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An Excerpt from “Old Hendrik’s Tales” 13 South African Folk Tales
The little girl was full of excitement. Driving home with her mother from the “dorp,” she had seen Ou’ Jackalse himself—Mynheer Jackal—slinking across the veldt, and all the tales Old Hendrik had told her about him crowded her mind as she watched him. She could hardly contain herself now, as she stood before the old Hottentot pouring forth the story. There was only one regret in it—“He must have been in some trouble, Ou’ Ta’,” said she; “’cause all the time I watched him his tail was right down. I watched and I watched to see if it wouldn’t stick up, ’cause then I’d know he was thinking of a plan; but it never did.”
Old Hendrik smiled. “So his tail was a-hangin’ an’ a-slinkin’ ahter him, was it? An’ didn’t he look back at you over his shoulder as he went?”
“Yes, he did,” answered Annie, still more eager at finding how well Old Hendrik knew the ways and doings of Ou’ Jackalse. “I kept hoping he was thinking of fetching Ou’ Wolf to work for us, then I could tell Ou’ Wolf not to trust him any more, no matter what he said.”
Old Hendrik’s delight bubbled into a jeering shake of the head and a half laugh of derision over the subject as he repeated the name—“Ou’ Jackalse, hey! Ou’ Jackalse!”
“But you needn’t to be feared he’s a-gun’ to get Ou’ Wolf into much more trouble nowadays, Ainkye,” went on the old Hottentot. “He ain’t a-gun’ to get de best o’ so many more folks, not since he went to get even wid Young Tink Tinky, de littlest bird on de veldt. Little Missis Tinky got Ou’ Mammy Reyer, de Crane, to he’p her, an’ dat made all de difference. You seen how he slunk his tail along behind him?—well, dat’s why. He’s a-tinkin’ o’ what happened den, an’ he looked at you over his shoulder, wonderin’ all de time weder you’d heerd de tale or not. It happened dis while or two back, an’ since den he ain’t bin near so sa’cy as he used to was.”
“Oh, poor Old Jackalse!” cried the little girl, “what did happen? Do tell me, Ou’ Ta’.”
“Well,” began Old Hendrik, “if ever you sees Ou’ Jackalse tryin’ to fool Ou’ Wolf into trouble agen, you don’t ha’ to say on’y yust one ting. You’s on’y got to ask him how he likes eggs, an’ den see if he don’t turn round an fair slink off wid his tail draggin’. Dat’s where de trouble come in, he would go ahter eggs.
“You ’members me tellin’ you how Young Tink Tinky bested Ou’ Jackalse when de birds wantto choose a King for demselves? Well, Ou’ Jackalse he never forgot dat, an’ he was al’ays a-studyin’ how he’s a-gun’ to get even, but he couldn’t find de way nohow till at last he sees Missis Tinky a-sittin’ on de nest, an’ he knows by dat dere’s eggs dere. ‘Dat’s me,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse. ‘Eggs is de ting I does like—an’ here’s some. Watch me teach dat Young Tinky dis time.’
“Now dere was a t’orn-tree like dis,”—here Old Hendrik indicated the mimosa under which he sat,—“an’ dis t’orn-tree was a-growin close beside de river, an’ a willow-tree dat was bigger yet was a-hangin’ over de t’orn. In dat t’orn-tree Young Tinky build his nest, an ahter de eggs is all laid, an’ his missis is well an’ comfy settled into sittin’ on ’em, Young Tink he offs to look for scoff for hisse’f an’ de missis. Den’s de time when Ou’ Jackalse is a-watchin’ him, an’ as soon as he’s gone, here comes Jackalse to de bottom o’ de t’orn-tree an’ begins to scratch on de bark—scratch! scratch! scratch!
“Little Missis Tinky she look down out o de nest. ‘Who’s dere?’ ses she.
“‘Me,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse.
“‘What you want?’ ses Missis Tinky, all in a tremble.
“‘Want dem eggs you got,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse, wid his hair up. ‘You better be sharp about it too.’
“‘Well, you ain’t a-gun’ to get ’em,’ flutter Missis Tinky; but she’s yust dat frighten’ she cahnt har’ly speak.
“‘Please yourse’f,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse; ‘but if you don’t drop me down a egg dis minute, den I’s a-comin’ up, an’ if I once does come up dere, den I’s a-gun’ to eat you first as well as de eggs. Make a hurry now—drop one!’
