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 [Old-time Fools.]
 [Duppy Stories.]
 [Animal Jests.]



I & II. These old-fashioned slave stories are from old Vassel Edwards at Retirement, in the Cock-Pit country. They belong to the "nager-trick" stories quoted by Lewis.

III. The Congo negro is said to be duller-witted than negroes from the Gold Coast. To call a man a "Congo" is hence a term of ridicule.

IV. This witticism is common. In one version, the man was said to be "walking in Kingston." Mrs. Elizabeth Hilton gave me a version she learned from Henry Roe, school-master at Retirement, which bears the marks of having been put together by some literary entertainer.

"Massa Peter was a funny sort of a buckra massa. He was "mustafenia" (white by law). Massa Peter an' me, we go to school together. We were readin' in a 'pellin' (book) an' we were doin' jumba fraction sum.

From the day me leave school me never see Marse Peter any more till one day we buck up. A glad to see him till a couldn't glad any more. Marse Peter went a tell me somet'ing, a laugh till me belly nearly pop.

Marse Peter was the sort of boy used to go out after hours. Him ma tell him if him (she) been dead before him, she will show him token (frighten him). {p. 289} But Marse Peter never will believe her. One night, Marse Peter go out. When him coming back, he catch right at the cross-road where dem-Taylor boy used to sit down a day-time, an' smell somet'ing funny, but he never know wha'. He been 'fraid, but afterward he no 'fraid again. An' see one man come wid litt'e fire. He say, 'I beg you a light, sah!' The man give him a light. The man has some teeth a his mouth, they long like a Jack-ass a laugh a sun-hot. Marse Peter pass the man. He meet up another man. He say, 'Look here, me frien', I meet a man jus' roun' the turning, have teeth long like a Jack-ass a laugh a sun-hot.' The man said, 'Teeth like these do they long?' Marse Peter run an' he run an' never stop runnin' till he meet up a mother bed. From that, Marse Peter never go af'er no girl again. Marse Peter behave a good buckra massa af'er this."

V. The witticism is used in a good many connections. In one story, a man finds a boy by the roadside and takes him home. When he asks the boy to blow the fire, the duppy says, "Me kyant blow de fire, for me dead long time an' dirt eat out all me teet'." The man beats him and he runs away crying, "Lor! me dead two time." In another version, "Rolling Calf" takes possession of a house. While he is asleep, the owner makes an iron fork red hot and catches him about the neck.

VI. See number 145.

VIII. Compare Cundall, FL 15:91, where the "Rolling Calf," afraid of the moon, tumbles over into the stream and sprains his foot. He says, "A don't mind the wet, a wet, but the 'prain a 'prain me foot'."

X. In Tremearne, FL 22:222-223, Lizard and Mouse both court a woman. Mouse tells her that Lizard is blind, can't see at night; Cock tells her that Rat is a thief, can't be seen in the market.

In Koelle, 174-177, Toad and Rat have a wager to see if one can do what the other cannot. Toad passes a crowd with a whole skin; Rat is pursued with sticks and stones.

XI. See number 48.

XII. From Alexander Archibald, near Mandeville.

XIII. From Mrs. Matilda Hall, Harmony Hall. See number 4.

XVI. This and the next two witticisms were written out by some young lads in Bethlehem, Santa Cruz Mountains.