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Main > South African folktales > Fairy tale "The Bargain for the Little Silver Fishes"

The Bargain for the Little Silver Fishes

De calabas’ I’ll put it in’ll look big all de same, weder dere’s lots o’ honey inside it or on’y one drop,’—an’ wid dat he pulls out a big calabasie wid a long bottle neck, an’ ’gins to scrape up de drippin’s what Ou’ Waxa drop when she pull de bits o’ de comb out o de tree.

“Well, it come de nex’ day, an’ Ou’ Sculpat was dere in de water-hole, feelin’ de weeds agen his mouf an’ not takin’ de trouble to make up his mind weder he’ll eat or not, when here comes Klein Hahsie, yust a-hoppin’ an’ a-skippin’, wid a calabas’ in his one hand, an’ a-beatin’ it wid his toder like a drum. An’ all de time he’s a-keepin’ time wid singin’:—

“Hahsie, Hahsie;

Calabasie;

Dum! Dum! Dam!

“Ou’ Sculpat open his eyes at dat. He turn his head, an’ on dat Little Hahsie gives a extry kick an’ a stride. ‘Here you is, Sculpat!’ ses he. ‘Taste dis!’ an’ he sticks a long feder into de calabas’ an’ pulls it out wid a flouris’ an’ holds it up. ‘Open your mouf, an’ shut you’ eyes, an’ see what comes dat’s spiffin’ nice,’ ses he.

“Ou’ Sculpat he wave hisse’f to de side o’ de pool like he dunno weder it’s wort while or not; but he comes out an’ he stick his head up an’ open his mouf an’ shut his eyes—an’ dat’s why he don’t see de grin come in Little Hahsie’s face, nor’ de double extry flouris’ he give de feder. Den Hahsie draw de feder troo Ou’ Sculpat’s mouf an’ out agen.

“As soon as he taste dat honey Ou’ Sculpat’s eyes flew wide open an’ his mouf begun a-workin’ all ways at once. ‘Allah Crachty! but dat’s fair fine-o,’ ses he. ‘Yust gi’e me a little teenty bit more o’ dat, won’t you?’

“‘Ah, now,’ ses Hahsie. ‘Yestiday when I ax you for some little fis’es you was mighty snifty. To-day I gi’es you some o’ my nice stuff an’ you ses—“Mo.” An’ I ses—“What for?”’

“‘Well, I’ll gi’e you a fis’ if you gi’es me some more o’ dat,’ ses Sculpat.

“‘Hoho!’ ses Hahsie. ‘Yestiday I offer’ to fetch you garden stuff an’ you ses you’s got weeds. S’pose I says now—“What do I want wid fis’es—I’s got honey?

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