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ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 29

In Issue 29 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the South African tale of the council of the birds and the reason, the decision they made and why the Whitecrow never speaks. Remember to look out for the moral in the story! This story is alternatively known as “Tink Tinkie”.

It is believed that folklore and tales are believed to have originated in India and made their way overland along the Silk and Spice routes and through Central Asia before arriving in Europe. Even so this does not cover African folklore, legends and tales, which originated from an altogether separate reservoir of lore and legend.

This book also has a “Where in the World – Look it Up” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.

 

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anon_E_Mouse_WHY_THE_WHITECROW_NEVER_SPEAKS_A_Sout?id=lqr6CwAAQBAJ

 

baba indaba childrens stories issue 29

Why the Whitecrow Never Speaks – Tink Tinkie

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SYNOPSIS
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.

YESTERDAYS BOOKS RAISING FUNDS FOR TODAYS CHARITIES

TABLE OF CONTENTS
ANIMAL STORIES
Tying Tiger
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
Tiger’s Breakfast
Eggs And Scorpions
Tiger’s Bone-Hole
The Christening
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
Day-Time Trouble
A Rabbit And Anansi
B Rat And Anansi
C Goat And Anansi
New Names
Long-Shirt
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
Tacoomah’s Corn-Piece
Anansi And The Tar-Baby
A The Escape From Tiger
B The Substitute
C The Grave
Inside The Cow
Cunnie-More-Than-Father
The Duckano Tree
Food And Cudgel
A The Handsome Packey
B The Knife And Fork
The Riddle
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
A Go-Long-Go
B Dry-Head
C Brother Dead
The Yam-Hills
The Law Against Back-Biting
A Duck’s Dream
B Guinea-Chick
C Dry-Head At The Barber’s
Fling-A-Mile
But-But And Anansi
Tumble-Bug And Anansi
Horse And Anansi
Anansi In Monkey Country
A Bunya
B Christen Christen
Curing The Sick
A The Fishes
B The Six Children
Anansi, White-Belly And Fish
Goat’s Escape
A The Rain
B The Dance (1)
B The Dance (2)
Turtle’s Escape
Fire And Anansi
Quit-Quit And Anansi
A Tailors And Fiddlers
B 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
Rat’s Wedding
Cockroach Stories
A Cock’s Breakfast
B Feigning Sick (1)
B Feigning Sick (2)
C The Drum
Hunter, Guinea-Hen And Fish
Rabbit Stories
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
Simon Tootoos
The Tree-Wife
Sammy The Comferee
Grandy-Do-An’-Do
A Moses Hendricks, Mandeville
B Julia Gentle, Malvern, Santa Cruz Mountains
Jack And Harry
Pea-Fowl As Messenger
A John Studee
B Contavio
The Barking Puppy
The Singing Bird
A Fine Waiting Boy
B The Golden Cage
Two Sisters
Asoonah
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
Bosen Corner
The Three Dogs
A Boy And Witch Woman
B Lucy And Janet
Andrew And His Sisters
The Hunter
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
A Nancy
B The Play-Song
C Gracie And Miles
The Two Bulls
Ballinder Bull
Bird Arinto
Tiger Softens His Voice
Hidden Names
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
The Fifer
In Come Murray
Tacoomah Makes A Dance
Anansi Makes A Dance
Red Yam
Guzzah Man
Fowl And Pretty Poll
The Cumbolo
John-Crow And Fowl At Court
Wooden Ping-Ping And Cock
Animal Talk

WITTICISMS
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
Philosophy XVIII

ISBN: 978-1-909302-37-2
URL: http://abelapublishing.com/jamaican-anansi-stories–149-anansi-tales_p26543875.htm

Jamaican_Anansi_Stories_Cover_W_Persp

NOTE: Pronunciations of the Zulu words can be found at the end of this tale.

It is said he (Unkulunkulu – the Great One) sent a chameleon; he said to it,

“Go, chameleon (lunwaba), go and say, ‘Let not men die!'”

The chameleon set out; it went slowly, it loitered in the way; and as it went it ate of the fruit of a bush which is called Ubukwebezane.

