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 [86. The Girls who married the Devil.]


86. The Girls who married the Devil.

The flight from a Devil husband has also taken on a fixed form in Jamaica in contrast to the number of variants related on Andros Island and the much more complex versions known in Africa. It is possible that this is true only for the localities visited.

The story has three parts. (1) A girl marries a handsome man against her little brother's warning. (2).The man, who is usually the devil, carries her home, accompanied in secret by the brother, locks her up, and sets a cock to watch her. (3) An old woman befriends her, they feed the cock with various grains and finally escape over the river in the Devil's magic boat, pursued by the Devil.

Jekyll, 148-151, The Devil and the Princess, has a version of this story.

Compare Zeltner, 85-90; Nassau,, 68-76; Fortier, 68-75;

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Jones, 82--88; Chatelain, 99-101; Barker, 97-101; Jacottet, 160-166; Callaway, 78-85; Christensen, 10-14; Tremearne, FL 22:346-348; Dayrell, 38-41; 98-103; Parsons, Andros Island, 49-54; Sea Islands, 45-49; JAFL 30: 181-183; JAFL 12:126-130; and see references to numbers 83 and 85.

(1) In the Snake marriage, number 85, there is no rejected warning, but the hunter-brothers come to the rescue. In numbers 83 and 87, it is the despised little brother who effects the escape.

(, 2) In Jacottet, a girl is carried away to the land of the half-bodied people and guarded by horns that cry out. They are silenced by pouring in hot water and stuffing them with stones. In Barker, the dragon who carries away Anansi and his son sets a white cock to warn him if they try to escape. In Christensen, a fly guards the girl and Tiger comes running at its call. In Fortier and JAFL 12:128, roosters guard the girl. In Callaway, an old woman warns the Pigeons when the girls escape.

(3) The only version of the flight theme which I found developed in Jamaica is that of the evasion of the guardian cock by feeding him enough corn so that the girl can get across the river before the cock summons the husband.

In some flight stories, it is the pursuing monster himself who is silenced with the corn-throwing. In Nassau, the fleeing girl throws out three gourdfuls of seed which the Leopard stops to pick up. In Chatelain, the woman throws out calabashes of seed to the pursuing cannibal. Compare Renel 1:38-40; 2:262-263; Ferrand, 119-122.

The appearance of both the kindly maid-servant and the helpful brother in the Jamaica versions is irrelevant. The immense popularity of the theme of the despised little brother probably makes his appearance an inthrust. In Zeltner, Nassau and Jones, a friendly horse accompanies the bride. In JAFL 12:126-130, a friendly ox belonging to the husband carries the bride. So also in Parsons, Andros Island, 51-52 ii, and in JAFL 30:181, the friendly animal is taken from the husband's fields.

In Zeltner and Jones, the horse warns its mistress; in Dayrell the old mother sends her home because the girl is kind to her; in Fortier, because she is sorry for her; in JAFL 12, the old wife sends her away because she is jealous. In Dayrell, 101, a skull to which she has been kind acts the part of helper.

In Zeltner, Nassau, Fortier, Jones and Parsons, Andros Island, 52-54 iii, iv, and Sea Islands, the flight develops into an obstacle race. In Parsons, 50-51, and Tremearne, the fugitives escape by

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transformation. In Callaway, the sea divides; in Fortier, the Crocodile carries the girl over and drowns her pursuer. Riddling questions are to be answered in JAFL 12; Parsons, Andros Island, 52 iii; Sea Islands, 46; JAFL 30; see Jekyll, 26-28. A secret door gives a Blue-beard turn to the versions of Jones, Fortier, and Parsons, Andros Island, 44-45, and Sea Islands, 47-49; see Jekyll, 35-37.

The Jamaica version is on the whole bare of incident. Interest centers in the imitative songs of swallowing, of running, and in the boat-call, to the exclusion of any further development of the flight theme.

Next: Note 87. Bull as Bridegroom.