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

Old Jackal and Young Baboon

Sometin’ had to come—sometin’ did—de seat o’ young Leelikie’s hide. For Ou’ Jackalse gi’en such a terr’ble ole yank, an’ de stone set back wid such a terr’ble ole stick fast, dat young Leelikie flew one way wid Ou’ Jackalse, an’ de seat of his hide stayed de oder way wid de gum on de stone; tore off wid a rip like a yard o’ calico.

“De stone yust sot tight an’ shined like he’s smilin’, but Ou’ Jackalse he whirraloo round dere like a fireworks. An’ about dat time Ou’ Baviyàan an’ de oder young baviyàankie made deir dive for him.

“Well, you never did see no sich a mix up. For Ou’ Jackalse he see dat dive yust in time, an’ he yanks tings round so dey dives not into him but into young Leelikie, an’ dere dey is, yust as fast as he is, an’ all pullin’ de roots out to get loose agen in different d’rections.

“But it he’p Ou’ Jackalse all de same. Two o’ dem pullin’ dat way an’ him pullin’ dis, de two o’ dem was boun’ to be strongest, an’ dey gi’es one Allah Crachty of a yank till dey fair tears—not demselves, but young Leelikie, loose from Ou’ Jackalse. An’ you can see to dis day how all de long hair was tore off his paws an’ his yaws so bad it never grow long any more,” ended Old Hendrik solemnly.

“Oh, but,” protested Annie, “what happened then when Ou’ Jackalse got loose?”

“Why dere wahnt nawtin’ to happen,” returned Old Hendrik in a little astonishment. “Ou’ Jackalse was loose, dat was what he was ahter, so he went home an’ sit down. But Ou’ Baviyàan he was yust dat proud o’ young Leelikie bein’ so smart as to ketch Ou’ Jackalse dat way, dat it set de fashion to leave de seat o’ you’ hide on a gummy stone, an’ dat’s how it comes dat all de baviyàans has a cobbler’s patch to sit down on nowadays. It ain’t for pretty but for proud dey wears it.

“So now you knows why,” ended Old Hendrik solemnly.

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