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

Old Jackal and Young Baboon

“‘How’ll you do dat?’ ax de ole daddy, sort o’ tryin’ to guess where de young fella’s tryin’ to sell him.

“‘You’ll see a’ right enough, if you watches,’ ses Leelikie. ‘An’ you’ll ha’ to watch like t’ieves, an’ come a-scootin’ an’ a-boundin’ when I shouts. Dere won’t be no time to catch tings out o’ you’ tail on de way.’

“Well, Ou’ Baviyàan he look at young Baviyàan, an’ he weigh it all up an’ he won’er, an’ while he’s a-doin’ dat young Leelikie sort o’ knock up against dat sore tail of his daddy’s. Dat settle it. Ou’ Baviyàan he wants Ou’ Jackalse, an he wants him very bad, an if de young fella tinks he knows of a plan—why, he’s about as smart a young baviyàan as dere is in de koppies, so he’ll let him try anyway.

“So dey gets all dis gum, sticky ole gum, an’ dey rubs it into young Leelikie’s hair, an’ dey daubs an’ dey plasters an’ dey piles it on till at last he’s yust dat tick wid de gum he cahnt stir. Den dey sits him nice an’ comfy on a nice big stone, an’ dey puts a whackin’ ole chunk o’ half baked gum in his hand in front of his mouth, an’ dere dey leaves him.

“Now dis is de time young Leelikie ’xpected to get in his work on de gum. He reckoned he’d be yust wolfin’ down dat gum, first de big chunk in his hand an’ nex’ to scrape hisse’f clean o’ what’s on him. But ole sun had a say in dis f’m above, an’ de hot stone had a say in it f’m below, till ’fore de rest o’ de baviyàans had got out o’ sight, de gum was dat sticky dat he couldn’ stir hand or leg; not so much as wiggle his head. An’ dar’s Ou’ Jackalse a-creepin’ an’ a-peepin’ an’ a-watchin’ him.

“For Ou’ Jackalse he’d bin yust dat mad he’d follo’d on ahter de baviyàans, yust as young Leelikie made de rest tink he would. But Leelikie ha’n’t reckoned he was a-gun’ to be stuck like dis. He’d reckoned he’d be finis’ eatin’ de gum while Ou’ Jackalse ’ud be waitin’ for de rest to get far enough off, an’ dat ’ud give him yust de right time to be skippin’ back out o dat. Whereas—here he wuz.

“An’ here was Ou’ Jackalse too, yust a-dancin’ an a-prancin’.

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