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

Old Jackal and Young Baboon

‘You is a bright sort, you is, by de jimminy!’

“Young Leelikie he grin back like he tinks a lot o’ dat ‘Allah Crachty!’ ses he, ‘won’t my ole mammy be pleased to hear dat.’

“Ou’ Jackalse sees he’s on de wrong side de fence dis time. ‘Well, I s’pose we’ll ha’ to do sometin’,’ ses he. ‘Now, you put de gum dere on dat stone at de tree root an’ I’ll stand off here an’ tell you.’

“‘Right-o,’ ses Leelikie. ‘Here’s de gum,’ an’ he swings down an’ plants it on de stone—but he don’t leave it.

“‘By jimminy!’ ses Ou’ Jackalse at dat. But he sees he’s on de spike a’ right, an’ he’ll hatto be honest if he’s a-gun’ to get dat gum. So he up an’ tell young Leelikie how he done wid Ou’ Wolf an’ de bessie berries when de Mensefreiter had ’em. ‘All you has to do den,’ ses he, ‘when you goes up into de tree wid you’ broder, is to eat all de gum you picks you’se’f an’ den swop you’ calabas’ fo’ his when he ain’t lookin’. Den you’ll be all right, an’ he’ll get de shambokkin, when you takes de calabashes down to you’ daddy.’

“‘Dat do sound mighty smart,’ ses Leelikie, like he’s admirin’ it immense. ‘But’—an’ yust as Ou’ Jackalse is makin’ one fair ole dive for him an’ de gum, he grabs it up an’ skips right up into de tree agen.

“Ou’ Jackalse look up at him, an he look down at Ou’ Jackalse. ‘T’ank you, Oom,’ ses he. ‘Here I t’ought I’d ha’ to pay dis gum for you tellin’ me sometin’, but now—well, now, I’ll scoff it myse’f.’

“Ou’ Jackalse yust had his mouf open to shout like mad when he see de gum go up de tree, but dat last words o’ young Leelikie ’stonish him dat much he stop right short. ‘What’s dat little lot fo’?’ ses he.

“‘What fo’? Oh, for instance,’ ses young Leelikie, bitin’ at de gum till de clear part run all down his chin.

“Ou’ Jackalse down below fair ramp on his hind legs agen at dat. ‘Didn’t I tell you what I said I’d tell you, you skellum?’

“‘Did you, billy-o!’ ses Leelikie, bitin’ some more gum. ‘You said you’d tell me how to get me all de gum an’ my broder all de shambokkins.

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