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VOL. 32.-JULY-SEPTEMBER, 1919.-No. 125.
FOLK-LORE FROM VIRGINIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA,
ALABAMA, AND FLORIDA.
BY PORTIA SMILEY.?
14. Us .
PAGE FOLK-TALES ..
25. The Diviner
370 1. Does a Cow have Pigs? 358 26. The Single Ball
370 2. Big-'Fraid and Little-'Fraid 359 27. The Deer-Stalker.
370 3. Digdee Owl ... 360 28. Jonah.
371 4. Takes No Risk. .
371 5. Don't help the Bear ... 360 30. Where did Adam hide?
371 6. Wolf's Tail to the Hungry 31. Three Sweethearts. 372 Orphan ..
372 7. The Lord and Toby 361 33. You ridin', you walkin'?. . 373 8. Master Disguised
34. The Little Girl and her 9. Dirt-Dauber
373 10. How Duck saw Day
35. The Deacon and his Son 373 11. Out of her Skin
363 36. Heaven Hot, Hell Cold . 374 12. The Lover warned. 363 37. Hell in Heaven
374 13. The Murderous Mother . 364 38. Dilatory Buzzard
374 364 RIDDLES
375 15. Witch-Cat.
PROVERBS 16. Zip! Zip!..
375 365 17. The Blind Old Woman · 365
TOASTS AND OTHER VERSES . · 375 18. Running Hand. .
365 FOLK WAYS AND NOTIONS 376 19. Incriminating the Other
Games and Amusements
· 376 Fellow ..
366 The Shout 20. Racing a Ghost: Buried Manners Treasure 367 Cures
379 21. Buried Tail. 368 Conjure-Doctor
379 22. The Girls who could not
381 23. Seeking the Lord
381 24. The Imitative Choir . . . 369 Death and Burial
· 382 1 Tales Nos. 1-10 are from Virginia; Nos. 11-25, from South Carolina; Nos. 26–32, from Georgia; Nos. 33–36, from Alabama; No. 37 is from Florida; and No. 38 is a general folk-tale in the South.
: Miss Portia Smiley's early home was in Boston, Mass. She was a student of Hampton. She was a teacher at the Calhoun Colored School, Alabama; at Haines Institute, Augusta, Ga.; and at the Industrial Training School of Daytona, Fla. Since 1917 she has been a corn-meal demonstrator for the National Civic Federation, Boston Section.- E. C. P., Ed. VOL. 32.-NO. 125.-24.
1. DOES A COW HAVE PIGS? 1 Brer Bar an' Brer Wolf lived together on a fa'm. Brer Bar had a cow, an' Brer Wolf had a sow. One mornin' Brer Bar an' Brer Wolf went out to the barn, and the sow came up with ten pigs. Brer Bar said 'twas his pigs his cow had. Brer Wolf said his sow had dem pigs. So dey couldn' agree. Dey said dey'd take it to court. Brer Bar says he get Brer Frawg fur his lawyer, kase he was wise. Brer Wolf says 'll get Brer Rabbit, though he's a mighty triflin' man. So dey to meet de nex' day in de ba'n-yard t'ree o'clock, Brer 'Possum an' Sis 'Possum, Brer Coon an' Sis Coon, an' Brer BullFrawg an' all de critturs 'round. Brer Buzzard said he'd come, kase he may have to clean up some of dem dead, kase he know dey goin' to kill somebudy. Nex' day everybudy come a-skippin' an'a-hoppin'. Brer Frawg wus dar sittin' up on de jedge stan', waitin' fur Brer Rabbit. Brer Rabbit ain't tu'n up yet. 