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 [16. Shut up in the Pot.]


16. Shut up in the Pot.

This common African story is not popular in America in this form, either because the idea is repulsive or because it is too simple to make a good story. The essential feature, that of taking turns going into the pot, is employed in number 37, and resembles the playing at tie each other of number 1. It is used in some versions of number 98. In Wona, 14-18, Anansi gets the animals into his pot by proposing a weight-testing contest.

Compare: Jacottet, 12-14; Junod, 91; Dayrell, 36-37; Elmslie, FL 3:104-105; Boas and Simango JAFL 35:168-170.

In Dayrell's version, Bat pretends to make soup by jumping into a pot which he has previously prepared with food, and persuades his companion to scald himself to death by imitating him. Yeats drew his play of the "Pot of Lentils" from an Irish version in which a stone serves as the magic means instead of the magician's person.

Next: Note 17. House in the Air.