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21. Anansi and the Tar-baby.

a. The Escape from Tiger.

Richard Morgan, Santa Cruz Mountains.

Tiger got a groun' plant some peas an' get Hanansi to watch it. Me'while Hanansi are de watchman, himself stealin' de peas. Tiger tar a 'tump, put on broad hat on de 'tump. Hanansi come an' say, "Who are you in de groun'?" Him don hear no answer. He hol' him. His han' fasten. He hol' him wid de odder han'. Dat han' fasten. He said, "Aw right! you hol' me two han', I bet you I buck you!" He head fasten. Said, "I bet you, I kick you!" Him two feet fasten. Den he say, "Poor me bwoy! you a watchman an' me a watchman!" So begin to sing,

"Mediany dead an' gone."

Nex' mawnin' Tiger come an' say, "Why Brar Hanansi, a you been mashin' me up?"[1] Tiger tak him out. Tiger said wha' fe him do wid him now? Hanansi say, "What you fe do? Mak a fire, bu'n me.' Tiger go 'way, mak up him fire, ketch Hanansi go fe t'row him in de fire. Hanansi say, "Brer Tiger, you don' know to burn somebody yet? You mus' jump ober de fire t'ree time, den

[1. Colloquial for "getting me into trouble."]

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me a count." Tiger jump one, an' jump again, two, an' jump again, t'ree, an' go fe jump again. Hanansi kick down Tiger into de fire, den go back now go finish off de peas.

b. The Substitute.

George Parkes, Mandeville.

Tacoomah is Anansi friend an' neighbor, live very near in one house but different apartment, so whenever one talk the other can hear. Anansi an' Tacoomah both of them work groun' together at one place. Anansi don't wait upon his food till it is ripe, but dig out an' eat it. Tacoomah wait until it fit to eat it. After Anansi eat off his own, he turn to Tacoomah an' begin to t'ief it. Every morning Tacoomah go, he find his groun' mashed up. He said, "Brar Nansi, tak care a no you deh mash up me groun' a nighttime!" Anansi said, "No-o, Brar, but if you t'ink dat a me deh t'ief a yo' groun' a night-time, you call me t'-night see if me no 'peak to you."

Tacoomah went to his groun' and get some tar an' tar a 'tump an' lef' it in de center of de groun'. Now night come, Anansi get a gourd, fill it wid water, bore a hole underneat' de gourd jus' as much as de water can drop tip, tip, tip. He cut a banana-leaf an' put it underneat' de gourd so de water could drop on it. After dey bot' went to bed, every now and again Tacoomah called out and Anansi say, "Eh!" Afterward Anansi say, "Me tired fe say 'eh', me wi' say 'tip'." So Anansi put de gourd of water up on a stand wid de banana-leaf underneat', so when Tacoomah say, "Anansi?" de water drop "tip." An' at dis time Anansi gone to de groun'.

He saw de black 'tump which Tacoomah tar an' lef' in de groun'. So Anansi open his right han' an' box de 'tump. His right han' fasten. He said to de 'tump, "If you no let me go I box you wid de lef' han'!" He box him wid de lef', so bot' han' fasten now. He say now, "Den you hol' me two han'? If you not le' me go I kick you!" He then kick the 'tump an' the right foot fasten first. He kick it with the lef' foot an' the lef' foot fasten too. He say, "Now you hol' me two han' an' me two foot! I gwine to buck you if you don' le' go me han' an' foot!" He den buck de 'tump an' his whole body now fasten on de 'tump. He was deh for some minutes. He see Goat was passing. He said, "Brar Goat, you come heah see if you kyan't more 'an we t'-day." So Goat come. Anansi say, "Brar Goat, you buck him!" Goat buck de 'tump; Anansi head come off an' Goat head fasten. He said, "Brar Goat, you kick him wid you two foot!" An' Goat kick him an' Anansi two

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han' come off an' Goat two foot fasten. He said, "Brar Goat, now you push him!" Goat push him, an' Anansi two foot come off an' Anansi free an' Goat fasten. So Anansi go back home an' say to Tacoomah, "Me tired fe say 'tip', now; me wi' say 'eh'."

In de morning, bot' of dem went to groun'. Anansi say, "Brar Tacoomah, look de fellah deh t'ief yo' groun', dat fe' a Goat!" Goat say, "No, Brar Tacoomah, Anansi lirs' fasten on de 'tump heah an' he ask me fe buck him off!" Anansi say, "A yaie,[1] sah!" an' say, "Brar Tacoomah, no me an' you sleep fe de whole night an' ev'ry time yo' call me, me 'peak to you?" Tacoomah say yes. He say Tacoomah, "Mak we ki' de fallah Goat!" So dey kill Goat an' carry him home go an' eat him.

c. The Grave.

Stanley Jones, Claremont, St. Ann.

Once Mrs. Anansi had a large feed. She planted it with peas. Anansi was so lazy he would never do any work. He was afraid that they would give him none of the peas, so he pretended to be sick. After about nine days, he called his wife an' children an' bid them farewell, tell them that he was about to die, an' he ask them this last request, that they bury him in the mids' of the peas-walk, but firs' they mus' make a hole thru the head of the coffin an' also in the grave so that he could watch the peas for them while he was lying there. An' one thing more, he said, he would like them to put a pot and a little water there at the head of the grave to scare the thieves away. So he died and was buried.

All this time he was only pretending to be dead, an' every night at twelve o'clock he creep out of the grave, pick a bundle of peas, boil it, and after having a good meal, go back in the grave to rest. Mistress Anansi was surprised to see all her peas being stolen. She could catch the thief no-how. One day her eldest son said to her, "Mother, I bet you it's my father stealing those peas!" At that Mrs. Anansi got into a temper, said, "How could you expect your dead father to rob the peas!" Said, "Well, mother, I soon prove it to you." He got some tar an' he painted a stump at the head of the grave an' he put a hat on it.

When Anansi came out to have his feast as usual, he saw this thing standing in the groun'. He said, "Good-evening, sir!" got no reply. Again he said, "Good-evening, sir!" an' still no reply. "If you don' speak to me I'll kick you!" He raise his foot an' kick the stump an' the tar held it there like glue. "Let me go, let me go,

[1. "A lie, sir!"]

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sir, or I'll knock you down with my right hand!" That hand stuck fast all the same. I'll you don' let me go, I'll hit you with my lef' hand!" That hand stick fas' all the same. An' he raise his lef' foot an' gave the stump a terrible blow. That foot stuck. Anansi was suspended in air an' had to remain there till morning. Anansi was so ashamed that he climb up beneath the rafters an' there he is to this day.

Next: 22. Inside the Cow.