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.

Wicked Is Taken in His Own Snare, The

"DIS 'tory 'bout one boy, he name Pass-all-king-fo'-wise. De boy heen (his) fadder bin king. Well, de fadder get so many wef dat he no bin notice w'en one wef bin loss f'om um, bin go hide nah (in) one fa'm-ho'se. He (she) lib heah tay (till) all he (her) mate (associate wives') pickin done grow big. Well, one day dese pickin yeah come, dey brush fa'm. It happen dey begin fo' brush near de same ole fa'm-ho'se wey (where) dis ooman duh hide. He (she) shame fo' see he mate pickin all done grow up big, en he yown pickin leelee no mo'. So he (she) run wid he pickin, come out agin f'om dis fa'm-ho'se, he go far 'way, he meet big bug-a-bug (ant) hill, he klim 'pon top, he sit down, he say:

               "'Oh, I wis' me pickin done 'trong fo' brush lek dis one heah.'

               "Now de bug-a-bug hill he talk to um, he say: 'Even ef yo' pickin no 'trong nuff fo' brush, I go gie um sense en riches all two.'

               "So de ooman say, he say: 'All ret.'

               "At once de ooman he see he baby he grow big man, he rich, he get stone ho'se wid plenty servant, he get santegay (counsellor).

               "W'en de king hear say he wef get fine son, he rich, well, de king sen' one messenger fo' bring um. Dis messenger he bad man, he wicked; so he tell de king, he say: 'Dis yo' son heah he go take de country f'om yo', ef yo' no kill um.'

               "De king say: 'Which punishment yo' go gie um? Gie um special trial, special work fo' do. Ef he no able do um, well, we go kill um.'

               "One 'tick (tree) bin deh, he high, en de fruit he sweet, but nobody no dare fo' go up pick um. He get dem antch (ants) wey able fo' sting, dey poison. So de king he messenger say: 'Make de boy mus' pick all dis yeah fruit.'

               "De king he 'gree, he sen' call he pickin. W'en he come, de king say: 'Look dah 'tick yandah. Ef yo' kin klim dis 'tick, ef to-morrow mawnin' I meet all dis fruit heah he pick, en deh (there) to one heap bottom de 'tick, I no go kill yo'.'

               "De boy say: 'All ret.'

               "He go, he tell dis bug-a-bug hill. De bug-a-bug hill tell all dem antch fo' go pick. Dey pick, dey pick tay (till) middle de net. All de fruit dey gadder to one place. Now mawnin' de king meet de fruit all pick. He no talk, he sen' de boy go home.

               "Dis bad man he come agin, he tell de king, he say: 'King, yo' bin buy one cow, de cow done multiply, multiply. Ef dey put dem inside place wey dey buil' fo' dem, dey pass one hundred plenty. De boy mus' show de fus' cow wey yo' buy; ef no, he go die.'

               "All dis he jus' duh do fo' try kill de boy.

               "So de king call he son, he tell um. De boy say: 'All ret, I go come w'en de sun middle de sky; make dem no open de cowfiel'.'

               "So de king 'gree. Well, de boy go, he tell de bug-a-bug hill. Well, de bug-a-bug hill see one butterfly, he tell um he mus' do wuk fo' um. So de butterfly tell de boy, he say: 'To-morrow, w'en yo' meet all dem cow form in row, now de cow wey yo' see I fly 'roun' en sit down 'pon, now dis de fus' cow wey de king get.'

               "To-morrow de very hour, de boy go. Dem people dey form dem cow, put de fus' cow wey de king buy nah middle dem cow all. W'en de boy 'tan' up, he look de cow fo' moment, he look, he see de butterfly jus' sit down 'pon de cow, he say: 'Ah! Hey! Look de cow middle yandah.'

               "All de people wonder fo' see how de boy wise.

