wendy" Wright

Joelle "Wendy" Cohen Wright is an author of character-driven Jamaican sketch comedy. She developed her love for sketch comedy after enrolling in a speech drama club in a Kingston primary school, where she won countless awards for her theatre performances.

Joelle is fast becoming one of the Caribbean's well-loved comedy writers. With her irrepressible sense of humor and a flair for dramatics, Joelle's writing style has the right comedic timing that is sure to induce laughter through her storytelling abilities in Jamaican patois. Ever the natural comedienne, she adds a fiery jolt of pure comic bliss to her series of characters and hilarious interpretations of Jamaican every day life.

Her first collection of sketches, "A Soh Wi Do It!" was published in 2010 and made rave reviews from readers across the world. The author dedicated the following years to penning the hilarious come backs entitled, "A Soh It Goh!" and "A Soh Dem Gwaan." Joelle holds a post graduate degree from the University of Maryland, University College, MD.