“Little missis she get sich a scrik when Ou’ Jackalse ses he’s a-comin’ up dat she yust go all a-flitty flutty, an’ dere ain’t no two ways about it, she hatto drop him one egg to save de rest. So out she pull it an down she drop it, right into Ou’ Jackalse mouf, where he stand on his back legs wid his front feets agen de tree. An’ as soon as he feel it in his mouf he yust gullup it down, an’ off he go for dat day. ‘I’ll make dis ting last a bit,’ ses he to hisse’f.
“Well, little Missis Tinky she’s in dat terr’ble way she cahnt har’ly sit still till Young Tinky comes home, an’ as soon’s ever she sees him she burst out a-cryin’ an’ a-tellin’ him what happened.
“‘What! An’ you b’lieve sich a fool tale as dat about him climbin’ de tree,’ ses Young Tinky, fair fightin’ mad at de way he lose dat egg. ‘He cahnt climb dis tree, not if he break his neck a-tryin’.’
“But Young Tinky he sees it ain’t no use; it ain’t a-gun’ to he’p his missis for him to shout an’ talk about it. ‘Never you mind dis time, little missis,’ ses he. ‘To-morrow you can go an’ look for de scoff, an’ I stay at home an’ wait for Ou’ Jackalse. I’ll show him what’s what dis time, too,’ ses he. An’ his missis she stop cryin’, dough she cahnt stop lookin’ where dat one egg ought to be.
“Well, de nex’ day Young Tinky he stop at home an’ sit on de nest while his missis went for scoff, an’ it ain’t but a while or two ’fore along comes Ou’ Jackalse to de foot o’ de tree-scratch! scratch! scratch!
“Young Tinky he ain’t a-lettin’ Ou’ Jackalse see who’s at home to-day; he yust on’y slant half o’ one eye down at him. ‘Who’s dere?’ ses he.
“‘Me,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse.
“‘An’ what you want scratchin’ dere?’ ses Tinky.
“‘Anoder egg, an’ you best be sharp about it,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse.
“‘Well, you’s yust about got all de eggs you’s a-gun’ to get here,’ ses Tinky, stickin’ all his head an’ shoulders out for Jackalse to have a good look at him.
“‘Oh, it’s you, is it?’ ses Ou’ Jackalse, showin’ his teef. ‘Well, if you won’t drop darie egg down in one minute, den I’s a-comin’ up an’ eat you all up—bones, beak an’ feders!’
“‘Come up den,’ ses Young Tinky, hoppin’ out onto a branch. ‘Yust you come up here if you darse, you hairy skellum you,’ squeak Tinky, hoppin’ up an’ down an’ flickin’ his wings like he’s fair a-gun’ to peck de eyes out o’ de hull fam’ly o’ de Jackalses. ‘You try it on, Mister Ou’ Jackalse, an’ see what I’s do to you!’ an’ Tinky swells hisse’f into a reg’lar ole rage as he tink o’ dat egg yestiday an’ his little missis frighten’ to deaf nearly.
“Dat make Ou’ Jackalse in sich a wax dat he spurt out de word he didn’t mean to. ‘I on’y wish I could yust come up dis tree to you. I’d scoff you down in yust one gullup an’ your eggses ahter you,’ ses he, a-rampin’ an’ a-tearin’.
“‘You ses dat,’ squeak young Tinky, ‘but I knows better. It’s not you cahnt—it’s you dahnt. But I’ll teach you to frighten poor little mammickies into givin’ you deir eggses, you skellum! skellum! skellum!’
“Ou’ Jackalse he get dat mad, a-snappin’ an’ a-snarlin’ while he listen, dat he fair turn away an’ slant out o’ dat, an’ Young Tinky is yust dat conceited of hisse’f he cahnt har’ly wait till his missis comes home ’fore he begin a-tellin’ her dat’s de way she ought to done yestiday. An’ Missis Tink she listen an’ she tink she’ll do de same herse’f now, if ever Ou’ Jackalse trouble her agen.
“So de nex’ day Young Tinky he go ahter de scoff, an’ his missis she sit on de eggs, tinkin’ it’s all right now. But Ou’ Jackalse he’d bin a-watchin’, an’ he know’s who’s a-gone an who’s a-stop at home, an in about no time he’s at de foot o’ darie t’orn-tree agen, an’ de same ole scratch! scratch! scratch! at it.
