This is a digital copy of a book lhal w;ls preserved for general ions on library shelves before il was carefully scanned by Google as pari of a project
to make the world's books discoverable online.
Il has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one thai was never subject
to copy right or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often dillicull lo discover.
Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the
publisher lo a library and linally lo you.
Google is proud lo partner with libraries lo digili/e public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order lo keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to
prevent abuse by commercial panics, including placing Icchnical restrictions on automated querying.
We also ask that you:
+ Make n on -commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request thai you use these files for
personal, non -commercial purposes.
+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort lo Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.
+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each lile is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it.
+ Keep it legal Whatever your use. remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other
countries. Whether a book is slill in copyright varies from country lo country, and we can'l offer guidance on whether any specific use of
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.
About Google Book Search
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through I lie lull lexl of 1 1 us book on I lie web
al |_-.:. :.-.-:: / / books . qooqle . com/|
Cljt American folk^Loxt &octet?
IN FRENCH DIALECT AND ENGLISH
COLLECTED AND EDITED
alc£e FORTIER, D. Lt.
Professor of Romance Language* in Tulane University of Louisiana
!*••* • - - « »
BOSTON AND NEW YORK
fMfctytfe for €|>e American f olfe Horc jftotirtp Dp
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY
LONDON: DAVID NUTT, 270, 271 STRAND
LEIPZIG : OTTO HARRASSOWITZ, QUERSTRASSE, 14
By Ths American Folk-Lou Soarrr.
All rights reserved.
• • * •
• • • •
• . •
• • •
7JW Rfperddt Prtst, Cambridge, Most,, U. S. A.
Electrotyped and printed by H. O. Houghton and Company.
It is with pleasure that the writer presents to folk-lorists his
" Louisiana Folk-Tales." He has devoted several years to collecting
his material and preparing it for publication, and he hopes that his
book will be considered a useful contribution to the science of Folk-
Lore. No attempt was made to make a comparative study of the
tales, and they are presented to folk-lorists as material for compari-
son. Andrew Lang said that the collector should himself eliminate
the personal equation while writing his tales and not leave this task
to his reader. Such has been the constant aim of the writer and
of the persons who kindly assisted him in his work, and this collec-
tion is the result of honest and conscientious efforts to give to the
public genuine folk-tales.
The tales are given first in the Creole dialect, then in a faithful
but not literal translation, as it is desirable to preserve the interest
of the story. The study of the Creole dialect is of importance and
interest, and the tales have been carefully written in Louisiana
dialect, in order that the material may be of use to the philologist
In the Appendix are reproduced fourteen stories already published
in 188& in the " Transactions of the Modern Language Association
of America," and in the " Journal of American Folk-Lore," to the
end that the reader may have in one volume a complete collection
of Louisiana Folk-Tales.
The writer wishes to acknowledge his obligations and present his
thanks to his nieces, Misses D6sir6e and Marguerite Roman, and to
Mr. Zlnon De Moruelle, who have assisted him in his collection.
One of his most valued assistants has been Mrs. Widow V. Chop-
pin, of St. James Parish, recently deceased. Thanks are also due
to the Secretary of The American Folk-Lore Society, for suggestions
in the preparation of this work
New Orleans, August 11, 1894.
I. The Tales ix
II. The Creole Dialect • x
PART FIRST. ANIMAL TALES.
I. The Elephant and the Whale 3
II. Compair Taureau and Jean Malin 7
III. Compair Lapin and the Earthworm 13
IV. Compair Lapin and Compair l'Ours 19
V. The Irishman and the Frogs 21
VI. Compair Lapin and Madame Carencro .... 23
VII. Compair Lapin and Mr. Turkey 25
VIII. Compair Bouki and the Monkeys 25
IX. Mr. Monkey, the Bridegroom 27
X. The Tortoise 29
XI. Compair Bouki, Compair Lapin, and the Birds' Eggs . .31
XII. The Dog and the Tiger 33
XIII. Compair Lapin's Godchild 33
XIV. Miss Mockingbird, Mr. Mockingbird, and Mr. Owl. . 35
XV. Marriage of Compair Lapin 39
PART SECOND. MARCHEN.
XVI. King Peacock 57
XVII. The Singing Bones 61
XVIII. Jean Sotte 63
XIX. The Devil's Marriage 69
XX. The Little Finger 75
XXI. The Statue of St. Anthony 83
XXII. The Little Boys and the Giants 83
XXIII. The Men who became Birds 85
XXIV. The Good Little Servant 87
XXV. The Basket of Flowers 87
XXVI. John Green Peas 89
XXVII. A Poor Little Boy 91
I. The Tar Baby 98
II. Compair Bouki and Compair Lapin No. i .... 109
III. The Horse of God no
IV. COMPAIR BOUKI AND COMPAIR LAPIN No. 2 . . .Ill
V. COMPAIR BOUKI AND COMPAIR LAPIN No. 3 112
VI. COMPAIR BOUKI AND COMPAIR LAPIN NO. 4 . . . .112
VII. COMPAIR BOUKI AND COMPAIR LAPIN No. 5 1 13
VIII. COMPAIR BOUKI AND COMPAIR LAPIN NO. 6 • . . II5
IX. The Cunning Old Wizard 116
X. A Woman changed into a Monkey 117
XI. The Talking Eggs .117
XII. Grease 119
XIII. The Golden Fish 120
XIV. Give Me 121
I. THE TALES.
It is very difficult to make a complete collection of the negro tales,
as the young generation knows nothing about them, and most of the
old people pretend to have forgotten them. It is a strange fact that
the old negroes do not like to relate those tales with which they
enchanted their little masters before the war. It was with great
trouble that I succeeded in getting the following stories.
While reading these tales, one must bear in mind that most of
them were related to children by childlike people ;' this accounts for
their naivete*. The Louisiana folk-tales were brought over to this
country by Europeans and Africans, and it is interesting to note
what changes have been made in some well-known tales by a race
rude and ignorant, but not devoid of imagination and poetical feel-
ing. It is important to give the variants of popular tales principally
to indicate the different characteristics of the human race. The
study of folk-lore is interesting to the anthropologist and psycholo-
gist. Both may follow the workings of man's mind, of man's feeling,
through a number of countries and in primitive people. If we take
any popular tale, we shall always find some difference in the impres-
sion created on the audience. That impression reacts on the story
itself and modifies it to a great extent. The plot of a popular tale
seems to be the common heritage of a number of countries which
may have derived it from the same source, but the motives are often
inspired by local customs.
In Louisiana we have three kinds of tales : the animal tales, of
which some are, without doubt, of African origin ; fairy tales or
marchen, probably from India ; and tales and songs, real vaudevilles,
where the song is more important than the plot. In this connection
a negro dancing song or ronde may be mentioned as illustrating the
way in which the tale with a song is related. In the ronde accon?*)
panying the tale one man sings these almost meaningless words : *
"Crapaud entr£ on nid bourdon, et lap£ chanter: 'Yap£ piqu£ moin,
yap£ mord£ moin ; Doune, ah ! doune goule ! Doune, ah ! doune
goule!'" "A frog enters into a hornets' nest and he is singing:
'They are stinging me, they are biting me : Doune, ah ! doune goule !
Doune ah ! doune goule ! ' " While singing he writhes in a horrible
manner and gesticulates wildly, rubbing his shoulders against all the
persons present, who sing with him the refrain and dance to the
tune of a most primitive music
II. THE CREOLE DIALECT.
The dialect spoken by the negroes in Lower Louisiana and known
by philologists as the Creole dialect is an interesting subject for
study. It is not merely a corruption of French, that is to say,
French badly spoken, it is a real idiom with a morphology and
grammar of its own. It is curious to see how the ignorant African
slave transformed his master's language into a speech concise and
simple, and at the same time soft and musical. The tendency was,
of course, to abbreviate as much as possible, both in the form of the
words and in the construction of the sentence. The word arriti
becomes riti ; appeli,pili; all parts of speech, not absolutely necessary
to the meaning, are thrown out of the sentence. There is hardly any
distinction of gender, and the verb is simplified to a wonderful
degree. The sounds of the French words vary considerably in the
dialect ; the principal changes being the frequency in the dialect of
the nasal sound in and of /. The process of agglutination is very
common, as in larie, in dizo, a street, a bone.
The first story of the collection will be used as a basis for the
explanation of a few peculiarities of the Creole dialect. For a more
complete treatment of the subject, see my "Louisiana Studies,"
Hansell, New Orleans, 1894.
1. Niliphant, example of agglutination, from un iliphant; plural des nili-
2. jou for Jour, last consonant generally omitted in the dialect.
3. compair, the spelling generally adopted for compare in writing the dialect.
4. // api voyagi, the imperfect, itait afirte voyager. The tenses of the verb
are formed from that construction, aprls contracted into api with ti(iti) ox gain-
gnin (gagner for avoir).
5. ensembe, pou, toujou, for ensemble, pour, toujours.
6. yi rivi, the perfect for // rivi (e'taient arrives). Yi is personal pronoun
plural. The other forms are mo, to, It, nous, vous.
7. bord lamer; the de for the genitive does not exist ; as in Old French, the
Creole patois says \ ft lie (le) rot.
8. quichoge, a curious transformation of quelque chose.
9. ben drole, ben for bun ; drole, o pronounced like o in robe; the 6 does not
10. itonniyi, personal pronouns, objects, are moin, tot, It, nou, vous, ye*.
11. yi riti, present indicative, contracted fiomyi api riti, yapi riti.
12. yd na, for ily a, impersonal.
13. ladjeule, one word, from lagueule.
14. anon, ior'allons, I changed into n.
15. vancd 9 coutd, abbreviations of avancd, dcoutd.
16. mo commere 9 possessive adjectives are nto, to, so, nous, vous,yd, for both
genders and numbers.
17. na tchud yd, future for nous va tchud yd.
18. anon court, for allons court, strengthens the expression.
19. ta oua, future for to va oua.
20. ma rangd, future for mo va rangd.
21. mapd couri, present indicative for mo apd(zprhs) court.
22. to si capon, to bite; notice conciseness through omission of verb.
23. liportd, licachd, preterit, lui porta, luicacha.
24. ti service, ti tor petit.
25. va sortiy future for vous va sortu
26. pare* ior prit.
27. xami, agglutination of s of mes amis.
28. haler for tirer, found often in Acadian dialect
29. mo vini, past tense for/? suis venu.
30. pasqui, softening and abbreviation oiparce que.
31. tchombo, from tiens bon, hold fast
32. en haut so cbtd, on his side ; en haut contracted into on and used for sur
33. pits mid; note double superlative, common in the patois.
34. escousse, metathesis for secousse.
35. dolo, one word, from de Peau.
36. Quicacaydt What is the matter ? French, qu'est-ce t A curious expres-
37. au tieur, for au lieu.
38. comme ca, meaningless expression used continually by the negro narrator.
39. qua oua //', future for qui va le voir.
40. chivreilox chdvreil; i or / often used indifferently ; u and / are very rare.
41. ga, for garde, a good example of the abbreviation so common in the Creole
- • ; * *
•; :••••.- •
. ..• • • ! I • .' • •
NfiLfiPHANT 1 AVEC BALEINE.
Ein jou 2 Compair Lapin et Compair 8 Bouki ti api voyagi 4 en-
sembe. 6 Compair Lapin souvent ti minin li pou 6 fait paillasse avec
li et pi en mime temps Compair Lapin ti toujou 6 au courant toute
sorte nouvelle qui Compair Bouki ti raconti li. Quand yi rivi 6 au
bord 7 la mer yi oua ein quichoge 8 qui ti ben drole. 9 £a ti si tene-
ment itonni w yi qui yi riti u pou tendi et guetti. Citait ein
niliphant avec baleine qui ti api causi ensembe.
— To oua, dit Bouki, c'est di plis gros bites qui yi 12 na dans
moune et c'est ye qui plis fort que les otes zanimaux.
— Paix to ladjeule, 18 dit Compair Lapin, anon 14 vanci 16 et pi
couti, 16 mo ouli connin 5a yi api dit.
Yi vanci proche. Niliphant dit baleine comme 5a : — Mo com-
mire, 16 comme c'est vous qui plus gros et plis fort dans la mer et
moin qui plis gros et plis fort en haut la terre, faut nous fait la loi,
et tout 5a yi qui rivolti na tchui yi.
— Oui, oui, Compair Niliphant, gardi la terre et moin mo va
gardi la mer.
— T6 tendi, dit Bouki, anon couri, 18 pasqui na sorti sale si yi oua
nous zotes api couti yi conversation.
— Ah ouache, dit Compair Lapin, mo fout pas mal yi, mo plis
malin qui yi. Ta oua 19 comme ma rangi 20 yi tout les di tout a
— Non, dit Compair Bouki, mo pair, mapi couri. 21
— Eh ben, couri, d'abord to si capon, 22 bon a rien. Parti vite
mo lasse tendi toi a force to bite. 22
£a fait Compair Lapin couri cherchi ein la corde qui ti longue et
ben fort et pi li porti ffi so tambour et li cachi ffi li dans grand zibe.
Li prend la corde dans eine boute et pi li prochi coti Niliphant
et li dit : — Michii, vous qui si bon et si fort, vous doite ben rende
moin ein ti service, 24 va sorti M moin dans grand tracas et pichi moin
Niliphant ti content tendi ein si joli compliment et li dit Com-
pair Lapin : — Tout 5a to ouli ma fait li pou toi, mo toujours pari *
pou obligi tout mo zami. w
— Oui, dit Compair Lapin, mo gagnin ein lavache qui bourbi au
ras la mer, vous connin mo pas assez fort pou hali 28 li. Mo vini 29
coti vous pou vous idi moin ; prend la corde dans vous latrompe, ma
couri marri lavache et quand va tendi moin batte tambour va haler
Netephant avec Baleine*
THE ELEPHANT AND THE WHALE.
One day Compair Lapin and Compair Bouki were going on a
journey together. Compair Lapin often took Bouki with him to
make fun of him, and to hear all the news which Bouki knew. When
they reached the seashore, they saw something which was very
strange, and which astonished them so much that they stopped to
watch and listen. It was an elephant and a whale which were
" You see," said Bouki, " they are the two largest beasts in the
world, and the strongest of all animals."
" Hush up," said Lapin, " let us go nearer and listen. I want to
hear what they are saying."
The elephant said to the whale : " Comm&re Baleine, as you are
the largest and strongest in the sea, and I am the largest and strong-
est on land, we must rule over all beasts ; and all those who will
revolt against us we shall kill them, you hear, commfcre."
" Yes, compair ; keep the land and I shall keep the sea."
" You hear," said Bouki, " let us go, because it will be bad for us
if they hear that we are listening to their conversation."
" Oh ! I don't care," said Lapin ; "lam more cunning than they ;
you will see how I am going to fix them."
" No," said Bouki, " I am afraid, I must go."
" Well, go, if you are so good for nothing and cowardly ; go
quickly, I am tired of you ; you are too foolish."
Compair Lapin went to get a very long and strong rope, then he
got his drum and hid it in the grass. He took one end of the rope,
and went to the elephant : " Mister, you who are so good and so
strong. I wish you would render me a service ; you would relieve
me of a great trouble and prevent me from losing my money."
The elephant was glad to hear such a fine compliment, and he
said : " Compair, I shall do for you everything you want. I am
always ready to help my friends."
" Well," said Lapin, " I have a cow which is stuck in the mud on
the coast ; you know that I am not strong enough to pull her out ; I
come for you to help me. Take this rope in your trunk. I shall tie
it to the cow, and when you hear me beat the drum, pull hard on
4 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
fort en haut la corde. Mo dit vous 9a pasqu^ 80 la vache bourb£ fond
dans la boue.
— C'est bon, dit N616phant, mo garanti toi ma sorti lavache la ou
ben la corde a cass6.
Alors Compair Lapin prend Tote boute la corde la, li couri au
bord la mer, li fait Baleine ein joli compliment, li mand£ li m£me
service la pou d6bourb6 so lavache qui t£ pris au ras ein bayou dans
bois. Compair Lapin gagnin la bouche si tellement doux que per-
son ne pas capab r6fis£ li arien. Baleine fait ni eine ni d6, li prend
la corde la dans so ladjeule et li dit Compair Lapin : — Quand mo
va tend£ tambour ma hal6.
— Oui, dit Compair Lapin, commence hal6 doucement et pi plis
fort en plis fort.
— To pas besoin pair, dit Baleine, ma sorti to lavache quand
m£me Djabe ap6 tchombo 81 li.
— Tant mte, dit Compair Lapin, tout a l'haire na ri, et pi li batte
N£16phant prend hate, hal£, la corde la t6 raide comme ein barre
fer, li t£ ap6 craqu6. Baleine la en haut so cot 6 s2 li aussi t6 ap6 hal6,
hate. A la fin li t6 ap£ couri au ras la terre pasqu£ N^tephant t6
boucou plis mte ffl plac6 pou hate. Quand Baleine oua li t£ ap£ mont6
en haut la terre, cr6 mille tonnerre li batte so la tcheu raide et pi li
piqu6 au large. Li fait ein escousse 8 * si tellement raide que li t6
trainin N6tephant au ras dolo. 86 N6tephaht dit comme 5a : — Aie,
mais qui 5a 5a y6 x tout 5a, c'est ein lavache qui joliment fort pou
trainin moin comme 5a R6t6 ein p£, laiss£ moi accroupi moin et
mette mo d6 pte divant dans la boue. La, mo a genoux asteur."
Et li commence tortilla la corde la avec so la trompe. Li tord£ la
corde la et a la fin li nHssi hate Baleine au ras la terre. £a t6 £tonn6
li, au lieurein 87 lavache c'^tait so commfcre Baleine. Alors li dit
comme 5a: 88 — Mais, mais, qui 5a y6, mo commire? Mo t6 crai
c'£tait lavache Compair Lapin mo t6 api d£bourb6.
— Are! dit Baleine, Lapin dit moin m6me quichogela, mo croi
ben li t6 oute fout nous zotes.
— Alors li gagnin pou pay6 5a, dit N6tephant, mo d£f ende li mang£
ein brin zfebe en haut la terre pasqui li moqu6 nous zotes.
— Moin aussite, dit Baleine, mo d^fende li boi ein goutte dolo dans
la mer, faut nous surveilte li et premier qua oua li, 89 faut pas nous
Compair Lapin, qui ti ap6 cout6, dit Compair Bouki : — Li temps
nous parti, fait chaud pou nous zotes.
— To oua, dit Bouki, to mette nous zotes dans grand tracas. Ja-
mais ma couri avec toi nille part.
— Oh! paix to ladjeule, dit Lapin, mo pas fini avec yi 9 r6t6 ein
p£, ta oua comment mo va rang£ y6.
Ne&phant avec Baleine. 5
the rope. I tell you that because the cow is stuck deep in the
" That is all right," said the elephant. " I guarantee you I shall
pull the cow out, or the rope will break."
Compair Lapin took the other end of the rope and ran towards
the sea. He paid a pretty compliment to the whale, and asked her
to render him the same service about the cow, which was stuck in
a bayou in the woods. Compair Lapin's mouth was so honeyed that
no one could refuse him anything. The whale took hold of the rope
and said : " When I shall hear the drum beat I shall pull"
"Yes," said Lapin, "begin pulling gently, and then more and
" You need not be afraid," said the whale ; " I shall pull out the
cow, even if the Devil were holding her."
" That is good," said Lapin ; " we are going to laugh." And he
beat his drum.
The elephant began to pull so hard that the rope was like a bar of
iron. The whale, on her side, was pulling and pulling, and yet she
was coming nearer to the land, as she was not so well situated to
pull as the elephant. When she saw that she was mounting on land,
she beat her tail furiously and plunged headlong into the sea. The
shock was so great that the elephant was dragged to the sea.
" What, said he, what is the matter ? that cow must be wonderfully
strong to drag me so. Let me kneel with my front feet in the mud."
Then he twisted the rope round his trunk in such a manner that he
pulled the whale again to the shore. He was very much astonished
to see his friend the whale. " What is the matter," said he. " I
thought it was Compair Lapin's cow I was pulling."
"Lapin told me the same thing. I believe he is making fun
" He must pay for that," said the elephant. " I forbid him to eat
a blade of grass on land because he laughed at us."
" And I will not allow him to drink a drop of water in the sea.
We must watch for him, and the first one that sees him must not
Compair Lapin said to Bouki : " It is growing hot for us ; it is
time to leave."
" You see," said Bouki, "you are always bringing us into trouble."
" Oh ! hush up, I am not through with them yet ; you will see
how I shall fix them."
6 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
— £a fait yi couri yi chimin, chaqu&ne gagnin so coti. Quand
Compair Lapin riv6 dans ein bois li trouv6 ein ti chivreil *° qui ti
mouri, a force chien ti massacr£ li li ti plein bobo et dans plein place
so poil ti tomW. Compair Lapin core h 6 li et li mett£ so la peau en
haut so dos ; li vlop£ li ben la dans, 5a fait li ti sembe ein ti chivreil.
Alors li prend boit6 en haut trois pattes et pi li pass£ proche coti.
N61£phant qui dit li : — Mais pove piti chivreil, qui 5a to gagnin ?
— Oh ! oui, map6 souff ri boucou, vous oua e'est CompairLapin qui
poisonin moin et pi li voy6 so malediction en haut moin, jiste pasqu6
mo ti ouli comme vous ti dit pichi li mang£ zibe. Prend ga 41 pou
vous, Michte N61£phant, Compair Lapin engage avec Djabe, la servi
vous mal si vous pas fait tention.
Alors N£16phant ti pair, li dit: — Ti chivreil, ta dit Compair
Lapin moin e'est so meilleir zami, dit li mang£ zebe tant li oul6. Pas
bite, non, et fais li compliment pou moin.
Ti chivreil la pass6 so chimin et quand li riv6 au bord la mer
Baleine dit li : — Mais pove ti chivreil, tap6 boiti, qui 5a 5a ye ? mo
croi to boucou malade.
— Oh oui, map£ souffri boucou, e'est Compair Lapin qui mett£
moin dans n6tat la, prend ga pou vous, comm&re Baleine. Li aussite
li ti pair, 5a fait li dit : — Ti chivreil, mo pas ou\i gagn£ zaffaire avec
Djabe, ten prie, dis Compair Lapin boi tout dolo li oul6, mo va laiss£
£a fait Compair Lapin continte so chimin, et quand li riv6 au ras
Compair Bouki li oti la peau la et li dit comme 5a : — To oua ben
que mo plis malin qui yi et mo capab fout yi tout temps et yi di
ensembe. La ou moin mo va pass6 ein lote va trouv6 li pris.
— Vous ben raison, dit Compair Bouki.
COMPAIR TAUREAU ET JEAN MALIN.
Quand Jean Malin ti piti li ti norphelin et li ti pas connin ou
couri ou 5a pou fait. Ein jou li oua ein riche madame qui te ap6 pass6
dans so bel carrosse. Li mand£ madame la pou prend li. Comme
madame la oua qui li ti ein joli ti gar^on et li ti gagnin boucou Tesprit
li mande Jean Malin qui Tage li ti gagnin. Jean Malin ti pas capab
dit li jiste, mais li rtponde madame la qui li ti tendi so moman dit
comme 5a li ti ni quand p^chers ti en flairs mime Tann£e qu6 la
neige ti tomta. £a fait madame la prend li dans so bel carrosse et
m6nin li dans so la maison pou fait so commission et servi a tabe.
Compair Taureau et Jean Malin. 7
They went on their way and after a while they separated. When
Compair Lapin arrived in the wood, he found a little dead deer.
The dogs had bitten him so that the hair had fallen off his skin in
many places. Lapin took off the deer's skin and put it on his back.
He looked exactly like a wounded deer. He passed limping by the
elephant, who said to him : " Poor little deer, how sick you look."
" Oh ! yes, I am suffering very much ; you see it is Compair Lapin
who poisoned me and put his curse on me, because I wanted to pre-
vent him from eating grass, as you had ordered me. Take care,
Mr. Elephant, Compair Lapin has made a bargain with the Devil ;
he will be hard on you, if you don't take care."
The elephant was very much frightened. He said, "Little deer,
you will tell Compair Lapin that I am his best friend ; let him eat
as much grass as he wants and present my compliments to him."
The deer met a little later the whale in the sea. " But poor little
deer, why are you limping so ; you seem to be very sick."
" Oh ! yes, it is Compair Lapin who did that. Take care, Com-
m£re Baleine." The whale also was frightened, and said : "I want
to have nothing to do with the Devil ; please tell Compair Lapin to
drink as much water as he wants."
The deer went on his way, and when he met Compair Bouki he
took off the deer's skin and said : " You see that I am more cunning
than all of them, and that I can make fun of them all the time.
Where I shall pass another will be caught."
" You are right indeed " said Compair Bouki
COMPAIR TAUREAU AND JEAN MALIN.
When Jean Malin was small he became an orphan, and he did not
know where to go or what to do. One day he saw a rich lady who
was passing in her beautiful carriage, and he asked her to take him
with her. As the lady saw that he was a pretty little boy and that he
appeared to be very smart, she asked him how old he was. Jean Malin
could not say, but he answered the lady that he had heard his mother
say that he was born when the peach-trees were in bloom the year
the snow fell. The lady took him in her fine carriage to her house,
to be her messenger boy and to wait at table. The little fellow soon
8 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
Ti bougue la prend 1'aimin madame la autant qui so difint moman
et m^me li ti jaloux ein michii riche qui ti vini rende visite tous les
jous pou marier avec madame la-
Mais i faut mo dit vouzotes qui michii la c'itait ein taureau qui
ti connin tourni n'homme dans jou pou vini fait l'amour madame la, et
pi les soirs li ti tournin taureau encore pou couri manzi zherbe dans
pare. Jean Malin ti rimarqui qui quand michii la ti au ras madame
so Tamoureuse n'avait pas taureau dans la plaine, et quand taureau
ti dans pare michii l'amouri ti pas la. — I faut mo guetter, dit
Jean Malin, yi na quichoge qui ben drole, qui mo pas comprende.
Jean guetti, guetti, mais li ti gagnin ben soin pas laissi taureau
la oua 1L Ein jou, bo matin quand Jean Malin ti couri cherchi Hi
bois pou limin di fi, li oua Compair Taureau dans pare qui ti a
genoux et pi li ti api dit : — Bouhour, madjam, fat madjam, djam,
djam, djara, djara, et pi tout d'ein coup taureau tourni n'homme et
li prend marchi vini coti so madame. Ah ! mo dit vouzotes Jean
Malin ti pair, li ti tremble comme quand moune fraite.
£a fait mime jou la n'amouri la ti dijinin avec madame la et ti
Jean Malin qui ti api servi a tabe ti couri tantot ein coti tantot ein
lote. Li ti comme ein papillon a force li ti pair. Quand yi mandi
li ein l'assiette li donnin di pain ou ben ein fourcette. Madame la
babilli li et pi quand so l'amouri ti parti li dit Jean Malin li sri ren-
voye li si li ti pas fait mii et pi madame la ti ouli connin qui (a
Jean Malin ti gagnin.
