Popular Tales from the Norse/Appendix
WHY THE JACK-SPANIARD'S WAIST IS SMALL.
Ananzi and Mosquito were talking together one day, and boasting of their fathers' crops. Ananzi said his father had never had such a crop in his life before; and Mosquito said, he was sure his father's was bigger, for one yam they dug was as big as his leg. This tickled Jack-Spaniard so much, that he laughed till he broke his waist in two. That's why the Jack-Spaniard's waist is so small.
ANANZI AND THE LION.
Once on a time Ananzi planned a scheme. He went to town and bought ever so many firkins of fat, and ever so many sacks, and ever so many balls of string, and a very big frying pan, then he went to the bay and blew a shell, and called the Head-fish in the sea, "Green Eel," to him. Then he said to the fish, "The King sends me to tell you that you must bring all the fish on shore, for he wants to give them new life."
So "Green Eel" said he would, and went to call them. Meanwhile Ananzi lighted a fire, and took out some of the fat, and got his frying pan ready, and as fast as the fish came out of the water he caught them and put them into the frying pan, and so he did with all of them until he got to the Head-fish, who was so slippery that he couldn't hold him, and he got back again into the water.
When Ananzi had fried all the fish, he put them into the sacks, and took the sacks on his back, and set off to the mountains. He had not gone very far when he met lion, and lion said to him,—
"Well, brother Ananzi, where have you been? I have not seen you a long time."
Ananzi said, "I have been travelling about."
"But what have you got there?" said the lion.
"Oh! I have got my mother's bones,—she has been dead these forty-eleven years, and they say I must not keep her here, so I am taking her up into the middle of the mountains to bury her."
Then they parted. After he had gone a little way, the Lion said, "I know that Ananzi is a great rogue; I daresay he has got something there that he doesn't want me to see, and I will just follow him;" but he took care not to let Ananzi see him.
Now, when Ananzi got into the wood, he set his sacks down, and took one fish out and began to eat; then a fly came, and Ananzi said, "I cannot eat any more, for there is some one near;" so he tied the sack up, and went on farther into the mountains, where he set his sacks down, and took out two fish which he ate; and no fly came. He said, "There's no one near;" so he took out more fish. But when he had eaten about half-a-dozen, the Lion came up, and said,—
"Well, brother Ananzi, a pretty tale you have told me."
"Oh! brother lion, I am so glad you have come; never mind what tale I have told you, but come and sit down,—it was only my fun."
So lion sat down and began to eat; but before Ananzi had eaten two fish, lion had emptied one of the sacks. Then said Ananzi to himself,—
"Greedy fellow, eating up all my fish."
"What do you say, sir?"
"I only said you do not eat half fast enough," for he was afraid the lion would eat him up.
Then they went on eating, but Ananzi wanted to revenge himself, and he said to the Lion, "Which of us do you think is the strongest?"
The lion said, "Why, I am, of course."
Then Ananzi said, "We will tie one another to the tree, and we shall see which is the stronger."
Now they agreed that the Lion should tie Ananzi first, and he tied him with some very fine string, and did not tie him tight. Ananzi twisted himself about two or three times, and the string broke.
Then it was Ananzi's turn to tie the Lion, and he took some very strong cord. The Lion said, "You must not tie me tight, for I did not tie you tight." And Ananzi said, "Oh! no, to be sure, I will not." But he tied him as tight as ever he could, and then told him to try and get loose.
The lion tried and tried in vain—he could not get loose. Then Ananzi thought, now is my chance; so he got a big stick and beat him, and then went away and left him, for he was afraid to loose him lest he should kill him.
Now there was a woman called Miss Nancy, who was going out one morning to get some "callalou" (spinach) in the wood, and as she was going, she heard some one say, "Good morning, Miss Nancy!" She could not tell who spoke to her, but she looked where the voice came from, and saw the Lion tied to the tree?
"Good morning, Mr. Lion, what are you doing there?"
He said, "It is all that fellow Ananzi who has tied me to the tree, but will you loose me?"
But she said, " No, for I am afraid, if I do, you will kill me." But he gave her his word he would not; still she could not trust him; but he begged her again and again, and said,—
"Well, if I do try to eat you, I hope all the trees will cry out shame upon me."
So at last she consented; but she had no sooner loosed him, than he came up to her to eat her, for he had been so many days without food, that he was quite ravenous, but the trees immediately cried out, "Shame," and so he could not eat her. Then she went away as fast as she could, and the Lion found his way home.