               "Evenin' tem dis bad man come agin, he no satisfy. He tell de king, he say: 'Make dem dig hole deep, make dem put plenty knef, plenty broke bottle all 'roun' de top, all 'roun' de inside; so so knef, so so broke bottle, down, down. Make dem spread mat 'pon top de hole, jus' cover de hole; make dem set chair deh.'

               "De king 'gree. Den sen' de same messenger fo' go call de boy. W'en de boy come, dey say dey wan' talk palaver, make he go sit down to dah chair yandah.

               "Well, de boy he go near, he 'tan' up, he tell de king, say:

               "'I nebber sit down place excep' I take 'tick, chook de place.'

               "De king no know how fo' do, he puzzle. He no lek say no, he no lek say yes, so he 'gree. De boy go take long 'tick, de 'tick he heaby. He beat wid um inside de place, de chair fa' down inside hole. De boy no sit down deh, he go home.

               "Now de same bad man he come agin to de king, he tell um say: 'Dis now de las' chance wey kin kill yo' son, he no go get out of dis.'

               "So de king say: 'All ret.'

               "Dey sen' fo' de boy, he distant 'bout some few mile, he come. Dey spread mat 'pon de groun', dey tell um say dey wan' fo' crown um king. Well, de boy bin come wid one of he servant. Dey tell de boy fo' lie down 'pon de mat, dey go wrap um, tie um so he no able fo' loose hese'f; dey lay heaby, heaby stone 'pon um, dey go hebe (throw) um nah wattah, dey go lef um t'ree day. Dey tell um say, now so dey kin do fo' crown king.

               "Well, dis servant wey bin follow de boy, ef he reach 'tranger place, ef he fo'get anyt'ing, w'en he ready fo' go fo' um, all dem people demse'f kin fo'get somet'ing, dey all kin grap (get up) fo' go fine de t'ing. Well, jus' dey done tie he mastah, en dey ready fo' go hebe um nah dis deep wattah, de servant say: 'Oh, I fo'get somet'ing one mile off.'

               "Well, all dem people dey grap, (get up) dey all fo'get somet'ing, dey go. De king se'f he grap, he go. Dey all jus' 'tan' lek crazy.

               "Well, w'en dey done go, dis boy heah he call one leelee pickin. De pickin come, he loose all de rope, en de boy come out. He put heaby, heaby stone inside de mat, he tie um tight lek wey de people bin tie um. Well, he go, he go 'way home.

               "Now de servant he know say he mastah done go, so he come back, en all dem people come. Dey hase (raise) de mat up, dey t'ink say dat de boy inside, dey go hebe um nah de deep.

               "T'ree day dey duh hear drum over to de boy he town, dey hear drum en dance. W'en de t'ree day finis', de boy come to de town, he wear crown, he sit down 'pon hoss, plenty people duh follow um; dey too sit down 'pon hoss, dey rejoice. W'en de boy reach to de town wey he fadder bin, he gadder all dem people; he say he wan' fo' come tell dem de t'ing wey he see w'en he die.

               "But dem people no know, dey t'ink say nar (it is) true.

               "He tell dem say, w'en he die, aftah dey bin hebe (throw) um nah wattah, he meet de pusson wey crown um king, en dis pusson tell um, say: 'W'en yo' go back, make dey mus' crown de same way dis messenger.' Dat nar de one wey bin try fo' fine all dis trouble fo' de king heen son.

               "Dis man yeah, w'en he heah dat, he try fo' run 'way, fo' 'scape, but dey ketch um, dey tie um inside mat, wrap um so he no able fo' loose. Dey lay heaby stone 'pon um, dey go sink um; now he die.

               "Dat make he (it is) no good fo' t'ink fo' do bad to yo' cumpin (companion) w'en he innocent."

               Dogbah had been restless throughout these stories. They pointed too definite a moral to suit him, and he suspected they had a personal application to some of his own failings.

               To change the drift of thought to something more remote, he offered to tell a story he had heard a short time before, while in a distant village.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Wicked Is Taken in His Own Snare, The
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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