Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/361

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Tabulation of folktales. 79

[No. 28.]

Title of Story. — The Ape, the Lion, and the Snake.

Dramatis Personae. — Ape. — Lion. — Snake. — Youth. — Women. — People.

Abstract of Story. — I^i olden times in a town a woman bore posthumous son. Husband's work had been to set traps, catch game, sell it. Son told mother they were dying of hunger. (1) Learning what had been father's work, determined to do same. First day cut branches of trees ; second, cut traps ; third, twisted rope ; fourth, set up traps ; fifth, set traps ; sixth, tried traps, took out game, killed, and sold it for corn. They became wealthy. At last youth tried traps, got nothing. (2) First day only found an ape, which asked not to be killed but saved from rain by being taken out of trap that it might save him from sun. Ape warned him that no son of Adam being good he was not to benefit any one. (3) Second day man took a snake from a trap, which begged for life, saying to-morrow he would come and help him, but a son of Adam did good to no one. (4) Third day lion was caught, who begged for life and to be saved from rain, and it would save him from sun. Lion said too that a son of Adam does not do good. (5) Another day a man was found in a trap and loosed. When all food had been finished youth asked his mother to make seven cakes, which he took in forest with bow to hunt game, lost himself, ate all cakes but one. (6) Went on in forest, met ape, said he was lost ; ape to repay him for former kindness went to people's plantations, stole papaws and bananas, gave them to him and calabash of water. When youth had drunk they parted. (7) Man met lion, told him he was lost; lion caught him game and gave fire to roast meat as a reward ; when man had eaten they parted. Man next came out upon plantation, where was very old woman, who said that in her town a man was ill, and if he could he was to prepare medicine, but man did not know how to. When he reached road he saw a well and pail beside it. Wanting water to drink, peeped in, saw snake, who said it was one he had released ; for reward it would fill his scrip with chains of gold and silver. On reaching town man met the man whom he had freed from trap. (8) This man took from him scrip, conducted him to his home, where wife cooked stranger porridge. The man (who had been caught in trap) went and told Sultan a stranger had come to his house, who was not a son of Adam but a snake living in well, personating a man ; asked Sultan to send a man to take from him the scrip, he had seen gold and silver chains. A man went and scrip was opened, people testifying things of Sultan's child, vizier's children, and people in town. Man's hands were tied behind him. (9) Snake came out of well to town where man was, who was asked by troubled people to send snake away, and they untied his hands ; snake returned to well telling man to call him if necessary. Man became much honoured in country ; people asked him why his host should do him wrong, and he said, " Snake, lion, and ape told me