When Lion got home he told his wife and children all that happened to him, and how Miss Nancy had saved his life, so they said they would have a great dinner, and ask Miss Nancy. Now when Ananzi heard of it, he wanted to go to the dinner, so he went to Miss Nancy, and said she must take him with her as her child, but she said, "No." Then he said, I can turn myself into quite a little child, and then you can take me, and at last she said, "Yes;" and he told her, when she was asked what pap her baby ate, she must be sure to tell them it did not eat pap, but the same food as every one else; and so they went, and had a very good dinner, and set off home again—but somehow one of the Lion's sons fancied that all was not right, and he told his father he was sure it was Ananzi, and the Lion set out after him.
Now as they were going along, before the Lion got up to them, Ananzi begged Miss Nancy to put him down, that he might run, which he did, and he got away and ran along the wood, and the Lion ran after him. When he found the Lion was overtaking him, he turned himself into an old man with a bundle of wood on his head—and when the Lion got up to him, he said "Good morning, Mr. Lion," and the Lion said, " Good morning, old gentleman."
Then the old man said, "What are you after now?" and the Lion asked if he had seen Ananzi pass that way, but the old man said, "No, that fellow Ananzi is always meddling with some one; what mischief has he been up to now?"
Then the Lion told him, but the old man said it was no use to follow him any more, for he would never catch him, and so the Lion wished him good day, and turned and went home again.
ANANZI AND QUANQUA.
Quanqua was a very clever fellow, and he had a large house full of all sorts of meat. But you must know he had a way of saying Quan? Qua? (how? what?) when any one asked him anything, and so they called him "Quanqua." One day when he was out, he met Atoukama, Ananzi's wife, who was going along driving an ox, but the ox would not walk, so Atoukama asked Quanqua to help her; and they got on pretty well till they came to a river, when the ox would not cross through the water. Then Atoukama called to Quanqua to drive the ox across, hut all she got out of him was, "Quan? Qua? Quan? Qua?" At last she said, "Oh! you stupid fellow, you're no good; stop here and mind the ox while I go and get help to drive him across." So off she went to fetch Ananzi. As soon as Atoukama was gone away, Quanqua killed the ox, and hid it all away, where Ananzi should not see it; but first he cut off the tail, then he dug a hole near the river side, and stuck the tail partly in, leaving out the tip. When he saw Ananzi coming, he caught hold of the tail, pretending to tug at it as if he were pulling the ox out of the hole. Ananzi seeing this, ran up as fast as he could, and tugging at the tail with all his might, fell over into the river, but he still had hold of the tail, and contrived to get across the water, when he called out to Quanqua, "You idle fellow, you couldn't take care of the ox, so you shan't have a bit of the tail," and then on he went. When he was gone quite out of sight, Quanqua took the ox home, and made a very good dinner.
Next day he went to Ananzi's house, and said, Ananzi must give him some of the tail, for he had got plenty of yams, but he had no meat. Then they agreed to cook their pot together. Quanqua was to put in white yams, and Ananzi the tail, and red yams. When they came to put the yams in, Quanqua put in a great many white yams, but Ananzi only put in one little red cush-cush yam. Quanqua asked him if that little yam would be enough? he said, "Oh! plenty, for I don't eat much."
When the pot boiled, they uncovered it, and sat down to eat their shares, but they couldn't find any white yams at all; the little red one had turned them all red. So Ananzi claimed them all, and Quanqua was glad to take what Ananzi would give him.
Now, when they had done eating, they said they would try which could bear heat best, so they heated two irons, and Ananzi was to try first on Quanqua, but he made so many attempts, that the iron got cold before he got near him; then it was Quanqua's turn, and he pulled the iron out of the fire, and poked it right down Ananzi's throat.
THE EAR OF CORN AND THE TWELVE MEN.
[This tale is imperfect at the beginning.]
