Old Jackal and Young Baboon
“Ou’ Ta’,” said the eldest boy the next evening, as they waited at the kraal for the coming of the cows to the milking, “you never told us what Old Bobbyjohn said to Old Wolf that time when he stopped running away from Old Jackalse at last.”
“No,” replied Old Hendrik, with a droll, droll leer; “an’ I’d hatto be a mighty sight smarter dan I ever ’members bein’ if I was to tell you dat. For when Ou’ Wolf stopped at last, den Ou’ Baviyàan yust looked at him; yust stopped an’ looked an’ untied his tail an’ crawled off. As you’ daddy ses—‘not a word, not a sound; not a whisper of a noise said he’. Ou’ Baviyàan yust saved it all up so he can tink it all over every time he see Ou’ Wolf agen. It’ll last him longer dat way.”
“So then he went home an’ put poultices on his tail, I suppose,” suggested Annie, impatient for every detail of the tale that must lie in the curing of that tail.
“Well, I dunno about no poultices on no tails,” returned Hendrik; “but a day or two ahter dat, Ou’ Jackalse was a-slinkin’ an’ a-slopin’ along de koppies, an’ yust as he come under a mispyl tree an’ tink he’s gun’ to have a rest an’ a look round, he gets a smack in de ribses wid one stone, biff! an’ anoder smack on de roots o’ de tail wid anoder, bash! An’, kleinkies, you should yust a-seen him streak it out o’ range o’ dat ole mispyl tree.
“Den he stop an’ he look back, an’ dar he see Leelikie Baviyàan, Ou’ Baviyàan’s younges’ son, a-showin’ his head an’ shoul’ers out o’ de leaves o’ de mispyl, an’ a-yarkin’ an’ a-barkin’ at him. ‘Mighty smart you tinks you is, don’t you?’ snarls Leelikie. ‘But I’ll teach you to try tricks on de baviyàans,’ ses he.
“When Ou’ Jackalse see it’s dat young squirt, he gets dat mad he feel like bitin’ a chunk out o’ de biggest stone he can reach. But he knows he ain’t a-gun’ to get even wid young Leelikie, ’less’n he sof’ soap him down. So he yust grins like he is mighty astonish’, an’ rubs his ribses like dey’s sore as billy-o. ‘Well,’ ses he, ‘what tricks is I ever played on you?
The Story of the Leopard, the Tortoise, and the Bush Rat
Category: Nigerian folktales
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