At length Uhkulunkulu sent a lizard [intulo, the blue-headed gecko] after the chameleon, when it had already set out for some time. The lizard went; it ran and made great haste, for Unkulunkulu had said,

“Lizard, when you have arrived say, ‘Let men die!'”

So the lizard went, and said,

“I tell you, it is said, ‘Let men die!'”

The lizard came back again to Unkulunkulu before the chameleon had reached his destination, the chameleon, which was sent first-which was sent and told to go and say, “Let not men die!”

At length it arrived and shouted, saying,

“It is said, ‘Let not men die!'”

But men answered,

“Oh, we have accepted the word of the lizard; it has told us the word, ‘It is said “Let men die!'” We cannot hear your word. Through the word of the lizard men will die”.

 

Pronunciations

 Intulo                         – In-too-loh

Lunwaba                   – Loon-waa-baah

Unkulunkulu            – Oo-koo-loon-koo-loo

Ubukwebezane        – Oo-book-kweh-beh-zaa-neh

 

From: Myths and Legends of the Bantu

ISBN: 978-1-907256-38-7

 URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/myths-and-legends-of-the-bantu_p23332641.htm

Our THIRD WEST AFRICAN FOLKTALE

This story is about Salt, and Daudawa (sauce) and Nari (spice), and Onion-leaves, and Pepper and Daudawar-batso (a sauce).
A story, a story! Let it go, let it come.

Salt, and Daudawa, and Ground-nut, and Onion-leaves, and Pepper, and Daudawar-batso heard a report of a certain youth, by name Daskandarini. Now he was a beautiful youth, the son of the evil spirit. They (all) rose up, (and) turned into beautiful maidens, (and) they set off. As they (Salt, Onion-leaves, &c.) were going along, Daudawar-batso followed them.

They drove her off, telling her she stank. But she crouched down until they had gone on. She kept following them behind, until they reached a certain stream. (There) they came across an old woman; she was bathing. She said they must rub down her back for her, but this one said, ‘May Allah save me that I should lift my hand to touch an old woman’s back.’ And the old woman did not say anything more.

They passed on, and soon Daudawar-batso came, (and) met her washing. She greeted her, (and) she answered (and) said, ‘Maiden, where are you going?’ She replied, ‘I am going to where a certain youth is.’ (And) she (the old woman) said, ‘Rub my back for me!’ She said, ‘All right.’ She stopped, (and) rubbed her back well for her. The old woman said, ‘May Allah bless you.’ And she said, ‘This youth to whom you are (all) going to, have you known his name?’ She said, ‘No, we do not know his name.’

Then the old woman said, ‘He is my son, his name is Daskandarini, but you must not tell them.’ Then she ceased. She was following them far behind till they got to the place where the boy was. They were about to enter, but he said, ‘Go back, (and) enter one at a time.’ They said, ‘It is well,’ and returned. And then Salt came forward, (and) was about to enter, little girl, go back.’ She turned back. So Daudawa came forward.

When she was about to enter, she was asked, ‘Who are you?’ She said,’It is I.’ ‘Who are you? What is your name?’ ‘My name is Daudawa, who makes the soup sweet.’ And he said, ‘What is my name?’ She said, ‘I do not know your name, little boy, I do not know your name.’ He said, ‘Turn back, little girl, turn back.’ She turned back, (and) sat down.

Then Nari (spice) rose up and came forward, (and) she was about to enter when she was asked, ‘Who is this little girl? Who is this?’ She said, ‘It is I who greet you, little boy,
it is I who greet you.”What is your name, little girl, what is your name?’ ‘My name is Nari, who makes the soup savoury.’ ‘I have heard your name, little girl, I have heard your name. Speak my name.’ She said, ‘I do not know your name, little boy, I do not know your name.’ ‘Turn back, little girl, turn back.’ So she turned back, (and) sat down.