Ananzi said to the King, that if he would give him an ear of corn, he would bring him twelve strong men. The king gave him the ear of corn, and he went away. At last he got to a house, where he asked for a night's lodging, which was given him; the next morning he got up very early, and threw the ear of corn out of the door to the fowls, and went back to bed. When he got up in the morning, he looked for his ear of corn, and could not find it anywhere, so he told them he was sure the fowls had eaten it, and he would not be satisfied unless they gave him the best cock they had. So they were obliged to give him the cock, and he went away with it, all day, until night, when he came to another house, and asked again for a night's lodging, which he got; but when they wanted to put the cock into the fowl-house, he said, no, the cock must sleep in the pen with the sheep, so they put the cock with the sheep. At midnight he got up, killed the cock, threw it back into the pen, and went back to bed. Next morning, when it was time for him to go away, his cock was dead, and he would not take anything for it but one of the best sheep, so they gave it to him, and he went off with it all that day, until night-fall, when he got to a village, where he again asked for a night's lodging, which was given to him, and when they wanted to put his sheep with the other sheep, he said, no, the sheep must sleep with the cattle; so they put the sheep with the cattle. In the middle of the night he got up and killed the sheep, and went back to bed. Next morning he went for his sheep, which was dead, so he told them they must give him the best heifer for his sheep, and if they would not do so, he would go back and tell the King, who would come and make war on them.
So to get rid of him, they were glad to give him the heifer, and let him go; and away he went, and walked nearly all day with the heifer. Towards evening he met a funeral, and asked whose it was? one of the men said, it was his sister, so he asked the men if they would let him have her; they said no, but after a while, he begged so hard, saying he would give them the heifer, that they consented, and he took the dead body and walked away, carrying it until it was dark, when he came to a large town, where he went to a house and begged hard for a night's lodging for himself and his sister, who was so tired he was obliged to carry her, and they would be thankful if they would let them rest there that night. So they let them in, and he asked them to let them sit in the dark, as his sister could not bear the light. So they took them into a room, and left them in the dark; and when they were alone, he seated himself on a bench near the table, and put his sister close by his side, with his arm round her to keep her up. Presently they brought them in some supper; one plate he set before his sister, and put her hand in it, and the other plate for himself, but he ate out of both plates. When it was time to go to bed, he asked if they would allow his sister to sleep in a room where there were twelve strong men sleeping, for she had fits, and if she had one in the night, they would be able to hold her, and would not disturb the rest of the house. So they agreed to this, and he carried her in his arms, because, he said, she was so tired, she was asleep, and laid her in a bed; he charged the men not to disturb her, and went himself to sleep in the next room. In the middle of the night he heard the men calling out, for they smelt a horrid smell, and tried to wake the woman—first one man gave her a blow, and then another, until all the men had struck her, but Ananzi took no notice of the noise. In the morning when he went in for his sister and found her dead, he declared they had killed her, and that he must have the twelve men; to this the townsmen said no, not supposing that all the men had killed her, but the men confessed that they had each given her a blow—so he would not be satisfied with less than the twelve, and he carried them off to the King, and delived them up.
THE KING AND THE ANT'S TREE.
There was a King who had a very beautiful daughter, and he said whoever would cut down an ant's tree which he had in his kingdom, without brushing off the ants, should marry his daughter. Now a great many came and tried, but no one could do it, for the ants fell out upon them and stung them, and they were forced to brush them off There was always some one watching to see if they brushed the ants off.
Then Ananzi went, and the King's son was set to watch him.
When they showed him the tree, he said, "Why, that's nothing, I know I can do that." So they gave him the axe, and he began to hew, but each blow he gave the tree, he shook himself and brushed himself, saying all the while, "Did you see me do that? I suppose you think I'm brushing myself, but I am not." And so he went on until he had cut down the tree. But the boy thought he was only pretending to brush himself all the time, and the King was obliged to give him his daughter.
THE LITTLE CHILD AND THE PUMPKIN TREE.
There was once a poor widow who had six children. One day when she was going out to look for something to eat, for she was very poor, she met an old man sitting by the river side.
He said to her, "Good morning."
And she answered, "Good morning, father."
He said to her, "Will you wash my head?"
She said she would, so she washed it, and when she was going away, he gave her a "stampee," and told her to go a certain distance, and she would see a large tree full of pumpkins; she was then to dig a hole at the root of the tree and bury the money, and when she had done so, she was to call for as many pumpkins as she liked, and she should have them.
So the woman went, and did as she was told, and she called for six pumpkins, one for each child, and six came down, and she carried them home; and now they always had pumpkins enough to eat, for whenever they wanted any, the woman had only to go to the tree and call, and they had as many as they liked. One morning, when she got up, she found a little baby before the door, so she took it up and carried it in, and took care of it. Every day she went out, but in the morning she boiled enough pumpkins to serve the children all day. One day when she came back she found the food was all gone, so ahe scolded her children, and beat them for eating it all up. They told her they had not taken any—that it was the baby—but she would not believe them, and said, "How could a little baby get up and help itself;" but the children still persisted it was the baby. So one day, when she was going out, she put some pumpkin in a calabash, and set a trap over it. When she was gone, the baby got up as usual to eat the food, and got its head fastened in the trap, so that it could not get out, and began knocking its head about, and crying out, "Oh! do loose me, for that woman will kill me when she comes back." When the woman came in, she found the baby fastened in the trap, so she jat it well, and turned it out of doors, and begged her children's pardon for having wronged them.