“Little Missis Tink she stick her head out an’ she start to tell him to get out o’ dat, in de biggest voice she’s got. But she hadn’t more dan got out de first two words dan she see his teef where he bare ’em all round, white an’ yammerin’, an’ he look dat savage an’ murderin’ dat de rest o’ de words stuck fast in her froat, an’ she fair chattered wid fright.
“‘Down wi’ darie egg, else I’ll come an’ tear you into smitchies,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse.
“Missis Tinky nearly drop out o’ de nest wid de scrik she got; but she tink o’ what Tink Tinky say, an’ she squeak it out. ‘You cahnt come up dis tree if you try,’ ses she.
“‘Cahnt I?’ ses he, all hair an’ spiky. ‘Yust see me half try!’ an’ he gives de biggest yump he ever make in his life, an’ it scrape him a couple o’ yards up de tree stem.
“Little missis she fair gi’en one big squawk an’ tink she’s all gone—eggs, nest, an’ all. ‘Is you a-gun’ to drop me dat egg?’ shouts Ou’ Jackalse.
“‘Yes, yes. Here it is! Take it, take it!’ squeak de little missis, an’ she drop out de one egg to him.
“Ou’ Jackalse he ketch dat egg an’ he gulp it down an’ off he go agen. ‘Nex’ time I come you better drop one quicker. I ain’t a-gun’ to ax twice no more,’ ses he.
“Well, as soon as he go, little Missis Tinky she cry like her heart break, an’ she cahnt sit dere on de dest at all. Anyhow she’s feared to wait till Young Tinky comes home, ’cause she don’t know what he’ll say when he finds anoder egg gone, an’ she’s in dat misery dat she don’t know what to do. Den she tink of her Aunt, Ou’ Reyer, de Blue Crane, an’ she fly off to her where she’s a-fis’in’ in de reeds, an’ she yust up an’ tell her de hull tale of it.
“‘So darie Ou’ Jackalse’s up to his tricks agen, is he?’ ses Ou’ Reyer. ‘Well, he’s meddle wid de birds before, an’ dis time we’ll teach him to don’t do it no more. Now you yust go home an’ sit on de nest agen, an’ I’ll come in a minute or two—den well be ready for him.’
“Little missis she go back, an’ in a minute or two Ou’ Reyer follows, an’ she hide herse’f in de top o’ de willow-tree over de nest. ‘Now for Ou’ Jackalse,’ ses she.
“Well, it ain’t but a little while rill here come Ou’ Jackalse agen, wid de same ole scratch! scratch! scratch! an’ de same ole terr’fyin’ words—‘Drop me down anoder egg or I’ll come up an’ eat you,’ ses he.
“‘Make like you’s a-gun’ to drop him one,’ whispers Ou’ Reyer; an’ little Missis Tinky she make like she’s a-doin’ it.
“Ou’ Jackalse he rise up on his hine legs, an’ he put his paws agen de tree, an’ he open his mouf an’ shut his eyes, an’ he fair feel de taste o’ dat egg a’ready. An’ den, yust den, Ou’ Reyer she lean out over Missis Tinky an’ she open her big long beak, an’, swock! she drop a great big bull-frog right into Ou’ Jackalse’s froat.
“Wow! but dere was a chokin’ an’ a squeal-in’ den. Ou’ Jackalse he yump an’ he roll, an’ he fling hisse’f along de ground a-tryin’ to cough up darie fat bull-frog, an’ darie ou’ bull-frog he puff an’ he wiggle an’ he slip down an’ down till dere he is in Ou’ Jackalse’s tummy, a-hoppin’ an’ a-floppin’ an’ a-croakin’ an’ a-gloakin’ till Ou’ Jackalse is yust dat scared dat he light out f’m dere plump across de scenery. An’ he go dat fast he yust hit de high places as he went an’ never touch’ de low. I tell you Ou’ Jackalse was scared.
As Retold By Arthur Owen Vaughan
Illustrated By J.A. Shepherd
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On this day in 1895, the Delagoa Bay (Maputo, Mozambique) Railway opened in South-Africa by President Paul Kruger. The link connected the Transvaal (Boer) Republic with the coast without having to go through the British controlled ports of Port Natal (Durban) or Cape Town.