— Oui, mo connin to pas 1'aimin mo l'amouri, cofaire ? Qui $a
li fait toi ?
— Eh ben, mo va dit vous, maitresse, pou vrai mo pair et si vous
ti connin 9a moin mo connin, vous ti pair aussite et vous ti pas
quitti n'homme la vini dans vous la maison.
— Qui 5a yi, mo ouli to dit moin tout suite ou ben mo va tailli
toi et metti toi dihors pou la gniappe.
Alors Jean Malin prende crii et pi li dit madame la : — Vous va
connin qui vous l'amouri e'est gros taureau la qui dans pare et qui
li connin changi en n'homme et tournin taureau encore pou couri
Ah la ! di ii ti manqui prend a force madame la ti colaire, li ti
ouli bimmi Jean Malin, mais pove ti gar^on la dit : — Maitresse,
couti moin, quand vous l'amouri a vini encore si mo pas prouvi
vous tout 5a mo dit vous e'est la viriti, alors va renvoyi moin et fait
5a vous ouli avec moin.
— C'est bon, dit madame la, na oua 5a, mais rappeli toi to va payer
ben cher tous to menteries.
Quique jours apris 5a, michii Tamouri vini ; li ti faraud. Jean
Malin ti pensi en li mime: — Jordi na oua la farce, pas quili ti
Compair Taureau et yean Malin. 9
began to love the lady as if she were his mother, and he was jealous
of a rich gentleman who came to court the lady every day and wished
to marry her.
But I must tell you that the gentleman was a bull who could
change himself into a man in the daytime, to come and court the
lady, and in the evening he became a bull again to go and eat grass
in the park. Jean Malin had noticed that when the gentleman was
near his lady love there was no bull in the prairie, and when the
bull was in the prairie there was no lover in the parlor. "I will
have to watch," said Jean Malin, " there is something strange which
I don't understand." He watched, watched, but he took good care
not to let Compair Taureau see him. One day, early in the morn-
ing, when Jean Malin went to get some wood to light his fire, he
saw Compair Taureau on his knees, and saying : " Bouhour, Madjam,
fat Madjam, djam, djam, djara, djara," and then, all at once, the bull
became a man, and went to see his lady. Ah! I tell you, Jean
Malin was afraid, he shivered as if he was very cold.
That very morning the lover took breakfast with the lady and
Jean Malin waited on them. He ran sometimes on one side, some-
times on the other, as a butterfly, he was so frightened. When
they asked him for a plate, he gave bread on a fork, and the lady
scolded him. She told him, when the lover left, that she would
send him away if he did not do better, and she wanted to know what
was the matter with him.
" I know you don't like my lover, but why ? What did he do to
you ? He always treated you well"
" Well, I will tell you, mistress. I am afraid ; and if you knew
what I know you would be afraid also, and you would not let that
man enter your house."
" What is the matter ? Tell me immediately or I shall whip you,
and put you out for la gniappe."
Jean Malin began to cry, and he said to the lady : " Know then
that your lover is the great bull which is in the park, and that he
can change himself into a man and become a bull again to go and
The lady was very angry and wanted to beat Jean Malin ; but he
said : " Mistress, listen to me. When your lover will come again, if I
don't prove to you that all I say is true, you can send me away and
do what you please with me."
" All right," said the lady ; " but remember that you will pay dear
for all your lies."
A few days after that the lover came. He was dressed in great
style, and Jean Malin said to himself : " I will see the fun to-day,"
io Louisiana Folk-Tales.
connin qui paroles li ti doit dit pou fait michii l'amouri la vini
Pendant yi ti api dinin madame la ti api gardi Jean Malin pou
oua 9a li sre fait. Dans mime moment qui l'amouri la prend la
main madame la pou bo so joli doigts Jean Malin qui ti api vidi divin
dans so gobelet dit comme 9a mime paroles la yi li te tende taureau
la dit pou tournin n'homme. Li ti pas fini dit so dernier mot, cri
mille tonnerres ! si jamais vous tende vacarme, c'itait jou la. Cha-
peau, quilottes,* linettes, n' habit michii la, tout so butin tombe par
terre, et l'amouri la tournin taureau dans la salle a manger ; li quilbiti
la table, cassi la vaisselle avec gobelets et bouteilles ; li difonci la
porte vitree pou chapper et pi li prend galpi dans la plaine.
— Eh ben, vous content asteur ? dit Jean Malin.
Madame la dit : — Oui, Jean Malin, to ti raison, to sauvi moin,
mo va gardi toi toujou comme mo prope piti, pasqui to rende moin
ein grand service.
Vouzote croit c'est tout ? Ah ben non, vouzote alii oua comment
Jean Malin sorti clair avec Compair Taureau qui ti fait serment li
sri tripi ti bougue la qui ti trahi 1L Jean Malin ti toujou pair, li
ti gardi partout avant li ti fait ein pas, pou pas Compair Taureau ti
surprende li. £a fait ein jou Jean Malin ti couri coti Compair Lapin
pou niandi li ein conseil, li conti li comment li ti dans ein grand
Alors Compair Lapin dit li comme 9a : — Couti ben tout 9a mo va
dit toi : couri dans bois, to va chercher ein nique hibou qui gagnin
dizef ; ta prend trois dans nique la ein vendredi apris soleil couchi
et pi to va porti yi coti moin pou mo drogui yi. Apris 9a ta fait
9a to ouli avec Comp&ir Taureau.
Alors Jean Malin trouvi trois dizef hibou et li porti yi coti Com-
pair Lapin qui fait so grigris avec di lait ein femelle cabri noir et pi
li donnin yi Jean Malin et li dit li 9a pou fait avec dizef la yi. — Va,
asteur, mo garantis toi, Compair Taureau a chagrin quand la fini
Quand Jean Malin ti api tournin coti so maitresse li prend rac-
courci pou pas contri Taureau, pasqui li ti gagnin ein ti mifiance
malgri Compair Lapin ti assiri li li ti pas bisoin pair. Dans mime
moment la li tendi Compair Taureau api bigli et gratti la terre et
voyi la poussiire en haut so dos. — Mo fout pas mal toi, dit Jean
Malin, " viens, ta oua comme mo va rangi toi. Aussitot Compair
Taureau oua Jean Malin api vini li fonci dret en haut li. Yavi ein
nabe auras la et Jean Malin grimpi, li ti pensi c'itait plis sire.
Leste comme ein cureuil dans ein ti moment li ti dans la tite nabe
la. Li ti temps, Compair Taureau rivi proche en mime temps.
— Han, han, mo gagnin toi a la fin, to va bligi descende ou ben
crever en haut la*
Compair Taureau et Jean Malin. n
because he knew what to say to make the lover become a bull
While they were dining the lady kept looking at Jean Malin to see
what he would do. When the gentleman took the pretty fingers
of the lady to kiss them, Jean Malin, who was pouring wine into her
glass, said the words he had heard the bull utter. Well, if ever you
heard a big noise it was on that day : the hat, the trousers, the spec-
cles, the coat, all the clothes of the gentleman fell on the floor, and
he was changed into a bull in the dining-room. He upset the table,
broke the plates, the dishes, the glasses, the bottles ; he broke down
the glass door to escape, and ran into the prairie.
" Well, are you satisfied ? " said Jean Malin.
"Yes," said the lady; "you rendered me a great service, and I
shall always treat you as my son."
You believe that this is all ? Oh no. You will see how Jean Malin
got along with the bull which had sworn to kill the fellow that had
betrayed him. The boy was always afraid, and whenever he went
out he would look around to see if the bull was not there. One day
he went to see Compair Lapin, to ask his advice, and tpld him in
what a bad fix he was.
Compair Lapin said : " Listen to what I am going to tell you. Go
into the woods and look for an owl's nest. Take three eggs on
a Friday at sunset and bring them to me for me to charm them.
Then you will do all you want with Compair Taureau."
Jean Malin found the three owl's eggs and carried them to Com-
pair Lapin, who made his grigris on them with the milk of a black
goat, and told Jean Malin what to do.
When Jean Malin was going back to the house of his mistress, he
looked aiound for the bull, for he felt a little anxious, in spite of
what Compair Lapin had said. There was the bull, bellowing and
looking furious. " Come," said Jean Malin, " you will see how I am
going to fix you." Compair Taureau galloped straight at him, and
Jean Malin climbed up a tree, for he thought it was more prudent.
In one minute, like a squirrel, he was at the top of the tree and the
bull stood underneath.
" Now I have you at last : you will have to come down," and he
began to strike at the tree with his horns.
12 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
Li prend donnin coup come apr&s nabe la et Jean Malin t6 pas
rire tout temps la. Oui, taureau la t6 colore quand li oua li t6 pas
capabe fait Jean Malin descende. Li mett6 li a genoux et pi li dit
so paroles y£ pou tournin n'homme. Li paraite alors comme ein
n'homme avec ein la bache dans so la main.
— Descende, descende, pas quitt£ moin coup£ nabe la pasqu6 mo
va fini toi, ti coquin.
— Bich£, bich6, Compair Taureau, mo oul6 oua $a vous capabe fait
Alors taureau la bichi : gip, gop ; gip, gop. Vouzote t£ capabe tend6
la hache la resonn£ et nabe la t6 tremble. Alors Jean Malin dit : — Li
temps. Li voy6 ein dizef hibou en haut n'£paule Compair Taureau,
so bras avec la hache tomb£ par terre. N'homme la ramass£ la
hache la avec la main qui rest£ : gip, gop ; gip, gop, li ap£ bich£
— Anon oua, dit Jean Malin. Li voy£ d£zi&me ddzef la en haut
Tote bras, li aussi li tomb£ avec la hache comme premier la.
N'homme la baiss6, li prend la hache la avec so dents: giP,gcp;
gip, gop, li ap6 bich6 toujou.
— Han, han, dit Jean Malin, asteur to compte clair. Li voy6
troisiime d£zef la en haut la t£te n'homme la — la t£te tomb£ par
terre. Bras yi avec jambes y6 et pi so corps prend tortilte comme
ein serpent dans di i€. Alors Jean Malin descende et pi li dit: — I
faut to tournin taureau encore pasqu6 nous Wsoin toi. Alors li dit
paroles y£, la t£te et pi bras saut6 apr&s corps la et n'homme la tour-
nin taureau encore. Li prend galpi dans dans la plaine jisqua li t6
tomb£, a force li t£ lasse. Dipis jour la li jamais tracass£ Jean Malin
qui t£ gagnin ein meillaire drogue qu6 li.
COMPAIR LAPIN ET VER DE TERRE.
Tout moune connin qu£ tous les ans au mois de mai lapin gagnin
ein maladie ; c'est ein ver de terre qui mord£ li dans so cou en bas
so machoire et sic£ so disang comme pou de bois. £a rende li faible,
faible, et pendant ein mois ver la tchombo li bien et rest£ croch6
dans so cou anvant li tomber. Lapin y6 croi quand y6 couch£ dans
grand zfebe que d6 ver sorti dans la terre et grimp£ en haut y6. £a
fait y6 pair tout quality 66 vers, et si y6 oua ein c'est assez pou fait
y6 galp£ tout la journin comme si yavait ein bande chiens darriire
y6. Si mo dit vous zotes tout 5a c'est pou raconter vous ein zaffaire
qu6 Compair Lapin t6 gagnin avec ver de terre.
Compair Lapin et Ver de Terre. 13
Jean Malin laughed at him, and the bull was so angry that he
knelt down and said the words to become a man. He immediately
was changed into a man with an axe in his hand.
" Come down ! don't let me cut the tree ; for I will kill you, little
" Cut, Compair Taureau ; I want to see what you can do."
The bull struck with his axe : "gip, gop." You might have seen
the tree tremble at every blow. Then Jean Malin threw one of the
owl's eggs on Compair Taureau's shoulder, and his arm fell down on
the ground with the axe. The man picked up the axe with his
other hand, and " gip, gop," on the tree.
Jean Malin threw the second egg on the remaining arm of the
man, and the arm fell on the ground. He picked up the axe with
his teeth, " gip, gop," again.
"Now," said Jean Malin, "I will finish you." He threw his third
egg on the man's head, and the head fell on the ground. The arms,
the legs, the head, the body of the man, began to wriggle like a
snake in the fire. Then Jean Malin said : " I want you to become a
bull again." He said the magic words, and the head and the arms
jumped to the body, and the man became a bull again and galloped
away in great haste. From that time he never worried Jean Malin
again, for his grigris had not been as strong as that of Compair
COMPAIR LAPIN AND THE EARTHWORM.
Everybody knows that every year in the month of May Compair
Lapin is sick ; it is an earthworm which is in his neck, biting him
and sucking his blood like a leech. That makes him weak, weak,
and for a month the worm holds on to him, hooked in his neck,
before it falls. Rabbits believe that when they lie down in the
grass the worms come out of the grass and climb on them. They
are, therefore, very much afraid of worms, and if they see one, they
run as if they had a pack of hounds after them. If I tell you that
it is because I want to relate to you a story about Compair Lapin
and the worm.
14 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
Ein jour, c'itait dans printemps, tout ti zozos ti api chanti, papil-
Ion ti api voltizi et pi posi en haut flairs ; ti sembli corarae si tout
zanimaux ti api mercii Bon Dji. Jis ein piti ver de terre qui ti api
crii et babilli, li api dit li ti si piti, pas gagnin pattes ni la main, ni
zaile et li bligi resti dans so trou ; ti zozo, lizard et mime froumi ti
tracassi li et manzi so piti. Si silement Bon Dji ti fait li gros et
fort com me lote zanimaux, li seri content, pasqui li sere capabe
difende li meme, mais li ti sans defense et bligi resti dans so trou.
Li crii boucou et pi li dit li seri content si li ti pou Diabe. Li ti
pas fini dit tout ;a quand li oua Diabe au ras li.
— Eh bien, mo tendi tout 5a to dit et mo vini mandi toi qui 5a
to ouli, mo va accords toi li et to sera pou moin quand ta mouri.
— £a mo ouli, mais mo ouli la force, mo ouli vini gros, gros, pou
mo capab bimin nimporte qui qua vini biti moin ou tracassi moin.
C'est tout, jis 5a, mo va content.
— C'est bon, dit Diabe, laissi moin couri, dans ein ti moment to
Aussitot Diabe la parti ver de terre trouvi li mime gros et fort,
5a ti vini tout d'ein coup, et so trou ou li ti coutime resti vini grand
et fond comme ein pi. Cri matin ! a force ver de terreti content li
ti api ri et chanti. Dans mime moment la Com pair Lapin trouvi
passe tout proche. Yapa arien dans moune qui te fait li plis pair
qui 5a. Li prend gal pi jisqua li ti lasse. Quand li riti, li souffii :
— Fouiff ! jamais mo ti pair comme 5a; si mo pas mouri, jamais mo
gagnin pou dormi encore tant gros ver de terre la a resti dans pays
icite. Si mo ti pas si bite couri vanti moin mo ti capab bimin nili-
phant mo seri couri oua li. Mo connin li colire apris moin, c'est
Bouki qui couri ripiti li 5a ; mais pitite si mo parli avec li bien, ma
capab rangi tout 5a. Mapi couri oua li, pitite ma seyi fait yi batte
ou bien contri ensembe, mo pense^a va fait ein joli bataille et pitite
mo va dibarrassi tout li di a la fois. Encore ver de terre la dit moin
quand mo passi qui li ti gagni pou rigli mo compte. Oh ! non, mo
pas capab vive comme 5a, qui 5a ma fait Bon Dji, Seigneur. Faut
mo couri oua niliphant, mo laimin mii risqui li, pasqui si mo parli
avec li bien, pitite mo gagnin la chance gagnin mo proces. Laissi
moin rangi dans mo la tite ;a mali dit li pou fait li content.
Alors Compair Lapin prend marchi jisqua li contri niliphant ; li
salii li et fait li ein joli compliment. Niliphant riponde li poliment
et mandi li comment 5a va.
— Oh ! mo bien malade, dit Compair Lapin, ein lote fois ma vini
pou sayi mo la force avec vous, pasqui mo croi mo capab bimin vous.
— To tein sotte, riponde niliphant, couri, mo pas ouli fait toi
mal, mo gagnin pitii on toi.
Compair Lapin et Ver de Terre. 15
It was a day in spring, the little birds were singing, the butterflies
were flying about from one flower to another. It seemed as if all
animals were rendering thanks to God for his kindness to them. A
little earthworm was the only one which was crying and complain-
ing. He said he was so small, he had neither feet, nor hands, nor
wings, and was obliged to remain in his hole. The little birds, the
lizards, and even the ants were troubling him and eating his little
ones. If God would make him big and strong, like other animals,
then he would be contented, because he would be able to defend
himself, while now he was helpless in his hole. He cried and cried
and said that he would be glad if he belonged to the Devil. Hardly
had he spoken when he saw the Devil at his side.
" Well, I heard all you said ; tell me what you want ; I shall
grant it to you, and you will belong to me when you die."
" What I want ? — Yes. — I want strength, I want to become big,
big, and beat everybody who will come to trouble and bother me.
Give me only that and I shall be satisfied."
" That is all right," said the Devil ; " let me go, in a short while
you will be contented."
As soon as the Devil had gone, the worm found himself strong
and big. The change had come suddenly, and his hole had become
large and as deep as a well. The worm was so glad that he began to
laugh and to sing. At that very moment Lapin passed, and he was
terribly frightened. He ran until he was unable to go any farther,
and, when he stopped, he whistled, " fouif." " Never," said he, " was
I more frightened. I shall never sleep again as long as that big
earthworm will remain in this country. If I had not been so foolish
as to boast that I could beat the elephant, I should go to him. It is
Bouki who told on me ; but perhaps if I speak to him I shall be able
to fix up matters. I must try to make them meet and fight, and
perhaps I shall get rid of both at the same time. It would be a
pretty fight. Let me go and see the elephant, or I won't be able to
sleep to-night. Besides, the earthworm said that he would fix me.
I can't live that way. Good gracious ! what am I to do ? Let me
arrange in my head what I am going to tell the elephant in order
to please him."
He went on until he met the elephant. He bowed very politely,
and the elephant did likewise, and asked him how he was.
" Oh ! I am very sick," said Compair Lapin ; " another time I shall
come to try my strength with you ; I think I can beat you."
"You are a fool," said the elephant "Go away, I don't want to
harm you ; I take pity on you."
1 6 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
— Ma fait vous ein pari mo capab bimin vous.
— C'est bon, quand ta oule\
— Flis tard, secernent mo conin vous bon, mo t6 vini mande* vous
ein piti service.
— C'est bon, qui 5a ye* ?
— Cete* pou aide* moin, donne moin ein coup de main pou char-
rier di bois pou bati mo cabane.
— Anon tout suite, si to oule\
Compair Lapin, qui te* porte* so la hache, biche* ein gros nabe.
Quand li tomb6 par terre, li dit n£16phant prend gros boute cote* la
quilasse. — Moin mo va soulever branche derriere et na va porte* li
dans place ou mo gagnin pou fait mo cabane.
N£16phant charge* nabe en haut so l'6paule sans garder derriere et
Compair Lapin monte* dans branche ye* et pi li assite et quitte* n6l6-
phant train£ tout. Quand cila t€ lasse li te* r6te* pou pose* ein pe\
Compair Lapin saute par terre et pi li vini divant pou encourage
n£16phant et li dit : — Mais, compair, vous d£ja lasse ? Mais c'est
pas arien 9a, garde* moin qui forced autant que* vous, mo pas senti la
— Foutrou, 5a lourd comme Diabe, dit n£l£phant, anon parti
— C'est ein pe* plus loin.
Gros b£te la charge* li m£me encore avec gros di bois la et pi parti
Lapin ape* fait semblant pousse* dans branche ; quand li oua n£ld-
phant pas ape" garde* derriere, li saute* dans branche encore et pi li
bien assite et li dit : — Plis loin, encore plis loin, passe* a droite,
passe* a gauche.
A la fin n616phant rive* au ras trou ver de terre, — La, c'est bon,
mette* Ji la. — N elephant }6t6 nabe la droit en haut trou ver de
terre qui te* ape* dromi. Alors ver de terre sorti, li pousse* nabe la
comme ein la paille et pi li prend insilte* nel^phant. Lapin pendant
temps la te* cache* dans ein place ou li capab oua et tende* tout. N616-
phant perdi patience, li fout ver de terre ein coup avec so la trompe.
Alors ver de terre saute* en haut nel^phant et ye* prend batte.
Ye" batte comme 5a pendant de* zeures jisqua ye* te* proche mouri.
A la fin ver de terre couri cache* au fond dans so trou et n£l£phant
couche* par terre pou mouri a force li te* massacre\ Compair Lapin
asteur monte\ en haut nitephant et li fini bimin li. Li hale* so zoreille,
li fout li des tapes et li dit comme 9a: — Mo te* pas dit vous mo
sere* bimin vous ?
— Oui, oui, dit n£l£phant, mo gagnin assez, Compair Lapin, mape*
Alors Compair Lapin quitte* li et pi li prend ein gros baton et
li entre* dans trou ver de terre. Li casse* so la t6te, li fini tchue* li.
— Comme 9a, li dit, mo debarrasse* tout les de\
Compair Lapin et Ver de Terre. 17
" I bet you/' said Compair Lapin, " that I can beat you."
* All right, whenever you want."
" A little later ; but as I know that you are good, I had come to
ask you a favor."
"What is it?"
" It is to help me, to give me a hand to carry lumber to build my
" Let us go right off, if you want."
Compair Lapin, who had carried his axe with him, cut down a
big tree, and said to the elephant : "Take it by the big end. I shall
raise the branches, and we shall carry the tree to the place where I
wish to build my cabin."
The elephant put the tree .on his shoulder without looking behind
him, and Compair Lapin climbed into the branches, and let the ele-
phant do all the work. When the latter was tired he would stop to
rest a little, and Compair Lapin would jump down and run up to the
elephant to encourage him. " How is that, compair, you are already
tired ; but that is nothing. Look at me, who have been working as
much as you. I don't feel tired."
" What ! that is mightily heavy," said the elephant
" Let us go," said Lapin ; "we have not far to go."
The big animal put the load again on his back and Compair Lapin
appeared to be lifting the branches. Whenever the elephant would
not be looking Lapin would sit on a branch and say: "A little
farther ; go to the right, go to the left."
At last they came to the hole of the earthworm, and Lapin told
the elephant to put down the tree. He let it fall right upon the
worm who was sleeping. The latter pushed out the tree as if it
were a piece of straw, and coming out he began to insult the ele-
phant. Compair Lapin went to hide in a place where he could see
and hear all The elephant lost patience and struck the worm with
The worm then climbed up the back of the elephant, and there
was a terrible fight for more than two hours, until they were nearly
dead. The worm finally hid in his hole and the elephant lay down
dying. Compair Lapin mounted upon him, pulled his ears and beat
him, and said to him : " Did n't I tell you I would beat you ? "
Oh ! yes, Compair Lapin ; I have enough ; I am dying."
Lapin then left him, and, going into the worm's hole, he broke
his head with a stick. " Now," said he, " I am rid of both of them."
1 8 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
Ein ti moment apr&s li contri compair Bouki et li racont£ li com-
ment li fait n£l£phant avec ver de terre batte jisqua y€ t6 tchu£ ein
a lote. — To oua mo camarade, mo va dit toi, quand d6 bougue ap£
ginin toi, faut to fait y6 batte et tchui y€ entre yi. £a fait ta
toujou sauv£ to la peau.
COMPAIR LAPIN ET COMPAIR L'OURS.
Ein jou Compair TOurs invito Compair Lapin et Compair Bouki
pou dinin chez li. Li dit y6 li t6 achet£ di beurre, fromage et biscuit,
mais li dit: — An van t dinin faut vous vini id£ moin cass£ mals pou
Compair Lapin et Compair Bouki accept^ n'invitation Compair
TOurs, et y6 tous les trois parti dans champs avant soleil lev£.
A nef heures y6 oua Compair Lapin dressi so zoreilles. — £a 5a
y6, dit Compair TOurs.
— Mo jamin oua arien qui b£tant comme moune chez moin. Yap£
p6l6 moin et d6rang6 moin dans mo nouvrage.
— Mo pas tend6 arien, dit Compair TOurs.
— C'est pasqu£ vous et Compair Bouki gagnin si piti zoreilles
vous pas capabe tend£. Mo zoreilles y£ si longues mo tend£ des
Li parti et li r£vini ein moment apr&s et li dit c'itait pou so fame
qui ti gagnin ein commencement maladie. Li fait m£me manage
la trois fois dans la journin. A midi li dit so fame ti au milieu so
maladie ; a trois heures li rivini tout triste et dit s£lement : — Tout
Compair TOurs et Compair Bouki plainde lr boucou pasqui yi ti
cri c'£tait so fame qui ti mourL Au lieu 5a chaque fois Compair
Lapin ti dit li ti couri chez so fame li couri chez Compair TOurs et
manz£ ein pi so provision, et quand li dit : — C'est fini, li ti fini
A cinq heures trois zamis yi quitt£ Touvrage et couri chez Com-
pair TOurs. Vous capabe pensi comment Compair TOurs ti colore
quand li oua so provision ti disparaite. Tout suite li accus£ Compair
Lapin, mais li )'\ri c'6tait pas li.
— Ma connin tout suite, nouzotes trois va couchi en haut la planche
la qui dans do l'eau dans soleil et voleur la va malade sire. Compair
Lapin, qui te fronts comme tout, dit oui, pasqu£ li compt£ couch6
dans Tombre Compair TOurs qui ti boucou plis gros qui li. Com-
pair Bouki dit oui aussi.
Compair Lapin et Compair VOurs. 19
A little later Compair Lapin met Compair Bouki and told him
how he had made the elephant and the earthworm fight until they
had killed one another. " You see, my friend, when two fellows are
in your 'way, you must make them fight, then you will always save
COMPAIR LAPIN AND COMPAIR L'OURS.
One day Compair l'Ours invited Compair Lapin and Compair
Beuki to dine with him. He told them he had bought butter, cheese,
and biscuits, but he said: "Before dinner you must come to help
me break some corn for my horse."
Compair Lapin and Compair Bouki accepted the invitation of
Compair l'Ours, and all three went into the field before daybreak.
At nine o'clock they saw Compair Lapin prick up his ears.
"What is the matter?" said Compair l'Ours.
" I never saw anything so annoying as the people at my house.
They are calling me and disturbing me in my work."
"I don't hear anything," said Compair l'Ours.
" It is because you and Compair Bouki have such small ears that
you can't hear. My ears are so long that I hear miles away."
He went away and came back a moment later, saying it was for
his wife who was beginning to be sick. He did the same thing
three times during the day. At noon he said his wife was in the
middle of her sickness, at three o'clock he came back very sad, and
said merely : " All is finished."
Compair l'Ours and Compair Bouki pitied him very much because
they thought it was his wife who was dead. Instead of that, each
time Compair Lapin had said he was going to his wife's house he
went to the house of Compair l'Ours and ate a little of his provi-
sions, and when he said : " It is finished," he had finished eating alL
At five o'clock the three friends left their work and went to the
house of Compair l'Ours. You may imagine how Compair l'Ours
was angry when he saw that all his provisions had disappeared.
