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 [61. The Fasting Trial (fragment).]


61. The Fasting Trial.

See number 149, where the bird in the tree starves and Hopping {p. 262} Dick on the ground picks up worms and wins the match. In this story, though incomplete, it is intimated that the bird in the tree wins,

Compare Dayrell, 153-155; Harris, Nights, 370-373; Fortier, 34-37; Parsons, Andros Island, 97 99.

In Dayrell, the birds propose to starve seven days to see which will be king. One leaves a hole out of which he creeps unobserved to feed.

In Harris, as in this Jamaica version, the winning bird takes up his station in the tree; the "fool bud" stays down by the creek.

In Parsons, one bird chooses a fruit tree, the other a "dry" tree. The song sung by the winning bird runs,--

"This day Monday mornin'
    Tama tama tam!"

and so on for the remaining days of the week.

In Fortier, the lady-love brings food to her favorite bird. The cooing song in the Jamaica versions suggests this connection.

Next: Note 62. Man is Stronger.