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sot it all a-fire all 'round. They met tha'. "Match yer for it, match yer for it, if it take seven year!" Ol' Rabbit tol* him meet him in such an' such a place agin. "Fight about it, see about it." Ol' Rabbit he goes an' sets him a steel trap. Ol' Rabbit he got out tha', an' ol" Alligator says, "Please, brother Rabbit, let me out! Please, brother Rabbit, let me out!" He let him out den, an' ol' Alligator made out if he was goin' to throw ol' Rabbit in de ribber. De rabbit made out like as he wanted him to throw him in de ribber. An' he said he wouldn't throw him in the ribber, he'd throw him in de briar-patch, he wanted to punch his eyes out. He throwed him in de briar-patch. Ol' Rabbit jumped up an' said, "Dat's de very place I wanted to git a long time ago."
21. THE DEVIL MARRIAGE.1
One time a lady said she was never goin' to marry a man unless he was dressed in gol'. Her father had a party,2 en a man came dressed in gol'. Somebody at the gate. Man's son ran out, car'ed him to where the ol' people were. "Look as if you was havin' some to do here." — "Yes," said the man of the house, "you better go an' take part with them." Man's daughter took man dressed in gol' for her partner. Little boy about twelve noticed him, en said, "Sister, don't you notice his feet?" — "What's wrong? Why, no!" — "Why, sister, they ain't nothin' but nubbed.* Notice them when he get playin'. You ask moder what's the matter wi' his feet." — "Frien1, what's de matter wi' your feet?" — "I fell in the fire when I was a little feller like you, en my feet got burned off." Now his hand burned too. He said he fell in the soap-pot when he was a small boy.4 He fixed to be married. Dat night said he mus' go home. He kyar'ed dat man's daughter back with him. She says, "You let brother go with me. I'm goin' to a strange place. I like to have some of my people goin' with me." Little boy says, "Sister, don't you notice how he done? When he got up in his buggy, he throw out an aigg. He say, 'Hop en skip. Betty, go 'long.'" Betty des flew. He went until he came to where was a great big smoke. Girl said, "Mister, what sort of a big smoke? I can't go through dat smoke." — "Oh, dat my han's burnin' off new groun'. I go en lay that smoke." — "Sister, don't you take notice what he said. 'Hop, skip, Betty,' 'till we come to this smoke. He stop Betty, he lay this smoke. Is you willin' logo back home with me, sister? That ain't nothin' in de worl' but the Devil." Brother threw out an aigg, en said, "Wheel, Betty!" En Betty wheel. "Betty, go 'long! Hop en skip!" En Betty flew back home to her father. En behol'! next mornin' what should we'see but the Devil comin*.l He went up to de gate. He says,1 —
1 Informant 3. Heard by my informant at Macon, Ga. Compare Jones, XXXIV; MAFLS 2 : 69; Parsons. XXIII; Pub. Folk-Lore Soc. 55 : XXXIV. L.
1 Variant: Her father, the king, gave a big dance. This variant and the following were told me by Young's daughter Kathcr me. who had heard the tale only from her father.
> Variant: Clubbed.
4 Variant: His father was making a plant-bed, and he ran through. His mother waa making a pot o' lye, and he grabbed in it.
Name Ma'y Brown
Genral Cling town."'
Ol' witch4 says, —
"What is whiter,
"Snow is whiter,
"What is greener,
"Grass is greener,
"What is bluer,
"The sky is bluer,
1 .Ol' Betty turned an' went back to his master. That man know that Betty turn up to dat lady's house an' car'ed her home. He gettin' in his cheriot an' come back as hard as he could.
'Young chanted the following. Obviously he had originally heard it sung.
'"That was hell."
* Variant: The lady brother went an' got an ol' woman who could answer that ol* man's questions. If that ol' woman couldn't have answered one of them questions, she'd [he'd] have got that girl.
Than anything down
"What is louder,
"Thunder is louder,
Ol' Bad Man (oP Scratch) said he won her soul. OP witch taken sole off shoe en throw at him. He jumped at it en took it down.2
He had a big basket he car'ed on his back. He'd go to people's house an* beg fur something to eat; an' when de pretty girls would come out an' gi1 him something to eat, he grabbed 'em in the basket an' run away wi' them. He had a fine large place he car'ed 'em to — to his kingdom. He gi' 'em de keys. He tol' 'em everything there belonged to them but one room. "Don't go in there." He tol' 'em the day they went in that room, they would be put to death. Married seven times, an' all was sisters. The seven wife one day, when he was gone away, she taken the keys an' looks in dat room. Finds all her sisters dead in there in a pile. She is so excited, she dropped the keys an' got them bloody. So he come back an' call for his keys. She kep' them hid from him for several days, didn* want him to see 'em. At las' she brought them out an' give them to him. He tol' her to say a prayer. She prayed seven times. An' her seven brothers came jus' as he went to kill her. An' he ran away into the woods, an' never been seen since.
