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

Old Jackal and Young Baboon

‘Now, what’s dis game you’s goin’ to tell me?’ ses Leelikie.

“‘Where’s de gum first?’ ses Ou’ Jackalse.

“‘Here’s it,’ ses Leelikie, showin’ it. ‘Let’s hear de plan now.’

“‘Ho! you gi’e me de gum first so’s I’ll know it’s good gum,’ ses Jackalse.

“‘Oh, I’ll soon show you dat,’ ses Leelikie. ‘See me!’ an’ he bite off a big piece o’ de gum, an’ he smack, smacks wid his mouf like an ox team pullin’ its feets out o’ deep mud.

“Dat rile Ou’ Jackalse terr’ble. ‘Ho! yeh!’ shout he. ‘What’s you a-eatin’ up my gum for?’

“‘’Cause you ses it ain’t good; I’s yust a-showin’ you how good it is,’ ses Leelikie, rollin’ his eyes at de rest of it. ‘’Sides, it ain’t you’ gum till you tells me dis plan you bargain to, yestiday.’

“‘Ain’t I likely to tell you ’fore I gets de gum!’ ses Ou’ Jackalse, like he’d like to ketch hisse’f doin’ any sich a fool trick.

“‘An’ ain’t I likely to let you have dis gum ’fore you’s told me de trick!’ ses Leelikie leerin’.

“‘Ho, dat’s de game, is it? Den I tink I’d better go ’long an’ find you’ broder—he won’t want to cheat me,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse, an’ he make as if he’s a-gun’ to slope right off out o’ dat. He tinks dat’s gun’ to fetch young Leelikie to time.

“But—‘Oh, dat’s all right,’ ses Leelikie. ‘I can knock de pips off him any day, an make him tell me too. You go on, an’ den I’ll have dis gum to myse’f. Dat’s so much ahead anyhow.’

“Ou’ Jackalse stops, an’ his eye look sort o’ longin’. ‘Den you ain’t a-gun’ to trust me?’ ses he, as if dat’s de last word he’s gun’ to say.

“‘Look a-hyer, Oom Jackalse,’ ses Leelikie. ‘I has dis gum a’ready. I can see it, an’ I knows it’s good. But I hasn’t got what you wants to give fo’ it, an’ I can’t see it, an’ I don’t know if it’s good. So I tink I’ll make sure o’ what I has,’ ses he, openin’ his mouf wide an’ lettin’ his tongue flop up an’ down, while he holds de gum a little way off his eye wid de one hand and rub his tummy wid de oder. ‘Yum, yum, yum,’ ses he.

“‘Well,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse, as if he yust couldn’ he’p it.

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