As such we bring you a South African folktale of heroism during the “Groot Trek” (Great Trek) inland from the Cape Colony. This story occurred in about 1843 approximately 50 years before the Boer Wars (yes, plural, there were 2 Boer Wars)……..
Rachel de Beer (1831–1843) (sometimes known by the diminutive form, Racheltjie) is an Afrikaner heroine who gave her life in order to save that of her brother. She was the daughter of George Stephanus de Beer (b. 1794).
The fable goes that in the winter months of 1843 Rachel was part of a trek from the Orange Free State to the south-eastern Transvaal. During one of their nightly stopovers, the members of the trek realised that a calf called Frikkie, much-beloved by their children, was missing.
A search party was formed, in which Rachel and her six-year old brother also took part. However, during the gathering dusk Rachel and her brother got separated from the search party and became lost. As the night progressed it got very cold and started snowing.
Realising that their chances of survival were slim, Rachel found an abandoned anthill, hollowed out by an aardvark, took off her clothes, put them on her brother and commanded him to get into the hollowed-out anthill. She then lay in front of the opening of the anthill in order to keep out the cold.
The children were found the next morning by the trekking party. Rachel was dead, but her brother had survived.
Note: The story of Rachel de Beer is entrenched in the Afrikaner culture, which is evident by the number of streets and schools named after her.
A while ago I registered with Kobo books to make our fundraising books available as eBooks. Kobo then “did the dirty” and decided that they are entitled to the greater share of the profits (70%), much in the same way as Amazon does. When I challenged them on why they have done this and why they believe they have the right to this money and not the charities we raise funds for, I received no reply – not from the CEO nor the FD.
I then “upped the ante” and Kobo responded by closing my account but did not remove the books I had listed with them.
Kobo are now not advising me of any sales and I have to conclude that they are retaining the funds for themselves.
My response is PLEASE DO NOT BUY books or eBooks from Kobo.
Rakuten owns Kobo. Please tweet Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani @hmikitani_e asking why Kobo needs this money more than charities?
Please also help bring pressure to bear on Kobo Books by sharing this with your friends.
The cry of “STOP THE WAR” is not new. It was happening as far back as 1900…..
1886 – gold had been discovered in South Africa and the dominant nation on earth wanted it! Sound familiar…..?
The Boer War (1899 – 1902) was but a dress-rehearsal for WWI – when forces from across the world were mobilised to ensure that a precious commodity “stayed in the right hands”.
But just as soldiers who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan have written poetry about the conflict, so too did soldiers who fought in the Boer War. This volume contains 26 poems about the conflict, the men and the leaders from both sides.
Download your free copy at http://abelapublishing.com/boer-war-lyrics–a-free-ebook_p26851983.htm
(by George Parkes, Mandeville)
A man plant a big field of gub-gub (black eyed) peas. He got a watchman put there. This watchman can’t read. The peas grow lovely an’ bear lovely; everybody pass by, in love with the peas. Anansi himself pass an’ want to have some. He beg the watchman, but the watchman refuse to give him. He went an’ pick up an’ old envelope, present it to the watchman an’ say the master say to give the watchman. The watchman say, “The master know that I cannot read an’ he sen’ this thing come an’ give me?” Anansi say, “I will read it for you.” He said, “Hear what it say! The master say, ‘You mus’ tie Mr. Anansi at the fattest part of the gub-gub peas an’ when the belly full, let him go.'” The watchman did so; when Anansi belly full, Anansi call to the watchman, an’ the watchman let him go.
After Anansi gone, the master of the peas come an’ ask the watchman what was the matter with the peas. The watchman tol’ him. Master say he see no man, no man came to him an’ he send no letter, an’ if a man come to him like that, he mus’ tie him in the peas but no let him away till he come. The nex’ day, Anansi come back with the same letter an’ say, “Master say, give you this.” Anansi read the same letter, an’ watchman tie Anansi in the peas. An’ when Anansi belly full, him call to the watchman to let him go, but watchman refuse. Anansi call out a second time, “Come, let me go!” The watchman say, “No, you don’ go!” Anansi say, ‘If you don’ let me go, I spit on the groun’ an’ you rotten!” Watchman get frighten an’ untie him.
