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Main > South African folktales > Fairy tale "Ou' Wolf lays a Trap"

Ou' Wolf lays a Trap

’Sides, dere’s you’ tail, wid de hairs a-stickin’ out troo de cracks.’

“Ou’ Wolf he’s dat mad at bein’ had agen so cheap an’ nasty he yust swang de door open, an’ at fust he tinks he’ll chase Ou’ Jackalse till he plum runs him down. But Ou’ Jackalse he go two licks for his one, an’ every once in a while he kick out his back foot to rile him up mo’. Ou’ Wolf yust hatto go home an’ tink it all over agen.

“Well, dis sort o’ ting go on an’ on till at last Ou’ Wolf he feel dat desprit he’ll hatto do sometin’ or bu’st. So off he sets for where de white owl lives, ’cause he ’members why de white owl on’y fly at night time, an’ he’s pretty sure Ole Owl’s a-gun’ to he’p him.

“De white owl listen to what Ou’ Wolf tell him, an’ he look so straight at Ou’ Wolf dat you’d tink his eyes was fas’ to him. ‘Well,’ ses he at last, ‘Ou’ Jackalse is mighty slim, but Tink Tinkey was slimmer when de birds was choosin’ a king. An’ Young Tinkey’s de littlest bird in de veldt. I’s a deal bigger’n Tinkey, an’ we’ll see if I cahnt beat Ou’ Jackalse worse dan him. So here’s what you do.

“‘You know where de leopard live, in de kloof on de yonder side de berg? Now she’s yust got four little cubses, an’ she fin’s it mighty hard scratchin’ to get scoff enough Well, tomorrow you comes home past Ou’ Jackalse’s house, as if you was comin’ from dat kloof, an’ you have some honey a-runnin’ down your yaws an’ a-drippin’ on your paws, an’ you pass Ou’ Jackalse where he’s a-sittin’ in de sun’ at his house end. But you don’t say good mawnin’ nor nawtin’—you yust goes on home.

“‘Nex’ day you does de same agen, an’ dat time he’s mighty sure to say good mawnin’, ’cause he’ll a-bin tinkin’ an’ studyin’ about dat honey ever since yestiday. But you don’t say not a word agen—you yust goes on home.

“‘Den de nex’ day once mo’, an’ dat day you ses good mawnin’ when he ses it, an’ dat’ll be enough. Ahter dat he’s mighty sure to open out an’ wheedle an’ coax to get it out o’ you where you got dat honey. But you don’t tell him at fust; you yust gives him a leetle teenty piece o’ honey-comb, what you’s got wropped up in a green leaf.

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