23. TICKLING 'POSSUM.4
Coon tol' 'Possum, "Why you didn't fight?" OP 'Possum said Dog tickle him so he couldn't fight fur laughin'.
24. THE FROG.5
One time there was a lady, kind of a witch like. She took the frawg, she skinned the frawg, she stuffed the hide with wheat bran. She sot the frawg on the hear[th] befo' the fire. An' she tol' that frawg to go where she want to stop at. An' whenever she got thar, Frawg come ameetin' of her. "I want my daughter to come whar I is." Next day say, "You come back here an' sit down whar you star* from, so I know what to do." De frawg come back, an' sot down an" said, "Meet me." Car'ed de woman, an' de frawg come jumpin' in from under de house where was goin' in.1 Sure enough, she blessed de frawg befo' de master, an' de master shot her down in de yard.
1 Compare JAFL 13 : 129, 130.
1 Variant: He said, "Skip er light, Betty, an' go "long."
1 Informant 2. The source of this tale is not. I incline to think, literary; at least, not immediately literary. But the Young girls have many visitors, both negro and white; and the sources of their tales are various, and not to be learned with certainty.
< Informant 3. Compare Jones, I; Harris I : III.
1 Informant 3.
25. WOMAN UP A TREE.1
Once it was a woman up a tree, an' her man (Mr. Fox) come an' waited for her. So he diggin' her grave. An' she yet hadn't come. He said, "Soon time for her to come. I wonder what's the reason she don't." Put down his shovel an' spade. He said, "I can't dig her grave to-night." An' he went away. The nex' mornin* he went to see her. An' she said, —
"I riddle urn awry, I riddle turn a right,
26. OLD MAN ON A HUNT.4
A crowd of boys went out a-huntin' one night. One said to their grandfather, "Don't you want to go too?" — "No, I can't walk." Ol' man never walked. "I'll tote you." De dogs treed something. Whatever it was they treed said, "Sunday night, Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday night, ol' Raccoon sees no rest." s The boys broke an' ran, an* dropped de ol' man. When they got back to de house, de ol' man was sittin' dere. "Grandpa, how did you come here?" He said, "I come in wid de dogs." •
1 The only explanation I could get from those present was that the frog told the woman what to do.
• Informant 2. "One Moonlight Night" (FSSJ 2 : 297-209); "Mr. Fox" (Jacobs). 1 Second version: Riddle em, riddle em, riddle em right.
Where was I las' Friday night?
De wind did blow, de leaves did quake.
To see what a hole dat fox did make.
Third version: Me riddle, me riddle, me riddle de ri1,
Whar' were you las' Friday night?
Fourth version: I sot high an' look low.
Behol', behol'l de fox dig, dig. 4 Informant 3.
• Variant: "Poor ol' 'possum don' aee no rest." This line is sometimes sung or chanted. < Variant: "Had no more use for de rheumatism." Compare No. la.
27. FISHING ON SUNDAY.1
There was a boy always made a business of going fishin' on Sunday. Mother said it was not right to go fishin' on the Sabbath day.4 Boy said he could ketch more fish that day. Caught a fish. The fish said, —
"Clean me, Simon.3
Eat me, Simon.
Now lay down, Simon."
He busted open.4
'Ol' uncle Daniel said he was an awful good fisher. An' people would tell him it was wrong. An' they went on a Sunday, an' he throwed his hook in. An' something bit his hook that could talk. An' said, "Pull me up, Daniel!" God makes a lenger hup, Daniel, huh.8 "Carry me to de house, Daniel!" Told him, "Clean me, Daniel! Get your pot, Daniel! Go to spring, Daniel! Put me on, Daniel! I'm done, Daniel. Take me up, Daniel! Eat me up, Daniel! The last mouthful you eat, your soul shall be sudden apick7 (go to torment).
28. THE LITTLE GIRL AND HER SNAKE.8
De chil' would go out an' sit in de chimney-corner to eat. Her moder axed her, "Why you go out o' de house to eat?" She said she had to go. De moder followed her. She put a spoonful of milk in her mouth an' den a spoonful in de snake mouth. De moder said dat would never do fur her chil' to eat with a snake. De chil' said, "Ive been eatin' for some time with dat snake." Her moder said, " I'm goin" to kill dat snake." — "Won't be worth while to kill dat snake, I'll die." — "No, you won't." Moder killed dat snake, an' de girl die.8
1 Informant 9. Generally known. Compare MAFLS 2 : 120; Parsons, XXV. 1 "It's sure wrong to go fishin' on Sunday," commented the narrator's daughter, a woman about fifty-five. And she told a story of how she once went and was almost "drownded."
'In telling this tale, a girl in another family called the boy Jacky. Her mother corrected her, saying, "Simon, my mammy said to me." In the Bahaman tale the boy is called Simon.
Variant: "An" the fish went back to de sea."
I was unable to get any explanation of this sentence.
Variant: "She got de snake breat'." The belief is current in the Bahamas that if you kill the snake or the cat working witch for a person, the person will die, too.