Few minutes after that the master came; an’ tol’ him if he come back the nex’ time, no matter what he say, hol’ him. The nex’ day, Anansi came back with the same letter an’ read the same story to the man. The man tie him in the peas, an’, after him belly full, he call to the man to let him go; but the man refuse,–all that he say he refuse until the master arrive.
The master take Anansi an’ carry him to his yard an’ tie him up to a tree, take a big iron an’ put it in the fire to hot. Now while the iron was heating, Anansi was crying. Lion was passing then, see Anansi tie up underneath the tree, ask him what cause him to be tied there. Anansi said to Lion from since him born he never hol’ knife an’ fork, an’ de people wan’ him now to hol’ knife an’ fork. Lion said to Anansi, “You too wort’less man! me can hol’ it. I will loose you and then you tie me there.” So Lion loose Anansi an’ Anansi tied Lion to the tree. So Anansi went away, now, far into the bush an’ climb upon a tree to see what taking place. When the master came out, instead of seeing Anansi he see Lion. He took out the hot iron out of the fire an’ shove it in in Lion ear. An Lion make a plunge an’ pop the rope an’ away gallop in the bush an’ stan’ up underneath the same tree where Anansi was. Anansi got frighten an’ begin to tremble an’ shake the tree, Lion then hol’ up his head an’ see Anansi. He called for Anansi to come down. Anansi shout to the people, “See de man who you lookin’ fe! see de man underneat’ de tree!” An’ Lion gallop away an’ live in the bush until now, an’ Anansi get free.
THE STORIES in this collection were recorded from the lips of over sixty negro story-tellers in the remote country districts of Jamaica during two visits to the island in the summer of 1919 and the winter of 1921. The role of Anansi, the trickster spider, is akin to the Native American Coyote and the (Southern African) Bantu Hare.
Herein you will find 149 Anansi tales and a further 18 Witticisms. The stories are categorised into ANIMAL STORIES, OLD STORIES (CHIEFLY OF SORCERY), DANCE AND SONG and WITTICISMS. You will find stories as varied in title and content as THE FISH-BASKET, THE STORM, THE KING’S TWO DAUGHTERS, THE GUB-GUB PEAS, SIMON TOOTOOS, THE TREE-WIFE and many, many more unique tales.
In some instances, Martha Warren Beckwith was able to record musical notation to accompany the stories. As such you will find these scattered throughout the book. In this way the original style of the story-telling, which in some instances mingles story, song and dance, is as nearly as possible preserved.
Two influences have dominated story-telling in Jamaica, the first an absorbing interest in the magical effect of song which far surpasses that in the action of the story; the second, the conception of the spider Anansi as the trickster hero among a group of animal figures. “Anansi stories” regularly form the entertainment during wake-nights, and it is difficult not to believe that the vividness with which these animal actors take part in the story springs from the idea that they really represent the dead in the underworld whose spirits have the power, according to the native belief, of taking animal form. In the local culture, magic songs are often used in communicating with the dead, and the obeah-man who sets a ghost upon an enemy often sends it in the form of some animal; hence there are animals which must be carefully handled lest they be something other than they appear. The importance of animal stories is further illustrated by the fact that animal stories form the greater part of this volume.
