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(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.

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

Jamaican_Anansi_Stories_Cover_W_Persp

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Not long ago, or perchance very long ago, I do not know for sure, there lived in a village, some place in Russia, a peasant—a moujik. And this peasant was a stubborn and a quick-tempered fellow, and his name was Dimian.

 

He was harsh by nature, this Dimian, and wanted everything to go his own way. If anyone talked or acted against him, Dimian’s fists were soon prepared for answer.

 

Sometimes, for instance, he would invite one of his neighbors and treat his guest with fine things to eat and to drink. And the neighbor in order to maintain the old custom would pretend to refuse. Dimian would at once begin the dispute:

 

“Thou must obey thy host!”

 

Once it happened that a shrewd fellow called on him. Our moujik Dimian covered the table with the very best he had and rejoiced over the good time he foresaw.

 

The fellow guest speedily ate everything up. Dimian was rather amazed, but brought out his kaftan.

 

“Take off thy sheepskin,” said he to the guest; “put on my new kaftan.”

 

In proposing it he thought within himself:

 

“I will bet that this time he will not dare accept; then I will teach him a lesson.”

 

But the fellow quickly put on the new kaftan, tightened it with the belt, shook his curly head and answered:

 

“Have my thanks, uncle, for thy gift. How could I dare not take it? Why, one must obey his host’s bidding.”

 

Dimian’s temper was rising, and he wanted at any rate to have his own way. But what to do? He hastened to the stable, brought out his best horse, and said to his guest:

 

“Thou art welcome to all my belongings,” and within himself he thought, “He certainly will refuse this time, and then my turn will come.”

 

But the fellow did not refuse, and smilingly answered:

 

“In thy house thou art the ruler,” and quickly he jumped on the horse’s back and shouted to Dimian, the peasant:

 

“Farewell, master! no one pushed thee into the trap but thyself,” and with these words the fellow was off.

 

Dimian looked after him and shook his head.

Dimian the Peasant from Folk Tales from the Russian

“Well, I struck a snag,” said he.

 

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From: FOLK TALES FROM THE RUSSIAN

ISBN: 978-1-907256-XX-X

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

 

A percentage of the profits will be donated to UNICEF.

 

Folk Tales from the Russian

 

 

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