Jamaica: Tiger's Breakfast and Tiger's Bone-Hole

As Beckwith explains in her note to the first story: 'Nyammy nyammy nyammy' ... 'Nyam a wha' eat' means "'Eat, eat, eat' ... 'Don't want anything to eat.'

In the second story, you will meet some of Anansi's "pickney," i.e. children. You will learn more about Anansi's children and his wife in the stories to come.

The second story ends with a ritual folktale formula, "Jack man dora!" (sometimes "Jack man dory!"). A longer form is "Jack man dora, me nuh chose none," in which the storyteller disclaims responsibility for what happened in the story; he's just telling the story as he learned it.

[Notes by LKG]

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


Tiger's Breakfast

One day, Hanansi go Tiger house an' eat breakfas' every day, an' tell Tiger, say, "Brar Tiger, to-morrow you mus' come a my house, but when you hear me makin' noise you mus' come, for dat time breakfas' is on, but when you hear me stay still you mustn't come at all."

So when Tiger go, Hanansi eat done. And say, "Brar Tiger, you foot short!"

Tiger say, "No, me no hear you mak noise!"

Hanansi say, "No, so me said, for when man makin' noise he kyan' eat." An' say, "Well, nex' day come back."

When Tiger come, Hanansi tak shame, gi' him little breakfas' but say, "Brar Tiger, when we go fe eat, when I say 'Nyammy nyammy nyammy' you mus' say, 'Nyam a wha' eat'."

So Hanansi stay deh eat everyt'ing, Tiger never get one.

Tiger study fe him.

Nex' day he go to Tiger yard. When Tiger gi' him breakfast an' gi' him enough meat he said to Tiger, "Brar Tiger, a whe' you get meat every day so?"

Tiger said, "You know how me come by dis meat? When I see a cow lie down, I go up an' run me han' inside of de cow an' hol' de man tripe, so I never out of meat."

So Hanansi went his way an' do de same. De cow frighten on de hill-side an' turn head right down to lowland.

Hanansi say, "Do, Brar Cow, don't shut up me han'!"

Cow fasten de han' de better an' gallop right down de hill an' drag Hanansi over de stone.

Dat's de reason let you see Hanansi belly white.



Tiger's Bone-Hole

Tiger had a big pot o' meat, an' him boil an' let' it gone a groun'. An' he have a bone-hole; when he ate de meat, t'row it into de hole.

An' Anansi tak him wife an' t'ree pickney an' he say dey five gwine to de house an' get into de pot eat de meat. An' after dey hear Tiger was coming, him an' him wife an' de t'ree pickney, five of dem, go in de hole.

An' Tiger come an' say, "Not a creetur nyam dis meat but Brar Nansi!" An' Tiger begin now eat meat, an' de first bone him t'row into de hole, him knock one of de pickney.

An' as he go fe holla, Anansi says, "Shut yo' mout', sir, don' cry!"

An' he eat again, t'row out anodder bone, knock anodder pickney.

As him go fe cry, say "Shut yo' mout', sir!"

As he eat anodder bone again, he knock de las' pickney, mak t'ree.

Tell him say him mustn't cry.

Ate anodder bone an' t'row it in de hole, knock de mudder.

As him go fe cry, say, "Shut yo' mout!"

An' de las' bone he eat, knock Anansi in a head. Anansi say, "Mak we all holla now in a de hole!"

So dey all holla "Yee! yee-e-e!" in a de hole, an' as dey holla, Tiger get frighten' an' run let' de house, an Anansi an' wife an pickney come out tak all de meat go away, run him out of his house 'count of dat bone-hole!

Jack man dora!



(600 words)



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