33% of the net profit from the sale of this book will be donated to SENTEBALE, a charity supporting children orphaned by AIDS in Lesotho.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
A The Fish-Basket
B The Storm
Tiger As Substitute
A The King’s Two Daughters
B The Gub-Gub Peas
Tiger As Riding-Horse
Tiger’s Sheep-Skin Suit
Tiger Catching The Sheep-Thief
A The Escape
B The Substitute
C In The House-Top
Eggs And Scorpions
Eating Tiger’s Guts
A The Tell-Tale
B The Monkeys’ Song
Throwing Away Knives
A Tiger And Anansi
B Sheep And Anansi
Grace Before Meat
A Monkey And Anansi
B Goat And Anansi
A Rabbit And Anansi
B Rat And Anansi
C Goat And Anansi
Shut Up In The Pot
House In The Air
A Tracking Anansi
B Rabbit And Children Going Up To Heaven
C Duppy’s House In The Air
D Carencro’s House With A Key
Goat On The Hill-Side
Dog And Dog-Head
Anansi And The Tar-Baby
A The Escape From Tiger
B The Substitute
C The Grave
Inside The Cow
The Duckano Tree
Food And Cudgel
A The Handsome Packey
B The Knife And Fork
Anansi And Brother Dead
A Brother Dead’s Wife
B Goat And Plantain
Brother Dead And The Brindle Puppy
The Cowitch And Mr Foolman
Dry-Head And Anansi
C Brother Dead
The Law Against Back-Biting
A Duck’s Dream
C Dry-Head At The Barber’s
But-But And Anansi
Tumble-Bug And Anansi
Horse And Anansi
Anansi In Monkey Country
B Christen Christen
Curing The Sick
A The Fishes
B The Six Children
Anansi, White-Belly And Fish
A The Rain
B The Dance (1)
B The Dance (2)
Fire And Anansi
Quit-Quit And Anansi
A Tailors And Fiddlers
Spider Marries Monkey’s Daughter
The Chain Of Victims
Why Tumble-Bug Rolls In The Dung
Why John-Crow Has A Bald Head
A The Baptism
B The Dance
Why Dog Is Always Looking
Why Rocks At The River Are Covered With Moss
Why Ground-Dove Complains
Why Hog Is Always Grunting
Why Toad Croaks
Why Woodpecker Bores Wood
Why Crab Is Afraid After Dark
Why Mice Are No Bigger
A Cock’s Breakfast
B Feigning Sick (1)
B Feigning Sick (2)
C The Drum
Hunter, Guinea-Hen And Fish
A The Tar Baby
B Saying Grace
C Pretending Dead
The Animal Race
A Horse And Turtle
B Pigeon And Parrot
The Fasting Trial (Fragment)
Man Is Stronger
OLD STORIES, CHIEFLY OF SORCERY
The Pea That Made A Fortune
Settling The Father’s Debt
Mr Lenaman’s Corn-Field
Sammy The Comferee
A Moses Hendricks, Mandeville
B Julia Gentle, Malvern, Santa Cruz Mountains
Jack And Harry
Pea-Fowl As Messenger
A John Studee
The Barking Puppy
The Singing Bird
A Fine Waiting Boy
B The Golden Cage
The Greedy Child
A Crossing The River
B The Plantain
Alimoty And Aliminty
The Fish Lover
A Timbo Limbo
B Fish Fish Fish
C Dear Old Juna
Juggin Straw Blue
The Witch And The Grain Of Peas
The Three Dogs
A Boy And Witch Woman
B Lucy And Janet
Andrew And His Sisters
A The Bull Turned Courter
B The Cow Turned Woman
Man-Snake As Bridegroom
A The Rescue (1)
A The Rescue (2)
B Snake Swallows The Bride
The Girls Who Married The Devil
A The Devil-Husband
B The Snake-Husband
Bull As Bridegroom
B The Play-Song
C Gracie And Miles
The Two Bulls
Tiger Softens His Voice
A Anansi And Mosquito
B Anansi Plays Baby (1)
B Anansi Plays Baby (2)
B Anansi Plays Baby (3)
Anansi And Mr Able
The King’s Three Daughters
The Dumb Child
The Dumb Wife
Leap, Timber, Leap
A Old Conch
B Grass-Quit (Fragment)
The Boy Fools Anansi
The Water Crayfish
DANCE & SONG
In Come Murray
Tacoomah Makes A Dance
Anansi Makes A Dance
Fowl And Pretty Poll
John-Crow And Fowl At Court
Wooden Ping-Ping And Cock
Old-Time Fools I, II & III
Duppy Stories IV, V, VI, VII & VIII
Animal Jests IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV
Lies XVI & XVII
Mokete was a chief’s daughter, but she was also beautiful beyond all the daughters of her father’s house, and Morongoe the brave and Tau the lion both desired to possess her, but Tau found not favour in the eyes of her parents, neither desired she to be his wife, whereas Morongoe was rich and the son of a great chief, and upon him was Mokete bestowed in marriage.
But Tau swore by all the evil spirits that their happiness should not long continue, and he called to his aid the old witch doctor, whose power was greater than the tongue of man could tell; and one day Morongoe walked down to the water and was seen no more. Mokete wept and mourned for her brave young husband, to whom she had been wedded but ten short moons, but Tau rejoiced greatly.
When two more moons had waned, a son was born to Mokete, to whom she gave the name of Tsietse (sadness). The child grew and throve, and the years passed by, but brought no news of Morongoe.
