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 [95. The Dumb Child.]


95. The Dumb Child.

Parkes heard this story in Sierra Leone, Africa. In Jekyll, 84-85, Dummy, it is Pea-fowl whose song the child imitates, and the story follows that of the sweet-voiced bird of number 71.

It resembles the European task-theme which turns upon making some over-serious person laugh. See Grimm 7; Bolte u. Polívka 1: 59-67; and Grimm, 64; Bolte u. Polívka, 2:39-44. See also Jataka Tales (Francis & Thomas, Cambridge, 1916), 363.

Its relation to the motive of getting a sight of the teeth is not clear. In Jones, 117-118, one of the tasks imposed by the king for the hand of his daughter is to bring him Alligator's teeth. Rabbit plays to Alligator until he shuts his eyes and opens his mouth to laugh, then knocks out his teeth. For the golden teeth see note to number 90.

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In a Maori story, White 2: 145-146, a chief sends women to detect an offender. They are to know him by a certain lost tooth. They identify him by singing and dancing until he laughs and exposes the cavity.

Next: Note 96. The Dumb Wife.