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Main > South African folktales > Fairy tale "Ou' Jackalse takes Ou' Wolf a-Sheep Stealing"

Ou' Jackalse takes Ou' Wolf a-Sheep Stealing

The children had been privately discussing for several days the state of things as between Ou’ Jackalse and Ou’ Wolf, and the verdict came out on this hot mid-day as they sat beside Old Hendrik under the big mimosa.

“Ou’ Wolf was always such a big fool,” protested the eldest boy, with the wondrous contempt of his years; “such a fool to let that Ou’ Jackal best him every time, like he did.”

“Well,” admitted Old Hendrik with a grin, “Ou’ Wolf he might ha’ look out a bit mo’ p’r’aps, when he come near Ou’ Jackalse. But den, I tell you, darie Ou’ Jackalse is yust dat slim dere ain’t no slimmer. If you want to keep ahead o’ him you’d ha’ to get up so early dere ain’t no time to go to bed, an’ den you’d on’y see his heel dust away yonder. Look dat time when Ou’ Jackalse got Ou’ Wolf into goin’ a-sheep stealin’ wid him. What ’ud you want mo’ fairer dan dat look at de start? An’ den what about de finis’ of it?

“Times is been a lot better many a time dan dey was den. De rinderpest was gone a’ right enough, but de game was mighty sca’se yet, an’ if Ou’ Jackalse want to live on meat he hatto go mostly stalkin’ roun’ farmers’ kraals for sheep. But him bein’ doin’ it on his lonesome he ain’t had so much luck as he tink he’d like to have. One kraal specially he yust would like to get into, an’ dere he tink he’d have de biggest feed of his life. It’s a’ right to get into it some night an’ fill hisse’f up to de eyes wid meat, but dere’s de mawnin’ after—dat’s de trouble. De mawnin’ after de man’s a-goin’ to find out what’s happen’, an’ he’ll get his dogs an’ hunt for de one dat did it. An’ Ou’ Jackalse he’s a-goin’ to be too full o’ feed to be hunted dat nex’ mawnin’. Huntin’ ain’t a-goin’ to agree wid him at all dat nex’ day.

“But he wants dat feed, an’ he don’t want to get ketched—dat’s two tings; an’ he tink, an’ he tink, an’ study, but it all come back to de one ting; he’ll yust hatto rope Ou’ Wolf into de game if he’s a-goin’ to do it at all.

“Well, he raunge about, an’ he dodge about till at last he see Ou’ Wolf a-comin’.

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