Ya'adis!

My grandfather, Mayer Godsi, loved this story.  He would tell it with great gusto - laughing in between sentences.  

There was a game that they used to play in the Sudan.  It was called Yaadis.  Two people would first decide on a wager, some money or some food - always something very small.  And then the game would begin.  Each time one of them passed something to the other, the person receiving the thing would have to say yaadis, or they lose the game.  And this game used to last month and months - sometimes even nearly a year without anybody winning.  You know, maybe because they didn’t have television, they didn’t have radio, they didn’t have books - they played these games for so long. 

My great-grandfather was playing this game with his mother-in-law.  They both loved to play, and this game, it continued for a long time.  And it lasted, and it lasted, and it lasted, and still nobody won.  Then he came up with an idea.  He took my grandmother, she was still a toddler - maybe three years old.  He took her to a barber and he told him to shave her head.  To make it completely bald.  And then he took her home.  He entered the house holding her by the hand, and like that he brought her home.

Now my grandmother’s grandmother really really loved her.  She was the special grandchild.  And so when they came in the door her grandmother saw them she started crying and shouting.  She became nervous, hysterical!

‘What did you do to the girl?!? How could you do this?!?! The poor child!!!’.

And she was crying, and the girl was crying.  So she ran to pick her up and when she did, he looked at her and he told her yaadis.

All of this! Just to win the game.  And what did they bet on? What was the wager? A pound of dates.  You know how cheap dates were? He probably spent more money in the barber! I don’t know what happened when his wife saw what he had done.