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22. Inside the Cow.

George Parkes, Mandeville.

Anansi an' Tacoomah while they were frien's they had a quarrel, so it was an envy between both of them an' they never speak. One day Anansi sen' one of his chil' over to Tacoomah's yard fe some fire. Tacoomah give him the fire an' some beef-fat. Anansi see the fat in the chil' han', said, "Whe' yo' get dat nasty t'ing from?" So the chil' said, "Brar Tacoomah give it to me."--"Mak a t'row it away, nasty t'ing!" The chill give it to him. He turn away from the chill an' do so (like him fling it away), an' put it in his mouth; he then out the fire an' send back another chill fe more fire. She come with the fire an' some more fat that Tacoomah give to her. Anansi said, "You carry back that nasty thing come here again? you give it to me here!"' He turn his back an' did same as he did on first occasion. He himself now go to Tacoomah yard, said, "Mawning, Brar Tacoomah." Tacoomah said, "Mawning, Brar Nansi." Anansi said, "A wha' you get all the fat heah from, an' yo' won't tell me mak me go get some too?" Tacoomah say, "I would tell you, but yo' so craving you will go deh an' go mak trouble." Anansi said, "Oh, no, Brar! you t'ink if you tell me wha' such good t'ings is, me wen' deh go mak trouble?" Tacoomah say, "All right. Tomorrow four o'clock, when you hear cow-boy deh drive up cow a ribber-side, you come wake me an' you an' me go."

Anansi scarcely sleep fo' the night, only listening out fo' cowboy. While on the way Tacoomah said to Anansi, "When you go to de cow, you fe say, 'Open, sesema, open', an' cow will open de belly; an' when you go in you fe say, 'Shet, sesema, shet', an' then you mus' cut de fat out of de belly. But you mustn't cut de back-string, fo' if you cut it de cow will dead an you can't get fe come out again. So after you done cut de fat, you mus say, 'Open, sesema, open', an cow will open an' you come out. You say, 'Shet, sesema, shet', an' de cow will shet."

So both of them go down. Anansi go to one cow, an' Tacoomah go to one use the same word, "Open, sesema, open!" Anansi go

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in, say "Shet, sesema, shet!" an' the cow shet; an' then he cut a whole basket of fat an, after the basket fill he said, "Open, sesema, open!" an' cow open. He come out, say, "Shet, sesema, shet!" an' cow shet. An' both of them went home.

The nex' morning, Anansi, as he hear the cow-boy, never call to Tacoomah at all. He run down to the river-side an' go to a fat cow an' said, "Open, sesema, open!" The cow open. He go in an' said, "Shet, sesema, shet!" The cow shet. He begun to cut. Whilst cutting he cut the back-string. The cow now drop down dead.

The cow-boy went an' tell the master an' he order them to have it cleaned up. Anansi hide in the ma. The master give his darter the belly to go an' wash at the river. She carry it in a bowl, dash it down in the water. Anansi then jump out an' say to the girl, "Look! I in the river having a bathe an' yo' carry that nasty t'ing come an' t'row on me!" The girl begun to fret an' cry. Anansi say, "You got to carry me to your father mak him pay me for it!" She then tak Anansi to the father an' Anansi say will tak a cow in payment.

Anansi said he not going to carry the cow come home so to give any of his family any, so he went into a t'ick wood, kill the cow, mak up a large fire an' put it in to roast. He then started to look for ol' yams in the bush. He saw two eyes in the earth. He said, 'Lawd, from me bwoy bo'n is de firs' me know say dirtee can hab yeye!" So now he start to dig out dese yeye,[1] dig up Bredder Dry-head.[2] He go fe put him down back in de eart'. Dry-head say, "No, jus' carry me go where dat big smoke is yonder!" Anansi refuse to carry him. Dry-head said to him, "If yo' don' carry me, de whole of you' body will catch fire!" Anansi start to run. His whole body begin to blaze, have to run back an' tak up Dry-head. On reaching the fire, Dry-head order Anansi to bring the cow to him. Anansi with a sulky heart got to comply with Dry-head', order. Dry-head start eating the cow an' eat off every bit,--Anansi never taste it!

[1. Yeye is Jamaican for "eyes".

2. "Dry-head is one of the same species, but he is a different man from them." "Dry-head is a man always hide himself In the bush to eat up what Anansi or Tacoomah have," Parkes says.--He figures as a kind of old man of the sea in the Anansi stories.]


Next: 23. Cunnie-More-Than-Father.