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Main > South African folktales > Fairy tale "Old Jackal and Young Baboon"

Old Jackal and Young Baboon

“‘None,’ ses Leelikie; ‘you bet you didn’t I’s too smart for no sich a fathead as you to play tricks on me. But you played one on my ole daddy, an’ I dropped in for it a lot worse troo him.’

“‘How’s dat?’ ax Ou’ Jackalse, yust a-squirmin’ like he cahnt keep still for his ribs a-hurtin him.

“‘Why, you rakes Ou’ Wolf till he cahnt stand no more o’ you, an’ den he gets my daddy to he’p him. An’ my ole daddy comes back wid his tail dat busted dat he cahnt on’y yust sit an’ nurse it an’ growl. An’ when he feel bad he alwiz wants gum, an’ he send me an’ my broder up de trees to get it. Den if I eats a bit myse’f, de ole daddy he shambok me till I has to fair yell enough to make him tink he’s killin’ me ’fore he’ll stop. Dat’s how.’

“‘So all’s de matter wid you is you has to give up de gum dat you picks, is it?’ ses Ou’ Jackalse.

“‘Dat’s it, an’ de shambokkin’s for eatin’ de leetle teenty bits I puts in my mouf,’ ses Leelikie.

“‘Well, you is a nice ’un,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse, a-sneerin’ like. ‘Why, if dat was me, I’d eat all de gum I picked an’ still give de ole daddy all he wanted as well. I heerd you say you was mighty smart, but ahter dat,—well, I’d be ashamed o’ myse’f if I wasn’t smarter dan dat.’

“De way Ou’ Jackalse stick his nose up fair rile Leelikie. ‘Yis,’ ses he. ‘I hear you talk a lot, but I bet you cahnt show me how dat’s done.’

“‘An’ I bet I cahnt needer—not as soft as dat,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse. ‘You don’t get me as cheap as dat. But I’ll tell you what I’ll do. You come here to-morrow an’ you bring me some gum, nice clear gum, an’ den I’ll tell you how to do, so’s you’ll have all de gum you wants for yourse’f, an’ leave all de shambokkins to your broder.’

“‘Shambokkins to my broder!’ sings out Leelikie. ‘Oh, dat’s de right-o tip. You come, an’ I’ll be here wid de gum, don’t forget.’

“‘I won’t,’ ses Jackalse, an’ off he go, a-winkin’ to every bush as he pass it.

“Well, come next day, dere was young Leelikie up in de mispyl tree, an’ dere was Ou’ Jackalse at de foot of it lookin’ up.

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