One day, when Tsietse was nearly seven years old, he cried unto his mother, saying, “Mother, how is it that I have never seen my father? My companions see and know their fathers, and love them, but I alone know not the face of my father, I alone have not a father’s protecting love.”
“My son,” replied his mother, “a father you have never known, for the evil spirits carried him from amongst us before ever you were born.” She then related to him all that had happened.
From that day Tsietse played no more with the other boys, but wandered about from one pool of water to another, asking the frogs to tell him of his father.
Now the custom of the Basuto, when any one falls into the water and is not found, is to drive cattle into the place where the person is supposed to have fallen, as they will bring him out. Many cattle had been driven into the different pools of water near Morongoe’s village, but as they had failed to bring his father, Tsietse knew it was not much use looking near home. Accordingly, one day he went to a large pond a long distance off, and there he asked the frogs to help him in his search. One old frog hopped close to the child, and said, “You will find your father, my son, when you have walked to the edge of the world and taken a leap into the waters beneath; but he is no longer as you are, nor does he know of your existence.”
This, at last, was the information Tsietse had longed for, now he could begin his search in real earnest. For many days he walked on, and ever on. At length, one day, just as the sun was setting, he saw before him a large sea of water of many beautiful colours. Stepping into it, he began to ask the same question; but at every word he uttered, the sea rose up, until at length it covered his head, and he began falling, falling through the deep sea.
Suddenly he found himself upon dry ground, and upon looking round he saw flocks and herds, flowers and fruit, on every side. At first he was too much astonished to speak, but after a little while he went up to one of the herd boys and asked him if he had ever seen his (Tsietse’s) father. The herd boy told him many strangers visited that place, and he had better see the chief, who would be able to answer his question.
When Tsietse had told his story to the chief, the old man knew at once that the great snake which dwelt in their midst must be the child’s father; so, bidding the boy remain and rest, he went off to consult with the snake as to how they should tell Tsietse the truth without frightening him; but as they talked, Tsietse ran up to them, and, seeing the snake, at once embraced it, for he knew it was his father.
Then there was great joy in the heart of Morongoe, for he knew that by his son’s aid he should be able to overcome his enemy, and return at length to his wife and home. So he told Tsietse how Tau had persuaded the old witch doctor to turn him into a snake, and banish him to this world below the earth. Soon afterwards Tsietse returned to his home, but he was no longer a child, but a noble youth, with a brave, straight look that made the wicked afraid. Very gently he told his mother all that had happened to him, and how eager his father was to return to his home. Mokete consulted an old doctor who lived in the mountain alone, and who told her she must get Tsietse to bring his father to the village in the brightness of the day-time, but that he must be so surrounded by his followers from the land beyond that none of his own people would be able to see him.
Quickly the news spread through the village that Morongoe had been found by his son and was returning to his people.
At length Tsietse was seen approaching with a great crowd of followers, while behind them came all the cattle which had been driven into the pools to seek Morongoe. As they approached Mokete’s house the door opened and the old doctor stood upon the threshold.
Making a sign to command silence, he said:”My children, many years ago your chief received a grievous wrong at the hand of his enemy, and was turned into a snake, but by the love and faithfulness of his son he is restored to you this day, and the wiles of his enemy are made of no account. Cover, then, your eyes, my children, lest the Evil Eye afflict you.”
He then bade the snake, which was in the centre of the crowd, enter the hut, upon which he shut the door, and set fire to the hut. The people, when they saw the flames, cried out in horror, but the old doctor bade them be still, for that no harm would come to their chief, but rather a great good. When everything was completely burnt, the doctor took from the middle of the ruins a large burnt ball; this he threw into the pool near by, and lo! from the water up rose Morongoe, clad in a kaross, the beauty of which was beyond all words, and carrying in his hand a stick of shining black, like none seen on this earth before, in beauty, or colour, or shape. Thus was the spell broken through the devotion of a true son, and peace and happiness restored, not only to Mokete’s heart, but to the whole village.
This book raises funds for the SENTABALE charity in the African mountain Kingdom of Lesotho – supporting children orphaned by AIDS.
