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FOLK-TALES FROM STUDENTS IN THE GEORGIA STATE
I. IN THE PEA-PATCH: TAKE MY PLACE.?
ONCE upon a time a rabbit went to a man pea-patch and eat most all of the pea. And the man told his girl to catch him if he come in there again. So the little girl caught the rabbit, and said to the rabbit, “My father told me, if you come in here again, I must catch you." The rabbit said, “No, he didn't! he told me to go in there and eat until one o'clock. I tell you to let me out!" So the girl kept him until her father come from work. And her father said, “Put him in the cage.” And the rabbit was dancing, and was saying, “I am going to heaven soon in the morning." And Wolf come by, and asked the rabbit can he go to heaven with him. The rabbit said, “You are too broad." And the wolf said, “Please let me go!" The rabbit said, "Do you see that little latch?" – "Yes.” — “Unloose it and jump in.” And when he jump, Rabby jump out, and said, “That man going beat you.” When the man came home, said, “You can change your color, but I will beat you." And the man got a wagon-load of branches and a hot pot of water, and beat him, and that time (the rabbit?) ran off. I went around the corner, and I stepped on a piece of tin; and that ends my story of the girl and the rabbit.3
2. CHALLENGED TO BUTT.4
Once Buh Rabbit went to a goad (gourd] vine an' got a small dried goad and cut um to fit he head. So he put um on he head good an' tight. An' went to Buh Cow and bet um dat he could bust he head open 'gainst de pos. Buh Cow bet um, ef he could do it, she could too. So Buh Rabbit ran an' bust de goad 'gainst the post. An' Buh Cow bust he head 'gainst de pos' an' break he head. An' dat was de end of Buh Cow.
· For these tales from Savannah, Ga., editorial thanks are due Mr. Monroe N. Work. - E. C. P.
3 Written by Effie Howell. For bibliography see MAFLS 13 : 82 (notes 2,6).- E.C.P. 3 Tales in the Sea Islands, South Carolina, frequently conclude with, —
"I stepped on a t'in' an' de t'in' ben',
-E. C. P. • Writer unknown.
3. CHALLENGED TO BUTT: BURIED TAIL: PLAYING POISONED.1 Once upon a time Bro Rabbit and Bro Wolf stole a cow and carry it in the woods, and said to the cow, "I bet you cannot run into that tree and butt it as hard as you can with your head.” So the cow ran into the tree and break its neck.
And Bro Rabbit sent Bro Wolf for the knives to skin the cow. And while Bro Wolf was gone, Bro Rabbit cut up the cow and carry it all in his attic. And bury the cow-tail in the ground. When Bro Wolf return, Bro Rabbit said to him, “Bro Wolf, the cow has gone down into the ground. Let's dig it up." And they start digging. They dug and dug and dug, but couldn't get the cow. So Bro Rabbit said to Bro Wolf, “Let's pull it up by the tail.” So they pull and pull, and after a while the tail came up. And Bro Rabbit said to Bro Wolf, “The cow has gone farther down in the ground.” So, after all, they decided to go home.
And Bro Partridge went to Bro Rabbit's house for some fire, and saw the beef hanging in the fireplace. And Bro Partridge went out and told Bro Wolf. And Bro Wolf went to Bro Rabbit, and said, “Oh! Oh!" "What is the matter?” Bro Wolf said, “Bro Rabbit, that piece of liver you gave me give me such a pain in my stomach, I am about to die. Oh! Oh!" And Bro Rabbit start throwing out the meat. And after he threw it out, Bro Wolf said, “Now be just, let's share it.” And they share the cow. And Bro Wolf went back home, I suppose. And that ends my story.
Green leaves and strawberry trees.
4. MOCK FIRE: 2 PLAYING POISONED. Once upon a time a rabbit and partridge agreed to kill a cow together, and they killed the cow. And after they had killed the cow, the rabbit said to Partridge, “Ber Partridge, you can fly, and I can't, and we need fire to cook some of this meat for our breakfast." And the rabbit look in the east and saw the sun rising, and said to Partridge again, “You can fly, and I can't. Suppose you go and bring some fire to cook our meat for breakfast.” And the partridge flew and flew until he got tired. And he saw he could not reach the sun, and turned back.
He began to get hungry, and he flew back home. And when the partridge got back, the rabbit and his wife had hid the meat. And the partridge said to Rabbit, “Ber Rabbit, I am so hungry I don't
Written by Amanda Butler. For bibliography of “Buried Tail" see JAFL 30 : 228 (note 2), and p. 368 of this number; of "Playing Poisoned," MAFLS 13 : 122 (note I).
? Written by Edna Lanier. Compare Sea Islands (Christensen, 89-90).
know what to do." And Rabbit had one of the cow's feet sticking in the ground. And the rabbit had told the partridge that the ground had sucked the meat in. The partridge bit a piece of it, and fell over like he was dead. And Rabbit saw that Partridge look like he was dead. He called his wife to bring the meat out of the house. The partridge jumped up, and said, “Divide that meat." And the rabbit had to divide the meat.