Immediately he accused Compair Lapin, but he swore it was not he.
"I shall know right off; all three of us will go and lie down on
that plank which is in the water in the sun, and the thief will surely
be sick." Compair Lapin, who was very impudent, said yes, because
he expected to lie down in the shade by the side of Compair l'Ours,
who was much larger than he. Compair Bouki said yes also.
20 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
Y6 couri cot6 la planche la, et Compair Lapin t6 pas content
quand li oua c'&ait ein stage bateau et li sr£ pas capabe colli contre
Compair l'Ours pou trappi so l'ombre. Y6 couchi en haut la planche
loin Fein de Tote, et pas plitot yi t6 la qui Compair Lapin ti ben
malade a cause do l'eau et soleil et li commence rijiti tout 9a li ti
— Ah mo trapi toi, mo compair, dit Compair l'Ours. To va
payer moin 5a et mo va pende toi.
— Pende moin si to ouli, 5a pas fait moin arien, dit Compair
Lapin, mais si to ouli mo va donnin toi ein bon moyen. Fais ein
trou dans la muraille, passez la corde ladans ; toi et Compair Bouki
vous pas dans soleil pou tirer la corde la et pende moin. Tout temps
vous sra api pende moin ma crii, et quand mo sra pas crii 9a sra
signe mo pas gagnin la voix et mo sra mouri.
Compair l'Ours fait 5a Compair Lapin ti dit et tachi li, mais quand
Compair l'Ours et Compair Bouki ti dans la maison, li ditachi li
mime et pende so patte yi. Compair l'Ours tiri la corde la, Com-
pair Lapin crii fort, pi si faibe qui Compair l'Ours et Compair
Bouki ti cri li ti mouri et yi couri oua lote cot i. Yi jiste oua la
poussi&re Compair Lapin tapi fait et yi tendi so la voix qui tapi
dit : — Vous oua mo plis smart qui vous, et mo remercii vous pou
bon dinin la mo fait chez vous.
L'IRLANDAIS ET CRAPAUDS.
Ein fois yavait ein l'lrlandais sou qui tapi rivini village et ti passi
coti ein piti la riviire ou yi ti gagnin boucou crapauds. Li tendi
crapauds yi qui tapi dit : — Brum, brum, brum. Ah ! dit l'lrlandais
la, tapi dit : — Rum, rum, rum, toli mo rum, mo va donnin toi ein
pi, mais faut to promette moin rende moin mo jug. Mais di moin,
est-ce que do l'eau la fond ?
— Jou, jou, jou, dit crapauds yi. — Oh! dit l'lrlandais la 9a pas
ben fond. — Tien, voila mo rum. Li jiti so jug dans do l'eau et li
tende ein bon moment, pi li dit : — Anon, Michii, voyi moin mo jug,
li tard ; faut mo retournin chez moin ; yapi tende moin. Mais cra-
pauds pas voyi arien. Alors l'lrlandais jiti li mime dans do l'eau
qui ti tris haut et ti vini jisqua so cou.
— Sacri menteurs, dit l'lrlandais la, — vous dit moin do l'eau la
sri vini jisqua mo ginoux et li jisqua mo cou.
Comme li ti sou li neyi li mime.
Ulrlandais et Crapauds. ai
They went to the plank, and Compair Lapin was not pleased when
he saw that it was the stage of a boat, and he would not be able to
stick to Compair TOurs to be in the shade. They lay down on the
plank, at a distance from one another, and no sooner were they there
when Compair Lapin felt very sick on account of the water and the
sun, and he began to throw up all that he had eaten.
"Ah ! I have caught you, comrade," said Compair TOurs. "You
will pay for that, and I am going to hang you."
" Hang me if you wish, I don't care," said Compair Lapin ; " but if
you want I shall give you a good way. Make a hole in the wall,
pass the rope through it, you and Compair Bouki will not be in the
sun to pull the rope and hang me. While you will be hanging me I
shall cry, and when I shall not cry it will be a sign I have no voice
left and I shall be dead."
Compair TOurs did what Compair Lapin had said and tied him,
but when Compair TOurs and Compair Bouki were in the house, he
untied himself and hung by his feet. Compair TOurs pulled on the
rope, Compair Lapin cried loud, then so low that Compair TOurs
and Compair Bouki thought he was dead, and they went to see on
the other side of the wall. They only saw the dust Compair Lapin
was making, and they heard his voice saying: "You see I am
smarter than you, and I thank you for the good dinner I had at your
THE IRISHMAN AND THE FROGS.
Once upon a time there was a drunken Irishman who was return-
ing to his village and who passed by a little river where were many
frogs. He heard the frogs say: "Brum, brum, brum!" "Ah!"
said the Irishman, "you want my rum; I shall give you a little,
but you must promise me to give back my jug. But tell me, is the
water deep there ? "
"Jou, jou, jou!" s^id the frogs. "Oh!" said the Irishman,
" that is not very deep. Here is my rum." He threw his jug into
the water and he waited a good while, then he said : " Well, gentle-
men, send back my jug ; it is late, I must go back home ; they are
waiting for me." But the frogs did not send back anything. Then
the Irishman threw himself into the water that was very deep and
came to his neck.
" Confounded liars," said the Irishman, " you told me the water
would come to my knees (genotix), and it is up to my neck."
As he was drunk, he was drowned.
22 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
COMPAIR LAPIN ET MADAME CARENCRO.
Est-ce que vous conn in pouquoi carencro yi chove ? Non, et ben
mo va dit vous.
Ein fois yavait ein dame Carencro qui ti ap£ couv6 dans ein ch&ie.
Li ti gagnin ein bon arien mari et ti toujou ap£ mouri faim. Au
pied chine la yavait ein gros trou et dans trou la ein lapin ti rest£.
Compair Lapin ti gros et gras et ti donnin Mme. Carencro envie
manz£ li chaque fois li ti oua li. Ein jou li profit^ ein ti moment ou
Compair Lapin ti ap6 dromi et li prend la mousse et des briques et
bouch£ trou la. Alors Compair Lapin svi pas capabe sorti et li sri
Quand Compair Lapin r£veill£ et li oua li mime fermi li sipplte
Mme. Carencro laissi li sorti, mais li riponde chaque fois : — Mo faim
et faut mo manger la viande en haut to dizos.
Quand Compair Lapin oua que la pri&re ti pas fait arien li paix,
mais Mme. Carencro ti si content li ti prend Compair Lapin que li
tap6 lich£ so la livre comme li jongte quel bon dinin la fait. Comme
li pas tend£ Compair Lapin remu£ li cri li ti mouri touffe et li enlevi
la mousse et les briques qui ti fermi trou la. Li commence descende
dans trou, mais Compair Lapin fait ein bond et sorti dehors. Quand
li ti loin li dit comme 5a : — To oua, c'est toi qui pris et ma veng£
Li parti et li couri rest6 chez ein so zamis pasqu£ li ti pair r6-
tournin dans chine la coti Mme. Carencro. Quique jous apr&s 9a
Mme. Carencro, qui ti blii Compair Lapin, couri promenin avec so
piti qui ti tous sorti dans yi coquille. Compair Lapin ti content et
li pensi comment li sri prend rivanche en haut Mme. Carencro. Li
couri dans la quisine, li prend ein grand ferblanc plein la braise et la
cende chaud, et quand Mme. Carencro et so piti passi coti la garlie
li jeti en haut yi tout 5a li ti gagnin dans ferblanc pou brute yi.
Mais vous connin carencro gagnin la plime ipais cepti en haut yi la
tite. Ye sicoui vite mais pas assez vite pou picher la plume en
haut yi la tite bruler jisqua la peau.
Voila pouquoi carencros choves, et qui yi jamin manzi dizos
Compair Lapin et Madame Carencro. 23
COMPAIR LAPIN AND MADAME CARENCRO.
Do you know why buzzards are bald ? No. Well, I am going to
Once upon a time Mme. Carencro was setting upon her nest on
an oak-tree. Her husband was a good-for-nothing fellow, and she
was always starving. At the foot of the tree there was a big hole
in which a rabbit dwelt. Compair Lapin was large and fat, and
every time Mme. Carencro saw him she wished to eat him. One day,
while Compair Lapin was sleeping, she took some moss and bricks
and closed the hole in the tree. Then Compair Lapin would not be
able to get out and would die of hunger.
When Compair Lapin woke up and he found out that he was shut
up in the hole, he begged Mme. Carencro to let him out, but she
replied each time : "lam hungry and I must eat the flesh on your
When Compair Lapin saw that it was of no use to beg, he stopped
speaking, but Mme. Carencro was so glad she had caught Compair
Lapin that she licked her lips when she thought of the good dinner
she would make. As she did not hear Compair Lapin move, she
thought he was dead, smothered, and she took away the moss and
the bricks which closed the hole. She began to go down the opening,
but Compair Lapin made one jump and got out. When he was at
some distance he said : " You see, it is you who are caught, and
He ran away and went to stay at the house of one of his friends,
because he was afraid to go back into the oak-tree near Mme. Caren-
cro. Some days later Mme. Carencro, who had forgotten Compair
Lapin, went to take a walk with her children, who had all come out
of their shells. They passed near the house of Compair Lapin's
friend. Compair Lapin was glad, and he thought how he could take
vengeance on Mme. Carencro. He ran into the kitchen, he took a
large tin pan full of burning embers and hot ashes ; and when Mme.
Carencro and her children passed near the gallery, he threw down
on them all that he had in the tin pan, in order to burn them. But
you know that buzzards have thick feathers except on the top of
their heads. They shook off the embers and ashes, but not quick
enough to prevent the feathers on their heads to burn down to the
This is why the buzzards are bald and never eat bones of rabbits.
24 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
COMPAIR LAPIN ET MICHlfi DINDE.
Tous les soi quand Compair Lapin t6 rivini so louvrage li tt tra-
verse ein lacou ou y6 t6 gaingnin ein gros dinde qui tap£ drorai on
so perchoir, et comme tous 16 zotte dinde cila t6 mett£ aussite so
lat£te en bas so zaile pou couri droml
Tous les soi Compair Lapin t6 r6t6 gardi dinde la, et li t€ mand6
li nteme 9a li t£ fait avec so lat&e. Enfin ein soi li t£ si quirte U
r&6 en bas perchoir la et li dit : — Bonsoi, Michte Dinde.
• — Bonsoi, dit dinde la sans tev6 so lat&e.
— Est-ce qu6 vous gaingnin ein lat£te, Michte Dinde ?
— Oui, mo gaingnin ein latite.
— Mo latite la.
Compair Lapin t£ beau chercher li t6 pas oua lat£te Michte Dinde.
Comme li oua dinde la t£ pas oute causer avec li ni montri li ou
li metti so latite, li couri cbez li et li dit so sire : — Est-ce qu£ to
connin qu£ pou couri coucher dinde oti y€ lat£te ? Eh ben, mo cri
malte fait mime quichoge, pasqite c'est moins tracas dromi sans
latete, et moune capabe parte sans latite, pasqu£ dinde la parl^ avec
Avant so sire t6 gaingnin temps dit li arien, li prend ein lahache,
et li coup£ so latite. So sire say£ tout quichoge pou coller latite
frire, mais li t6 pas capabe, pasqui li t€ tchu6 li nteme.
COMPAIR BOUKI ET MACAQUES.
Bouki mett£ di i6 en bas so l'6quipage et fait bouilli dolo ladans
pendant eine haire. Quand dolo la t£ bien chaud Bouki sorti d£yors
et li commence batte tambour et h6te Macaques yi. Li chants, li
Sam-bombel ! Sam-bombel tarn t
Sam-bombel ! Sam-bombel dam !
Macaques y6 tend6 et y€ dit : — Qui 5a? Bouki gaignin quichoge
qui bon pou manzi, anon couri, et y£ tous parti pou couri chez
Bouki Tan y€ ti ap£ galp£, y6 t6 chants : — Motesi, cherguinet,
Compair Bouki et Macques. 25
COMPAIR LAPIN AND MR. TURKEY.
Every evening when Compair Lapin returned from his work he
passed through a yard where there was a large turkey sleeping on
its perch, and like all other turkeys that one also had its head under
its wing to sleep.
Every evening Compair Lapin stopped to look at the turkey, and
he asked himself what it had done with its head. Finally, one even-
ing, he was so curious that he stopped underneath the perch, and
said : " Good evening, Mr. Turkey."
11 Good evening," said the turkey, without raising its head.
" Do you have a head, Mr. Turkey ? "
" Yes, I have a head."
" Where is it ? "
" My head is here."
Compair Lapin looked in vain, but he could not see Mr. Turkey's
head. As he saw that the turkey did not want to talk to him or
show him where was its head, he went to his house and said to his
sister: "Do you know that to go to sleep turkeys take off their
heads ? Well, I believe I shall do the same thing, because it is less
trouble to sleep without a head, and one can speak without a head,
for the turkey spoke to me."
Before his sister had the time to tell him anything, he took an axe
and cut off his head. His sister tried in every way possible to stick
it on again, but could not do so, as her brother had killed himself.
COMPAIR BOUKI AND THE MONKEYS.
Compair Bouki put fire under his kettle, and when the water was
very hot he began to beat his drum and to cry out :
Sam-bombel ! Sam-bombel tarn I
Sam-bombel ! Sam-bombel dam I
The monkeys heard and said : " What ? Bouki has something good
to eat, let us go," and they ran up to Bouki and sang : " Mollsi cher-
chourvan ! Cheguille chourvan Quand Bouki oua ye li te si con-
tent li frotte so vente. Bouki dit Macaques: — Ma le rentr£ dans
chaudiere la, et quand ma dit mo chuite, ote moin. Bouki saute
dans chaudiere, dans ein piti moment li hele: — Mo chuite, rao
chuite, ote moin, et macaques hale H deyors. Quand Bouki te
deyors li dit Macaques : — Astere ce ouzotte tour rentre dans chau-
diere. Quand ouzottes va hele mo chuite ma ote ouzottes. Ma-
caques ye rentre. Dolo la te si chaud, si chaud, sitot ye touche li,
ye hele : — Mo chuite, mo chuite. Mais Bouki prend so grand
couverti et couvri so chaudiere serre, et tan li tape ri li dit pove
macaques ye: — Si ouzottes te chuite ouzottes te pas capabe dit
ouzottes chuites. Quand macaques ye te chuites pou meme Bouki
decouvri so chaudiere. Asteur ein tout piti macaque, qui te dans
ein piti coin, chape sans Bouki oua li. Asteur, Bouki assite, et li
mange, mange jouqua li te lasse. Mais ein jou li fini mange dernier
macaque et li di : Fo mo trappe lotte macaques. Li prcnd so gros
tambour, li couri on haut la garli et U batte, li batte et li chante :
Et macaques commence vini, et ape chante : — Molesi, cheriguille !
Molesi, cheriguille, chourvan ! Quand tous macaques yd te la Bouki
rentre dans dolo chaud qui te dans chaudiere, et dit: — Quand ma
dit: Mo chuite, ote moin. Dans ein ti moment Bouki hele: — Mo
chuite, mo chuite. Ah oua, macaques ye prend gros couverti, et
couvri pove Bouki et ye dit li : — Si to te chuite to sre pas hele.
MICHl£ MACAQUE, MARIE".
In fois yave in macaque qui te lainmin in joli jene fille. Li bille
comme in nomme et li couri oua li. Mamzelle la recevoir li si bien
que H mdm'n so mcilleur zami pou oua so namourese. Popa mamzelle
la mande zami michie" Macaque question on namoure so fille. Zami
la dit michie Macaque te bon et pi riche, mais li te gaingnin ein
secret. Popa la te oule connin secret la, mais zami la dit li va dit U
ein lote jou. Michid Macaque vini fiance avec Mamzelle la, et soi so
mariage li invite so zami pou souper la. Zami la te jalou michie
Macaque, et quand soupe te presque fini li commence chante. CY-tait
ein chanson pou fait macaque danse, meme si ye pas oule, alorse
michie Macaque garde cote so zami et fait ii signe r£ti chante, Mais
Michii Macaque, Marti. 27
guinet, chourvan ! Ch£guill6, chourvan ! " Compair Bouki then said to
the monkeys : " I shall enter into the kettle, and when I say ' I am
cooked/ you must take me out." He jumped into the kettle, and
the monkeys pulled him out as soon as he said " I am cooked/'
The monkeys, in their turn, jumped into the kettle, and cried out,
immediately on touching the water, " We are cooked." Bouki, how-
ever, took his big blanket, and covering the kettle, said : " If you
were cooked you could not say so." One little monkey alone es-
caped, and Bouki ate all the others. Some time after this Compair
Bouki was hungry again, and he called the monkeys :
Sam-bombel t Sam-bombel tarn U
Sam-bombel ! Sam-bombel dam !
When the monkeys came, he jumped into the kettle again and
said : " I am cooked, I am cooked." The monkeys, however, which
had been warned by the little monkey which had escaped the first
time, did not pull Bouki out, but said : " If you were cooked you
could not say so/'
MR. MONKEY, THE BRIDEGROOM.
There was a monkey which fell in love with a beautiful young
girl. He dressed as a man and went to call on her. He was so well
received that one day he took his best friend with him to see his
lady-love. The young girl's father asked Mr. Monkey's friend some
questions about his daughter's lover. The friend said that Mr. Mon-
key was good and rich, but there was a secret about him. The father
wanted to know the secret, but the friend said he would tell him
another day. Mr. Monkey was finally engaged to the young lady,
and the night of the wedding he invited his friend to the supper.
The latter was jealous of Mr. Monkey, and at the end of the supper
he began to sing. This was a song that made all monkeys dance,
28 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
li continuin chant£ et tout d'in coup michte Macaque I6v6 et li com-
mence dans& Li saut6 tellement que so la tchte sorti et tout moune
oua li t£ ein macaque. Popa la comprende secret la et li batte li
raide. So zami chapp£ ap£ dans£ et chantd
In michte qui t£ vive on bord in bayou trapp£ in gros tortie et li
invito tout suitte so zami pou dinin avec li. So ti gar;on, quand li
t& pas la, couri cot£ lacage tortie la, et tortie commence siffl£.
— Comme to siffte bien, dit piti la. — Oh ! $a, c6 pas arien, ouvri la
cage la, et ta oua. Gar^on la ouvri la cage et tortie siffte mi£ qui
anvant. Garqon la t6 enchants. — Mett6 moin on la planche et ta
oua, dit tortie la. Gannon la fait $a, et tortie dans6 et chants.
— Oh ! comme to dans£ et chants bien, dit gar;on la. — Mett6 moin
on bord bayou, et ta oua, dit tortie. Gannon la m£nin li au bord
bayou, et tortie la dans£ et chants. Tout d'in coup li disparaite dans
dolo et gar^on la commence cri6. Tortie I6v6 dans milte bayou et li
dit : — Apprende pas Hi moune to pas connin.
Gar;on la t6 pair so popa et li mett£ ein gros la pierre plate dans
lacage. Cuisinier la t6 cr£ c'6tait tortie et li mett6 lapierre dans
chaudi&re. Li t6 6tonnin oua li rest£ dire si longtemps et li montri
li so maite. Li ordonnin mett£ tortie on la tabe et li prend so
couteau la tabe pou coup6 li. C^tait pas la peine. Li prend couteau
d£coup6, pas la peine. Li prend casse t6te, pas la peine. Li prend
lahache ; li cass6 lassiette, la tabe, mais tortie la rest6 telle. Li oua
alorse c'&ait ein lapierre, et jisqua asteur li pas comprende comment
so tortie ti change en lapierre.
whether they wished to or not, so Mr. Monkey looked at his friend
and beckoned him to stop singing. He continued, however, to sing,
and all at once Mr. Monkey got up and began to dance. He jumped
about so wildly that his tail came out of his clothes, and every one
saw that he was a monkey. The father understood the secret, and
beat him dreadfully. His friend, however, ran off, dancing and
A gentleman who was living on the banks of a bayou caught a
large tortoise, and went immediately to invite some friends to take
dinner with him. His little boy, in his absence, went to the cage
where was the tortoise, and the latter began to whistle. " How well
you whistle!" said the child. "Oh! that is nothing; open the
cage, and you will see." The boy opened the cage, and the tortoise
whistled better than ever. The boy was delighted. " Put me down
on the floor and you will see," said the tortoise. The boy did so,
and the tortoise danced and sang. " Oh ! how well you dance and
sing ! " said the boy. "Put me on the bank of the bayou, and you
will see," said the tortoise. The boy took her to the bayou, and the
tortoise danced and sang. All at once she disappeared in the water,
and the boy began to cry. The tortoise rose in the middle of the
bayou and said : " Learn not to trust, hereafter, people whom you do
The boy was afraid of his father, and put a large flat stone into the
cage. The cook, thinking it was the tortoise, put the stone into the
kettle. She was astonished to see it remain hard so long, and she
called her master's attention to it. He ordered the tortoise to be
put upon the table, and he took his table knife to cut it. It was in
vain. He took the carving-knife, in vain. He took the hatchet, in
vain. He took the axe, he broke the dishes, the table, but the tor-
toise remained intact. He then saw it was a stone, and to this day
he has not understood how his tortoise was changed into a stone.
30 Louisiana Folh-Tales.
COMPAIR BOUKI, COMPAIR LAPIN, ET DfiZEF ZOZO.
Compair Bouki et Compair Lapin ti voisin. In jou Compair
Bouki dit li m6me li ti oul6 oua 9a Compair Lapin ti zp6 tcbui tous
les soirs dans so cabane. Li couri coti cabane Compair Lapin et
li oua in gros chaudi&re on dif i. — Oh ! comme mo gagnin mal aux
dents ! Compair Lapin, 9a vous gagnin dans chaudi&re la ?
— £a pas vous zaffaire, Compair BoukL
— Qui 9a qui senti si bon dans chaudi&re la, Compair Lapin ?
Oh ! comme mo gagnin mal aux dents I
— Ci dizef zozo, Compair Bouki, pas biti moin.
— Oh ! comme mo gagnin mal aux dents ! Laiss6 moin gout6 (a
vous gagnin la, ;a va guiri moin.
Compair Lapin donnin li qu6que dizef, et Compair Bouki trouv6
yi si bon li ti o\x\i conn in ou li ti prend yi. Compair Lapin dit li
li sr6 m6nin li avec li lendemin matin.
Compair Bouki couri chez li et li dit so moman li ti gagnin in bien
bon souper chez Compair Lapin. So moman dit li ouvri so labouche
pou li capabe senti qui ;a li ti mang£. Li prend alors in ti mor-
ceau dibois et gratt£ on dents Compair Bouki morceau dizef qui ti
— Oh ! comme c'est bon, li dit. Faut to porti moin in pi.
Compair Bouki couri bonne hire lendemin matin avec Compair
Lapin, qui montri li ou dizef yi ti et dit li pas prende plis qui inne
dans chaque nique, pasqui zozo yi sri oua 9a. Compair Bouki
quand Lapin ti parti, prend tout dizef dans chaque nique. Quand
zozo rivini et yi oua tout yi dizef ti voli yi ti firii et ye fait in
plan pou vengi yi mime. Yavi dans bois in bayou qui ti sile place
ou zanimo ti capabe boi. Zozo yi placi yi mime autour bayou la et
yi oua ein bef vini.
— Compair Bef, est-ce que c'est vous qui mangi nous dizef ?
— Non, mo zami, mo mangi jisse zerbe.
Choal dit li mangi jisse difoin ; Compair Lapin dit li mangi jisse
carottes et laitues, mais quand yi mandi Compair Bouki, li riponde
comme in bite : — Oui, c'est moin qui mangi vous dizef.
Pas plitot li ti parte qui tous zozo tombi on li ; yi crivi so zii et
presque metti li en piices.
Compair Bouki, Compair Lapin, et Dezef Zozo. 31
COMPAIR BOUKI, COMPAIR LAPIN, AND THE BIRDS*
Compair Bouki and Compair Lapin were neighbors. One day
Compair Bouki said to himself that he wished to see what Compair
Lapin was cooking every evening in his cabin. He went to Com-
pair Lapin's cabin and saw a big kettle on the fire. " Oh ! what a
toothache I have ! Compair Lapin, what do you have in that
kettle ? "
" It is not your business, Compair Bouki."
" What smells so good in that kettle, Compair Lapin ? Oh ! what
a toothache I have ! "
" It is birds' eggs, Compair Bouki ; don't bother me."
" Oh ! what a toothache I have ! Let me taste what you have
here. It will cure me."
Compair Lapin gave him a few eggs, and Compair Bouki found
them so good that he wished to know where they were to be found.
Compair *Lapin told him he would take him with him the next day.
Compair Bouki went home and told his mother that he had a
splendid supper at Compair Lapin's. His mother told him to open
his mouth that she might smell what it was that he had eaten. She
then took a small piece of wood and scraped off the teeth of Com-
pair Bouki the small pieces of eggs that remained there.
"Oh ! how good it is," she said ; "you must get me some."
Compair Bouki went early the next morning with Compair Lapin,
who showed him where the eggs were and told him not to take more
than one from each nest, because the birds would perceive it. Com-
pair Bouki, however, as soon as Lapin was gone, took all the eggs
from every nest When the birds returned and saw that all the
eggs had been stolen, they were furious, and formed a plan to avenge
themselves. There was in the wood a bayou which was the only
place where the animals could drink. The birds placed themselves
around the bayou and saw an ox coming.
" Compair Bef, was it you who ate our eggs ? "
"No, my friends, I eat nothing but grass."
The horse said he ate nothing but hay. Compair Lapin said that
he ate nothing but carrots and lettuce ; but when they questioned
Compair Bouki, he replied foolishly : " Yes, it is I who ate your
No sooner had he spoken when the birds fell upon him ; they put
out his eyes and nearly tore him to pieces.
32 Louisiana Folk-Tales*
CHIEN AVEC TIGUE.
In jou in chien achet£ cent poules et in coq, et in tigue acheti
cent coqs et in poule. Tous les soi chien la t£ trouvd in panier plein
dizei dans so poulailler, et tigue la t£ trouvd jisse in d£zet Tigue
dit chien void li, et li tach£ li, li mett£ li dans in brouette et li parti
pou vende li. On chimin li contrd in chdvreil ; li cont£ li so zaffaire
et li mand6 li si li pas raison vende chien la. Chdvreil la dit non,
alors tigue la tchud li. In p£ plis tard li rencontr£ in lion et li
racont£ li so lhistoire. Lion la dit tigue t£ gagnin tort, et tigue la
dit : — Vous parl6 comme 9a pasqu6 vous connin vous plis fort qu6
Qu&jue temps apr£s 9a tigue couri dans bois et li laiss£ chien la
seul qu&jue temps. Chass&re pass£ et y6 mand£ chien la 9a lap6
fait la. Li racontd so lhistoire, et chass&re y6 mand£ li montrd y€
ou tigue la t£. Tigue la t6 pair comme djabe, et d£pi temps la chien
jamin pair bite sauvage.
FILLfcLE COMPAIR LAPIN.
