Sacred Texts  Africa  Index  Previous  Next 
 [13. Day-time Trouble.]


13. Seeing Trouble.

The complete story is made up of three parts. (1) Some inexperienced animal wants to know "what trouble is". (2) The rascal gets him into difficulty; (3) and helps him out again.

Compare: Zeltner, 105-107; Tremearne, FL 21:499-500; Jones, 107-109; Parsons, Sea Islands, 59-61.

(1) Only Jones, Parsons and the Jamaica version (a) have the introduction, which suggests the story (Grimm 4) of the lad who did not know what fear was.

(2) One of three plots is employed to teach wisdom. In Jones (see number 30c and Gerber's Great Russian Animal Tales, 12, 16) the rascal gives his victim a bull-dog in a bag and bids him let it out in an open field. In Parsons, he sets on fire the deep grass in which his victim lies sleeping. In Zeltner, Hyena and Hare catch four lion cubs; Hare pretends to kill his two, and Hyena follows his supposed example. In Tremearne, Hyena and Jerboa on a wedding journey are lodged in the goat-house and the fowl-house respectively. Jerboa proposes they have a feast, then counsels the host to count the fowls and the goats. None of his fowl are missing, but Hyena has eaten a goat. In Ferrand, Madagascar, 207, it is proposed to kill mothers. One pretends to, the other thinks it real and does it. See number 136.

In Gerber's Great Russian Animal Tales, 13, the Fox, having placed some chickens under her, pretends to be tearing out and eating her own entrails. Bear tries to do the same and kills himself.

(3) The escape into a hole is very common. The usual method of rescue is to throw dust, pepper or spit into the eyes of the watcher at the hole. Compare: numbers 5c, 23, 27 a, and Zeltner, 107; Nassau, 45, 46; Smith, 549; Harris, Uncle Remus, 52; Nights, 285; Fortier, 115; Jones, 108; JAFL 30:178; Parsons, Andros Island, 118 and note for references.

The "sweet" eye-water suggests such a tale as Tremearne, FL 21:364, where Goat smears honey upon Hyena's sinew, with which he is doing some mending for Lion, and by giving Lion a taste of it provokes an attack upon Hyena,

{p. 241}

Next: Note 14. New Names.