Then after she turned the baby out, he changed into a great big man, and went to the river, where he saw the old man sitting by the river side, who asked him to wash his head, as he had asked the poor woman, but the man said,—
"No, he would not wash his dirty head," and so he wished the old man " good-bye."
Then the old man asked him if he would like to have a pumpkin, to which he said "yes," and the old man told him to go on till he saw a large tree with plenty of pumpkins on it, and then he must ask for one. So he went on till he got to the tree, and the pumpkins looked so nice he could not be satisfied with one, so he called out, "Ten pumpkins come down," and the ten pumpkins fell and crushed him.
THE BROTHER AND HIS SISTERS.
There were once upon a time three sisters and a brother. The sisters were all proud, and one was very beautiful, and she did not like her little brother, "because," she said, "he was dirty." Now, this beautiful sister was to be married, and the brother begged their mother not to let her marry, as he was sure the man would kill her, for he knew his house was full of bones. So the mother told her daughter, but she would not believe it, and said, "she wouldn't listen to anything that such a dirty little scrub said," and so she was married.
Now, it was agreed that one sister was to remain with her mother, and the other was to go with the bride, and so they set out on their way. When they got to the beach, the husband picked up a beautiful tortoise-shell comb, which he gave to his bride. Then they got into his boat and rowed away over the sea, and when they reached their home, they were so surprised to see their little brother, for the comb had turned into their brother. They were not at all glad to see him, and the husband thought to himself he would kill him without telling his wife. When night came the boy told the husband that at home his mother always put him to sleep in the blacksmith's shop, and so the husband said he should sleep in the smithy.
In the middle of the night the man got up, intending to kill them all, and went to his shop to get his irons ready, but the boy jumped up as soon as he went in, and he said, "Boy, what is the matter with you?" So the boy said, when he was at home his mother always gave him two bags of gold to put his head on. Then the man said, he should have them, and went and fetched him two bags of gold, and told him to go to sleep.
But the boy said, "Now, mind, when you hear me snore I 'm not asleep, but when I am not snoring, then I'm asleep." Then the boy went to sleep and began to snore, and as long as the man heard the snoring, he blew his bellows; but as soon as the snoring stopped, the man took his irons out of the fire, and the boy jumped up.
Then the man said, "Why, what's the matter? why can't you sleep?"
The boy said, "No; for at home my mother always gave my lour bags of money to He upon."
Well, the man said he should have them, and brought him four bags of money. Then the boy told him again the same thing about his snoring, and the man bade him go to sleep, and he began to snore, and the man to blow his bellows until the snoring stopped. Then the man took out his irons again, and the boy jumped up, and the man dropped the irons, saying, "Why, what's the matter now that you can't sleep?"
The boy said, "At home my mother always gave me two bushels of corn."
So the man said he should have the corn, and went and brought it, and told him to go to sleep. Then the boy snored, and the man blew his bellows till the snoring stopped, when he again took out his irons, and the boy jumped up, and the man said, "Why, what's it now?"
The boy said, "At home my mother always goes to the river with a sieve to bring me some water."
So the man said, "Very well, I will go, but I have a cock here, and before I go I must speak to it."
Then the man told the cock if he saw any one moving in the house he must crow; that the cock promised to do, and the man set off.
Now when the boy thought the man was gone far away, he got up, and gave the cock some of the corn; then he woke up his sisters and showed them all the bones the man had in the house, and they were very frightened. Then he took the two bags of gold on his shoulders, and told his sisters to follow him. He took them to the bay, and put them into the boat with the bags of gold, and left them whilst he went back for the four bags of money. When he was leaving the house he emptied the bags of corn to the cock, who was so busy eating, he forgot to crow, until they had got quite away.
When the man returned home and could not find them in the house, he went to the river, where he found his boat gone, and so he had no way of going after them. When they landed at their own place the boy turned the boat over and stove it in, so that it was of no use any more; and he took his sisters home, and told their mother all that had happened, and his sisters loved him, and they lived very happily together ever afterwards, and do so still if they are not dead.