In fois Compair Lapin t6 ap6 travaille pou Compair BoukL Bouki
t6 achetd in baril dib&re et li ti cach6 li dans so lacave. D€ compair
y€ t6 ap£ travaille dans clos ensembe, et tout d'in coup, Lapin livi
so latdte, et li dit : — Yap6 p6\6 moin pou batis£ in piti.
Bouki dit : — Couri tout suite, faut pas to fait li attende.
Lapin parti couri et quand li rivini, Bouki dit li : — Eh ben, to
batis6 piti la ? Coman to p6\6 li ?
•— Mo peld li Commence.
— Non, 5a c6 in drole nom.
In pi plis tard, Lapin, Uv6 so latdte encore et li dit : — Yap6 p6lt
moin encore pou batis£ in lotte piti.
— Couri, dit Bouki, to pas capabe dit y6 non.
Compair Lapin parti couri encore et li rest£ plis longtemps qui
Ftllele Compair Lapin. 33
THE DOG AND THE TIGER.
A dog one day bought one hundred hens and one rooster, and a
tiger bought one hundred roosters and one hen. Every evening the
dog found a basketful of eggs in his chicken-house, and the tiger
found only one egg. The tiger accused the dog of robbing him,
and, tying him up, he put him in a wheelbarrow and took him along
to sell him. On the way he met a deer, and relating his story to
him, he asked him if he was not right to sell the dog. The deer
said " no," whereupon the tiger killed him. A little later he met a
lion, and related his story to him. The lion said the tiger was
wrong and the latter replied, " You speak in that way because you
know that you are stronger than I."
After some time the tiger went into the woods and left the dog
alone for a few minutes. Some hunters passed by, and they asked
the dog what he was doing there. He related his story, and the
hunters asked him to show them where the tiger was. The tiger
was terribly frightened, and from that time dogs have never been
afraid of wild beasts.
COMPAIR LAPIN'S GODCHILD.
Once upon a time Compair Lapin was working for Compair
Bouki. The latter had bought a barrel of butter, and had hidden it
in his cellar. The two companions were working one day in the
field together, when, all at once, Lapin raised his head, and said :
" They are calling me to be godfather to a child."
"Go immediately/' replied Bouki; "you must not make them
Lapin ran off, and when he returned, Bouki said to him : "Well,
did you baptize the child ? How did you call him ? "
" I called him « Begun.' "
" Indeed, that is a strange name."
A little later, Lapin raised his head again, and said: "They are
calling me again to be godfather to another child."
" Go," said Bouki ; " you cannot tell them no."
Compair Lapin ran off again, and remained away longer than the
34 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
premier fois. Quand li r£vini Compair Bouki dit li: — Coman to
p&e piti la fois cila ?
— Mo p£16 li La Motchid.
— La Motchte, mais qui nom c'est 9a. Mo jamin tend£ drole
nom com me $a to donnin piti y€ to batis6.
In p6 pli tard encore, pendant y£ tap£ travaille, Lapin Uv6 so lat6te
et dit : — Eh ben, yap£ p6\6 moin encore pou in lotte piti ; 5a b£tant,
ma jamin fini mo louvrage.
Bouki dit li : — Couri, to pas capabe dit non.
Compair Lapin parti couri et li ti p€ ri li tout seul.
Quand li r£vini encore Compair Bouki dit li: — Coman to p6\i
— Oh ! mo p6\6 li : Tout fini, pasqu£ mo v6 pli batisd piti
Asteur Compair Bouki dit li m£me : — Faut mo r£gal£ mo mime,
map6 couri rempli mo b&rier avec mo bon dib&re. Li vini gardi
dans so baril ; pli arien. Lapin t£ chichi li nette.
— £a c'est trop fort, dit Bouki, li va payi moin 5a. Li trapi
Compair Lapin et li tachi li et li dit li : — Qui 9a ma capabe fait
avec toi asteur, ma jiti toi dans dolo.
— Ah ! oui, c'est $a mo laimin.
— Non, to trop content, ma jiti toi dans difi.
— Ah ! oui, jiti moin dans difi.
— Non, to trop content, ma jiti toi dans zironce.
— Oh ! pardon, mo cher Bouki, pas jiti moin dans zironce.
— Oui, c'est la faut to couri.
Compair Bouki lanci Compair Lapin dans zironce. Asteur, quand
Lapin tombi li coupi so la corde avec so dent et li parti galpi et li
crii : — Merci, mo bon Compair Bouki, to metti moin jisse la ou mo
MAMZELLE MOQUfeRE, MICHlfi MOQUfeRE, ET
Ein fois Moqu£re et pi Hibou tapi fait l'amour mime Mamzelle
Moqu&re. Mamzelle Moqu&re dit yi : Ah bien, ma marii avec cila
qui connin resti pli lontan sans mangi. Moin, ma resti en bas nabe
la et vouzotte enho li.
Asteur Moqu&re gardi so namoureuse et li tapi descende nabe et
api chants :
MamzelU Moquere, Mickie Moquere, et Michie Hibou. 35
first time. On his return Bouki said : " How did you call the child
this time ? "
" I called him « Half.' "
"Half! But what name is that? I never heard such strange
names as those which you give the children baptized by you."
A little later again, while they were working, Lapin raised his
head, and said : " There, they are calling me again for another child ;
it is very annoying ; I shall never be able to finish my work."
" Go/' said Bouki ; "you cannot say no."
Lapin ran off, laughing to himself.
When he returned, Bouki said : "What is the name of the child ? "
"Oh ! I called him ' All Finished/ because I do not want to be
godfather to any other child."
Now, Bouki said to himself : " I must have a good dinner ; let me
fill my butter dish with my good butter." He looked into his barrel,
there was nothing in it. Lapin had eaten all the butter.
" Oh ! that is too much," said Bouki ; " he will pay me for that."
He caught Lapin, he tied him with a rope, and said : " Now, what
am I going to do with you ? I '11 throw you in the river."
" Ah ! yes, that is what I like."
" No, you are too glad ; I '11 throw you in the fire."
"Ah ! yes, throw me in the fire."
" No, you are too glad ; I '11 throw you in the briers."
" Oh ! I pray you, my dear Bouki, do not throw me in the briers."
" Yes, it is there you must go."
Bouki threw Lapin in the briers. As soon as he fell, he cut the
rope with his teeth, and ran away, crying : " Thank you, my good
Bouki ; you placed me exactly where my mother resides."
MISS MOCKINGBIRD, MR. MOCKINGBIRD, AND
Once upon a time the Mockingbird and the Owl were courting
Miss Mockingbird. She said to them: "Well, I shall marry the
one who will remain the longer without eating. I shall remain
under the tree and you upon it."
Now, the mockingbird looked at his lady-love and flew down to
her, singing :
36 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
Chivi! Chivi! Tab la!
Chivi! Chivi I Talala!
Quand li rendi en bas li fait comrae si lapi bo Mamzelle Moqutae,
et cila ti gagnin mangi dans so bee et li tapi donnin li jine nomme
Moquire la. Moquire monti dans so nabe encore.
Hibou oua tout, lorse li aussite parti pou descende, et tant li tapi
descende li tapi chants : —
Coucou ! Ta la la !
Coucou! Talala I
Li rivi en bas, li vini pou bo mamzelle la, mais mamzelle la tour-
nin so latite et dit li : — Couri, couri, to lizailes fait mo la figure
mal. Pove Hibou ti pas gagnin arien pou mangi. Li ti bo mam-
zelle la et mamzelle la ti donnin li morceau mangi. Hibou de-
scende aussite, mais li ti pi commence bien faim et (a fait so lavoix
ti vini faibe et triste, et li ti pi dit : —
Coucou ! Ta la la la !
Coucou ! Ta la la la !
Hlvl! Talala la!
Mamzelle la ti pas ouli gardi li ni donnin li mangi. Pove Hibou
ti gagnin pou monti dans nabe la so vente vide et Moqu&re ti pi
fait so vantor api chanti si fort : —
Chivi! Chivi! Talala!
Chivi! Chivi! Talala!
Pove Hibou api mouri faim, yi ti jiste capabe tendi li chanti a
force li ti faibe : —
Coucou ! Ta la !
Coucou ! Ta la !
Li rivi en bas, li seyi bo mamzelle la encore, mais mamzelle la dit
li : — Oh couri, couri, to grand lizailes fait mo mal, et mamzelle la
donnin li in tape qui capoti li par terre at li ti si faim qui li mouri,
et Michii Moqu&re parti voli avec so fame.
Mamzelle Moquere, Muhii Moquere et Michie Hibou. 37
Chivi! Chivi! Talala!
Chivi! Chivi! Talala!
When he reached Miss Mockingbird, he did as if he wanted to
kiss her, and she gave him some food which she had in her beak.
Mr. Mockingbird flew back to his tree.
The Owl in his turn flew towards his lady love, and he sang :
Coucou ! Ta la la !
• Coucou ! Ta la la I
He wished to kiss Miss Mockingbird, but she turned her head
aside, and said : " Go away ; your wings hurt me." The poor Owl
had nothing to eat, while every day the mockingbird flew down, and,
kissing the young lady, got something to eat. The Owl came down
also from the tree, but he was beginning to be very hungry, and his
voice was very weak when he sang :
Coucou! Talala la I
Coucou ! Ta la la la !
H6v£! Talala la I
Miss Mockingbird did not want to look at him or to give him
anything to eat, and he had to go back to his tree with an empty
stomach. Mr. Mockingbird, on the contrary, grew more boastful
every day, and sang in a loud voice :
Chivi! Chivi! Talala!
Chivi! Chivi! Talala!
The poor Owl was dying of hunger, and one could hardly hear his
Coucou ! Ta la !
Coucou ! Ta la !
He tried to kiss Miss Mockingbird, but she said to him : " Go
away ; your large wings hurt me," and she gave him a slap which
threw him down. He was so weak from hunger that he died, and
Mr. Mockingbird flew away with his bride.
38 Louisiana Folk-TaUs.
MARIAZE COMPAIR LAPIN.
— Tim, tim, bois sec, crd coton, Compair Lapin, c'est ti bonhomme
qui connin sautd.
Vous zotes doit rappeler, qud aprds yd td voyd Compair Lapin
dans grands zerbes, comme li te chape raide et comme li dit c'dtait la
mdme so mom an td fait 1L Pour lors done mo va dit vous qud mdme
jou la Mamzelle Leonine couri joinde li et yd parti voyagd. Yd
marchd longtcmps, pendant au moin ein mois, a la fin yd rive au bord
cin la riviere qui td boucou fond ; courant la td fort, trop fort pou
qud yd te passe li a la nage. L'ote cote la riviere la td ein joli place,
nabes yd te vert et chargd tout sortes fruits ; en bas nabe yd tout
qualite flairs dans moune te la ; quand ein moune td respird c'est
comme si yd td debouchd ein fiole lessence dans ein la chambre.
Mamzelle Ldonine dit comme 5a: — Anon couri vive la, dabord
nous pas capabe tournin cote mo popa. La nous va hereux et per-
sonne pas alld tracassd nous zotes. Mais comment nous va fait pou
traversd lote cotd ?
— Rdtd, dit Compair Lapin, laissd moin jongld ein ti moment, et
pi li prend marchd, alors li rivd au ras ein gros di bois sec qui td
tombe dans dolo. — Ala nous zaffaire, li dit comme qa. Li coupd ein
grand perche et pi li montd en haut di bois la et li dit Ldonine suive
li. Pove Ldonine montd aussite et li td apd trembld a force li td
— Tchombo bien, ta oua comment na passd, et pi li poussd avec
so baton. Di bois la prende descende courant et yd fild raide ; Lapin
apd pagaye, pagaye. Yd navigud ein demi journin avant yd td capabe
rivd l'ote cote ; courant la td si fort qud di bois td toujou apd couri
Li racle la terre quand li passd au ras lecore. — Sautd, sautd, dit
Compair Lapin. Quand li dit qa li mdme td deja en haut la terre.
A la fin Mamzelle Leonine sautd aussite et yd trouvd traversd. £a
fait yd te content et yd commence manzd plein bon kichege yd td
gagnin la, et pi ye pose bien.
Yd trouvd ein joli place pou passd la nouitte et lendemin bo matin
yd prend promend partout. Comme tout qa yd oua td vaillant, yd
pensd ye sre restd la pou vive. Quand ye td chape, yd td pas capabe
portd largent avec ye, 5a fait yd trouvd ye a sec. Mais Bon Djd td
Mariaze Compair Lapin. 39
MARRIAGE OF COMPAIR LAPIN.
Tim, tim ! Bois sec. Crt coton / Compair Lapin is a little
fellow who knows how to jump !
You all must remember, after they had thrown Compair Lapin
into the briers, how quickly he had run away, saying that it was in
those very thorns that his mother had made him. Now then, I will
tell you that on the same day Miss Leonine went to meet him, and
they started travelling. They walked a long time, for at least a
month ; at last they reached the bank of a river which was very
deep. The current was strong, too strong for them to swim over.
On the other side of the river there was a pretty place : the trees
were green and loaded with all kinds of fruits. Under the trees
were flowers of every kind that there is in the world. When a per-
son breathed there, it was as if a bottle of essence had been opened
in a room.
Miss Leonine said : " Let us go to live there ; besides, we cannot
return to my father's. There, we shall be happy, and no one will
bother us ; but how shall we do to cross over to the other side ? "
"Stop," said Compair Lapin, "let me think a moment," and then
he began to walk and walk, until he saw a large piece of dry wood
which had fallen into the water. " That is what I want," said he.
He cut a tall pole, and then he mounted on the log and told Leonine
to follow him. Poor Miss Leonine mounted also, but she was so
much afraid that she was trembling dreadfully.
" Hold on well ; you will see how we shall pass ;" and he pushed
with his stick. The log began to go down the current ; they were
going like lightning, and Lapin kept on paddling. They sailed for
half a day before they were able to reach the other side, for the
current was so strong that the log was carried along all the time.
At last it passed very near the shore. "Jump, jump," said Compair
Lapin, and hardly had he spoken than he was on shore. Miss
L6onine finally jumped also, and they found themselves on the other
side of the river. They were very glad, and the first thing they did
was to eat as much as they could of the good things they found
there. Then they took a good rest.
They found a pretty place to pass the night, and the next day, at
dawn, they took a good walk. As everything they saw was so fine,
they thought they would remain there to live. When they had run
away, they had not been able to take any money with them, so they
40 a Louisiana Folk-Tales.
b£ni yi t yi t6 vini dans ein place ou y£ t6 pas bdsoin boucou largent.
Yav6 deja ein bon boute y& t6 dans place la, y€ te tranquille et con-
tent et y6 t& cr6 y6 tout seul, mais tout d'ein coup y£ tend£ ein
tapage, ein remu menage, ein train, comme si tonnerre t£ ape route
en haut la terre.
— Qui 5a 5a, Bon Dj6 Seigneur, couri gardd, Compair Lapin.
— Moin, non. Comme si mo assez b£te pou couri garde et p£t£te
trap6 kichoge mauvais. Vaut mte mo rest£ tranquille, comme 5a
arien pas ap6 rivi moin.
Train la avec di bri la t6 augment^ toujou. A la fin, y6 oua ein
procession n^tephants qui t6 ap£ vini. Comme y6 t6 pass6 tran-
quillement sans taquer personne, 5a donne Lapin ein p6 courage,
alors li vanc6 cot6 chef n&dphants et pi li dit li mand£ li la permis-
sion rest6 dans so pays, qu6 li t6 sorti dans pays roi Lion, ou yi t6
oute tchu6 li, qui li t6 blig6 chapp£ avec so fame.
N6tephant la dit li : — Comme 5a, c'est bon, to capabe restd ici tant
to oute, mais pas ntenin lote zanimo qui connin manz£ y6 entre y£.
Tant ta comport^ bien ma va prot6g6 toi et personne pas alte vini
cbercher toi icite. Vini oua moin souvent et ma sey£ fait kichoge
Qu6que temps apr&s 5a Compair Lapin couri oua roi n£tephant, et
\6 roi t6 si content quand Compair Lapin t& explique comment 16 roi
t£ capabe fait boucou largent qu6 li nomnte Lapin tout suite capi-
taine so la banque et gardien so bitin.
Quand Compair Lapin oua tout largent li t6 ap6 magnin tous les
jou, ca proche rende li fou, et comme li t£ habitou6 boi dipi yi t6 fou-
ilte ein pi dans so pays qu6 dolo la t£ soute moune, li con tin i6 so
vilain nabitude, chaque fois li t6 gagnin la chance li ti soute li bien.
Ein soir li t6 rentr6 tard bien piqu6, li prend babilte avec so fame.
Leonine fait ni eine ni d£, li bimin Compair Lapin si tant qu6 li resti
couch6 pendant trois semaines. Quand li vini gaillard, li mand£ so
fame pardon, li di li t£ soul, qu6 c6t6 derntere fois et pi li bo li.
Mais dans so tcheur li gagn6 vous ein ranquine qu6 li t6 pas capabe
pardonn6 Leonine. Li fait serment quitt£ Leonine mais anvant 5a
li t6 gagnin donne li ein fante la trempe.
£a fait ein soir Leonine t6 apd dromi Compair Lapin prend ein la
corde, li marr6 so pattes d6vant et derrtere, et comme $a li t6 sir so
zaffaire et li prend ein bon fouette et li tailte so femme jisqua li te
perde connaissance, et 'pi li quitt6 li et li parti voyag6, la ou y6 sr6
jamis tend£ parte li, pasqu£ li t6 pair Leonine sr6 tchu£ li, et li fite
Mariaze Compair Lapin* 41
were without a cent. But God had blessed them, for they had come
to a place where they did not need much money. They had already
been there a good while, and they were quiet and contented, and
they thought that they were alone, when one day, they heard, all at
once, a noise, a tumult, as if thunder was rolling on the ground.
14 What is that, my lord? Go to see, Compair Lapin."
" I, no, as if I am foolish to go, and then catch something bad.
It is better for me to stay quiet, and, in that way, nothing can
happen to me." «
The noise kept on increasing, until they saw approaching a proces-
sion of elephants. As they were passing quietly without attacking
any one, it gave Compair Lapin a little courage. He went to the
chief of the elephants and told him that he asked his permission to
remain in his country ; he said that he came from the country of
King Lion, who had wanted to kill him, and he had run away with
The elephant replied : " That is good ; you may remain here as
long as you want, but don't you bring here other animals who know
how to eat one another. As long as you will behave well, I will
protect you, and nobody will come to get you here. Come some-
times to see me, and I will try to do something for you."
Some time after that, Compair Lapin went to see the king of
elephants, and the king was so glad when Compair Lapin explained
to him how he could make a great deal of money, that he named
immediately Compair Lapin captain of his bank and watchman of
When Compair Lapin saw all the money of the king it almost
turned his head, and as he had taken the habit of drinking since
they had dug in his country a well, of which the water made people
drunk, he continued his bad habit whenever he had the chance.
One evening he came home very drunk, and he began quarrelling
with his wife. Leonine fell upon him and gave him such a beating
that he remained in bed for three weeks. When he got up, he asked
his wife to pardon him ; he said that he was drunk, and that he
would never do it again, and he kissed her. In his heart, however,
he could not forgive L6onine. He swore that he would leave her,
but before that he was resolved to give her a terrible beating.
One evening when Leonine was sleeping, Compair Lapin took a
rope and tied her feet before and behind. In that way he was sure
of his business. Then he took a good whip, and he whipped her
until she lost consciousness. Then he left her and went on trav-
elling. He wanted to go to a place where they would never hear
of him any more, because he was afraid that Leonine would kill
him, and he went far.
42 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
Quand L6onine reVeille* li p616, li p616, moune vini oua 5a tt ye* et y€
trouve* li bien marre\ Alors ye dimarre* li et Le'onine parti tout
suite. Li quitte* so la maison, li voyage* longtemps jisqua li vini cote*
mSme riviere li te traverse avec Compair Lapin en haut ein di bois.
Li fait ni 6in ni de* li saute* dans dolo. Courant la te* si fort 9a te*
souteni li bien. A force debatte, nager, nager, li traverse lote cot6.
Quand li monte* en haut la terre li te bien lasse et te gagnin pou
pose* ein bon boute et pi li parti pou tournin cote* so popa.
Quand so popa oua li li bo li et li caress6 li, mais so fille prend crie*
et li di li comment Compair Lapin te traite li. Quand so popa tende*
5a a force li te* colere tout 5a ye qui te au ras li prendc tremble\
— Vini kite, Compair Renard, ta couri trouve 16 roi n616phant et
ta dit li comme 5a si lipas voy6 moin Compair Lapin icite plis vite
qui li capabe ma va couri dans so pays tchue* li et tout lote nele-
phants et tout 5a qui ye* dans so pays. Parti tout suite.
Compair Renard voyage* longtemps et a la fin rive* dans pays la ou
Compair Lapin te* cache. Mais li pas oua li, li mande* pou li mais
personne te* pas capabe donni so nouvelle. Compair Renard couri
trouve* le roi et li dit li 5a so tchenne roi te voye* dit li. Neliphant
qui har Lions reponde : — Va dit to maite si li envi mo cass6 so la
djole li jis seye* vini. Mo pas ape voy6 arien ni personne et com-
mence par foute to camp. Si to oule ein bon conseil reste* cote* toL
Si jamais Lion seye* vini, ma donne li ein lagniappe que* pas cine dans
vous zotes gagnin pou tournin dans vous zote pays.
Compair Renard pas mande so restant, li parti mais li te* pas bou-
cou envi tourne* chez li, li te pair Lion sr6 tchoue* li si li te* vini sans
Compair Lapin. Li marche* plis doucement que li te* capabe et tout
di long chemin li oua yd te ape" prepare pou fait la guerre. Li pens£
que petete nelephants te* oule* couri taque lions, li continie* so chimin,
quand li rive* dans ein la plaine li oua Compair Lapin qui te ape* galopd
en zigzag, tantot ein cote tantot lote et pi li t6 rete quand li ren-
contr6 zanimo, et pi li parle avcc ye* ct pi li parti encore aussi raide
comme an van t. A la fin ye fini par contre, mais Compair Lapin
te* pas reconnaite so vie padna.
— Ou tape* couri comme 5a, galop6, galope* tout temps ?
— Ah, reponde Compair Lapin, vous pas connin mauvais nouvelle
qui Lion declare* ladjerre tous nelephants et map6 verti tous milets,
choals et chameaux y6 pou ye fou camp.
Mariaze Compair Lapin. 43
When Miss Ldonine came back to herself, she called, she called ;
they came to see what was the matter, and they found her well tied
up. They cut the ropes, and Leonine started immediately. She
left her house, she travelled a long time, until she came to the same
river which she had crossed with Compair Lapin upon the log. She
did not hesitate, but jumped into the water. The current carried
her along, and she managed, after a great many efforts, to cross
over to the other side. She was very tired, and she had to take
some rest ; then she started to return to her father.
When her father saw her, he kissed her and caressed her, but his
daughter began to cry, and told him how Compair Lapin had treated
her. When King Lion heard that, he was so angry that all who
were near him began to tremble.
"Come here, Master Fox ; you shall go to the king of elephants,
and tell him, that if he does not send Compair Lapin to me as soon
as he can, I shall go to his country to kill him and all the elephants,
and all the other animals, and everything which is in his country.
Go quick ! "
Master Fox travelled a long time, and arrived at last in the coun-
try where Compair Lapin was hidden. But he did not see him ; he
asked for him, but no one could give him any news of him. Master
Fox went to see the king of elephants and told him what King
Lion had said. The elephants hate the lions, so the king replied :
"Tell your master that if he wishes me to break his jaw-bone, let
him come. I shall not send anything or anybody, and first of all,
get away from here quick. If you want good advice, I can tell you
that you had better remain in your country. If ever Lion tries to
come here, I shall receive him in such a manner that no one of you
will ever return home."
Master Fox did not wait to hear any more; but he had no great
desire to go back to his country, for he thought Lion would kill him
if he returned without Compair Lapin. He walked as slowly as he
could, and all along the road he saw that they were making prepara-
tions for war. He thought that perhaps the elephants were going
to attack King Lion. He went on his way, and on arriving at a
prairie he saw Compair Lapin, who was running in zigzags, some-
times on one side of the road, sometimes on the other. He stopped
whenever he met animals and spoke to them, and then he started
again as rapidly as before. At last Master Fox and Compair Lapin
met, but the latter did not recognize his old friend.
" Where are you going like that, running all the time ? "
"Ah !" replied Compair Lapin, "you don't know the bad news.
Lion has declared war against all elephants, and I want to notify all
mules, horses, and camels to get out of the way."
44 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
— Mais to mime qui zaffaire to gagnin pou galopi, yi pas zpi
prend toi pou fait soldat avec toi ?
— Nod, to croi 9a, riponde Compair Lapin, ah bien, to pas connin
arien avec tout to raalin. Quand n'officier li roi a vini chercber
cboals et milets pou la cavalerie pou fait la djerre yi va dit corame
9a : Ala ein bougue grand zoreille, c'est ein milet, anon prend li» et
quand mime mo riclami et dit moin c'est ein lapin yi va dit : Oh
non, garde so zoreille, vouzote oua ben c'est ein milet, et mo sra
fouti, yi vi enroll moin et mo va bligi marchi. Mais sembli moin
mo connin vous, mais si longtemps mo pas oua vous. Bon Dji tende
moin, c'est Renard, mo zami lizotes fois.
— Oui, oui, c'est moin, mo vii. Eh ben, 9a vous dit pou tout vilain
zaffaire yi ?
— Tout 9a pou ein femme, dit Compair Lapin, faut nous seyi, mo
zami, pas trouvi nouzottes dans yi proems.
— Mais comment na fait, dit Renard, yi va forci nouzotes la
— Non, dit Compair Lapin, faut to conseilli Lion, mo va conseilli
Niliphant, alors comme 9a nous va reste garde et laissi ye batte
tant yi ouli.
— To connin, dit Renard, Lionine toumin coti so popa et comme
vouzotes ti pas marii devant liglise mo croi ben Lion en train marii
so fille avec ein dans so voisin ; 9a pas fait toi la peine, Compair
Lapin, tende tout 9a ?
— Non, 9a zii pas oua tcheur pas fait mal.
Di mal in ye causi bon boute, yi ti si content, navi si longtemps
yi ti pas contre. Dans mime moment yi ti pari pou parti y€
oua di chien qui tape grongnin nez a nez et pi yi senti ye mime
— Vous, Compair Renard, qui connin tout quichoge, vous capabe
dit moin cofaire chien gagnin vilain nhabitude la ?
