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5. Tiger Catching the Sheep-thief.

a. The Escape.

Joseph Macfarlane, Moneague, St. Ann.

One day was an old lady name Mis' Madder, had twenty sheep. Mr. Anansi went an' gi' her a hen an', couple week after, Mr. Anansi went back fe de hen. An' said, "Didn't you gi' me de hen, Mr. Anansi?" An' said, "Oh, no! Missus, me hen wud have hegg, hegg, on hegg, chicken on chicken!" An' said, "De only t'ing I can do' Mr. Anansi, go in de sheep-pen an' tak a sheep!" It went on till de nineteen was gone, leave one. Tiger says, "Mis' Madder, I'll kill de sheep tak a half an' ketch Mr. Anansi." Tiger kill i', put 'e skin over himself. When Mr. Anansi come, Tiger bawl like a sheep "Ba-a-a-a!" Miss Madder say, "All right, Mr. Anansi, I don' wan' to hear any more talkin'; tak' de las' sheep an' go." Anansi say, "T'ank you, Miss Madder, won' come back an' worry you fe no more fowl!"

When he went off, under way said, "Yah! dis sheep hebby, sah!" Went home, de wife an' chil'ren sit roun' him wid bowl an' knife. Mr. Anansi tak de knife cut de t'roat an' say, "Lawd! me wife, dis fellow fat till no hav any blood!" Cut de belly come down, Tiger jump out hold him. Mr. Anansi say, "He! he! Brar Tiger, wha' you do?" Tiger say, "Miss Madder ha' twenty sheep an' if me no tie you, him wi' say you an' me eat dem." Anansi say, "If dem tak dem big banana trash tie me, I wi' be glad, but if dey could a tak dat 'itte bit o' banana t'read tie me, I should be so sorry!" An' dey tie him wid de small banana trash an' t'row into de sea, an' he jus' open his leg an' run under water. An' from dat time you see Anansi running under water.

b. The Substitute.

Samuel Christie, St. Ann's Bay.

Anansi is a smart one, very smart, likes to do unfair business. So one day was walking t'ru a lady property an' kill a little bird; so him pass de lady yard an' say, "Missus, me beg you mak little

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bird stan' till me come back?" Lady said, "Put it down, Anansi." Lef' de bird an' he never come back till he know de bird spile. De lady t'row de bird. He come back, say, "Missus, me jus' call fe de litt'e bird me lef' t'odder day. Say, "Anansi, de bird spoil an' me t'row it away!"--"No, missus, you kyan' t'row 'way me bird! Jus' call an' me want i'!" Lady say, "Well, Anansi, before you ill-treat me, go in de sheep-pen an' tak a sheep."

Anansi was quite glad fe dat, get a sheep fe de bird! An' go down fin' a sheep-pen wid plenty of sheep. Anansi go an' tak dat one, an' after dat, ev'ry night he tak one. Lady fin' all de sheep was los', so tell de head man mus' keep watch of de sheep-pen. So de head-man was Tiger. Tiger tak out dat sheep was in de sheep-pen an' dress himself wid sheep-skin. Anansi have suspicion an' get a frien' to go wid him dat night, ask de frien' to catch de sheep. So as him frien' t'row on de rope on Tiger head, Anansi fin' it was Tiger an' him ask excuse, go to a good distance where can mak escape, holla, "Dat somet'ing you ketch deh no sheep,--Brar Tiger!"

Tiger tie de frien' carry him up to de yard tell de mistress dis is de man been destroying de sheep all de time!

c. In the House-top.

Thomas White, Maroon Town, Cock-pit country.

Mr. Goolin pay Anansi a hundred poun' to mak him wife talk,[1] an' Anansi was live upon Mr. Goolin ev'ry day an' go to Mr. Goolin yard ev'ry day fe money. Mr. Goolin get tired of Anansi an' couldn't get rid of Anansi out of him yard. Tiger hear, an' go to Mr. Goolin tell him dat him will stop Anansi from comin' in yard. An' so Tiger did; Tiger turn a big barrow an' go lie down in de common. Anansi come now an' say, "Mawnin', Mr. Goolin." Mr. Goolin say, "Mawnin', Mr. Anansi. "Anansi says, "I might well tell you de trut'! De amount of what money you pay me fe yo' wife, it is not enough!' Mr. Goolin says, "Well, I have no more money to pay you again." Anansi says, "O Mr. Goolin! you couldn't tell me a word as dat!" Mr. Goolin says to Anansi, "Mr. Anansi, all I can do fe you, go in de common see a big barrow lie down dere. You can go catch it."

Anansi tek him rope an' go in de common an' him tie de big barrow an' him put it jus' right across him shoulder. An' he was goin' along till him ketch part of de way, him says to himself, "Ha! if I didn't cunnie, I wouldn't get dis big barrow t'-day." So

[1. See story 96.]

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look an' see a long beard come down on him face. Dat was Tiger! Tiger go fe shake him an' he say, "O Brar Tiger, no shake! no shake! no shake!"

Anansi[1] run fe him house an', when he get near, him holler to him wife say, "Shet de back do', open de front do', Brar Tiger come!" Wife say, "Wha' you say? say wash out de pot?"--"No! shet de back do, open de front do'!"--"Wha' you say? put on de pot, come?" Him say, "No-o-o! s-h-e-t de b-a-c-k d-o-o-o! o-p-e-n de f-r-o-n-t d-o-o-o-o!"

Wife put up all dem chil'ren quite a-top, and, as Anansi put down Tiger, Anansi fly up a-top, too.

An' Tiger was layin' down in de hall middle, an' all de chil'ren an' de wife, dem all upon house-top. Anansi have six chil'ren. De chil' one of dem, says he hungry. As de chil' say he hungry, Anansi shove down dat chil' t' Brar Tiger. Tiger swallow him. Anodder cry out hungry again; Anansi shove him down, Tiger swallow him. Anodder one cry hungry again; Anansi shove him down gi' Tiger, Tiger swallow him. Deh's t'ree gone. Him was deh again till anodder one cry hungry; Anansi shove him down to Tiger, Tiger swallow him. For a good time again de odder one cry out hungry; Anansi shove him down gi' Tiger, Tiger swallow him. Good time again, de las' chil' lef', him cry hungry. Anansi shove him down gi' Tiger, Tiger swallow him. Lef' him an' him wife, two single, now. Anansi fell in sleep. De wife tak needle an' t'read an' sew Anansi trouser-foot upon her frock-tail. When Anansi wake out of sleep, him wife cry hungry now. Anansi shove down him wife to give Tiger. De woman frock-tail sew up on Anansi trouser-foot an' ketch him up back. An' de lady was deh for a good time until him cry hungry again an' Anansi shove him down gi' Tiger an' Tiger swallow Mrs. Anansi.

Anansi was deh on de house-top until he feel hungry now. An' says to Tiger, "Brar Tiger, you know what you do? I's a man dat's so fat, if I drop on de bare eart' I's goin' to mash up; so if you want me to eat, you want to cut a whole heap a dry trash." An' Tiger went an' cut a whole heap a dry trash an' carried de dry trash come an' he t'rown de dry trash.

Anansi said to Tiger, "Brar Tiger, ketch, ketch, ketch, comin' down!" An' Anansi let himself off of de house-top an' drop in de trash, an' Tiger was upon hard sarchin' an' couldn't fin' Anansi until t'-day!

Jack man dora, choose none!

[1. The misunderstood warning is inserted from another narrator.]

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Next: 6. Tiger's Breakfast.