Then Onion-leaves rose and came up, and she stuck her head (into the room) and was asked, ‘Who is this little girl, who is this? It is I who salute you, little boy, it is I who salute you.’ What is your name, little girl, what is your name? My name is Onion-leaves, who makes the soup smell nicely.’ He said, ‘I have heard your name, little girl. What is my name?’ She said, ‘I do not know your name, little boy, I do not know your name.’ ‘Turn back, little boy (girl), turn back.’ So she turned back.

Now Pepper came along; she said, ‘Your pardon, little boy, your pardon.’ She was asked who was there. She said, ‘It is I, Pepper, little boy, it is I, Pepper, who make the soup hot.’ ‘I have heard your name, little girl, I have heard your name. Tell (me) my name, little girl, tell (me) my name.’ ‘I do not know your name, little boy, I do not know your name.’ He said, ‘Turn back, little maid, turn back.’

There was only left Daudawar-batso, and they said, ‘Are not you coming?’ She said, ‘Can I enter the house where such good people as you have gone, (and) been driven away? Would not they the sooner (drive) me out who stink?’ They said, ‘Rise up (and) go.’ So she got up (and) went. He asked her, ‘Who is there, little girl, who is there?’ And she said, ‘It is I who am greeting you, little boy, it is I who am greeting you.’ ‘What is your name, little girl, what is your name?’ ‘My name is Batso, little boy, my name is Batso, which makes the soup smell.’ He said, ‘I have heard your name, little girl, I have heard your name. There remains my name to be told.’ She said, ‘Daskandarini, little boy, Daskandarini.’ And he said, ‘Enter.’

A rug was spread for her, clothes were given to her, and slippers of gold; and then (of) these who had driven her away one said, ‘I will always sweep for you’; another, ‘I will pound for you.’
Another said, ‘I will see about drawing water for you’; and another, ‘I will pound (the ingredients) of the soup’; and another, ‘I will stir the food.’ They all became her handmaids.
And the moral of all this is, if you see a man is poor do not despise him; you do not know but that some day he may be better than you.

That is all.
Off with the rat’s head.

From: Hausa Folklore
ISBN: 978-1-907256-16-5
URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/hausa-folklore_p23332623.htm

———————–
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TWO women quarrelled, and one of them went out secretly at night and dug a deep pit in the middle of the path leading from her enemy’s house to the village well.

Early next morning, when all were going to the well for water with jars balanced on their heads, this woman fell into the pit and cried loudly for help.

Her friends ran to her and, seizing her by the hair, began to pull her out  of the pit. To their surprise, her hair stretched as they pulled, and by the time she was safely on the path, her hair was as long as a man’s arm.

This made her very much ashamed, and she ran away and hid herself.

But after a while she realized that her long hair was beautiful, and then  she felt very proud and scorned all the short-haired women, jeering at them. When they saw this, they were consumed with jealousy, and began to be ashamed of their short hair. “We have men’s hair,” they said to one another. “How beautiful it would be to have long hair!”

So one by one they jumped into the pit, and their friends pulled them out by the hair.

And in this way they, and all women after them, had long hair.

————————-

From: YORUBA LEGENDS

ISBN: 978-1-907256-33-2

http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_yor.html

A percentage of the profit from the sale of this book will be donated to the SOS Children’s Village in Asiakwa, Ghana

Yoruba Legends 1929 M I Ogumefu

Today is our last African folk tale (this time around). Tomorrow we travel up the prime meridian into the land of the Celts, Angles and Saxons only to begin our Eastwards journey again. Todays tale is titled “The Daughter of the Sun and Moon”.

 

Kimanaweze’s (Kima-nah-whe-zee) son, when the time came for him to choose a wife, declared that he would not “marry a woman of the earth, but must have the daughter of the Sun and Moon. He wrote “a letter of marriage”-a modern touch, no doubt added by the narrator(1) -and cast about for a messenger to take it up to the sky. The little duiker (mbambi – a rock rabbit) refused, so did the larger antelope, known as soko, the hawk, and the vulture. At last a frog(2) came and offered to carry the letter. The son of Kimanaweze, doubtful of his ability to do this, said, “Begone! Where people of life, who have wings, gave it up dost thou say, ‘I will go there But the frog persisted, and was at last sent off, with the threat of a thrashing if he should be unsuccessful. It appears that the Sun and Moon were in the habit of sending their handmaidens down to the earth to draw water, descending and ascending by means of a spider’s web. The frog went and hid himself in the well to which they came, and when the first one filled her jar he got into it without being seen, having first placed the letter in. his mouth. The girls went up to heaven, carried their water-jars into the room, and set them down. When they had gone away he came out, produced the letter, laid it on a table, and hid.