— Mo va dit vous, Compair Lapin, cofaire yi fait 9a. Les otes
fois, yina longtemps, dans temps yi navi jis ein Bon Dji qui ti pili
Michii Zipiter, tout chien ti trouvi yi sort ti malheureux, alors yi
voyi ein diligation, ein bande chien pou mandi Bon Dji pou li mili-
orer yi condition. Quand yi ti rivi au ras la maison Michii Zipiter
dans ciel tout la restant chien yi ti pair, yi parti, jis Brisetout, plis
gros chien la bande qui resti. Li ti pas pair arien, li vanci au ras
Michii Zipiter, et pi li dit comme 9a : — Mo nation voyi moin coti
vous pou mandi vous, qui maite tout 9a yina en haut la terre, si vous
croi na va gardi nous maites yi tout la journin et tout la nouite,
jappi tout temps, trappi coups pied, pas mangi arien. Nous trop
Mariaze Compair Lapin 45
" But you, why are you running so ? They are surely not going
to make a soldier of you ? "
"No, you believe that. Ah, well, with all your cunning you know
nothing. When the officers of the king will come to get the horses
and mules for the cavalry to go to war, they will say: 'That's a
fellow with long ears ; he is a mule ; let us take him.' Even if I
protest, and say that I am a rabbit, they will say : ' Oh, no ! look at
his ears ; you see that he is a mule, 1 and I should be caught, en-
listed, and forced to march. It seems to me that I know you, but
it is such a long time since I have seen you. May God help me,
it is Master Fox, my old friend ! "
" Yes, yes, it is I, my good fellow. Well ! what do you say about
all that bad business ? "
" All that is for a woman," said Compair Lapin ; " we must try,
my friend, to have nothing to do with that war."
" But what shall we do ? " said Master Fox. " They will force
us into it."
"No, you must be King Lion's adviser, and I will be that of
King Elephant, and in that way we shall merely look on and let
them fight as much as they want."
" You know," said Master Fox, " Leonine has returned to her
father ; and as you were not married before the church, I believe
that Lion is about to marry her to one of his neighbors. Does it
not grieve you, Compair Lapin, to think of that ? "
"Oh, no; qa zit pas oua tcheur pas fait mal (we feel no sorrow
for what we do not see)."
The two cunning fellows conversed a long time, for they were
glad to meet after such a long absence. As they were about to part,
they saw two dogs, that stood nose to nose, growling fiercely, and
then turned around rapidly and began to smell each other every-
" You, Master Fox, who know everything, can you tell me why
dogs have the bad habit of smelling each other in that way ? "
"I will tell you, Compair Lapin, why they do that. In old, old
times, when there was but one god, called Mr. Jupiter, all the dogs
considered their lot so hard and unhappy that they sent a delegation
to ask Mr. Jupiter to better their condition. When they arrived at
the house of the god in heaven, all the dogs were so frightened that
they ran away. Only one remained ; it was Brisetout, the largest
dog of the party. He was not afraid of anything, and he came to
Mr. Jupiter, and spoke thus : ' My nation sent me to see you to ask
you whether you think that we are going to watch over our masters
all day and all night, bark all the time, and then be kicked right and
left and have nothing to eat. We are too unhappy, and we want to
46 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
malheureux et nous o\x\i connin si nous pas capabe temps en temps
manzd moutons nous zotes maites ; nous pas capabe travaille comme
9a pou arien, 9a vous dit, Michid Zipiter ?
— Attende ein ti moment, mo va donnin toi ein rdponse qu£ jamin
vous zotes a envie vini biti moin encore, mo lasse tendd tout sortea
plaintes, to tendd.
Alors li parl6 ein langage personne ti capabe comprende et ein
dans so commis sorti pou couri cherchd quichoge. Li dit Brisetout
assite et chien la restd en haut dernier marche Tescalier. Li ti cr£
Michid Zipiter te gagnin pou regald li, mais premier quichoge li ti
connin, commis la tournin avec lote moune, yi prend Brisetout, yi
marrd li ben, ensuite yi prend ein pote ferblanc yi mettd ladans
piment avec telebentine et yi frottd chien la partout. A foroe 9a ti
bourld li, li held, li begld et pi yi lachd li. Alors Michid Zipiter dit
li comme 9a : — Va portd 5a to camarades et chaque dans vous zotes
qua vini plainde, ma va traite yi pareil, to tendd, hein ?
Ah non, li pas tend6, pasqud Brisetout galopd dret devant li, sans
connin ou la couri. A la fin li rivi devant ein bayou, li tombd ladans
et li ney6.
Queque temps apr6s 5a Michid Zipiter ti pas senti li bien, li pensd
li sre quittd ciel, vini promenin ein pi en haut la terre. Dans so
chimin li contre ein pommier qui te charge avec belle depommes, li
commence mange et pendant temps la ein bande chien vini japp£
apr&s li. Li commande so Baton fout yi ein bon trempe et Baton
la prend tournin a droite et a gauche. Li bimin tout chiens yi et
paille yi tout, jis ein pove chien gald. Li mandd Baton la pardon,
alors Baton la pousse li divant Michid Zipiter et li dit comme 5a :
— Chien cila ti si maigre mo ti pas gagnin courage bimin li. — C'est
bon, dit Michid Zipiter, laissd li couri, mais si jamais chien vini jappi
apres moin mo va dtftruit yi tout. Vous zotes ddja voye ein ddldga-
tion coti moin et mo traitd li bien pou pas li vini encore et vous
zotes ddja b\\i 5a. Pove chien maigre la dit li : — Cest vrai 5a vous
dit, mais nous pas jamin oua commissionaire nous ti voyi coti vous,
napd tende li toujou. Alors Michid Zipiter dit : — Mo va dit toi
comment vous zotes sra capabe reconnaite li : si vous zotes senti
lein a lote, cila qui senti t&dbentine, c'est li vous zotes ti voyi coti
— Vous oua asteur, Compair Lapin, cofaire chien senti ein a lote,
Mariaze Compair Lapin. 47
know if you will allow us once in a while to eat one of the sheep of
our masters. We cannot work like this for nothing. What do you
say, Mr. Jupiter?'
"'Wait a moment; I shall give you such a reply that you will
never wish to annoy me any more. I am tired of hearing all sorts
of complaints. I am tired, do you hear ? '
" Then Mr. Jupiter spoke a language that no one could under-
stand, and one of his clerks went out to get something. He told
the dog to sit down. Brisetout remained on the last step of the
staircase. He thought that Mr. Jupiter was going to give him a
good dinner ; but the first thing he knew, the clerk returned with
another man. They took hold of Brisetout, they tied him well, then
they took a tin pan in which they put red pepper and turpentine.
They rubbed the dog all over with the mixture ; it burnt him so
much that he howled and bellowed. When they let him go, Mr.
Jupiter told him : ' You will give my reply to your comrades, and
each one that will come to complain will be received in the same
manner ; you hear ? '
" Ah, no, Brisetout did not hear ; he ran straight ahead without
knowing where he was going. At last he arrived at a bayou, fell
into it, and was drowned.
Some time after that, Mr. Jupiter did not feel well. He thought
he would leave heaven and take a little trip to earth. On his way
he saw an apple-tree which was covered with beautiful apples. He
began to eat some ; and while he was eating, a troop of dogs came
to bark at him. Mr. Jupiter ordered his stick to give them a good
drubbing. The stick began to turn to the right and to the left, and
beat the dogs so terribly, that they scattered about in a minute.
There remained but one poor dog, who was all mangy. He begged
the stick to spare him. Then Stick pushed him before Mr. Jupiter,
and said : ' Master, that dog was so thin that I did not have the
courage to beat him.' ' It is very well/ said Mr. Jupiter, ' let him
go; but if ever any dog comes to bark at me again, I shall destroy
them all. I don't want to be bothered by you, I say. You have
already sent me a delegation, and I received them so well that I
don't think they will like to come back to see me. Have you
already forgotten that ? ' The poor lean dog replied : ' What you
say is true, but we never saw again the messenger we sent you ;
we are still waiting for him.' Mr. Jupiter then said: 'I will tell
you how you can find out the messenger you had sent to me : let
all dogs smell one another, and the one which will smell turpentine
is the messenger.'
" You see now, Compair Lapin, why dogs smell one another. It
48 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
c'est M:chi6 Zipiter qui fait 9a. Pove vieux Michie Zipitcr li perdi
tout so pratique pasque pape ordonnin tout moune quitte li et li te
bligi ferme so boutique. Li parti et personne pas connin ou li couri.
Vous comprende, Compair Lapin, toujou meme quichoge, ein moune
fini par degoute, alors y6 prend ein lote Bon Dje et ein lote religion.
Cila nous gagnin asteur mo croi li bon.
— Merci, merci, Compair Renard, et pou prouv6 vous nous toujou
bon zamis mo va dit vous 9a nous capab fait Comme mo deja dit
vous na va reste tranquille. Comme Nelephant y€ oul£ couri taque
Lion chez li meme na va fait en pont pou pass£ larmee et sitot li va
fini na va marche dret sans ret£ nille part jisqua nous rendi coti
Lion. Nous 011I6 surprende li ; pas dit 9a personne, vous tended
Ye serr£ la main et yi s£par£. Renard prend so chimin et Lapin
couri trouv£ Roi Nelephant et pi li dit tout charpentier et forgeron
dans pays faut y£ cout£ 11 Quand tout zouvrier t£ r£ini Compair
Lapin commence fait so pont qui te* vite fini Au boute pont la,
cote ye\ li fait ein grand pare C'etait barre di fer qui te plante dans
la terre disse pieds haut et pi si pointi au boute qu£ ein demouche ti
pas capabe pose sans li reste pris ; et pi li couvri tout barre di fer
avec la liane et tout quichoge qui te* vert comme si c'&ait ein grand
talle zeronce, pou y€ doute c'^tait ein la trappe. Alorse li prend
quatre lavache avec ye piti veaux et marre y& dans bo milie la. Apres
9a li mette piment, la cendre et la prise que li paille partout dans la
trappe la. Li mette aussi plein bailie dolo avec ein drogue qui ti
connin endormi tout souite. — La, Compair Lapin dit, nous pari,
laisse Lion vini taque nous zotes.
Renard t6 ap^ voyagi toujou pou couri rende compte so commis-
sion, mais li te si pair couri cot6 Lion sans Compair Lapin que* li
pensd li te vaut mie pas couri ditout Dans so chimin li contr6 ein
poule, li tchu^ li, li prend so disang et barbouille ein vie* linge. Li
marre so patte darriere et li prend boite\ saute* en haut trois pattes
A la fin li rencontre Bourriquet et li dit comme 9a : — Mo cherzami,
rende moin ein ti service, to oua comme mo malade. Tant prie,
couri cot6 Lion et dit li mo pas capabe vini. Y£ cass6 mo patte coti
nelephant pasque mo te couri reclame Compair Lapin.
— Oh, non, dit Bourriquet, to t6 toujou conte moin avec Compair
Lapin, couri to meme.
Mariaze Compair Lapin. 49
was all Mr. Jupiter's doing. Poor old fellow, he has now lost all his
clients, since the pope ordered everybody to leave him, and he has
had to close his shop. He left the heaven, and no one knows where
he went to hide. You understand, Compair Lapin, people get tired
of having always the same thing ; so they took another religion, and
I think that the one we have now is good."
" Thank you, thank you, Master Fox, for your good story ; and in
order to show you that I am your old friend, I will tell you what we
can do. As I told you already, we must remain very quiet. As the
elephants want to go to attack King Lion in his own country, they
will make a bridge for the army to pass. When the bridge will be
finished they will go straight ahead, without stopping anywhere, to
attack King Lion, for they want to take him by surprise. Don't
you tell that to anybody, you hear."
Compair Lapin and Master Fox then shook hands, and they
parted. Master Fox went on his way, and Compair Lapin went to
the king of elephants and asked him to give orders to all the car-
penters and blacksmiths in the country to obey him. When all the
workmen were assembled, Compair Lapin began to make the bridge,
and soon finished it. On the side of the river which was in the
country of the elephants, he made at the end of the bridge a large
park. These were bars of iron planted in the earth ; they were at
least ten feet high, and so sharp that a fly could not touch one with-
out being pierced through. Compair Lapin then covered the bars
of iron with branches and brambles to make it appear like a patch of
briers, in order that they might not know that it was a snare. Then
he took four cows with their calves, and tied them in the very mid-
dle of the pit. Then he put in it red pepper, ashes, and tobacco
snuff. Then he placed in the trap a great number of tubs of water,
in which there was a drug that made people go to sleep right off.
After he had finished all this, Compair Lapin said : " Now let King
Lion come to attack us."
Master Fox was still travelling to render an account of his errand
to King Lion ; but he was so much afraid to return without Compair
Lapin, that he concluded that it was better not to return at all. On
his way he met a hen ; he killed it, and covered an old rag with the
blood. He tied his hind paw with the rag, and he began to limp,
and jump on three feet. At last he met Bourriquet, to whom he
said : " My dear friend, render me a little service ; you see how sick
I am. I pray you to go to King Lion, to tell him that I cannot come
to see him. The elephants broke my leg because I had come to claim
" Oh, no ! " said Bourriquet ; "you were always against me with
Compair Lapin. Go yourself."
50 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
— Cest bon, dit Renard, c'estpasjis einfois la bouche besoin math
ger, ta va besoin moin avant longtemps, si to te connin 5a mo oua et
5a mo connin, to te coute moin.
— Eh ben, dis moin tout, mo va couri, dabord vous pas capabe
— Cest ben, cout£ alors : N£l£phant cont£ vini taqu£ Lion chez
li ; pou 5a y€ fait ein grand pont pou passer et y£ va vini tout souite
surprende Lion. Si Lion connin quichoge, la fait mi£ couri taque*
nelephant avant ye vini soulever li sans li doute arien.
Alors Bourriquet parti grand galop et quand li rive* cote" Lion
li dit tout 5a Renard ti contd li. Lion t6 si content li dit ein so
mounc donnin Bourriquet ein p£ lapaille pou mange\ Bourriquet te*
pas content, li babille ein p6, alors cila qui donne li la paille dit li :
— To connin qui ein choal donnin to doit e pas garde* la bride.
— Mo te* croi, dit Bourriquet, mo sre* gagnin meillere recompense,
mais ma prend 9a toujou, pasqu£ ein ti zozo dans la main vaut mid
qui plein ti zozos quapi voltigi dans bois.
Tout dein coup ye* tende* ein grand boulvari. Cdtait Lion avec
tout so zanimo, tigue, lours, loup et tout 5a li t6 capabe ramass£.
Renard ti deja tournin pou verti Compair Lapin y£t£ ap6 vinL
Leonine te* dans la bande et a tout moment so popa te* ape" dit li :
— Mo content to vini, Compair Lapin gagnin pou payer tout so
farce, faut to traits li comme li traiti toi.
Lion t6 en t6te la bande ; quand ye* te" proche pont la li contre*
Compair Renard qui t6 couch6 dans chimin avec so patte casse\
— An, an, dit Lion, c'est comme 5a ye* traits toi, ye* gagnin pou
payd tout ca
— Couri vite, dit Renard, pas attende ye* vini taqu6 vous zotes,
pass£ pont la tout souite, vous zotes va d£rout6 ye\
Y6 continud yd chimin, ye* tout t6 ape* galpe* et ye* prend pou passe*
pont, Lion en tdte avec so fille. Quand ye* vini cotd la trappe la et
yi oua lavache lay£ qui te* ap6 b£gle\ Lion et so la bande mange* yi
tout. Ensuite y6 prende batte et y6 voltigi la cendre et piment et la
Mariaze Compair Lapin. 51
That is good," said Master Fox ; "c'estpasjis einfois la bouche
besoin manger (I shall have my chance again, you will need me again).
If you knew what I have seen and what I know, you would listen to
" Well, tell me all," said Bourriquet ; " and I will go, since you
" That is all right ; listen well. The elephants intend to come to
attack King Lion in his country. They are making a bridge to
cross the river, and as soon as the bridge will be finished they will
come immediately to surprise Lion. If the king understood his
business, he would hasten to attack the elephants in their own
country, before they come to lift him up before he knows it."
As soon as Master Fox had finished speaking, Bourriquet galloped
away and went to King Lion, to whom he said what Master Fox had
related to him. The king was so glad that he ordered some one to
give Bourriquet a little hay to eat. Bourriquet was not very much
pleased, and he began grumbling. " Don't you know, Bourriquet,"
said the king's servant, " qu4 ein choual donnin to doite pas garde*
la bride (that you must not look at the bridle of a horse which was
given to you)."
" Well," said Bourriquet, " I had expected a better reward, but
I '11 take that anyhow, because ein ti zozo dans la main vaut mit que*
plein ti zozos quape* voltige* dans bois (a bird in the hand is better
than two in the bush)."
All at once they heard a dreadful noise. It was King Lion, who
was starting for the war with all the animals which he could find :
tigers, bears, wolves, all King Lion's subjects were there. As to
Master Fox, he had run back to notify Compair Lapin that the ene-
mies were coming.
Miss Leonine was with the army, and her father used to tell her
all the time : "lam glad that you came ; Compair Lapin will have to
pay for all his tricks ; you must treat him as he treated you."
King Lion was at the head of the army, and coming near the
bridge he saw Master Fox, who was lying in the road with his leg
"Oh ! oh ! " said' Lion, "this is the way they treated you ! They
shall have to pay for all that."
"Make haste," said Master Fox; "don't wait till they come to
attack you ; pass the bridge immediately ; that will throw them in
The army went on. They all ran to pass over the bridge, King
Lion at the head, with his daughter. As soon as they arrived at the
place where was the snare, and they saw the cows and their calves,
King Lion and his troops killed them and began to eat them. Then
52 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
prise et 9a ti aveugte y6. Y6 batte, yi massacri yi mime et pi 5a
y£ qui t£ rest6 boi dolo la. D& z£re apr£s 9a y£ tout t£ ap£ dromi
Alors n£l£phant vini tchu6 y6 et )€t6 yi dans dolo. Y6 corcW
Lion, y€ prend so lapeau et coude Bourriquet ladans. Y6 mett6 em
tas la paille avec godron apr&s so la tcheu, et y£ mett6 di ii ladans et
pi y£ lach6 li pou couri port£ la nouvelle dans pays Lion.
Quand Bourriquet pass6 en haut pont, a force li galpi vite moune
ti ct6 c'itait tonnerre qui t& ap£ route plis di cent charretees. Quand
Bourriquet riv6 dans pays Lion so boute la tcheu t6 tomb£ a force li
ti bourte, li dit c'^tait dans ein bataille y6 t€ donne li ein coup sabe.
Malgr£ li t6 porti ein triste nouvelle yi ri aprfes li pasqu£ li ti trop
drole com me 9a,
Quand tout 5a t6 fini, Compair Lapin couri trouvi Compair Renard
et li m£nin li cot6 Roi N£l£phants. Compair Lapin pr£sent£ li et
dit \6 roi qu6 Renard t£ ein so bon zamis et li sr6 content si Roi ti
accept^ li et ye de sr6 rende bande services. Roi n£l£phants dit
y6 : — Mo croi vous zotes c6 66 malin, dans zaffaire nous t6 gagnin
avec Lion mo croi Compair Renard t6 galpe* avec chevreil et chasse*
avec chien. Enfin c'est bon, li capabe rest6 icite. Tant qu'a pou toi,
Compair Lapin, mo 011I6 to marte, ala ein Mamzelle Lapin Blanc qui
riche, c'est to zaffaire, demain mo oul£ la noce la.
Lendemin tout moune t€ r6ini et y6 c£16br6 la noce Compair Lapin
avec Mamzelle Lapin Blanc et Compair Renard t6 so premier ganjon
d'honnair. Trois semaines apr&s la noce Madame Compair Lapin
gagnin d6 piti, ein t£ blanc, lote t6 noir comme la souie chiminin.
Compair Lapin t£ pas content, li couri oua Roi n£16phant pou dit
— Ah bah, dit \6 Roi, to pas connin arien, to bien marte devant
teglise, mo pas capabe donnin toi divorce, et pi mo va dit toi, c'est
nhabitude dans famille Madame Compair Lapin gagnin piti qui noir,
c'est quand madame y& pair la nouitte, ainsi console toi.
£a fait Compair Lapin consenti rest6 avec so femme jisqua li
mouri et c'est comme 9a li mari£ avec tout so fr£daine.
Comme mo t6 la quand tout 9a riv£ mo vini pou cont£ vous 9a.
Mariaze Compair Lapin. 53
they quarrelled among themselves and began to fight. They scat-
tered about the ashes, the red pepper, and the tobacco snuff, and
were completely blinded. They fought terribly; they massacred
one another ; then those that were left drank the water in the tubs.
Two hours later they were all sound asleep.
The elephants, which had remained prudently at a distance, hear-
ing no more noise, came to the bridge. They killed all the animals
that were left in Lion's army, and threw their bodies in the river.
They flayed King Lion ; they took his skin and sewed Bourriquet
into it ; then they tied some straw, covered with pitch, to Bourriquet's
tail ; they put fire to the straw, and they let him go to announce the
news in Lion's country.
When Bourriquet passed on the bridge, he was galloping so fast
that one might have thought that it was thunder that was rolling on
the bridge, as if it were more than one hundred cart-loads. When
Bourriquet arrived in his country his tail was entirely consumed by
the fire, but he said that he had lost it in a battle. Although he
announced very sad news, no one could help laughing at him : he
was so funny without his tail, and so proud of his glorious wound.
As soon as all was over at the bridge, Compair Lapin went to get
Master Fox, and took him to the king of the elephants. He pre-
sented him to his majesty, and told him that Master Fox was his good
friend, and if the king wanted to accept his services, they would both
be his very faithful subjects. The king of elephants said to them :
" I believe that you are two cunning rascals, and that in my war
with King Lion, Master Fox // gatyi avec cktvreil et chassi avec
chien (had been on both sides of the fence) ; but all right, he may
remain here, if he wants. As for you, Compair Lapin, I want you
to get married. Here is Miss White Rabbit ; she is rich, and will be
a good match for you. To-morrow I want to dance at the wedding."
The next day all the people assembled, and celebrated with great
splendor the marriage of Compair Lapin with Miss White Rabbit.
Master Fox was the first groomsman. Three weeks after the wed-
ding, Mrs. Compair Lapin gave birth to two little ones ; one was
white and the other as black as soot. Compair Lapin was not
pleased, and he went to see the king of elephants.
" Oh ! you know nothing/' said the king ; " you are married before
the church, and I will not grant you a divorce. Besides, I must tell
you that in the family of Mrs. Compair Lapin it happens very often
that the little ones are black. It is when the ladies are afraid in a
dark night ; so console yourself, and don't be troubled."
Compair Lapin consented to remain with his wife until death
should part them, and that is how he married after all his pranks.
As I was there when all that happened, I ran away to relate it to
56 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
Lfi ROI PAN.
In fois yavait in madame qui t6 si joli, si joli, qu£ li t€ jam in oul6
f marid. Tou cila qui t6 vini, li t6 trouv6 quichoge pou di — Oh, toi
to trop laide — Oh, toi, to trop pitl Oh, toi, to la bouche trop
grand Enfin chacunne t6 gaingnin quichoge qui t& pas drite. As-
teur ein jou in vaillant michid vini. Li t& dans in carrosse tout en
or, et yavait huite choals blancs qui t£ ap£ trainin carrosse la. Li
mand£ madame la pou mari£. Li t6 jamin oul6. Michi£ la t6 si en
colore, li dit madame la qu6 dans in an li sr£ gaingnin in fille qui sr6
boucou, boucou pli joli qu6 li. Madame la di li couri, qu6 li t6 pas
oule mette so gi£s enho li encor.
Asteur, jisse in an apr&s 9a madame la t£ gaingnin in joli joli piti
fille. Quand li oua li t£ si joli li frinmin li dans in lachambe au
boute so la maison : et li mette so nourice, pou gard£. Ti fille la
vini grand, et plis li t£ p6 grandi, et plis li ti pi vini joli. Jamin so
nourice t£ laiss£ li sorti dans lachambe la. In jou, li t£ pi balay6,
fille la gad£ diyors, et li oua in gros zozo.
— Oh, moman T6t6, li di, comment to pi\6 zozo la, li si joli ?
— £a, mo piti, c'est in pan.
— Oh, li di li, moman T£t£, si mo jamin mari6, mote mari6 16 roi
— Lors so gadgienne di li : — Bon Djte tend6 toi, mo piti.
Jou la m6me moman la vini, li p£16 gadgienne la dans in coin, li
tir£ en bas so romaine in gros couteau et li di li : — M0I6 to tchu6
mo fille. Lap6 vini plis joli qu6 moin.
Gadgienne la parti crte, mand6 pardon pou so pove piti, mais 5a t6
pas la peine, caire noir la t6 pas tend6 arien. Asteur quand \6 soir
vini, gadgienne la di so fille : — Mo pove piti, fo mo tchu6 toi, to
moman oul6 9a.
Pove piti, la ti si bon, li di : — Ah ben, moman Tit6, fi li, pisse
moman oul£ 9a.
Mais li di fille la : — Mo pas gaingnin courage f6 sorte louvrage
la, mo piti. Tiens, ala trois graines, ta jetti to mdme dans pi et pi
ta ney& Mais avant to tomb£ dans pi val6 inne dans graines y6, to
va pas souffri ditout comme 9a.
Fille la bo so moman t6t6 et li prend so chimin pou couri. Li
march£ jouqu'a li rendi cot6 in grand pL Li descende ladans, et
Li Rot Pan. 57
There was once a lady who was so pretty, — so pretty that she
never wanted to marry. She found something to criticise in all the
suitors who presented themselves, saying of them : " Oh, you are
too ugly." " You are too small." " You have too large a mouth."
One day a fine man came ; he was in a golden carriage, drawn by
eight horses. He asked the lady to marry him, but she refused.
He fell into a passion, and told her that in one year she would have
a daughter that would be much, much prettier than herself. The
lady sent him away with scorn.
Well, a year later she had a pretty little girl. When she saw that
the child was so pretty, she shut her up in a room at the further
end of the house, with her nurse to attend to her. As the girl grew
up she became handsomer every day. The nurse never allowed her
to leave her room, or even to look through the window. One day,
however, while the old woman was sweeping the floor, she left the
door open, and the young girl saw a large bird.
"Nurse," said she, "how do you call that bird which is so
pretty ? "
The woman was obliged to reply, and said : "That is a peacock."
" If ever I marry, I want to marry King Peacock/'
" May God hear you, my child."
That very day the mother came, called the nurse into a corner,
drew from under her skirt a great knife, and said, " I want you to
kill my child. She has become prettier than I."
The nurse began to cry, and begged the lady to spare the poor
child, but all in vain ; that black heart could not be softened. When
night came, the nurse said to the girl : " My poor child, I have to
kill you, your mother wants you to die."
The girl was so good that she replied : " Well, kill me, nurse, if
my mother wants it to be so."
But the nurse answered : " No, I have not the heart to do any
such thing, my little one. Here, take these three seeds, throw your-
self in the well and drown yourself ; but before jumping in the well,
swallow one of these seeds, and you will not suffer at all."
The girl thanked the nurse, and went to drown herself. She
walked until she arrived at a large well She threw herself into it,
60 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
Mamzelle la dit : — C'est 9a, et y& fait in gros la noce, et yi di moin
couri cont£ 9a partout, partout.
DES OS QUI CHANTfi.
Yavait cine fois ein n'homme et ein fame qui t6 gagnin vingt-cinq
pitis. Y6 te tris pove, n'homme la t6 bon, fame la t6 mauvais. Tous
les jous quand man la t£ rivini so louvrage fame la t6 servi li dinin,
mais toujou laviande sans des os.
