Jamaica: Eggs and the Christening

In the first story here, you will meet "Brer Blinkie," the firefly, also called a "candle-fly."

The second story is one that has a close Brer Rabbit parallel which you can read here: Mr. Rabbit Nibbles Up the Butter. You can also find a German version in the Brothers Grimm unit for this class: Cat and Mouse in Partnership.

[Notes by LKG]

This story is part of the Jamaican Stories unit. Story source: Jamaica Anansi Stories by Martha Warren Beckwith (1924).

Eggs and Scorpions

Blinkie an' Anansi was gwine in a wood. Dem gwine in a wood fe go look egg, bird egg.

An' Anansi tell Blinkie when little bird say, "Who wan' little egg?" Blinkie fe say him want little egg, an' when de big bird say, "Who wan' big egg?" Anansi say, "Me wan' big egg!"

An' in de night when he get all de big egg, Blinkie get vex' an' lef' Anansi in de bush an' him fly away wid de light.

An' Anansi come a Tiger house in a night. Tiger had a sheep in yard.

Anansi say, "Brar Tiger, if you gi' me dinner fe eat t'-night, I gi' you all de egg."

An' Tiger say yes, an' Tiger go to de sheep an' say, "Lay out, lay out, sheep!" He lay out roas' fowl, roas' duck, an' all sort a t'ings. Anansi get at it.

When he eat, say want to sleep Tiger house.

Tiger set 'corpion roun' de egg. When Anansi put han' in to tak de egg, 'corpion bite him. An' holla, "Aye-e-e!"

Tiger say, "Brar Anansi, wha' ha' you?"

An' say, 'Me t'ree litt'e pickney an' me wife mak me a cry. Den, when Tiger gone t' bed, he t'ief away de sheep.

The Christening

Anansi an' Tiger bot' of them fin' one keg of butter. Anansi says to Tiger, "Let us hide it in the bushes."

Some days after, Anansi says to Tiger, "I receive a letter for a christening." When he return, Tiger ask him the name of the chile. He says the name is "Top take off."

Another week came again. He say receive another letter for another christening. After he come back, Tiger ask him what's the name of the chile again. He says, "Catch in de middle,"

An' the las' week he went back for another christening. Tiger ask him when he come back what's the name of the chile. He says, "Lick clean."

Now he says, "Tiger, let us go look for this keg of butter."

He carried Tiger all over the place walkin' until he get tired, an' when he nearly catch to the place where they hid the butter he said, "Tiger, we are tired, let us go for a sleep!"

An' after Tiger was sleeping, he went to the keg, he took a bit of stick an' he scrape as much as he can get from the keg, an' he wipe a little on Tiger mouth an' he wipe a little at the tail.

Then he climb a tall tree now and he make a wonderful alarm that Tiger eat butter until he melt butter!

(500 words)

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