 

After a while “Lord Sun” (Kumbi Mwene) came in, found the letter, and read it. Not knowing what to make of it, he put it away, and said nothing about it. The frog got into an empty water-jar, and was carried down again when the girls went for a fresh supply. The son of Kimanaweze, getting no answer, refused at first to believe that the frog had executed his commission; but, after waiting for some days, he wrote another letter and sent him again. The frog carried it in the same way as before, and the Sun, after reading it, wrote that he would consent, if the suitor came himself, bringing his ‘first-present’-the usual gift for opening marriage negotiations. On receiving this the young man wrote another letter, saying that he must wait till told the amount of the ‘wooing-present,’ or bride-price (kilembu).

 

He gave this to the frog, along with a sum of money, and it was conveyed as before. This time the Sun consulted his wife, who was quite ready to welcome the mysterious son-in-law. She solved the question of providing refreshments for the invisible messenger by saying, “We will cook a meal anyhow, and put it on the table where he leaves the letters.” This was done, and the frog, when left alone, came out and ate. The letter, which was left along with the food, stated the amount of the bride-price to be “a sack of money.” He carried the letter back to the son of Kimanaweze, who spent six days in collecting the necessary amount, and then sent it by the frog with this message: “Soon I shall find a day to bring home my wife.” This, however, was more easily said than done, for when his messenger had once more returned he waited twelve days, and then told the frog that he could not find people to fetch the bride. But the frog was equal to the occasion. Again he had himself carried up to the Sun’s palace, and, getting out of the water-jar, hid in a corner of the room till after dark, when he came out and went through the house till he found the princess’s bed chamber. Seeing that she was fast asleep, he took out one of her eyes without waking her, and then the other.He tied up the eyes in a handkerchief, and went back to his corner in the room where the water-jars were kept. In the morning, when the girl did not appear, her parents came to inquire the reason, and found that she was blind. In their distress they sent two men to consult the diviner, who, after casting lots, said (not having heard from them the reason of their coming), “Disease has brought you; the one who is sick is a woman; the sickness that ails her the eyes. You have come, being sent; you have not come of your own will. I have spoken.” The Sun’s messengers replied, “Truth. Look now what caused the ailment.” He told them that a certain suitor had cast a spell over her, and she would die unless she were sent to him. Therefore they had best hasten on the marriage. The men brought back word to the Sun, who said, “All right. Let us sleep. To-morrow they shall take her down to the earth.” Next day, accordingly, he gave orders for the spider to “weave a large cobweb” for sending his daughter down. Meanwhile the frog had gone down as usual in the water-jar and hidden himself in the bottom of the well. When the water-carriers had gone up again he came out and went to the village of the bridegroom and told him that his bride would arrive that day. The young man would not believe him, but he solemnly promised to bring her in the evening, and returned to the well.

 

After sunset the attendants brought the princess down by way of the stronger cobweb and left her by the well. The frog came out, and told her that he would take her to her husband’s house; at the same time he handed back her eyes. They started, and came to the son of Kimanaweze, and the marriage took place. And they lived happy ever after-on earth.

 

NOTES

In its present form, as will have been noticed, this story is strongly coloured by Portuguese influence. The water-carriers, the Sun’s house, with its rooms and furniture, the bag of money, all belong to present-day Loanda (Luanda). But, for all that, the groundwork is essentially African. The frog and the diviner would, by themselves, be sufficient to prove this. (The frog, by the way, is usually a helpful creature in African folklore.) The glaring improbabilities in the story must not be regarded too critically; it is constantly taken for granted, as we shall find when considering the animal stories proper, that any animal may speak and act like a human being-though the frog, in this instance, seems to possess more than ordinary human powers. The specially strong cobweb prepared for the daughter’s descent, while the water-carriers had been going up and down every day without difficulty, may have been necessitated by the number of the bride’s attendants; but we are not told why they should have returned and left her alone at the foot of the heavenly ladder.’

