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92. Hidden Names.

a. Anansi and Mosquito.

George Parkes, Mandeville.

An ol' lady have a daughter which no one know the name, an she never call the name at all make no one hear it. So she offered a hundred pound to anyone who could tell the girl name. Anansi say he mus' get that money. Now he went an' mak a bargain with Mosquito that Mosquito mus' go in the girl room, as he's a small man an' can go thru crevices, an' he, Anansi will go underneath the mother room. In the night while the girl was sleeping, Mosquito went an' sing at her ear; an' the girl then knock her han' up on Mosquito an' say, "Go 'way!" At that time the mother stop into her room an' hear. After a little time, Mosquito went back to the girl ear an' sing again. The girl knock after him an' say, "Go 'way!" again. Anansi underneath the mother's room give a clear listening. A little time after, Mosquito went back to the girl an' sing at her ear. She then knock after him again an' say, "Go 'Way!" The mother then called to the girl, said, 'Zegrady, Zegrady, what's the matter?" The daughter said, "It is something worrying me in my sleep, mum." Anansi never wait now for Mosquito, run right to his house, take up his fiddle an' begin to play,--

"Zegrady, Zegrady, Zegra, Zegrady,
Come shake up Anansi hand, My dear!"

The next morning he start for the house and play. So the girl bear her name and say, "Mother, I heard someone call my name!" So the old woman invite Anansi to come in an' Anansi get the money, never give Mosquito none. So from that day is why Mosquito flying at people ear making noise, because Anansi rob him out of the money.

b. Anansi plays Baby. (1)

Eliza Barrett, Harmony Hall, Cock-pit country.

There was t'ree sister living to a house. Nobody was to know their names. An' Anansi want to hear them an' he couldn't get them, An' he have a young man an' turn the young man into a baby (an' turn himself the baby mother), an' he carry the baby go an' ask them if they min' the baby for her; tell 'em say, when part of the day the baby crying they mus' bathe the baby for her. {p. 119} An' one of the sister name Santa Cruka. Santa Cruka take the baby an' 'trip him an' put him into a bowl, an' Santa Cruka said, "Run come a sister Aminty! ever see such a little baby have such a big man place?" An' Aminta say, "Run come, Sister Amata! ever see such a little baby have such a big man place?" So when de baby mother come now an' carry the baby under a tree, the baby tell the mother, "That one name Santa Cruka, an' the other one name Aminta, an' the other one name Amata." An' he put down the baby an' he turn a big tall man before him. An' he go up to de t'ree lady an' said, "Missus, is not you name Mistress Santa Cruka? An' she go into her room an' drop down dead. An' go back to Aminta an' say, "Sister, is not you right name Sister Aminta?" An' she drop down die. An' go back to Sister Amata an' say, "Is not you right name Sister Amata?" An' (she) drop down dead. An' (Anansi) take all the richness of the three sisters an' never care to go home.

b. Anansi plays baby. (2)

Henry Spence, Bog, Westmoreland.

Anansi go to a groun'. Nobody know dose two sister name, not from dem born. So he come bet dat him will fin' out dem two sister name. When he come home, he said to his wife him going to fawn himself a baby an' de wife mus tek job grass-weeding at de groun' fe dem two women, when him gwine, mus' put him quite unter de shady tree as a baby. An' de wife did so. So when de two woman go under de tree, mek much of de baby, nice baby! So as dem woman play wid de baby, de baby laugh, mout' full of teeth. Two sisters frighten to see young baby have so much teeth. So one of de sister say, "Sister Agumma, run see Anansi baby mout' full of teet'!" Sister Agumma run come an' see. Anansi catch dat name. Sister Agumma come say, "O sister Agumme, a-a-ah! Anansi baby mout' full of teet' fe true!" Anansi catchy bot' name an' win de money.

b. Anansi plays baby. (3)

Richard Morgan, Santa Cruz Mountains.

Der is a man livin' at a town for eight years, nobody know his name. Hanansi say, "Ma tek off me trousers, put on me long shirt, kyar' me go a man yard, let him nurse me till you come home from ground." De baby stay good all de while. When he see h' mudder comin' home, de baby creep, cryin', go to his mudder. {p. 120} De man went to tek him back, said, "What kind of baby dis count fe, he see he mudder he start to cry?" Meanwhile he go to tek de baby an' saw de shirt jump up in de back. Him 'toop down, him peep, him knock him han'. "Mercy, me Lord! what kind of a baby got such long hair on him so, poor me, Tom Goody!" Den de baby gwine to his mudder cryin' "Tommy Goody!" So from dat day, de whole town fin' out de man dat he name Tommy Goody.

Next: 93. Anansi and Mr. Able.