Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/431

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


Reviews. 395

rewarded." But the Ezomo said, — "Do not reward him yet. He has not done enough." The king replied, — "Why not? Has he not performed three tasks for me? Does he not deserve reward?"

As they were arguing, two men came running from Uzebu. "Ezomo," they shouted, "come, Ezomo, your house is on fire." The Ezomo rushed off, and found his house ablaze. He exclaimed, — "What shall I do?" In despair he fell into the fire, and was burnt to death. So the messengers who had come before returned to the king, and told him that the Ezomo had been burnt to death. The king exclaimed, — "What shall I do now? The Ezomo has been burnt in his house, and I have to do without him. Come, Emigaheme, you shall take his place, and I give you all his cattle, goats, fowls, cloth, yams, and ivory, so that you may make sacrifice to Ezomagmo." Emigaheme thanked him, and sent his mother and all his relatives to do the same. Then he went to the palace, and the king said, — "You have served me well!" And he gave him beads, cloth, cows, and all sorts of things, and said, — " You shall be the Ezomo."

Some of the animal stories are delightful. The following is a sample of these : —

A bitch had seven puppies. At the same time a she-leopard bore seven cubs. The leopard called the dog, and proposed that each of them should kill one of her children on alternate days in order to make soup of them. The bitch agreed, and said, — " Leopard, your children were born before mine, so it behoves you to kill a cub of yours first." This the leopard did ; she made soup of it, and took a fore-leg to the bitch as her share. But the dog only licked it and then smoked it, {so that it might lose its scent), and the next morning she rubbed it with palm oil, cooked it, and took it to the leopard, making her believe that it was her share of a puppy. The next day the leopard killed another of her cubs, and took a part of it to the bitch, who again put it away and offered it the next day as part of a puppy. Thus the leopard killed all her cubs, and the bitch returned her share every following day and never killed a puppy. When all her cubs were dead, the leopard said that she would pay a visit to the dog ; when she reached the gate of the dog's house, she heard the dog talking to her sons. "Ah," she said, "the dog has not killed her sons ; I shall wait until one day when she goes away, and shall then come and eat them."

One day, three months later, the bitch washed her hair, and, having done so, she said, — " I shall now go to a farm." The pups told her that if she left them alone the leopard would come and kill them ; so she took them all and put them into a water pot, and covered them up carefully. As soon as she had gone, the leopard came, and looked carefully round, but could not find the puppies. Being thirsty, she wanted to drink, but, when she touched the water pot with her paw, the puppies bit her. She exclaimed, — "This is a bad business. The dog has eaten fish, and put their bones round the water pot, so that anybody wanting to drink may hurt his hand." As she spoke, she heard the dog coming home ; so she ran back to her own house.