 

The people of the Lower Congo have a story about the spider fetching fire from heaven at the request of Nzambi, who is here regarded as the Earth-mother and the daughter (according to R.E. Dennett) of Nzambi Mpungu, the “first father,” or the personified sky. (Other authorities insist that everywhere in Africa the relation of sky and earth is that of husband and wife.) He was helped by the tortoise, the woodpecker, the rat, and the sandfly, whom he conveyed up by means of his thread. The story maybe found in Dennett, Folk-lore of the Fjort [Fiote], p.74

 

In other cases we find people reaching the Heaven country by climbing a tree, as is done by the mother in the Yao tale of “The Three Women.” In the Zulu story of “The Girl and the Cannibals” a brother and sister, escaping from these ogres, climb a tree and reach the Heaven country.

 ————————–

Footnotes

1 We often find stories brought up to date in this way.

2 The frog’s magic powers are implied, if not explicitly stated.

————————–

From Bantu Myths and Legends compiled by Alice Werner (1933)

ISBN: 978-1-907256-38-7

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_bmal.html

 

 

 

 


 

Today we remain in Southern Africa for the story of TINK-TINKJE which is pronounced Tink-Tinkie.

 

 

THE birds wanted a king. Men have a king, so have animals, and why shouldn’t they? All had assembled.

 

“The Ostrich, because he is the largest,” one called out.

 

“No, he can’t fly.”

 

“Eagle, on account of his strength.”

 

“Not he, he is too ugly.”

 

“Vulture, because he can fly the highest.”

 

“No, Vulture is too dirty, his odor is terrible.”

 

“Peacock, he is so beautiful.”

 

“His feet are too ugly, and also his voice.”

 

“Owl, because he can see well.”

 

“Not Owl, he is ashamed of the light.”

 

And so they got no further. Then one shouted aloud, “He who can fly the highest will be king.” “Yes, yes,” they all screamed, and at a given Signal they all ascended straight up into the sky.

 

Vulture flew for three whole days without stopping, straight toward the sun. Then he cried aloud, “I am the highest, I am king.”

 

“T-sie, t-sie, t-sie,” he heard above him. There Tink-tinkje was flying. He had held fast to one of the great wing feathers of Vulture, and had never been felt, he was so light. “T-sie, t-sie, t-sle, I am the highest, I am king,” piped Tink-tinkje.

 

Vulture flew for another day still ascending. “I am highest, I am king.”

 

“T-sie, t-sie, t-sie, I am the highest, I am king,” Tink-tinkje mocked. There he was again, having crept out from under the wing of Vulture.

 

Vulture flew on the fifth day straight up in the air. “I am the highest, I am king,” he called.

“T-sie, t-sie, t-sie,” piped the little fellow above him. “I am the highest, I am king.”

 

Vulture was tired and now flew direct to earth. The other birds were mad through and through. Tink-tinkje must die because he had taken advantage of Vulture’s feathers and there hidden himself. All flew after him and he had to take refuge in a mouse hole. But how were they to get him out? Some one must stand guard to seize him the moment he put out his head.

 

“Owl must keep guard; he has the largest eyes; he can see well,” they exclaimed.

 

Owl went and took up his position before the hole. The sun was warm and soon Owl became sleepy and presently he was fast asleep.

 

Tink-tinkje peeped, saw that Owl was asleep, and zip-zip away he went. Shortly afterwards the other birds came to see if Tink-tinkje were still in the hole. “T-sie, t-sie,” they heard in a tree; and there the little vagabond was sitting.

 

White-crow, perfectly disgusted, turned around and exclaimed, “Now I won’t say a single word more.” And from that day to this Whitecrow has never spoken. Even though you strike him, he makes no sound, he utters no cry.

—————–

From South African Folk Tales collected by James Honey

ISBN: 978-0-956058-45-4

http://www.abelapublishing.com/page459.html

 

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