THE GIRL AND THE FISH.
There was once a girl who used to go to the river to fetch water, but when she went she was never in a hurry to come back, but stayed so long, that they made up their minds to watch her. So one day they followed her to the river, and found when she got there she said something (the reciter forgets the words), and a fish came up and talked to her; and she did not like to leave it, for it was her sweetheart. So they went next day to the river to see if the fish would come up, for they remembered what the girl said, and used the same words. Then up came the fish immediately, and they caught it, and took it home, and cooked it for dinner,—and a part they set by, and gave it to the girl when she came in. Whilst she was eating, a voice said, "Do you know what you are eating? I am he you have so often talked with. If you look in the pig's tub you will see my heart." Then the voice told her to take the heart, and wrap it up in a handkerchief, and carry it to the river. When she got to the river she would see three stones in the water; she was to stand on the middle stone and dip the handkerchief three times into the water. All this she did, and then she sank suddenly, and was carried down to a beautiful place, where she found her lover changed from a fish into his proper form, and there she lived happily with him for ever. And this is the reason why there are mermaids in the water.
THE LION, THE GOAT, AND THE BABOON.
A Lion had a Goat for his wife. One day Goat went out to market, and while she was gone, Lion went out in the wood, where he met with Baboon, who made friends with Lion, for fear he would eat him, and asked him to go home with him; but the Lion thought it would be a good chance, so he asked the Baboon to go home with him and see his little ones. When they got home, the Baboon said to the Lion,
"Why, you have got plenty of little goats here."
The Lion said, "Yes, they are my children."
So the Baboon said, "If they are, they are little goats, and they are very good meat."
So the Lion said, "Don't make a noise; their mother will come presently, and we will see."
So these little goats took no notice, but went out to meet their mother, and told her what had passed.
Their mother said to them, "Go back, take no notice, and I shall come home presently, and shall do for him."
So she went and bought some molasses, and took it home with her. The Lion said, "Are you come; what news?"
"Oh!" she said, "good news, taste here." He tasted, and said, "It's very good, it's honey."
And she said, "It's baboon's blood, they have been killing one to-day, the blood is running in the street, and every one is carrying it away."
The Lion said, "Hush, there's one in the house, and we shall have him."
At this the Baboon rushed off, and when they looked for him, he was gone, and never came near them again, which saved the little goats' lives.
ANANZI AND BABOON.
Ananzi and Baboon were disputing one day which was fattest. Ananzi said he was sure he was fat, but Baboon declared he was fatter. Then Ananzi proposed that they should prove it; so they made a fire, and agreed that they should hang up before it, and see which would drop most fat.
Then Baboon hung up Ananzi first, but no fat dropped.
Then Ananzi hung up Baboon, and very soon the fat began to drop, which smelt so good that Ananzi cut a slice out of Baboon, and said,
"Oh! brother Baboon, you're fat for true."
But Baboon didn't speak.
So Ananzi said, "Well, speak or not speak, I'll eat you every bit to-day," which he really did. But when he had eaten up all Baboon, the bits joined themselves together in his stomach, and began to pull him about so much that he had no rest, and was obliged to go to a doctor.
The doctor told him not to eat anything for some days, then he was to get a ripe banana, and hold it to his mouth; when the Baboon, who would be hungry, smelt the banana, he would be sure to run up to eat it, and so he would run out of his mouth.
So Ananzi starved himself, and got the banana, and did as the doctor told him; but when he put the banana to his mouth, he was so hungry he couldn't help eating it. So he didn't get rid of the Baboon, which went on pulling him about till he was obliged to go back to the doctor, who told him he would soon cure him; and he took the banana, and held it to Ananzi's mouth, and very soon the Baboon jumped up to catch it, and ran out of his mouth; and Ananzi was very glad to get rid of him. And Baboons to this very day like bananas.
THE MAN AND THE DOUKANA TREE.
There was once a man and his wife, who were very poor, and they had a great many children. The man was very lazy, and would do nothing to help his family. The poor mother did all he could. In the wood close by grew a Doukana Tree, which was full of fruit. Every day the man went and ate some of the fruit, but never took any home, so he ate and he ate, until there were only two Doukanas left on the Tree. One he ate, and left the other. Next day, when he went for that one, he was obliged to climb up the tree to reach it; but when he got up, the Doukana fell down; when he got down the Doukana jumped up; and so it went on until he was quite tired.