5. THREE LEGS. Buh Rabbit knew where an ol' man passed ebry day wid a bag of peas on he back. He 'fraid fuh trust heself, so he persuade Buh Wolf to go an' dig a hole en de ground. Buh Wolf dug de hole and got en it. The ol' man came by and saw de leg sticking out, and took he axe an'cut de leg off close to de body. An' Buh Wolf never had but t'ree leg left on de cause of Buh Rabbit.
6. RABBIT SEEKS A TAIL: GIVES HIMSELF AWAY.? Once upon a time a man told the rabbit to go and get him a bag full of blackbirds. The rabbit saw a drove of blackbirds. The rabbit said, “I bet you all can't full my sack.” The blackbirds flew into his sack, and the rabbit shut his sack and carried them to the man. The man said, “That is not enough to get your tail. Go and catch me an alligator.” The rabbit went to a pond, and saw an alligator. The rabbit said, “O Alligator! come and carry me across." The alligator came to the edge, and the rabbit got on his back. And the alligator started across, and the rabbit struck him on the head with a stick of wood. And did not kill him. The next day the rabbit borrowed the squirrel overcoat. And went to the pond and called the alligator, and asked the alligator to carry him 'cross. The alligator said, “All right." The rabbit got on his back. And when the alligator started off, he said, “I carried the rabbit across, and he struck me on the head. If he had er struck me on the tail, he would er got me.” So the rabbit struck him on the tail and killed him.
(Variant.) Once upon a time there was a rabbit and a fox went out a-hunting. And the rabbit he said to the fox, “Now, Fox, all the birds that be
1 Writer unknown.
2 Written by A. H. Miles. This tale is one of the most popular in the Sea Islands of South Carolina. As usually told, Rabbit seeks a gift from God or King, - a gift either of wisdom or of a long tail. Compare Sea Islands (Christensen, 36-41); Georgia (Jones, XL, XLVIII; Harris 2 : XXXIV, XXXV); Natchez, Hitchiti, Creek (Swanton, No. 4); Sierra Leone (Cronise and Ward, 40-49). - E. C. P.
3 Written by James R. Perry.
on the ground you must shoot them, an' all that fly up in the tree don't shoot them.” So they went on; an' when they found the blackbirds, they flew up in the tree. An' the rabbit he said to the blackbirds, "I bet you can't fill up this sack I have." The blackbirds all said, "I bet we can." The fox said, “Let me see you all." So they all flew down into the sack. An' the rabbit close it and went away. An' poor Fox did not have any.
VOL. 32.-NO. 125.-27.
FOLK-TALES FROM LIBERIA (IN ABSTRACT).
BY RICHARD C. BUNDY.1
1. THE GOOD CHILD AND THE BAD.2
Mammy Yamma is a witch-doctor. As she is walking about the village leaning on her staff, she meets two little girls, Santo and Duopoo, at play. She invites them to go home with her and help spin cotton. As they are working, Santo turns her head to spit, and the spittle falls on the staff. Mammy Yamma cries out, "Don't you know plenty trouble will come to this town for abusing my staff so!" She orders the girl to keep away the bad trouble by carrying the staff to the river, two days' walk away, to wash it. On her way to the river in the big bush, Santo meets on the path a big brass kettle, full of water, betaking itself to a near-by town. Farther on she comes upon some pieces of fire-wood tying themselves into a bundle. “This must be devil-bush," she says to herself. Next day she finds a town near the river she is going to; and she enters, and an old woman cooking rice offers her some. She sits down to eat, when up come Cat and Rooster, and say, "Share your food with us, and we will tell you good news.” They tell her that when she comes to the river, she will see many baskets on the bank. The Water people will offer her one. “Choose the one I jump on," says Cat. "And if it is the right one, I will crow," says Rooster. After washing the staff, Santo sees the baskets, and the Water people tell her to choose one of them for herself. Cat jumps on the smallest basket, and Rooster crows. Inside the basket are beautiful cloth, gold, and riches. The other little girl, Duopoo, grows envious of Santo, and so she spits intentionally on the staff, and proposes to go to the river to wash it. Mammy Yamma does not wish to send Duopoo to the river, but she insists on going. She too meets the kettle and the bundle of sticks, and she stops to find out the reason for these things. But she cannot, and she loses time. She finds the same town, and the same old woman gives her rice; but when Cat and Rooster come up, she refuses to share the food with them. “What good news can beggars tell me?" she says, and eats up the last mouthful. After washing the staff, she hears the invitation to choose for herself a basket. Cat and Rooster stand idly by, and she picks out the biggest basket. Out jump snakes, rats, lizards, and
1 Mr. Bundy, Secretary of Legation, in the Legation of the United States at Monrovia, Liberia, has kindly allowed his manuscript collection of tales, written from a literary rather than a scientific point of view, to be published in abstract as folk-lore data. - E. C. P.
2 For bibliography see MAFLS 13 : 17 (note 1). — E. C. P.