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

The Bargain for the Little Silver Fishes

‘Well,’ ses he, ‘what about de rest of it?’

“‘Dat’s exac’ly what I wants to know,’ ses Hahsie. ‘Dat’s why I’s a-lookin’ down your froat—to see where de rest is went to. Here’s me tipped up de calabas’, an’ den I rub a taste nicely in your mouf, an’ den I drop in all de rest, so you’d have a nice ten minutes suckin’ on it. It drop in a’ right, but, Allah Crachty! where’s it go to? Tell me dat, Sculpat, for dere ain’t no sign of it where I looked.’

“Ou’ Sculpat stretch his eyes wide open at dat. ‘It must ha’ gone somewhere,’ ses Hahsie. ‘Hyer’s de calabas’ quite empty for you to see.’

“Ou’ Sculpat cock his eye into de calabas’, but he cahnt see nawtin’ dere, an’ he look at Little Hahsie, an’ Little Hahsie look back like dis is de funniest merrikle ever was. Den Sculpat dive into de inside o’ his shell to see if p’r’aps de honey might ha’ got dere, but it ain’t; an’ at last he ses—‘What’s you goin’ to do about it?—you’s got de fis’es.’

“‘An’ you’s got de honey,’ ses Little Hahsie.

“‘Where’s it den?’ ses Sculpat.

“‘I put it into dis end o’ you,’ ses Hahsie. ‘You’s de one to know what’s happen’ to it after dat.’

“Ou’ Sculpat he consider a bit. ‘Well, I did feel sometin’ ticklin’ half-way down my froat,’ ses he, ‘but I didn’t feel it no furder.’

“‘P’r’aps dat’s de way you’s made inside,’ ses Hahsie; ‘half-way down an’ den a drop.’

“Ou’ Sculpat he didn’t say nawtin’ to dat; he stick to business. ‘When’s I to have some mo’?’ ses he.

“‘When I wants more fis’,’ ses Hahsie, his big eyes fair a-shinin’ wid wonderin’ about dat honey still.

“‘An’ when’s dat?’ ses Sculpat.

“‘When I feels like I’d like some,’ ses Hahsie, an’ he don’t grin a bit.

“‘To-morro’?’ axes Sculpat.

“‘A’ right,’ ses Hahsie. ‘You have de fis’es ready an’ I’ll see about gettin’ some mo’ honey. So long, den,’—an’ Mr Hahsie he picks up de ten fis’es an’ de little one, an’ he offs.

“Ou’ Sculpat watch him go a minute. ‘Dat stuff is taste rippin’,’ ses he. Den he flop into de water agen, but he don’t eat any weeds.

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