'Bout four o'clock dey all say, “Well, I guess we'll give Brer Bar de pigs, kase Brer Rabbit ain't here to argy his case.” All at once dey heard a voice up de road, an' dey see de dus' jus' a-flyin'. Brer Rabbit jus' kickin' up san' a-runnin'. Den all at once he come a-rushin' into de courthouse, a-puffin' an' a-pantin', all out of breaf. “Ladies an' gents, Ise sor' to be late. Ise mean to gitshhere on time, but I had to see 'bout a bery important business to my faders.” Brer Frawg he 'lowed, "Your fader! Whoever heard talk 'bout you havin' a fader?" Brer Rabbit he hollowed, "Ladies and gents! How many ever heard of a cow havin' pigs?" – "No! No!” cried de crowd. "Well, de sow an' pigs are yourn.” An' he won de case. Den dey give a party for Brer Rabbit, an' Miss Meadows an' all de gals were dar. Brer Rabbit was in love with one of de Miss Meadows. Brer Nophy (Wolf) got. his fiddle an' played dis tune:2 —
Brer Rab-bit put on Brer Rab-bit's hat, Brer Rab - bit took his
coat an' spats, Big eye, Brer Rab-bit, hoo, hoo! Big eye, Brer Rab-bit,
hoo, gall Pop eye, Brer Rab-bit, hoo, hoo! O Miss Li - za Ja-ane! I 1 As a saving of time, this tale and the following tales, excepting Tales 3 and 19 and a variant of Tale 6, were dictated to the editor. — Compare Jamaica, P. C. Smith, Annancy Stories, No. 12 (New York, 1899); Grimm, Die Kluge Bauerstochter. – E. C. P.
* Transcribed by Helen H. Roberts from a phonographic record.
met Brer Rab - bit on de way, I
ask him where he gwine, I
t'ank your stars an' I bless my soul, I hunt fo' de musca - dine. Big
eye, Brer Rab-bit, hoo, hoo! Big eye, Brer Rab-bit, hoo, gall
Jaw-bone walk-a, jaw-bone talk, Jaw-bone ca-ter wid a knife an' fork.
Hang my jaw-bone on de fence, I
noth-in' of my
jaw-bone sence. Big eye, Brer Rab-bit, hoo, hoo! Big eye, Brer Rab-bit,
Big eye, Brer Rab-bit, hoo, hoo! O Miss Li-za Ja-anel
2. BIG-FRAID AND LITTLE-'FRAID.2 There was a little black boy who used to take the cow out every morning and bring him home in the evening. Used to pass the white man's place every evening; an' white man would say, "Look here, boy! ain't you 'fraid to go 'long here?" (White people talk jus' as bad (incorrectly) as the colored.) “Who is 'fraid?" – "All right, you find out who 'fraid is." He had a little monkey, no wife. Nex' morning was coming, bringing his cows home, real dark. The white man heard him comin'. Got a big white sheet and put over him, and went on out to sit on a big lawg was across de road. De boy had to go over de lawg. An' de monkey wen' an' got him a sheet; — had
1 Compare Harris 1: 196.
• Compare North Carolina, E. C. Parsons, Tales from Guilford County, North Carolina (JAFL 30 : 172); Florida, E. C. Parsons, Folk-Tales Collected at Miami, Fla. (JAFL 30 : 227). - E. C. P.
to do everyt'ing jus' like his master. Master didn' see de monkey, t'ought he was all by himself. Master sat on one end, monkey sat on de oder en'. Boy saw dese two t'ings, an' said, “Oh, dat two 'fraids, one on one en' of de lawg, an' one on todder.” De man saw de monkey on de lawg. Took out an' tore down de road, de monkey behin'. Boy called out, “Run, Big-'Fraid! Little-'Fraid will kotch you." Man ran to his house an' fell on to de floor, an' de monkey fell on top of him. Took sick an' had to sen' fo' de doctor. Dat ended his 'fraid.