Then he asked all the animals that passed by to help him, but they all made some excuse. They all had something to do. The horse had his work to do, or he would have no grass to eat. The donkey brayed. Last came a dog, and the man begged him hard to help him; so the dog said he would. Then the man climbed up the tree, and the Doukana jumped to the ground again, when the dog picked it up and ran off with it. The man was very vexed, and ran after the dog, but it ran all the faster, so that the man could not overtake him. The dog, seeing the man after him, ran to the sea-shore, and scratching a hole in the ground, buried himself all but his nose, which he left sticking out.
Soon after the man came up, and seeing the nose, cried out that he had "never seen ground have nose;" and catching hold of it he tugged till he pulled out the dog, when he squeezed him with all his might to make him give up the Doukana. And that's why dogs are so small in their bodies to this very day.
There was once an old woman called "Nancy Fairy." She was a witch, and used to steal all the little babies as soon as they were born, and eat them. One day she stole a little baby, who was so beautiful that she had not the heart to eat her; but she took her home and brought her up. She called her "daughter," named her "Nancy Fairy," after herself, and the girl called the old woman "Granny."
So the girl grew up, and the more she grew the more beautiful she got.
The old woman never let her daughter know of her doings; but one day when she had brought a baby home, and had locked herself in a room, her daughter peeped through a chink to see what she was about, and the old woman saw her shadow, and thought her daughter had seen what she was doing, and the daughter thought her granny had seen her, and was very much afraid.
So the old woman asked her, "Nancy Fairy, did you see what I was doing?"
She asked the girl several times, "Nancy Fairy, did you see what I was doing?" and the girl always said, "No, Granny."
So the old woman took her up to a hut in a wood, and left her there as a punishment; and she took her food every day.
One day it happened that the king's servant, going that way, saw the beautiful girl come out of the hut. Next day he went again and saw the same beautiful girl again. So he went home and told the prince that he could show him in the wood a girl more beautiful than he had ever seen. The prince went and saw the girl, and then sent a band of soldiers to fetch her home, and took her for his bride.
A year after she had a baby. Soldiers were set to keep guard at the gate, and the room was full of nurses; but in the middle of the night the old woman came in a whirlwind and put them all to sleep. She stole the child, and on going away gave the mother a slap on the mouth, which made her dumb.
Next morning there was a great stir, and they said the mother had eaten the child. There was a trial, but the mother was let off that time.
Next year she had another baby, and the same thing happened again. The old woman came in the middle of the night in a whirlwind, and put them all to sleep. She stole the child, and struck the mother on the mouth, which made it bleed.
In the morning there was a stir; and the servant maid, who was jealous, said the mother had eaten the child. All believed it, as her mouth was covered with blood; and, besides, what would be expected of a girl brought out of the wood? So she was tried again, and condemned to be hanged.
Invitations were sent out to all the grand folk to come and see her hanged; so many fine carriages came driving up. At last, just before the time, there came a very grand carriage, all of gold, which glistened in the sun. In it were the old woman and two children, dressed in fine clothes, with the king's star on them. When the queen saw this grand carriage she got her speech and sung,
"Do spare me till I see that grand carriage."
The old woman came into the courtyard, and asked the people if they saw any likeness to any one in the children. They said, "they were like the prince," and asked her how she came by them, and told her she had stolen them. She said she had not stolen them; she had taken them, for they were her own; the prince had taken away her daughter without her leave, and so she had taken his children; but she was willing to give them back, if they would allow that she was right.
So they consented, and the old woman made the prince and his queen a present of the grand carriage, and so they lived happily. The old woman was allowed to come and see the children whenever she liked. But the servant girl, who paid the queen had eaten her bahies, was hanged.
"THE DANCING GANG."
A water carrier once went to the river to fetch water. She dipped in her calabash, and brought out a cray-fish. The crayfish began beating his claws on the calabash, and played such a beautiful tune, that the girl began dancing, and could not stop.
The driver of the gang wondered why she did not come, and sent another to see after her. When she came, she too began to dance. So the driver sent another, who also began to dance when she heard the music and the cray-fish singing—
"Vaitsi, Vaitsi, sulli Van."
"Stay for us, stay for us, how long will you stay for us?"
Then the driver sent another and another, till he had sent the whole gang.
At last he went himself, and when he found the whole gang dancing, he too began to dance; and they all danced till night, when the cray-fish went back into the water; and if they haven't done dancing, they are dancing still.
Printed by T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty,
at the Edinburgh University Press
- A small coin.