— Comment 5a fait la viande la pas gagnin des os ?
— Pasqu6 des os 9a p6s6, et c'est meilleur march£ sans des os. Y6
donnin plis pou largent.
Mari la mang£ et pas dit an en.
— Comment 5a fait to pas mang£ la viande ?
— To bite mo pas gagnin dents. Comment to 16 mo mangi la
viande sans dents ?
— C'est vrai, dit mari la, et li paix pasqu6 li t6 pair fait la peine so
fame qui t£ aussi laide qu£ li t£ michant.
Quand moune gagnin vingt-cinq pitis moune pas capabe pensi y6
tout temps et moune pas oua si yi na ein ou 66 qui manqu6. Ein jou
apr&s so dinin, mari la mand£ so pitis. Quand y6 16 cot6 li li compt6
y6 et jiste trouvi quinze. Li mand£ so fame ou t6 disse les otes y£.
Li r^ponde y6 t6 chez y6 grandmoman et tous les jous li voy6 ein lote
pou y£ change Fair. £a t6 vrai, tous les jous yavait eine qui manqu£.
Ein jou mari la t6 on so pasporte divant ein gros la pierre y6 t6
gagnin la. Li tap6 pens6 so pitis et li t6 ou\6 couri chercher y6
chez y6 grandmoman, quand li tend£ des lavoix qui tap£ dit :
Nous moman tchud nous,
Nous popa manzl nous.
Nous pas dans la bi&re,
Nous pas dans cimeti&re.
En premier li t6 pas rende compte 5a 9a t6 f mais li 16v6 la pierre
la et li oua ein grand quantity des os qui recommence chantd. Li
comprende alors c'6tait des os so pitis so fame t£ tchu6 et qu£ li t6
manz£. Alors li t£ si en colore li tchu6 so fame et terr6 des os so
pitis dans cimetiire et li couri rest& sel chez 1L Dipi temps la li
jamais manz£ la viande pasqu6 li t6 toujou cv6 c'£tait so pitis li ti
Des Os gut chanti. 61
you." The young girl said " yes," and there was such a wedding
that they sent me to relate the story everywhere, everywhere.
THE SINGING BONES.
Once upon a time there lived a man and a woman who had twenty-
five children. They were very poor ; the man was good, the woman
was bad. Every day when the husband returned from his work the
wife served his dinner, but always meat without bones.
" How is it that this meat has no bones ? "
" Because bones are heavy, and meat is cheaper without bones.
They give more for the money."
The husband ate, and said nothing.
"How is it you don't eat meat ?"
" You forget that I have no teeth. How do you expect me to eat
meat without teeth ? "
" That is true," said the husband, and he said nothing more, be-
cause he was afraid to grieve his wife, who was as wicked as she was
When one has twenty-five children one cannot think of them all
the time, and one does not see if one or two are missing. One
day, after his dinner, the husband asked for his children. When
they were by him he counted them, and found only fifteen. He
asked his wife where were the ten others. She answered that they
were at their grandmother's, and every day she would send one more
for them to get a change of air. That was true, every day there
was one that was missing.
One day the husband was at the threshold of his house, in front of
a large stone which was there. He was thinking of his children, and
he wanted to go and get them at their grandmother s, when he heard
voices that were saying :
Our mother killed us,
Our father ate us.
We are not in a coffin,
We are not in the cemetery.
At first he did not understand what that meant, but he raised the
stone, and saw a great quantity of bones, which began to sing again.
He then understood that it was the bones of his children, whom his
wife had killed, and whom he had eaten. Then he was so angry that
he killed his wife ; buried his children's bones in the cemetery, and
stayed alone at his house. From that time he never ate meat, be-
cause he believed it would always be his children that he would eat
62 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
Yavait eine fois ein bougue a force li ti b6te tout moune ti p616 li
Jean Sotte. Li t6 si simple qu6 tout moune te foute de li. Li t&
coutume limin la lampe le jou et teign6 li 16 soi. Jamin li t6 pas
prend so parasol dans jou, jis la nouitte, quand li t6 fait ben noir.
Dans l'6t6 li t6 mette so'gros capot et l'hiver li t6 couri tout ni et
prend ein grand vantail ; li te fait tout quichoge a la rebours bon
sens. £a fait 16 roi Bangon qui t6 laimin fait farce tend6 parle tout
faits et geste Jean Sotte, alors li voy6 chercher li pou amuser tout
so camarade. Quand Jean Sotte riv6 cot6 le roi y6 prend ri a force
Jean t6 paraite gauche. L6 roi mand6 li comme 5a si li t6 connin
compter. Jean reponde* li t6 connin compter d6zefs, que hier li
trouv6 quatre et pi d6. — Combien 5a fait en tout ? dit 16 roi Jean
compt6 en haut so la main et pi li dit 9a fait quatre et pi de.
— C'est 5a m6me, dit Bangon ; y& dit moin c'est Compair Lapin
qui to popa ? "
— Oui, dit Jean Sotte, c'est li m6me.
— Non, non, dit ein lote moune qui t£ la, mo croi plitot c'est
— Oui, oui, dit Jean, li aussite.
— Non, dit ein vi6 fame qui t6 ap6 pass6, c'est Renard qui to
— Oui, oui, dit Jean Sotte, tout 5a y6, c'est tout mo popa, chaqu6ne
dans y6 quand y6 pass6 dit moin : — Bonjou, mo piti, alors mo croi
y6 tout c'est mo popa.
Moune y6 ri boucou apr6s Jean Sotte, alors 16 roi dit li : — Mo
oul6 to port6 moin demain matin ein bouteille di lait taureau, c'est pou
fait r6m6de pou mo fille qui malade, li gagnin ein point cot6 dans
— C'est bon, dit Jean Sotte, demain matin bonne haire ma
Et pi roi Bangon dit li comme 5a :
— Premier avril prochain dans ein mois, ta vini, na gagnin pou
d6vinin ein quichoge. Cila qua trouv6 gagnin pou mari6 avec mo
fille, mais cila qui sey6 troi fois, si li pas trouv6, mo bourreau gagnin
pou coup6 so cou.
— C'est bon, ma sey6, dit Jean Sotte, et pi li parti, soi disant pou
chercher di lait taureau.
Quand li riv6 cot6 li, li raconti tout fa so moman, et vi6 femme prend
Jean Sotte. 63
There was once a fellow who was so foolish that everybody called
him Jean Sotte. He was so simple that every one made fun of him.
He would light the lamp in daytime, and put it out at night ; he
would take an umbrella with him only when it was very dark. In
summer he would put on a great coat, and in winter he would go
nearly naked. In short, he did everything contrary to common
sense. King Bangon, who loved to play tricks, heard of the sayings
and deeds of Jean Sotte, and sent for him to amuse his friends.
When Jean came to the king all began to laugh, as he looked so
awkward. The king asked him if he knew how to count. Jean
replied that he knew how to count eggs ; that yesterday he had found
four and two. " How much does that make ? " said the king. Jean
went to count the eggs, and on returning said there were four and
" Exactly," said the king, " but tell me, Jean Sotte, they say that
Compair Lapin is your father?"
" Yes, he is."
" No, no," said some one else ; " I think it is Compair BoukL"
Yes, yes," said Jean Sotte ; "it is he also."
No, no," said an old woman who was passing ; " it is Renard who
is your father."
"Yes," said Jean Sotte, "all of them; they are all my fathers.
Every time one of them passes by me he says, ' Good-morning, my
child.' I must believe, then, that they are all my fathers."
Everybody laughed at Jean Sotte; then the king said: "Jean
Sotte, I want you to bring me to-morrow morning a bottle of bull's
milk. It is to make a drug for my daughter, who is sick, and has a
sideache in her back."
"All right," said Jean Sotte, "to-morrow morning early I shall
King Bangon then said : —
" On the first of April, in one month, you will come. I want you
to guess something. If you guess, I will give you my daughter in
marriage, but if you try three times, and do not succeed, my execu-
tioner will have to cut your neck."
"All right," said Jean Sotte, " I will try." And then he went
away, pretending to go and get the bull's milk.
When he reached home, he related to his mother all that had hap-
64' Louisiana Folk-Tales.
crie, crie, pasque tout sotte so gar^on te ye moman la te laimin li
quand m£me, pasque c'etait jisse ein piti li te gagnin. Li defende
Jean Sotte cotiri, menace li marre li ou ben fait sheriff jete li dans
prison. Jean Sotte te fout ben tout 5a ; li parti anvant jou, li prend
so la hache et anvant li te fait clair li te devant la maison le roi. Li
grimp6 dans la tete ein ch6ne qui te devant la maison et pi li com-
mence : — Caou, caou, biche, biche. Comme 5a te fait train et reveille
tout moune ein domestique 16 roi sorti et vini oua. Quand li ]6t6 so
zi6 en haut Jean Sotte, li dit comme 5a : — Mais que commerce tape
mini, bougue d'animal, reveille tout moune comme 9a ?
£a pas gard6 toi, to tende, dit Jean Sotte, toi c'est chien pou japp£
dans la cour. Quand to maite, li roi Bangon, a vini, mo va dit li
9a map£ fait ici.
Alors li roi vini oua, li garde li longtemps et pi li mande li 9a li te
ape fait dans la tete nabe la. Jean Sotte r6ponde li te ape biche
recorche chene pou fait la tisane pou so popa qui te malade, li te
accouche la veille, so popa te fait de jumeaux.
— Ale, dit le roi, mais pou qui to prend moin, Jean Sotte, ou 5a
to deja tende ein n'homme accouche ? Mo pense to ouie foute toi
— Comment 5a fait vous mande moin hier ein bouteille dit lait
taureau, reponde Jean Sotte, si vous te gagnin raison, moin aussite.
Alors le roi dit li comme 5a : — Mo pas croi to aussi sotte que to
ouie saye fait nous zotes croi. Couri la quisine, ya donne toi to de-
jener et pi couri cote to la maison et pas blie vini premier avril pou
oua cila dans nous zotes qua mange posson d'avril la.
Quand Jean Sotte tournin cote so moman li raconte tout 5a. Vie
femme la prend crie et pi li defende Jean couri cote roi encore, li te
pair ye sre coupe cou so pove piti. Quand jou la vini Jean monte en
haut so choal et li parti sans so moman te connin. Compair Bouki
qui te traite et malfaisant, dit comme 5a : — Moin mo va peche Jean
Sotte couri devinin, pasque mo connin li si sotte ye va coupe so cou
et pi garde so choal, vaut mie moin mo profite et prend choal la, pas
dit arien, ta oua 9a ma fait.
Li prend ein grand panier gateaux qui te poisonnin et pi li mette
ye en haut ein pont ou Jean Sotte te gagnin pou passe. — La, quand
li va mange gateaux la ye la mouri et ma vini prend so choal.
Bouki te connin Jean Sotte te gourmand et li te mange pou sire
dans gateaux ye, mais Compair Lapin te laimin Jean Sotte, pasque
ein fois li te trouve li m^me dans grand nembarras, li te trouve dans
prison dans ein la trappe et Jean Sotte te lache li. Pou 9a Compair
Jean Sotte. 65
pened, and the old woman began to cry, and could not be consoled,
because, however foolish her boy was, she loved him, as he was her
only child. She forbade him to go to the king, and threatened to
tie him in her cabin, or to have the sheriff throw him in prison.
Jean Sotte paid no attention to his mother, and started before day-
break, with his axe on his shoulder. He soon arrived at the house
of the king, and he climbed into a big oak-tree which was before the
door. He began, " caou, caou, caou," to cut down the branches with
his axe, and he woke up everybody in the house. One of the ser-
vants of the king came out to see what was the matter ; and when
he saw Jean Sotte on the top of the tree, he said : " But what is
your business there ? Fool that you are, you are disturbing every-
" It is not your business, — do you hear ? " said Jean Sotte. " Are
you the watch-dog to be barking thus in the yard ? When your
master, King Bangon, comes, I will tell him what I am doing here."
The king came out, and asked Jean Sotte what he was doing
there. He replied that he was cutting the bark to make some tea
for his father, who had been delivered the day before of two twins.
What ! " said the king, "for whom do you take me, Jean Sotte.
Where did you ever hear of a man in childbirth ? I think you mean
to make fun of me."
" How is it that yesterday you asked a bottle of bull's milk ? If
you were right, I am also."
The king replied : " I believe that you are not so foolish as you
want to make people believe. Go to the kitchen, and they will give
you your breakfast. Don't forget to come on the first of April, that
we may see which of us will be the April fool."
On the first of April Jean Sotte mounted his horse and went out
without his mother seeing him. Com pair Bouki, who is deceitful
and evil-minded, said : " I shall prevent Jean Sotte from going,
because I know he is so foolish that they will cut his neck and keep
his horse. It is better that I should profit by it, and take his horse.
Don't you say anything ; you will see what I shall do."
He took a large basket full of poisoned cakes, and put it on a
bridge where Jean Sotte was to pass. " If he eats those cakes, he
will die, and I shall take the horse."
Bouki knew that Jean Sotte was greedy and that he would surely
eat the cakes. Compair Lapin liked Jean Sotte, because one day,
when he was caught in a snare, Jean Sotte had freed him. He did
not forget that, and said : " I want to protect the poor fellow," and
66 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
Lapin dit li mime : — Mo va protege pove ninnocent la. Li tende
Jean Sotte longtemps dans chimin anvant jou et quand li rive li dit :
— Jean Sotte, mo vini pou rende toi service, coute moin ben, pas
mange ni bois arien dans chimin pendant to voyage, quand m£me tape
mouri faim et soil Coute moin, to tende, ye gagnin pou poisonnl
toi si to boi ou mange. Quand 16 roi a mande toi pou devinin ta
reponde li jisse 9a mo va dit toi dans to zoreille ; vanc£, mo pas ouie
Alors Compair Lapin dit li tout doucement 9a pou reponde.
— An, an, oui, oui, dit Jean Sotte, mo comprende, et pi li rit. Oui,
oui, c'est qa. m6me.
— Asteur, dit Compair Lapin, pas bli6 moin quand ta marie avec
fille \6 roi, voy6 chercher moin et na fait bon zaffaire.
— Oui, dit Jean Sotte, mo va pas bite vous.
— Eh ben, bon voyage, fait ben tention tout 5a to oua, garde par-
tout, coute ben et 5a va profit^ toi.
Alors Jean Sotte mette li en route et ein piti moment apr&s li rive
cote pont en haut la riviere. Premier quichoge li oua, c'etait panier
bel gateaux Compair BoukL Y6 ti senti bon, qa. ti donnin envie
mange. Jean Sotte garde y€ 9 li tate y&, li te proche envie morde
ladans, mais li rapped 5a Compair Lapin dit li, 9a fait li ret£ ein ti
moment. Laiss6 moin oua si ya fait mo choal mal. Li prend ein
demi douzaine gateaux et donne so choal. Pove bete la mouri ein ti
moment apres, li tombe raide en haut pont la, c'£tait fini dans ein ti
moment. — Garde si mo te pas prend precaution. Ah, Compair
Lapin te raison ; ein pi plis mo ti fouti.
Anvant li parti li culbit6 so choal dans la riviere et quand pove
bite ti ap6 dirivi dans courant trois carencros vini pose en haut li
et commence mange so pove choal. Jean Sotte garde li longtemps
jisqua li disparaite derriere la pointe. — Compair Lapin dit moin
garde, coute et pas dit arien, c'est bon, moin aussite mo va gagnin
pou mande ie roi devinin quichoge.
Quand Jean Sotte rive cote ie roi y6 navait di]k plein moune qui
te saye devinin 5a ie roi te propose ye, et apr£s ye te saye trois fois
so bourreau te coupe ye cou. Yavait cinquante qui te deji mouri
Alors tout moune dit : — Ala Jean Sotte, li va saye devinin aussite,
li si sotte vous zotes a oua comme ya coupe so cou, laiss6 li fait,
dabord li si bete.
Le roi prend ri quand li oua Jean Sotte et li dit li comme 5a. — Qui
9a qui bon matin marche en haut quatre pattes, a midi en haut de
pattes, et ie soir en haut trois pattes ?
before daybreak he waited on the road for Jean Sotte. When be
saw him, he said : " Jean Sotte, I am coming to render you a ser-
vice, listen to me : don't eat or drink anything on your way, even if
you are dying of hunger and of thirst ; and when the king will ask
you to guess, you will reply what I am going to tell you. Come
near; 1 don't want anybody to hear."
Compair Lapin then told him what to say. " Yes, yes, I under-
stand," said Jean Sotte, and he began to laugh.
"Now," said Compair Lapin, "don't forget me when you marry
the king's daughter ; we can have good business together."
" Yes," said Jean Sotte, " I shall not forget you."
" Well, good luck, pay attention to all you see, look on all sides,
and listen well."
Then Jean Sotte started, and a little while afterwards he arrived
at a bridge on the river. The first thing he saw was the basket full
of cakes which Compair Bouki had placed there. They smelted
good and they were very tempting. Jean Sotte touched them and
felt like biting one, but he remembered what Compair Lapin had
told him. He stopped a moment and said : " Let me see if they
will do harm to my horse." He took half a dozen cakes and gave
them to his horse. The poor beast died almost immediately and fell
on the bridge. " See, if I had not been prudent, it is I who would
be dead instead of my horse. Ah ! Compair Lapin was right ; a
little more and I should have been lost. Now I shall have to go on
Before he started he threw his horse into the river ; and as the
poor beast was being carried away by the current, three buzzards
alighted on the horse and began to eat him. Jean Sotte looked at
him a long time, until he disappeared behind the point in the river,
"Compair Lapin told me: 'listen, look, and don't say anything;'
all right, I shall have something to ask the king to guess."
"When Jean Sotte came to the king nobody was trying to guess,
for all those who had tried three times had been put to death by the
king's executioner. Fifty men already had been killed, and every
one said, on seeing Jean Sotte : " There is Jean Sotte who is going
to try, they will surely cut off his head, for he is so foolish. But so
much the worse for him if he is such a fool."
When he saw Jean Sotte the king began to laugh and told him
to come nearer. "What is it," said he, " that early in the morning
walks on four legs, at noon on two, and in the evening on three
68 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
— Si mo d6vinin, vous va donnin moin vous fille ?
— Oui, dit 16 roi.
— Oh, s'est pas arien pou divinin.
— Eh ben, hourrah, fait vite si to pas oul6 mo coupi to cou.
— C'est ein piti moune qui march 6 en haut quatre pattes. Quand
li vini grand li march6 en haut d6, et quand li vini vi6 li blig£ prend
ein baton pou apiyer li, 5a fait trois pattes.
Tout moune restd la bouche ouvri a force y6 t6 itonni.
— To divinin jiste, dit 16 roi, mo fille pou toi. Asteur nimporte qui
dans vous zotes mande moin ein quichoge et si mo pas trouve, pasqu£
mo conn in tout 9a ye na dans moune, alors mo va donnin li mo place
avec mo fortine.
Alors Jean Sotte dit 16 roi : — Mo oua ein mort qui t6 ap£ port£
trois vivants et ape nourri y6. Mort la t6 pas touchi la terre ni li ti
pas dans ciel, dis moin qui c'est ou ben mo va prend vous place avec
Roi Bangon say£ devinin, li dit c'est 5a et tout plein quichoge, li
pas fouti devinin et li te blig6 bandonni la partie. Alors Jean
Sotte dit li comme 5a : — Mo choal mouri en haut ein pont, mo }6t6
li dans la rivi&re et quand li t6 ap6 d£riv£ carencros pos6 en haut li
et mange li dans dolo. Li t£ pas touch£ la terre ni li t6 pas dans
Alors tout moune oua qu6 Jean Sotte t€ boucou plis malin qui
yi tous ensembe. Li marte avec fille 16 roi, li prend so place et
c'est li qui te gouvern6 pays la apr&s. Li prend Compair Lapin pou
so premier colombe, et pi apr&s 5a y6 pende Compair Bouki pou
so coquinerie. Apr&s 5a y6 chang£ nom Jean Sotte et p6l6 li Jean
Ein jou y6 t6 gagnin ein joli jeine fille mais li t6 fi&re. A chaque
fois des michtes t6 vini (6 li lamour, li t£ toujougagnin pr&exes. Ein
ti tro piti, lote t6 tro grand, ci la, sochivi t6 trop rouge. Enfin li t6
jamin ou!6 marii y6. In jou, so moman dit li : — Mo fille, to oua
gros nabe, haut, haut, milie fteve, male mett£ giromon 9a to oua on
nabe la au boutte branche plis f&be la, et cila qua capabe trapp6
giromon la, ta marie avec li.
£a fait fille la dit oui. Y6 mett£ 9a en haut tous la gazette. La
Maria ze Djabe. 69
" If I guess, you will give me your daughter ? "
" Yes," said the king.
"Oh ! that is nothing to guess."
" Well, hurrah ! hurry on if you don't want me to cut your neck."
Jean Sotte told him, it was a child who walked on four legs;
when he grew up he walked on two, and when he grew old he had
to take a stick, and that made three legs.
All remained with their mouths wide open, they were so aston-
"You have guessed right; my daughter is for you. Now, let
anybody ask me something, as I know everything in the world ; if I
do not guess right I will give him my kingdom and my fortune."
Jean Sotte said to the king : " I saw a dead being that was carry-
ing three living beings and was nourishing them. The dead did not
touch the land and was not in the sky ; tell me what it is, or I shall
take your kingdom and your fortune."
King Bangon tried to guess ; he said this and that and a thousand
things, but he had to give it up. Jean Sotte said then : " My horse
died on a bridge, I threw him into the river, and three buzzards
alighted on him and were eating him up in the river. They did not
touch the land and they were not in the sky."
Everybody saw that Jean Sotte was smarter than all of them to-
gether. He married the king's daughter, took his place, and gov-
erned the kingdom. He took Compair Lapin as his first overseer,
and hanged Compair Bouki for his rascality. After that they
changed Jean Sotte's name and called him Jean 1' Esprit
THE DEVIL'S MARRIAGE.
One day there was a pretty young girl, but she was very proud,
and every time the young men came to court her, she found a pre-
text to send them away. One was too small, another was too tall,
another had red hair ; in short, she refused all her suitors. One day
her mother said to her : " My daughter, you see that tall, tall tree in
the middle of the river ? I am going to put this pumpkin on the
smallest branch at the top of the tree, and that young man who will
be able to climb up and catch the pumpkin will be your husband."
The daughter said she had no objection, so they put a notice in
70 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
s&naine apres ye* t6 gagnin in tas jeine nommes la. Ye te" gagnin
ein qui ti si bien habilte, si joli, 5a t6 djabe et personne ti pas
connin 5a. Li t£ alle bien avec mamzelle la. Mamzellc la dit so
moman*: — Mo sri voudr£ li ti capabc trappd giromon la.
Tout moune sey6, et yi tout dit yi ti pas capabe. £a **** tour
djabe la vinl Dans ein minite li ti on nabe la avec giromon la on
so la main. Li descende et li dit mamzelle la : — Vini asteur, vini
dans mo la maison.
Fille la habilte li me*me bien, et parti avec djabe. Enho chimin
ein moune oua djab et dit li : — Donne moin mo cravate, et mo col,
5a mo ti priti toi.
Djabe oti so cravate et so col, et dit : — Tchiens, tchiens, to vii
cravate et to vie* coL Ein pe* plis loin ein lote nhomme oua djabe et
dit : — Donne moin mo chimise, 5a mo ti pviti toi. Djabe ote* so
chimise et dit : — Tchiens, tchiens, to vie chimise. Ein pi plis loin
li oua ein lote nhomme qui dit li : — Donne moin mo capot, 5a mo
te* priti toi. Djabe oti so capot et dit li : — Tchiens, tchiens, to
vii capot. Ein pi plis loin li oua ein lote nhomme qui dit li :
— Donne moin mo tchilottes, et mo canecons 5a mo priti toi.
Djabe oti so tchilotte et so canecons et dit li : — Tchiens, tchiens,
to vie tchilottes et to v\i canecons. Plis loin encore, ein lote mande
li pou so chapeau. Li ouete so chapeau et donne li. Li descende
so la voitire, et ye* pas oua li pendant ein piti moment Li revini
bien faraud comme anvant
Fille la commence pair. Plis loin encore ein lote dit li : — Don-
ne moin mo choal yi mo t£ pr£t6 toi. Djabe descende et donne* li
so quatre choal ye\ Lors li dit fille la : — Descende et trainin moin ;
fille la descende et so caire ti ape batte fort. Li trainin djabe jisqua
cot£ so la maison.
Li couri dans so jardin, et dit fille la : — Rest6 avec mo moman.
Quand djabe t6 bien parti, moman djabe dit fille la : — Ah f mo fille,
to tomta mal marie\ To marte djabe.
Fille la t6 si chagrin li t& pas connin 5a pou fait. Li dit vie 1 fame
la : — Tan prie, mo bon vi£ madame, vous pas capabe donne moin
monien pou chappi. Fame la dit : — Oui, attende jouqua dinmain
matin, et vini oua quichoge. Li minnin fille la dans ein ti la chambe.
Li ouvert ti la chambe la. Li dit : — Vini oua quichoge, mo fille.
Fille la gard6 dans ti la chambe la. £a li oua ? Ein tas fames pende
en haut ein declou. Li ti si pair li ti pas connin 5a pou dit. Li
mande fame la, si li te pas capabe cach6 li meme en queque part,
Mariaze Djabe. 71
the newspapers. The next week a crowd of young men presented
themselves, and among them one who was beautifully dressed and
exceedingly handsome. He was the Devil, but nobody knew him.
The young girl told her mother : " I wish he would catch the
All the young men climbed on the tree, but no one could succeed
in reaching the pumpkin. When the turn of the Devil came, in one
minute he was up the tree, and had the pumpkin in his hand. As
soon as he was down he said to the young girl : " Come now, come
with me to my house."
The girl put on her best dress and went away with the Devil.
On the road they met a man, who said to the Devil : " Give me my
cravat and my collar which I had lent to you."
The Devil took off his cravat and his collar, and said : " Here,
take your old cravat and your old collar." A little further on,
another man saw the Devil and told him : " Give me my shirt
whkh I had lent you." The Devil took off his shirt and said :
" Here, here, take your old shirt." A little further, he saw another
man, who said to him : " Give me my cloak which I had lent to
you." The Devil took off his cloak, and said :" Here, here, take
your old cloak." A little further, another man asked for his trous-
ers, then another one for his hat. The Devil took off the trousers
and the hat, and said : " Here, here, take your old trousers and your
old hat." He came down from his carriage and disappeared for a
few minutes, then he returned as well dressed as before.
The young lady was beginning to be very much frightened when
they met another man, who said : " Give me my horses which I had
lent to you." The Devil gave him his four horses, and said to his
wife: "Get down from the carriage and hitch yourself to it." She
drew the carriage as far as the Devil's house, and was so frightened
that her heart was almost in her mouth.
The Devil entered bis garden, and said to his wife : " Remain
here with my mother." As soon as he was gone the mother said
to the young lady : *' Ah ! my daughter, you have taken a bad hus-
band ; you have married the Devil."
