Cunnie Rabbit, Mr. Spider and the Other Beef: West African Folk Tales | Annotated Tale

COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in October 2018 with all known ATU Classifications.

Cunning Rabbit Becomes a King

"ALL dem beef en Cunnie Rabbit bin meet up to one place. Now dey pull (removed) all dem horn, en put um 'pon de groun'. Any (every) beef pull he yown."

               "How dem beef able fo' pull dem horn?" asked one of the children in a tone of incredulity.

               "Dah tem wey de story bin tell 'bout, dem beef able fo' do anyt'ing; dey able fo' pull dem horn, dey able fo' take um agin. Well, dah tem, dey pull dem horn all. One grain (single) pusson no lef' se'f wey (who) get horn, en dey say:

               "'De pusson wey blow all dis yeah horn one (by) one, widout he no lef fo' blow, dis one we go take fo' king.'

               "So Spider grap (get up), he blow de horn long, long tem, but bimeby he tire, he no done um, now he lef fo' blow.

               "Elephan' grap, he say wey he big so, he go blow all.

               "Cunnie Rabbit he say: 'Yo' duh story, yo' no able fo' do dis t'ing. Yo' see Spider wey duh pass yo' fo' cunnie, he no done dem; nar (is it) yo' go done dem?'

               "Elephan' say: 'All ret, I go begin one tem (at once).'

               "He blow sotay (till) he done part of dem plenty horn, but he no able fo' finis'; he lef fo' (left off) blow. Well, now all de odder beef duh try, dey all no able. Cunnie Rabbit grap (get up) en begin fo' blow, but wey (since) he cunnie, w'en he bin wan' lef (leave off), he bin pull one trick. Yo' know w'en dem Purro boy bin come nah town, to-day, w'en de debble bin talk en dey no wan' make people hearee, well, he make dem holler sotay he lef fo' talk, sometem 'bout t'ree minute.

               "Well, Cunnie Rabbit, w'en he done tire, he look, he listen; he make lek pusson wey duh hearee somet'ing. Den he holler dis one big holler. De odder beef mean say de Purro boy duh come. Dey 'tan' up en holler one big, big holler tay all de groun' duh shake. Dey no take notice dat Cunnie Rabbit lef fo' blow. Well, w'en dey all stop fo' holler, he begin back fo' blow. W'en he done tire agin, he duh pull dis same sense; so he do t'ree tem, fo' make he get leelee tem fo' rest. Well, nar so he done all dem horn, en de beef take um fo' de king."

               Konah was entirely satisfied with the success of her cunning little favorite, and for several minutes gave vent to a delighted chuckle. Presently the thought of Mr. Spider and his cleverness came into the mind of one of the women, and turning to Mamenah she asked for a story about him.

               "I no able fo' 'member odder story," answered the woman doubtfully. The others, however, were not to be denied, so Mamenah began to stir the cobwebs of her memory to see if she could discover Mr. Spider and some of his doings. Her mind was still full of secret society initiations, and that probably was the reason why this particular experience of Mr. Spider was brought to the surface. Konah saw that a story was coming, so she came and curled up on a mat close to the hammock. The moon just then peeped over the tops of the trees, and shone full on the eager little upturned face waiting for the story to begin.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Cunning Rabbit Becomes a King
Tale Author/Editor: Cronise, Florence M. & Ward, Henry W.
Book Title: Cunnie Rabbit, Mr. Spider and the Other Beef: West African Folk Tales
Book Author/Editor: Cronise, Florence M. & Ward, Henry W.
Publisher: E. P. Dutton & Co.
Publication City: New York
Year of Publication: 1903
Country of Origin: Sierra Leone
Classification: unclassified

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