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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

‘You yust wait an’ see.’

“Well, dere dey wait an’ dere dey watch, an’ dere when de sun drop dey see de sheep draw into de kraal, an’ see de farmer come out an’ look ’em over, an’ ahter dat him an’ de boy go off to supper an’ sleep. Den it drop dark an’ come midnight. ‘Now we go down,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse.

“So down dey goes, an’ dey comes to de kraal, movin’ as quiet as shaddas an’ as soft as de dark, an’ dey’s yust dat light an’ empty dey yumps on to de kraal wall like birds a-lightin’. Den dey drops down, an’ dere dey begins to eat.

“Dey eats one sheep an’ dey eats two sheep, an’ den Ou’ Jackalse he draw off dat quiet dat Ou’ Wolf don’t hear, an’ he crawl to de water-let hole at de bottom o’ de kraal wall, an’ tries if he’s still not swell’ too much to slip out troo dat hole, ’cause he knows right well dey’s bofe too full to yump back over de kraal wall. But he finds dat’s a’ right; he can get out easy yet, so he go back an’ he has mo’ feed. An dat way he keep on an’ on, eatin’ fust an’ den tryin if his tummy ain’t too big yet to slip troo’, till at last he cahnt on’y yust scrape troo wid scratchin’ till he’s black in de face. ‘Pity I ain’t shav’ all my sideses,’ ses he, ‘den I could slip troo yust one time mo’. Dem sheep dey is so fat.’

“Well, dere’s de man an’ de dogs to tink on now, an’ dis is de time he want Ou’ Wolf for. He knows Ou’ Wolf’s gone on eat an’ eat an eatin’, till he fair couldn’t har’ly get out o’ de gate if it was open, let alone troo de waterlet hole, not if de dogs had hol’ of his tail. An’ dat’s yust what Ou’ Jackalse bin a’ figurin’ on, so now he slink away into de bushes close by, an’ den he change his voice an’ begin to call out: ‘Baas! baas! Wolf in de kraal. Baas! baas! Wolf’s in de kraal!’

“‘Dere!’ ses he to hisse’f, ‘I’m a right now. De man an’ his dogs ’ll find Ou’ Wolf in de kraal, an’ dey’ll know all about who done it, so dey won’t be lookin’ for anyb’dy else. Dere won’t be no huntin’ ahter me—dat’s what I couldn’t stan’ yust now; it’s mo’ dan I ought to hatto do is to walk, let alone run, out o’ dis,’ ses he.

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The Indian Plume
Category: United States folktales
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