The poor girl was so sorry that she did not know what to do, and
she said to the old woman : "Can you not tell me how I can run
away ? " The old woman replied : " Yes, wait until to-morrow morn-
ing; but come, let me show you something." She opened the door
of a little room, and said : " Lookj my daughter." The girl looked
in the room, and what did she see ? A number of women hanging
from a nail. She was so frightened that she asked the old woman
if she could not hide her somewhere until the next morning. The
72 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
jouqua dinmain matin. Fame la dit oui, mais, quitti mo dit toi in
monien pou chapper. Quand djabe la dit toi a soir faut donne so
coq qui riveilli li tous les matins ein sac mats, au lieu donne li ein
donne li trois, pou tchombo li ap£ mangi plis qui tous les matins,
pou pas li hili trop vite. Fame la dit aussite : — Couri dans pou-
lailler, prend six dizefs sales. Pas prend dizefs propres, mo piti $a
va porti toi malhire.
Lendemin matin fille la donne coq la trois sacs maTs. Li prend so
dizefs et li parti. Quand coq la fini so trois sacs mats li chants.
Djabe riveilli vite : — Quiquenne dans la maison parti, li dit. Djabe
livi vite et parti. Fille la gardi derri&re li. £a ti la fumin et di
fi. £a ti djabe minme. Li prend ein dizef, li cassi dizef la. In
gros barriire en dibois poussi. Djabe la ti gagnin pou tournin chez
li, cherchi so ti la hache pou cassi barriire la. Li cassi barriire la,
li tournin chez li, porter so la hache.
Fille la tendi di bri, li garde derri&re li, li oua la fumin et di fi.
£a ti djabe mime. Li cassi ein lote dizef ein la barriire en fer
poussi. Djabe tournin chez li pou chercher so ti la hache en or. Li
cassi la barriire la et tournin porti so la hache.
Fille la gardi derriire, li oua la fumin et di fi, li cassi ein lote
dizef, ein gros di fi limin. Djabe te gagnin pou tournin chercher
ein la jarre dolo pou taingnin di fi. Li ti gagnin pou couri rapporti
so la jarre.
Fille la gardi encore, li oua la fumin et difi. £a ti djabe. Li
cassi ein lote dizef, ein la barriire en briques poussi. Djabe ti
gagnin pou couri chercher so la hache en or, et li tournin rap-
Fille la gardi encore, li oua la fumin et di fi, 9a ti djabe. Li cassi
ein lote dizef, ein ti flive poussi. Yi ti gagnin ein ti pirogue, li
traverse et djabe la nagi.
Fille la gardi derriire li encore. Li oua la fumin et di fi. 9a ti
djabe. Li cassi ein lote dizef, ein gros flive poussi. Yi te gagnin
ein gros carman on bord api chauffe dans soleil ; fille la chants :
— Ten prie, grandmoman, traversez moin, sauvez mo la vie, belle,
belle, tonii belle. Cocodrille dit : — Monti on mo dos, ma sauvi to
Djabe oua magni&re fille la ti gagnin pou traverser, li dit ; coco-
drille la : — Traversi moin, cocodrille, traverse moin. Cocodrille
dit : — Monti on mo dos, ma traverse toi Rendi dans milii flive
li cale, li cali en bas dolo et li neyi djabe.
Mariaze Djabe. 73
woman said : " Yes, but let me tell you how you can escape from
here. When the Devil tells you to give one sack of corn to his
rooster which wakes him up in the morning, you will give him three
sacks that he may eat more and not crow so early. Then you will
go to the chicken house and take six dirty eggs. Take care not to
take clean eggs ; that will bring you bad luck."
The next morning the young lady gave the rooster three sacks of
corn, she took her eggs, and ran away. When the rooster had fin-
ished eating his three sacks, he crowed : " Mr. Devil, awake quickly ;
some one has run away from the house ! " The Devil got up quickly
and started running after his wife. The poor girl looked behind
her, and saw smoke and fire — indeed, the Devil himself. She took
an egg and broke it : a high wooden fence arose in the middle of the
road. The Devil had to return home to get his golden axe to cut
down the fence. After he had broken down the fence he took his
axe to his house.
The girl looked behind her; she saw smoke and fire — the Devil
himself. She broke another egg : there grew up an iron fence.
The Devil went home to get his golden axe, and had to take it
back after breaking the fence.
The girl looked again ; there was fire and smoke. She broke
another egg : a great fire rose up in the road. The Devil went to
get his jar of water to put out the fire, and then had to take the jar
The girl heard again a noise ; it was fire and smoke. She broke
another egg : a brick wall grew up. The Devil went to get his
golden axe, and carried it back after breaking the walL
The girl looked again : she saw fire and smoke. She broke
another egg : a small river appeared, in which was a small canoe.
She entered the canoe and crossed the river. The Devil was
obliged to swim across.
The girl looked again ; she saw fire and smoke. She broke
another egg : a large river appeared. There was a big crocodile on
the other side of the river warming himself in the sun. The girl
sang: "Grandmother, I pray you, cross me over; grandmother, I
pray you, save my life." The crocodile said : " Climb on my back,
my little one, f shall save your life."
The Devil saw in what way the girl had crossed the river, so he
said to the crocodile : " Cross me over, crocodile ; cross me over."
The crocodile replied : "Climb on my back ; I shall cross you over."
When he reached the middle of the river, he dived under the water,
and the Devil was drowned.
74 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
Anvant fille la t6 parti chez so moman, so moman t6 dit li : — Eh
ben, mo fille, $a tol£ mo fait avec corps to v\6 choal blanc ? Fille la
dit so moman : — Mo pas inquire li, lach6 li dans la savane, et laissi
li mouri si li ould Fille la oua so vte choal dans la savane, et li dit
li : — Ten prie, vi£ corps, sauvi mo la vi£, ten prie, vie corps, sauvd
mo la vie. So vi6 choal blanc rdponne li : — Oui, c'est comme 5a to
traite moin ; to dit to moman quittd moin mouri, si mote, asteur toli
mo sauv6 to la vie. Mont6 on mo dos, ma minnin toi chez to
Fille la descende, li bo so choal et so moman, et restd avec so
moman. Li t& plis oul£ marii encore, pasque li t£ marte djabe.
Anvant nous vini icite, nouzotte pove djabe, nous t€ libe; nous
t£ pas bligi travaille pou ein make. C'est blancs y6 qui vini dans
nous pays, l'Afrique, pou chercher nous ; ye vol6 qudquenne dans
nous, y6 achetd lezottes nous popa pou ein tignon rouge, in bouteille
tafia ou in vi6 fisi. Quand nous couri la guere cila y6 y6 trap£ y6
vende blanc y6 qui vini fait zaffaire on bord lamer. Y6 ti minnin
nous tachd d6 par d6, et quand nous riv£ cot£ lamer comme bande
zanimo, nommes, fames et piti mounes, y6 ti chang£ nous pas pou
largent mais pou tout sorte marchandise, et blanc y6 metti nous
dans bateau et minnin nous icite. C'est comme 5a nouzottes vini
nesclaves dans Namdrique.
Quand Manga, mo grandmoman, riv6 cot6 lamer, li oua ein joli
piti laville, avec piti lamaisons. Y6 t& gagnin plein bateaux, et y6 t6
gagnin l'air ap6 dans£ on la mer ; qu&juesennes t6 I6v6 et tezottes t&
baiss6. C6t6 divent, vous connin, qui tap£ souffle et r6mi6 lamer.
Mo pove grandmoman, qui t6 z£ne alors, t6 pair quand li oua y6 tap£
mett£ tous n£gue y6 a bord navire. Li t6 cr6 y6 t€ oule ney£ yi
dans lamer. In nomme blanc vini cot£ li et acheti li avec so maite.
Li minnin li chez li et li dit li dans so langage : — Mo achet6 toi pou
gard£ mo piti ganjon. Li t6 gagnin ein joli la maison avec ein
magasin ladans, et ein joli jardin. Derri&re la maison yd t6 gagnin
plein zoranger, et nabe y6 t6 si grand qui y€ t6 fait bon nombe.
Pou montrd coman pays mo grandmoman t£ bon mo va dit vous qui
Ti Doigt. 75
When the girl had left her mother's house with her husband, her
mother had said to her : " Well, my child, what do you wish me to
do with your old white horse ? " The girl said to her mother : " I
don't care what you do; put him out in the pasture and let him
die if he wants to." However, when she crossed the river on the
crocodile's back, she saw her old horse in the pasture, and she said
to him : " I pray you, old body, save my life ! " The horse replied :
" Ah, you want me now to save your life ; did you not tell your
mother to let me die, if I wanted ? Well, climb on my back, I shall
carry you to your mother."
The girl soon reached her mother's house. She got down from
the horse and kissed him, then she kissed her mother. She re-
mained at home after that, and did not wish to marry again, after
having had the Devil for her husband.
THE LITTLE FINGER.
Before we came here, poor devils, we were all free, we were not
obliged to work for any master. It is the whites who came into our
country, Africa, to get us. They stole some of us ; they bought some
of us from our fathers for a red handkerchief, for a bottle of tafia, or
an old gun. When we went to war those who were caught were
sold to the whites who came to trade on the seacoast. We were
led away, tied together, tied two by two ; and when we reached the
seacoast like a herd of cattle, men, women, and children, we were
exchanged, not for money, but for any kind of merchandise, and
the whites put us into ships and brought us here. This is how we
became slaves in America.
When Manga, my grandmother, arrived at the seacoast, she saw
a pretty little town with small houses. There were many ships,
and they seemed to be dancing on the sea ; some were going up,
others down. It was the wind, you know, that was blowing and
shaking up the sea. My poor grandmother, who was young then,
was afraid when she saw they were putting all the negroes on board
the ships. She thought they were going to drown them in the sea.
A white man came to her and bought her from her master. He
took her to his house and told her in her own language : " I bought
you to take care of my little boy." He had a pretty house with a
store in it, and a pretty garden. Behind the house was an orange
grove, and the trees were so large that there was a fine shade under-
j6 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
zoranger ti en Aire tout l'annee ; yav£ ftere et piti zorange, et zo-
range mire tout temps. La maison la ti coti lamer et tous les matin
Manga te minnin ti Florimond baignin. Ti gar^on la ti si joli et so
popa et so moman ti si bon qui Manga sre* pas laisse y€ pou arien
dans moune. Li ti lainmin ti Florimond si tant ; so chive* ti bou-
cli, so zi6 bli, so la peau blanc et rose. Tout moune ti adore pove
ti gar£on la, li ti si, si joli et smart. Li ti connin chantd si bien et
imit6 tout zozo si bien qui souvent yi ti cri c'&ait Nita qui tape
chants dans nabe. Nita c'est ein ti zozo Nafrique qui chants la
nuite quand la lune ap£ claird. Li perch6 en haut plis grand nabe,
et si yi gagnin divent li chants mi6, pasqu6 quand branche la ba-
lance $a idi piti zozo la chant6, comme hamac id6 ein nomme chante.
Florimond ti imit£ Nita si bien qui tout moune ti trompi, et 5a ti
amis£ ti gar^on la boucou.
Papa Florimond ti fait zaffaire avec n£gue qui vive loin dans bois,
et ein jou li parti pou chercher la poude d'or et dent n£16phant.
Quand li parti li dit Manga : — Prend bien soin mo fame et mo piti
gar S on ; to connin mo dija donne toi ein paire Soulier, mo sra donne
toi quand ma revini ein joli robe et ein collier. — Premier fois Manga
mett6 so Soulier yi ti fait li si tant mal li ti pas capabe a peine mar-
cher. Li ote yi, quand li riv6 la maison et li assite on n'escalier ap£
gard£ so zorteilles. — Soucouyi, soucouy6, pove quichoge, li dit.
— Vous ti en prison tout a Th^re, vous libe asteur, vous content,
hein ? Oh, mo sra jamais fermin vous encore, mo pas comprende
comment blanc yi capabe mett£ yi zorteille dans quichoge comme
9a. D6pi temps la Manga jamin mette Soulier.
Eh bien, maite la couri dans grand bois et trois jou apres 9a
madame la dit Manga prend Florimond' et minnin li baignin dans
lamer. Pendant ti gar£on la ti ap£ ]oui avec coquille et di sabe yi
oua ein nesquif avec plein nomme riv6. Ein blanc descende et pass6
coti Mange et li senti qu^que choge drole comme si malhe>e all6
riv6. Zie nomme la ti brill6 comme quenne chatte dans la nouitte.
Quand li pass£ li dit : — Bonjou, Florimond, mais piti gar£on la pas
rtponde arien. Quand yi couri la maison madame la voy6 yi )oui
dans la coil, et chaque fois maite la te pas la netranger la te vini la
maison. Florimond ti pas ouli oua li et ein jou li dit li sri dit so
popa on netranger la. Cila la dit Manga : — Piti djabe noir, si jamin
to ouvri to la bouche pou dit 5a to oua icite ma coupe to la langue
avec mo gros couteau, et ma port6 toi dans mo bateau, coude toi
dans sac et ]etti toi dans lamer pou posson mange toi. Manga ti si
pair qui li sri pas dit ein mot m£me si ye te tailte li tout la journin.
Ti Doigt. 77
neath. To show you how my grandmother's country was a good
one, I will tell you that the orange-trees were in bloom the whole
year; there were flowers and little oranges and ripe oranges all
the time. The house was near the sea, and every morning Manga
took little Florimond to take a bath. The little boy was so pretty,
and his father and mother were so good, that Manga would not have
left them for anything in the world. She loved little Florimond so
much ; his hair was curly, his eyes were blue, his skin was white and
rosy. Everybody adored the poor little boy, he was so pretty and
smart. He could sing so well and imitate all birds so admirably
that often they thought it was the Nita that was singing in the
trees. Nita is a little bird in Africa which sings at night when the
moon is shining. It perches on the top of the tallest tree ; and if
there is a light breeze it sings better, for the swinging of the
branch helps the little bird to sing, as the rocking of the hammock
helps a man's lullaby. Florimond imitated the Nita so well that
everybody was mistaken, and it amused the boy very much.
Florimond's father used to trade with the negroes that lived far in
the woods, so one day he started to get gold dust and elephants'
teeth. On leaving he said to Manga: "Take good care of my wife
and my little boy. You know I gave you already a pair of shoes; I
will give you, on my return, a fine dress and a necklace." The first
time Manga put on her shoes they hurt her so much that she could
hardly walk. She took them off on arriving at the house, and sat on
the steps looking at her toes: "Wiggle, wiggle, poor things," she
said, " you were in prison just now : you are free now, you are glad,
is it not ? Oh ! I shall never shut you up again. I don't understand
how white folks can put their toes in such things ! " From that
time Manga never put shoes on.
Well, the master went into the big woods, and three days after-
wards the lady said to Manga to take Florimond to the sea and give
him a bath. While the little boy was playing with the shells and
the white sand, they saw a skiff with several persons come ashore.
A white man disembarked, and passed by Manga, and she felt a
peculiar sensation, as if some misfortune was to happen. The eyes
of the man shone like those of a cat in the dark. As he passed, he
said : "Good morning, Florimond," but the little boy did not reply
anything. When they arrived home the lady sent them to play in
the yard, and every time the master was away the strange man would
come to the house. Florimond did not want to see him, and he said
One day he would tell his father about the stranger. The latter said
to Manga: "You little black imp, if ever you open your mouth
about what you see here, I will cut your tongue with my big knife ;
then I will carry you to my ship, sew you up in a sack, and throw
yS Louisiana Folk-Tales.
Soir la Florimond cri£ si tant qu6 Manga ti gagnin boucou tracas
fait li drorai. So litte te a coti quenne piti gar^on la. Pendant la
nouitte li oua pirate la entr£ dans lachambe la avec ein gros baton.
Li frappi piti gar^on la on so latere et li dit : — Li raouri, ma mett£
li dans trou la mo fouill6 dans jardin, asteur ma fait zaffaire ti n6-
Mais Manga ti ddji parti couri dans la cou, et nomme la couri
on chimin pou trap£ 1L Moman Florimond vini dans lachambe, li
prend ti gar$on la et li terrd li dans ein trou cot6 la Manga ti yi. Li
ti pas fini so vilain nouvrage, quand li tende dibri et li galp£ couri.
Li rencontri nomme la qui dit : — Mo croi fille la couri dans bois,
pas b£soin pens6 li encore, lion et tigue va mangd li bien vite. As-
teur faut mo couri a bord mo bateau et quand ma r£vini ma prend
vous avec moin.
Madame la rdtournin la maison et Manga sorti. Li ti si faibe
li ti pas capabe reste diboute, mais anvant li parti li bo la terre ou so
pove ti maite ti terri. Li dit : — Adi6, ti nange, et li couri dans
bois. Li te laimin mie rest6 avec zanimo sauvage qui avec mauvais
Li marchi qu^que temps si vite li capabe et li riti coti ein bayou
dans bois ; li boi dolo et assite pou pose\ Li commence dromi, mais
li tend6 moune ap6 parl6 fort et li riveilli. Li oua nomme autour li
et so maite qui ti gagnin Fair tr£s colore : — Qui $a tap6 fait icite si
loin mo la maison, mo laiss£ toi pou gard6 mo ti gar^on, mo pens6 to
fait quichoge mal et to chapp6. Manga pas r^ponde arien, pasque li
rappeli 5a pirate la ti dit. Maite la ordonnin yi minnin li la maison
et li r^toumin chez li aussi vite li capabe. Li trouvd so fame zpi
cri6 et li dit li : — Oh qui malhor ! Manga quitt6 Florimond tomb£ on
so lat6te et nous pove ti gar^on mouri. Mo ti ou\i tchui n^gresse
la, mais li parti couri et mo pas connin ou li yi. Si jamin mo trapp£
li ma trangl6 11
Quand pove nomme la tendi so cher ti garcon ti mouri, li tombe*
par terre. Yi metti li dans so litte et li rest6 quinze jou dans d&ire.
Pendant temps la madame la dit Manga li sr6 tchu6 li si li ouvri so
la bouche. Li fermin fille la dans ein cabane et donnin li jisse dipain
Popa Florimond li vi mais li ti vi pas console et li crii tout la
7* Doigt. 79
you into the sea for the fish to eat you." Manga was so frightened
that she would not have said a word even if they had whipped her
for a whole day. In the evening Florimond cried so much that it
was with great difficulty that Manga succeeded in putting him to
sleep. Her cot was near the bed of the little boy, and during the
night she saw the pirate enter the room with a big stick. He struck
the little boy on the head and said : " He is dead. I will put him in
the hole which I dug in the yard. Now I must attend to the black
Manga, however, had already run away into the yard ; but the man,
thinking that she was in the road, ran out to catch her. Florimond's
mother came into the room, took the little boy's body in her arms,
and buried him in a hole near the place where Manga was. She was
not quite through with her ugly work when she heard a noise and
ran away. She met the man, who said: " I believe the girl has gone
to the woods; we need not trouble about her any more ; the lions
and tigers will soon eat her up. Now I must go on board my ship,
and when I come back I will take you with me."
The lady went into the house, and Manga came out of her hiding-
place. She felt so weak that she could hardly stand, but before she
left she kissed the ground where her dear little master was buried.
She said: " Farewell, little angel," and ran into the woods. She
preferred to stay with the wild animals than with the cruel mother.
After walking for some time as fast as she could, she stopped by a
bayou in the wood, drank some water, and sat down to rest. She
fell asleep, but soon she was awakened by loud talking. She saw
some men standing around her, and among them was her master,
who seemed to be very angry : " What are you doing here so far
from my house? I left you to take care of my little boy. I sup-
pose you did something wrong and ran away." Manga did not reply
anything, because she remembered the threats of the pirate. The
master ordered his men to bring her back to his house, and he
hastened to go home. He found his wife, who was weeping bit-
terly, and she said to him: "Oh! what a dreadful misfortune!
Manga let Florimond fall on his head, and our poor little boy is
dead. I wanted to kill the negress, but she ran away, and I don't
know where she is. If ever I catch her I will strangle her with my
When the poor man heard that his dear boy was dead, he fell in a
swoon. They put him in bed, and he remained fifteen days deliri-
ous. During that time the lady said to Manga that she would kill
her if she opened her mouth. She shut the girl in a cabin, and gave
her nothing but bread and water.
At last Florimond's father got out of bed, but he would not be
80 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
journin pou so piti gar^on. Comme Manga ti dans prison so maite
ti pas oua li. Ein jou li tap£ marche dans la cou, li gard£ temps en
temps la tombe so piti garcon et d&arme coul6 dans so zii. Nita
tap6 chants on ein nabe a coti li et so chanson ti si triste qui pove
nomm£ la senti plis triste que jamin. £a ti sembe li c'&ait Flori-
mond qui tap6 chantd, et li vanc6 cotd la tombe la et gard6 li long-
temps. Tout d'ein coup pove popa la ti croi li tap£ rivi, li oua qui-
choge si drolle que plein moune va pas cri 9a, mais si tant moune dit
moin mime nistoire la qui mo cri li sire comme soleil ap£ clairi.
Quand madame la te terr£ ti garcon la li ti pas gagnin temps couvri
tout so corps et ein piti lamain ti dehors, et c'etait joli ti doigt la
qui tapi r6mu6 comme si li tap£ fait signe pou pili qu6quenne. Ti
doigt la rimui ein coti et lote cote et jamin fini pi\i 9 nous capabe
dit. Pove popa la enlevi la terre avec so lamain et d^couvri corps la.
Li trouv6 li fraiche comme si yi ti sorti terri li, et li prend li dans
so bras et port6 li la maison. Li mett£ garcon la on litte et li frotte
li si tant, qui piti la riveilli. Popa la voyi cherch6 ein m6decin qui
commence soignin li et qui dit li sr6 bientot vive encore. Yi te
pas gagnin danger pou so la vie, pasqu6 so latete te pas cass6 ; piti
la ti selement dans targie et bientot li sri bien encore. Qu£que jou
apres Florimond ti ap£ galpd comme si pas arien ti rivi, mais li
jamin dit arien on so moman et n&ranger la, et madame la laisse*
Manga sorti so prison. Moman Florimond ti gagnin remor, li mai-
gri tous les jou, et ein soi, malgre yi soignin li bien, li mouri. So
dernier mots te : — Oh ! Bon Dji6, pardonnin moin. Yi terri li dans
tombe so ti garcon ; Pirate la jamin rivinL Yi dit yi pende li
Apres lamort so fame popa Florimond parti Nafrique et li vende
pove Manga. Yi metti li a bord ein navire, et c'est comme 9a li
vini nesclave dans la Louisiane et li raconti moin nistoire ti doigt.
Ti Doigt. 8 1
consoled, and he wept all day for his little boy. As Manga was still
in her prison, her master did not see her, and did not think of her.
One day as he was walking about in the yard, he looked from time
to time at his dear boy's grave, and tears flowed from his eyes. In
the mean time the Nita was singing on a tree near by, and its song
was so sad that the poor man felt more sad than ever. It seemed
to him it was his Florimond who was singing, and he came to the
grave and looked at it a long time. All at once the poor father
thought he was dreaming. He saw something that was so strange
that many people will not believe it ; but so many people told me the
same story, that I believe it is as sure as the sun is shining. When
the lady had buried the little boy, she had not had time to cover the
body completely, and one little hand was out of the grave, and it
was the pretty little finger which was moving as if it was making a
sign to call some one. The little finger moved on one side and then
on the other, and never stopped beckoning, so to say. The poor
father dug up the earth with his hand and uncovered the body. He
found it as fresh as if it had just been buried, and he took it in his
arms and carried it to the house. He put the boy on a bed and
rubbed him so long that the child came back to consciousness. The
father sent for a surgeon, who began to attend to the boy, and said
that he would revive. There was no danger for his life, as the skull
was not broken ; the child was only in a state of lethargy, and would
soon be well again. Indeed, in a few days Florimond was running
about as if nothing had happened, but he never said anything about
his mother and the stranger, and the lady at last allowed Manga to
leave her prison. Remorse had taken hold of Florimond's mother ;
she grew thinner every day, and one evening, in spite of the most
tender care, she died. Her last words were, " Oh ! my God, forgive
me ! " She was buried in the grave where her little boy had been ;
and as to the pirate, he never came back. They say that he was
After his wife's death Florimond's father left Africa, and sold
poor Manga. She was put upon a ship, and this is how she became
a slave in Louisiana, and related to me the story of the little finger.
82 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
STATIE ST. ANTOUfcNE.
Ein cordonnier dans ein piti la ville te gagnin ein belle fille. Ein
jou li oua ein j£ne nomme entr£ dans la maison cot£ so quenne et li
vini amour6 li. Li mandd so vi6 quisintere 9a li capabe fait pou fait
jdne nomme lainmin li. V16 fame la conseill6 li prte St Antoutne.
Li fait li, mais pou arien.
— P6t6te li sourd, dit quisintere la, anon fait ein trou dans so
Quand yi tap6 sey£ perc6 ein trou dans zoreille statie dibois la
domestique nomme la j6ne fille la ti lainmin vini dans boutique. Li
mand6 di fame yi 9a yi tap£ fait. Y€ dit yi t€ oul6 St. Antou£ne
tende ein prtere. Domestique la fait trou dans zoreille statie la et li
tende dehors pou tend£ prtere j6ne fille ti si tant ould mandd.
Quand li tend£ j6ne fille ti ap6 mandd St. Antou&ne fait so voisin
lainmin li, li couri racontd so maite nistoire la. Jine nomme la ti
si flatt6 belle fille la ti lainmin li qui li vini amour£ aussite et li
marte fille la.
PITI GAR^ONS ET GRANTS.
En fois yav£ di ti gar;ons qui ti vive dans ein lamaison avec
fl£ve drite derrtere. Yi parent ti dtfende yi couri au ras fteve, mais
ein jou yi chapp6 et yi prend ein nesquif qui t6 dans fteve et yi
commence ramain, ramain, m6 cri yi doite ramain des millions
milles. Quand 16 soi rivi yi ti bien pair et yi ti pas connin ou pou
couri. Yi oua ein lumtere loin, loin, et en minme temps grants vini
pou trapp6 yi. Y6 monti on nabe, mais grants jisse soucouyi nabe
la et pove ganjon yi tomb6. Grants yi port6 yi dans yi la maison
ou yi trouv6 boucou lotte piti gar£on. Yi te donnin yi mang6 di-
laite et digri pou yi vini gras, et tous les jou yi ti tchui quique ti
gar$on pou grants mang£.
Pas loin la maison g£ant yi yi ti gagnin in vii fame qui ti sor-
ciire. Ein jou popa di ti gar£on yi qui t6 chappd vini cot6 la maison
vii fame la avec so zamis et li mand£ li si li pas oua so gar^on.
Pitt Garfons et Giants. 83
THE STATUE OF ST. ANTHONY.
A shoemaker in a small town had a beautiful daughter. One day
she saw a young man enter the house next to hers, and she soon fell
in love with him. She asked her old cook what she could do to be
loved by the young man. The old woman advised her to pray to
St. Anthony. She did so, but without effect.