3. DIGDEE OWL.' Once there was an old man travelling. He saw an old log-cabin, and went in to ask for something to eat, he was so hungry. An old woman came to the door. He asked her to give him something to eat. She was cooking cow-pease and ash-cake. She did not want to give the old man any, she was so stingy. So she let the water boil out of the pot, and filled it up again. Every time she filled it up with water, she would tell the old man that as soon as the pease were done, she would give him some. The ash-cake staid in the hot ashes until it burned up. The old man got tired waiting, and said, “I must go, being as you won't give me anything to eat.” The old woman said, “Who?” — “You,” said the old man, “and you are an old owl, digdee owl, and shall say 'whoo' all the days of your life." There and then the old woman flew up the fireplace and on to a tree, and cried, "Whoo! Whoo! A whoo! Oh, you cook to-day, and I cook to-morrow. Whoo! Whoo! A who -o!"
4. TAKES NO RISK. Little pickaninny was comin' t'rough de bush. Ber Wolf said to Ber Rabbit, “Eh, Ber Nambit, ain't dat a wind shakin' dat bush?” Ber Rabbit say, “I trus' no mistakes, I ris' no weak pints. If bush shake, I gwine run.” He lit out.
5. DON'T HELP THE BEAR. A preacher, a Baptist minister, was goin' to church, an' met a bear on de road. He saw dis bear comin'. He looked up; he say, “Lord, isn't dat dah bar? It 'pears to me like dat's a bar. Lord, I don' boder you much, but dis is one time Ise gwine to call on yer to fight dis bar; an' if you help me fight dis bar, yer goin' to see de damndes' fight yer ever see in yer life." Make a song,
“Lord, you delibered Daniel from de lion's den,
1 Written by the narrator.
An' slop him upon de dry lan',
Please don' help dis bar."
6. WOLF'S TAIL TO THE HUNGRY ORPHAN. Ber Numphy 'gun a dinner, an' Ber Nambit was inwited. Ber Nambit took de spices, red pepper an' sage, an' de fixin's for de meat. Ber Numphy had a tail, not a bushy tail, like any common dawgtail. Ber Nambit had a long bushy tail. Ber Numphy had a great big far (fire) in de far(fire)place, an' he was standin' wid his back turnin' to de far, talkin' to Ber Nambit. Ber Nambit was sittin' up in de chair cross-legged. Little po' orphan-boy goin' by, cryin' kase he was hungry. Ber Numphy tail got far (fire) an' flew up de chimney, an' drap in fron' of de little boy, an' he picked it up an' eat it. Dat's de way de Lord perwide fo' dis little hungry child. De Lord p'omise to perwide fo' de orphan chillen. Ber Nambit was so sorry for Ber Numphy, dat he let Ber Numphy bob his tail right off to stick it on Ber Numphy. Ber Numphy went to bed, an' it healed up. Ber Nambit t'ought his tail would grow out again, but it never did grow out. A bunch of har [hair) is all he got. Ber Rabbit so good-natured, dat's why he have a short tail to-day.
(Variant.) Why a rabbit has a short tail. Bro' Rabbit was too good-natured. Bro' Fox went out to dine with Bro' Wolf one day, and it was very cold. So he turned his back to the fireplace to warm, and the fire caught his tail and burned it off. It went up the chimney with the blaze, and a poor little boy was passing. He was very hungry. He saw this roast-meat, and was glad. He said the Lord put it there for him. So he ate it. Bro' Rabbit heard about Bro' Fox sad fate, and went to the house to see him. He cut his tail off and sewed it on Bro' Fox. When it healed up, Bro' Fox had a beautiful bushy tail; and instead of Bro' Rabbit's tail growing back, only hair grew over the stub. The saying now is, "Good nature is why Bro' Rabbit has short tail now.”
7. THE LORD AND TOBY.? Man prayin' all de time: "O Lord! send down thy angel to take ol' Toby home, Toby's tired o' living. O Lord! send down thy angel to
1 Written by the narrator.
• Compare Georgia, C.C. Jones, Negro Myths from the Georgia Coast, XXX; Georgia, J. C. Harris, Uncle Remus and his Friends, No. IV; Florida, E. C. Parsons, Folk-Tales Collected at Miami, Fla. (JAFL 30 : 227). — E. C. P.