For more info, a table of contents and to buy – click on this link http://abelapublishing.com/folklore-and-tales-from-lesotho_p26444658.htm
ONE day, when King Khufu reigned over all the land, he said to his chancellor, who stood before him, “Go call me my sons and my councillors, that I may ask of them a thing.” And his sons and his councillors came and stood before him, and he said to them, “Know ye a man who can tell me tales of the deeds of the magicians?” Then the royal son Khafra stood forth and said, “I will tell thy majesty a tale of the days of thy forefather Nebka, the blessed; of what came to pass when he went into the temple of Ptah of Ankhtaui.”
KHAFRA’S TALE “His majesty was walking unto the temple of Ptah, and went unto the house of the chief reciter Uba-aner, with his train. Now when the wife of Uba-aner saw a page, among those who stood behind the king, her heart longed after him; and she sent her servant unto him, with a present of a box full of garments. “And he came then with the servant. Now there was a lodge in the garden of Uba-aner; and one day the page said to the wife of Uba-aner, ‘In the garden of Uba-aner there is now a lodge; behold, let us therein take our pleasure.’ So the wife of Uba-aner sent to the steward who had charge over the garden, saying, ‘Let the lodge which is in the garden be made ready.’ And she remained there, and rested and drank with the page until the sun went down. “And when the even was now come the page went forth to bathe. And the steward said, ‘I must go and tell Uba-aner of this matter.’ Now when this day was past, and another day came, then went the steward to Uba-aner, and told him of all these things. “Then said Uba-aner, ‘Bring me my casket of ebony and electrum.’ And they brought it; and he fashioned a crocodile of wax, seven fingers long: and he enchanted it, and said, ‘When the page comes and bathes in my lake, seize on him.’ And he gave it to the steward, and said to him, ‘When the page shall go down into the lake to bathe, as he is daily wont to do, then throw in this crocodile behind him.’ And the steward went forth bearing the crocodile. “And the wife of Uba-aner sent to the steward who had charge over the garden, saying, ‘Let the lodge which is in the garden be made ready, for I come to tarry there.’ “And the lodge was prepared with all good things; and she came and made merry therein with the page. And when the even was now come, the page went forth to bathe as he was wont to do. And the steward cast in the wax crocodile after him into the water; and, behold ! it became a great crocodile seven cubits in length, and it seized on the page.
….and the steward cast the wax crocodile into the water
“And Uba-aner abode yet seven days with the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Nebka, the blessed, while the page was stifled in the crocodile. And after the seven days were passed, the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Nebka, the blessed, went forth, and Uba-aner went before him. “And Uba-aner said unto his majesty, ‘Will your majesty come and see this wonder that has come to pass in your days unto a page?’ And the king went with Uba-aner. And Uba-aner called unto the crocodile and said, ‘Bring forth the page.’ And the crocodile came forth from the Jake with the page. Uba-aner said unto the king, ‘Behold, whatever I command this crocodile he will do it.’ And his majesty said, ‘I pray you send back this crocodile.” And Uba-aner stooped and took up the crocodile, and it became in his hand a crocodile of wax. And then Uba-aner told the king that which had passed in his house with the page and his wife. And his majesty said unto the crocodile, ‘Take to thee thy prey.’ And the crocodile plunged into the lake with his prey, and no man knew whither he went. “And his majesty the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Nebka, the blessed, commanded, and they brought forth the wife of Uba-aner to the north side of the harem, and burnt her with fire, and cast her ashes in the river “This is a wonder that came to pass in the days of thy forefather the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Nebka, of the acts of the chief reciter Uba aner.” His majesty the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Khufu, then said, “Let there be presented to the king Nebka, the blessed, a thousand loaves, a hundred draughts of beer, an ox, two jars of incense; and let there be presented a loaf, a jar of beer, a jar of incense, and a piece of meat to the chief reciter Uba-aner; for I have seen the token of his learning.” And they did all things as his majesty commanded.
This summer take your child’s imagination on a journey of wonder
Every week for 12 weeks, we will email you a short story perfect for children & adults.
What you will receive for free
- 6 traditional short stories from Africa
- 6 short stories from the Middle East
- Delivered as an e-book, allowing you to read on your computer, tablet or smart phone
- Approximately 1 hour of peace while your child is “travelling”
You will receive your first e-book within the hour and weekly thereafter for the next 12 weeks.
Join us on our 12 week journey now!
NOW EXTENDED TO 18 WEEKS!!!!