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 [3. Tiger as Riding-horse.]


3. Tiger as Riding-Horse.

The story is very common in Jamaica and presents no local variations from the form familiar in America. In Parkes's version, the "two misses" become two "post-mistresses". In a version by Knight, a school-master in the Santa Cruz mountains, Tacoomah is the horse and the story ends, "From that day the saddle fasten on Brer Tacoomah's back." Knight explained that "Brer Tacoomah is a large spider with yellow spots and a broad back shaped like a saddle," and that the story was told to explain this characteristic.

Other Jamaica versions are found in Milne-Home, 51-63; Pamela Smith, 17; and Wona, 19-23. In Wona's version, the story is made to explain "why gungo-peas are always covered with Tacoomahs," a species of spider.

Compare Parsons, Andros Island, 30 and note; Sea Islands, 53; for comparative references.

Tremearne, FL 21: 205, and Tailed-Head-Hunters, 322, tells a Hausa story of a Hyena who has stolen a holy man's horse. Spider offers to bring the Hyena to him in its place, and persuades Hyena, under pretence of taking him to a dead animal, to be saddled and bridled and ridden by Spider to the holy man, who then mounts Hyena and completes his journey.

In Ellis, Yoruba 265, Tortoise rides Elephant into town to sustain an idle boast,

In Smith's Brazil version, the little animal is tied on for safety, and takes care to slip into a hole when he finally dismounts.

In Ernst, VBGAEU 20:277 (Venezuela), Rabbit rides Tiger across a river. The story is coupled here with the murder in midstream.

Next: Note 4. Tiger's Sheep-skin Suit.