" Perhaps he is deaf/' said the cook ; " let us make a hole in his
When they were trying to bore a hole in the ears of the wooden
statue, the servant of the young man whom the girl loved came into
the shop. He asked the two women what they were doing. They
said they wanted St. Anthony to hear a prayer. The servant made
the holes in the ears of the statue and waited at the door outside to
hear what was the request the young girl was so anxious to ask. As
soon as he heard that the young girl was asking St. Anthony to
obtain for her the love of her neighbor, he ran to his master and
related the story to him. The latter felt so much flattered by the
love of the beautiful girl that he fell in love with her, in his turn,
and married her.
THE LITTLE BOYS AND THE GIANTS.
Once upon a time there were two little boys who lived in a house
not far from a river. Their parents had forbidden them to go near
the river ; but one day they ran away, and, taking a skiff which was
in the river, they rowed and rowed. I believe they rowed millions
of miles. When night came they were very much afraid, and did
not know where to go. While they were looking at a light far away
the giants came to catch them. They climbed upon a tree, but the
giants merely shook the tree and the poor boys fell down. They
were carried to the house of the giants, where they found many
other little boys. They were all. fed on milk and hominy, that they
might grow fat, and every day a few of the little boys were cooked
and eaten by the giants.
Not far from the house of the giants lived an old woman who was
a witch. One day the father of the two little boys who had run
away came to the old woman's house with his friends, and asked her
84 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
Li r£pond£ y6 t6 dans la maison a cot6 divant qui y6 t6 gagnin ein
caillou pas plis grand que ein piti canique. Nomme ye couri cot6 la
maison la mais y6 trouvi qui caillou la ti tournin ein lapierre grand
comme ein lamontagne. Y6 t6 gagnin boucou tracas pou ote lapierre
la et ouvri la porte, mais yi entre* dans la maison la, ye tchu£ grants
yi et yi raminnin piti gar^on ye.
NOMME QUI TOURNIN ZOZO.
Ein fois yavd ein madame qui t6 gagnin douze piti, onze gar£on, et
ein fille. Pove madame la mouri et so mari marte avec ein lotte
madame qui t£ ein sorciere et qui t6 bien michant. Dans la journin
li t6 fait onze piti gar^on y6 tournin zozo et r6vini nomme tesoi.
Fille la li fait li tournin nigresse pou tout temps. So popa t6 pas
capabe riconnaite li et li mett6 li dehors. Sorciere la t6 fait tout 5a
piti so mari, pasque li t6 oul6 li donnin so quenne piti so fortine.
Quand y6 mett6 pove fille la dehors li couri joinde so fr£re yi et li
dit 5a y€ te fait li. Y6 dit lendemin matin yi sr6 minnin li dans lote
pays. Ye* fait ein litte avec feille, et lendemin, quand ye* te* zozo en-
core chaquenne prend ein boutte litte avec y& bee et ye voltig6 avec
y6 s6re loin dans lotte pays. Y6 m£nin li dans ein bois et bati li
ein joli ti cabane. Alors ein jou ein vii sorciere passe cot6 cabane
la et quand li oua jene fille la li mandi li 9a li tape* fait tout sele la.
J6ne fille cont6 5a so belle-m^re t6 fait li, et alors vie* fame la dit li
comme 5a li connin ein moyen pou fait so frere reste* nomme tout
temps. Li sr6 gagnin pou fait ein chimise pou chaquenne so frire
y6 9 mais faut pas li coude chimise y6, jisse tiss£ y6, et faut pas li
parte anvant tous chimise y6 sri prdte. £a prend li longtemps pou
fait louvrage la, et quand li t6 gagnin jisse ein lamanche pou fini on
dernier chimise la, so belle-mere vini connin ou li t6 et li fait r&6 li
pasqu6 li dit li t6 sorciere. Y6 tapd minnin li dans prison dans ein
vi6 charrette, alors so onze frdre y€ vini voltigi autour charrette la.
Li jett6 tout suite chimise layd on yi et y6 tournin nomme encore
et fait descende ye* s6re.f Par exemple quand li ]6t6 chimise la qui t£
gagnin jisse ein lamanche fini, frere la, qui ti trouv6 gagnin chimise
la, reste* tout so lavie avec ein z£le zozo pou so bras. /
Nomme qui tournin Zozo.
if she had seen his boys. She replied that they were in the house
near by, before the door of which was a pebble not larger than a
small marble. The men went to the house, but found that the
pebble had become a rock as big as a mountain. They had much
trouble in putting aside the rock and opening the door, but at last
they entered the house, killed the giants, and brought back their
THE MEN WHO BECAME BIRDS.
Once upon a time there was a lady who had twelve children, —
eleven boys and one girl. The poor lady died, and her husband mar-
ried again. His second wife was a witch, who was very bad. In the
daytime she changed the eleven boys into birds, and allowed them
to take their human form only at night. As to the girl, she changed
her into a negress. Her father did not know her any more, and put
her out of his house. The witch treated her husband's children in
that way because she wanted him to leave his money to her own
When the poor girl was put out of her father's house, she went to
see her brothers and told them what had happened to her. They
said that the next morning they would take her to another country.
They made a bed with leaves ; and the next day, when they were
birds again, each one took hold of the bed in his beak, and they car-
ried their sister far away into another country. They placed her in
a forest, and built a pretty little hut for her. One day an old witch
passed by the hut, and when she saw the young girl she asked her
what she was doing there. The poor girl related her story, and the
witch told her she would tell her how to make her brothers remain
men all the time. She must make a shirt for each one of her brothers,
and not sew the shirts but weave them, and stay without speaking
until the shirts were ready. It took her a long time to do the work ;
and when she was nearly through, — only one sleeve was missing
to one shirt, — her stepmother found out where she was and had her
arrested as a witch. They were taking her in a cart to prison when
her eleven brothers came flying around the cart. She immediately
threw the shirts over them, and they became men again and rescued
their sister. As one of the shirts had only one sleeve, the brother
who had received that shirt had all his life, instead of an arm, a
86 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
EIN BON TI DOMESTIQUE.
Ein fois yav6 ein michte qui ti bien riche et bien bon. So fame
ti tout temps dit li ti malade et li ti bdsoin tout sorte drole vimide
qui so mari ti gagnin pou couri chercher pou li. Fame la ti fait 5a
pou so mari sorti so chimin et pou li capabe gaspiller so largent. Ein
jou li dit faut li gagnin dolo lamer ou la mouri. Michte la ti gagnin
ein ti domestique yi ti pili Ti Margot et qui toujou couri voyagd
avec li. Michte la parti cherchi dolo lamer, mais li pas minnin Ti
Margot fois cila, et ti domestique la oua 9a so maitresse tap£ fait
avec largent so mari. Li ti ouli donnin ein grand bal et ein grand
souper. Ti Margot couri dit so maite 5a li ti oua et li mand£ li laissd
li trapp£ 1L Yi rivim sans personne connin, et Ti Margot dit do-
mestique yi suive li et fait 9a la dit yi. Li mett6 so maite dans
grand panier et li cachd dans panier la boucou fouette. Pendant
bal la Ti Margot vim dans la salle la avec di nommes qui tap£ portd
panier la, et lotte domestique yi. Maitresse la et so ninvitd ti cri
e'6tait qudque joli cadeau et yd vanc£ coti panier la pou oua. Alorse
tout suite Ti Margot dit : — Ala mo maite rdvini, et li prend fouette
yi dans panier la et li donnin yi so maite et domestique yi, et yi
batte raide ninvitd yi et madame la. Michte la mettd so fame dihors
et li dit li : — To pas b£soin dolo lamer pou gu£ri toi.
Ein fois yav£ ein ti fille yi ti pili Marie ; li ti pas gagnin parents
ditout, li ti rest6 avec so vi6 grand-p&re. Li couri prend ein place
pou travaille chez moune qui t6 bien mdchant, et moune la yi ti
gagnin ein pie voleuse. Ein jou pie voleuse la voli ein bague qui ti
on la fen&re ; alorse quand yi manqud bague la yi acquis^ Marie, et
yi prend li et mette li dans prison. Pendant li ti dans prison yi
fait li plein boucou lamis&re et yi batte li pou fait li dit c'&ait li
qui ti vole bague la.
So pove grand-p&re ti cxii tout la journin et li ti couri la prison
Corbeille Flere. 87
THE GOOD LITTLE SERVANT.
There was once a gentleman who was very rich and very good.
His wife always pretended to be sick and needed all kinds of extraor-
dinary remedies, which her husband had to go and get for her. The
woman did that to get her husband out of the way and to be able to
squander his money. One day she said she must have some sea
water or she would die. The gentleman had a little servant called
Little Margot, who always went with him on his journeys. When
the gentleman went to get the sea water, Little Margot was left
behind and saw what the mistress was doing with her husband's
money. She was preparing to give a great ball and a great supper.
Little Margot went to tell his master what he had seen, and asked
him to let him act. They came back secretly to the house, and Little
Margot told all the servants to follow him and do whatever he would
order them. He put his master in a large basket and hid in the
basket a number of whips. During the ball Little Margot came in
the danping-hall with two men carrying the basket, and followed by
the other servants: The mistress and her guests thought it was
some fine present and crowded around the basket. All at once Little
Margot said : " Here is my master come back ; " and taking the whips
from the basket, he gave them to the servants and to his master, who
whipped the guests and the lady unmercifully. The gentleman put
his wife out of his house, and said to her : " You do not need any
sea water now to cure you."
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
There was once a little girl called Marie ; she had no parents, but
lived with her old grandfather. She went to work for some people
who were very wicked, and those people had a magpie. One day
the magpie stole a ring which was on the window ; and now when
the ring was missed Marie was accused of the theft, and she was
taken and sent to prison. While she was in prison she was treated
very badly, and they beat her to make her say it was she who had
stolen the ring.
Her poor grandfather used to cry all day long, and he went to the
88 Louisiana Folk-Tales. _
oua 1L Dernier jou la qu6 y6 ti gagnin pou jiger Marie y6 dit y6
sr6 voy6 li la p6nitentiaire. Li sitant pri6 la Sainte Vierge qu6 jou
la y6 t6 donnin li so sentence, y6 scie ein nabe dans la cou madame
et dans cr6 nabe la yi trouv6 bague la.
Quand madame la trouv6 so bague li couri dans prison la et li dit
li trouv6 li. Mo bli6 dit vouzote que quand Marie t6 sitant prie la
Sainte Vierge li t6 promette li, si y6 ti lach6 li li sr6 couri dans bois
chercher pli belle f!6re lay6 li sr6 capabe trouve. Alorse, quand ma-
dame la tend6 connin promesse la Marie t6 fait la Sainte Vierge, li
fait ein corbeille avec plis belle ftere lay6 li t6 capabe trouv6 dans so
jardin, et li donnin li ein ti la maison pou li et so grand-popa rest6.
JEAN DES POIS VERTS.
Ein vi6 n6gue yi ti p616 Jean des Pois Verts t6 vive dans ein
cabane cot6 palais 16 roi. Comme y6 tap6 vol6 tout ti poulet 16 roi li
ti oul6 sauv6 so d6zoi et li mand6 Jean ou pou mett6 y6. Jean t6
bien content, et d6zoi diparaite m6me maniere qui ti poulet y6. L6
roi mande" Jean ou pou cach6 so largent et Jean dit li pou mett6 so
lor ou li ti mett6 so d6zoi. Lor disparaite aussite. Voisin y6 alorse
persiad6 16 roi qu6 c'6tait Jean qui ti vote li, et 16 roi couri avec so
soldat pou r6t6 vi6 nomme la. Jean ti connin 5a yi ti alii fait et li
mette on so latabe ein d6zoi avec pi6ce lor en bas so 16zaille. Quand
16 roi vini Jean montr6 li d6zoi la et li dit li, si li jamin besoin largent
d6zoi la sr6 donnin li, si li joue violon. Roi achete dezoi la, mais
quand li oua coman Jean te" tromp6 li, li fait mette li dans ein sac pou
yi jett6 li dans fl6ve. Nomme yi qui tap6 port6 sac la soul6 yi
m6me et pi quitt6 Jean in moment on chimin. Li tend6 ein berger
ap6 vini avec so troupeau et li commence cri6 li pas oul6 mari6 fille
16 roi. Berger la prend place Jean dans sac la pou mari6 fille 16 roi,
et vi6 n6gue parti couri avec mouton y6. L6 roi contr6 Jean, et Jean
dit li li t6 trouv6 mouton y6 et lor la au fond lariviire.
L6 roi j6t6 li m6me dans fl6ve et li ney6 li m6me. Pove roi qui t6
b6te, li t6 quitt6 ein palais pou saut6 dans fl6ve.
Jean des Pot's Verts.
prison to see her. On the last day before she was to be tried, they
said she would be sent to the penitentiary. She prayed so much to
the Holy Virgin that on the very day when judgment was passed
upon her, they sawed a tree in the yard of the lady, and in the hol-
low of the tree they found the ring.
When the lady found the ring she went to the prison and said that
she had found it. I forgot to tell you that when Marie prayed so
much to the Holy Virgin she made a vow that if she would be freed,
she would go to the woods and get the most beautiful flowers she
could find. Now, when the lady heard of Marie's vow, she filled a
basket with the finest flowers she could find in her garden, and she
gave her a little house for herself and her grandfather.
JOHN GREEN PEAS.
An old negro, called John Green Peas, lived in a cabin by the king's
palace. As all the chickens of the king were being stolen he wanted
to save his geese, and he asked John to tell him where to put them.
John was delighted, and the geese disappeared in the same way as
the chickens. The king asked John to tell him where to put his
money, and John told him to put his gold where he had put the geese.
The gold disappeared also. The neighbors then convinced the king
that John was the robber, and the king went with his guards to arrest
the old man. John knew what was going on, and he placed on his
table a goose with gold coin under its wings. When the king arrived
John showed him the goose, and told him that whenever he needed
money the goose would give him some, if he played on the fiddle.
The king bought the goose ; but when he saw how John had deceived
him, he had him put into a bag to be thrown into the river. The
men who were carrying the bag got drunk and left John for some
time in the road. He heard a shepherd coming with his flock, and
he began crying that he would not marry the king's daughter. The
shepherd took John's place in the bag, in order to marry the king's
danghter, and the old man went away with the sheep. The king
met John, and the latter told him that he had found the sheep and
the gold at the bottom of the river.
The king threw himself into the river and was drowned. Poor
simple king, to leave a palace to jump into the river.
90 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
EIN POVE TI GAR£ON.
Y< t£ gagnin cin fois ein fame qui t6 courime dit li t£ pove et li
ti pas gagnin arien pou manger. Tous les jou so mari t6 couri tra-
taille et souvent so lestomac t6 vide. Ein jou ein ti gar^on vini
frapp£ on laporte madame la et li mand6 li si li t6 capabe entre pou
chauffe lim6me, et si li oul6 donnin li mang6 et couch6. Fame la
refuse et li dit li pas gagnin dif£, pas arien pou manger et pou cou-
Ti gar^on la t6 bien fachi, mais li couch6 par terre divant cabane
la et li oua dans lafente laporte tout 9a y£ fait dans cabane la. Li
oua fame la limin ein grand dife, fait biscuit, tchui cochon, et li oua
ein nomme qui t£ cache dans lachambe sorti et vini chauffer cot6
— Ah ! Ah ! dit ti gar$on la, ala pouquoi li pas laissd moin entr£
dans la maison la. Quand so mari pas la li fait bal. Lap6 laiss£
moin mouri faim et frette dihors, mais la pay6 moin 9a.
Ein ti moment apr£s 5a fame la tend6 marcher, et comme li pens6
c'6tait so mari, li cachi cochon la dans garde manger, biscuit y6 en
bas ein tamis et nomme la en bas litte. Quand mari la riv6 li oua ti
gar^on la couch6 par terre qui tap6 g£16, et li dit li : — Qui 5a tap£
fait la, pouquoi to pas chez toi ? To pas mand£ mo fame entrer.
Nous pove, mais nous sr6 toujou trouv6 ein ti coin pou toi.
— Mo pas chez moin pasqu6 mo pas gagnin popa ni lamaison, mo
pas chez vous, pasqu6 vous fame dit moin ya pas place pou moin.
— Vini avec moin ; mo fame va changd nid6e.
Li prend ti gar^on la et li fait li entrer. So fame t6 6tonnin oua
so mari avec ti gar^on la, et li ti pair li t6 oua 9a y6 t6 fait dans
cabane et li t6 couri conter 9a so mari. Mais mari la t6 gagnin Fair
tranquille et li dit li li t6 content oua li trouvi qu£que morceau
dibois pou fait dife, pasqu£ y6 fait bien frette et li mand£ si li ga-
gnin souper pou li. Li dit non, alorse mari la tir6 ein dipain dans
so sac et li dit li pas travaille boucou et c'£tait tout 9a li t6 capabe
porter. Li partag6 dipain la en trois morceaux, pou li, so fame et ti
Chaquenne mang6 so dipain, et quand y€ t6 fini mari la dit :
— Anon conter conte pou passer temps anvant nous couri coucher.
Ein Pave ti Garfon. 91
A POOR LITTLE BOY.
There was once a woman who used to say that she was poor and
had nothing to eat. Every day her husband went to work, and often
with an empty stomach. One day a little boy knocked at the woman's
door and asked her if he could come in to warm himself, and if she
would give him something to eat and a place to sleep. But the
woman refused, and she said she had no fire, nothing to eat, and no
place for him to sleep.
The little boy was very sorry, but he lay down on the ground in
front of the cabin, and he saw through a crevice in the door all that
was being done in the cabin. He saw the woman light a big fire,
make biscuits, cook a pig, and he saw a man, who was hidden in the
room, come out and warm himself by the fire.
"Ah ! ah ! " said the little boy ; " that is why she did not let me
come into the house. When her husband is not there she has a high
time. She is letting me die of hunger and cold outside, but she
will pay for that."
A little while later the woman heard some one walking; and as
she thought it was her husband, she hid the pig in the cupboard, the
biscuits under a sieve, and the man under the bed. When the hus-
band arrived he saw the little boy lying on the ground freezing, and
he said to him : "What are you doing there? Why are you not at
home ? Did you not ask my wife to let you come in ? We are poor,
but we would always find a little corner for you."
" I am not at home, because I have no father and no home. I am
not at your house, because your wife told me there was no room for
" Come with me ; my wife will change her mind."
He took the little boy, and made him come in ; his wife was
astonished to see her husband with the little boy, and she was afraid
that he had seen what had happened in the house and had told her
husband. But the husband appeared very quiet, and he told her that
he was glad to see that she had found some pieces of wood to make
a fire, because it was very cold, and he asked her if she had any
supper for him. She said no ; then her husband drew out a loaf of
bread from his sack and said he had not had much work, and that
was all he was able to bring. He divided the bread into three
shares, — for him, his wife, and the little boy.
Each one ate his bread, and when they were through, the husband
said : " Let us relate stories as a pastime before we go to bed. 1
92 Louisiana Folk-Tales.
— Bon, dit fame la, pasqu6 li ti connin conte t€ fait so mari dromi
et li sr6 capabe fait nomme la chapp£ qui en bas so litte.
— Eh bien, dit mari la, commence premier, ti gar;on, pasqu6 c'est
toi qui plis j£ne.
— Mo pas connin conte, dit ti gar;on la. Mo popa ti toujou dit
moin dit la viriti, mo pas connin conte, mais mo connin des v6rit6s.
— Dis-nous v6rit6s, alorse, dit mari la.
— Eh bien dit ti gargon la, mo connin yi na biscuit en bas tamis
la, laviande cochon dans garde manger et ein nomme en bas litte.
— £a c'est pas vrai, dit fame la, qui tap6 tremble pair. Na pas
— Anon gaidi toujou, dit mari la, et li trouv6 biscuit yd, cochon la
et nomme la.
Mari la ti si colore oua so fame ti trompd li qu6 li mette li dehors
avec nomme la, qui ti pas oul6 li, pasqud si li trompd ein nomme, li
capabe trompd ein lotte. Li mouri frette dans bois. Mari la prend
ti gar;on la pou restd avec li et li t6 cr6 li ti ein zombi, pasqud li ti
pas dit li coman li ti connin 5a li ti dit
Ein Pove ti Garfon. 93
" All right/ 9 said the woman, because she knew that stories made
her husband go to sleep, and she would be able to make the man
escape who was hidden under the bed
"Well," said the husband, "commence first, little boy, because
you are the youngest."
"I do not know any stories," said the little boy. "My father
always told me to tell the truth. I do not know any stories, but I
know some true things."
"Tell us true things, then," said the husband.
" Well," said the little boy, " I know there are biscuits under the
sieve, pig's meat in the cupboard, and a man under the bed."
"That is not true," said the woman, who was trembling with
fright. " There is nothing at all."
" Let us look, nevertheless," said the husband ; and he found the
biscuits, the pig, and the man.
The husband was so angry to see that his wife had deceived him
that he put her out with the man, who did not want her, because, if
she deceived one man, she might deceive another. She died of cold
in the wood. The husband took the little boy to stay with him ; and
he thought he was a sorcerer, because the boy did not tell him how
he found out what he had said.
PART I. ANIMAL TALES.
I. The Elephant and the Whale. — This tale is evidently of African origin ;
in " Fables Se'ne'galaises, recueillies de l'ouolof et mises en vers franc.ais, par le
baron Roger, Firmin Didot, 1828" (lent me by Professor Gerber), we see in Fable
II., "Le Chacal, l'Ellphant et PHippopotame," nearly the same plot as in the
Louisiana tale : the jackal borrows an ox from the elephant, and promises one as
large as the elephant in return. He does likewise with the hippopotamus. He
gives the end of a rope to each one, and says : " Your ox is at the end, pull."
They pull, and not being able to move one another, go and see what it is, and
In Baron Roger's Fable III., " Le lapin qui se rev£t de la peau d'une gazelle,"
the same stratagem is used by the rabbit as at the end of the " Elephant and the
Whale." In Ouolof Bouki means the hyena, and is always a dupe, as the Compair
Bouki of our Louisiana tale.
Informant, Dorlis Aguillard, colored man, 157 Thalia Street, New Orleans.
II. Compair Taureau and Jean Mai in. — The motives in this story are to be
found in many folk-lore tales, but our Louisiana tale is, nevertheless, interesting,
and is full of local color; for instance, when the boy states that " he was born when
the peach-trees were in bloom, the year the snow fell ; " snow is so seldom seen in
Louisiana that the date of a snowstorm is as easy to remember as the day of the
battle of New Orleans, " la guerre Jackson," say the old negroes.
Jean Mai in and Jean Sotte are as famous in folk-lore tales as Compair Lapin
and Compair Bouki.
Informant, Dorlis Aguillard, 157 Thalia Street, New Orleans.
III. Compair Lapin and the Earthworm. — The beginning of this story is
graceful and poetic, and proves that negroes observe and love nature. The poor
little earthworm, helpless, while all other animals are joyous and moving about,
appeals to the Devil, and tacitly sells himself to him. The elephant, carrying the
trunk of the tree, and the rabbit, sitting on a branch among the leaves, and, pre-
tending to work, is a common incident in folk-lore.
Informant, Dorlis Aguillard, 157 Thalia Street, New Orleans.
IV. Compair Lapin and Compair POurs. — This is a variant of the well-
known story of the keg of butter (see No. XIII., "Compair Lapin's Godchild").
The incident of the boat stage and the way Rabbit escapes are curious and origi-
nal. I have not seen them in any other folk-tale.
Informant, Julia, little ne^ress, 7 Prytania Street, New Orleans.
V. The Irishman and the Frogs. — This story is much better in the original
dialect than in English, and is based on a play of words. " Brum " for " rum,"
and "jou" for French "genou," knee.
Informant, Julia, 7 Prytania Street, New Orleans.
V. Compair Lapin and Madame Carencro. — We like to find a reason for
everything which appears strange to us in nature ; and primitive people, especially,
are very ingenious in discovering what they consider to be the cause of an anomaly
in animals and plants. They explain just as well how the torloise lost his tail as
how Madame Carencro became bald.
Informant, Julia, y-Prytania Street, New Orleans.
VII. Compair Lapin and Mr. Turkey. — In this story Compair Lapin is not
as cunning as usual, and we can hardly believe that he acted as foolishly as Com-
pair Bouki would have done. The tale is genuine negro folk-lore, as is evidenced
by the exact knowledge of the habit of turkeys sleeping on their perches.
Informant, Julia, 7 Prytania Street, New Orleans.
VIII. Compair Bouki and the Monkeys. — The monkey, in our Louisiana
stories, is often a dupe. He is, however, more cunning than Bouki, whose strata-
gems always fail in the end. Here we have words supposed to indicate the lan-
guage of the monkeys and of Bouki, and it is interesting to see a negro imitate
an animal in his stories.
Informant, an old negro at la Vacherie, St. James Parish.
IX. Mr. Monkey, the Bridegroom. — Mr. Monkey here shares the fate of poor
Bouki, who is so often deceived by his friend, Compair Lapin. Mr. Monkey is
not happier in his iove affairs than Mr. Bull in No. II.
Informant, Me"ranthe, colored nurse, Hospital Street, New Orleans.
X. The Tortoise — This is an amusing story, and it shows that the tortoise
deserves to share with the fox and the rabbit the reputation of being die most
cunning animals. Here the tortoise deceives the boy with as much ease as it
deceived the deer in the celebrated race for the hand of Mamzdle Calinda.
Informant, Julia, 7 Prytania Street, New Orleans.
XI. Compair Bouki, Compair Lapin, and the Birds' Eggs. — The way Bouki
finds out what Lapin is cooking in his kettle, and the scraping off the pieces from
his teeth by his mother, are typical of the negro mind, rude, but at the same time
droll and cunning. When the birds ask Bouki if he has eaten their eggs, he is
proud of what he has done, and acknowledges it with blind conceit and foolish
Informant, Julia, 7 Prytania Street, New Orleans.
XII. The Dog and the Tiger. — Here we have an explanation of why dogs
are not afraid of wild blasts, and the story belongs to the class of No. VI., " Com-
pair Lapin and Madame Carencro." The killing of the deer and the reply to the
lion prove that it is not only at present that the "reason of the strongest is
1 always the best."
' Informant, old negro at la Vacherie.
' XIII. Compair l.apin's Godchild. — Xn M. Cosquin's " Contes populates de
Lorraine," we see No. 54, " Le Loup et le Renard," in which the incident of the
butter is nearly the same as in our Louisiana story. The end, however, of our
No. XIII. is like that of the "Tar Baby," and not like that of the French tale from
Lorraine. In his notes, M. Cosquin mentions a large number of variants in differ-
ent countries, which correspond very closely with the Louisiana tale, the names of
the children being nearly identical. Our No. IV., "Compair Lapin and Compair
1'Ours," is also a variant of our No. XIII.
Informant, old negro from la Vacherie.
XIV. Miss Mockingbird, Mr. Mockingbird, and Mr. Oivl. — The stratagem
by which Miss Mockingbird keeps alive the lover whom she prefers is interesting,
and we pity the poor deluded owl. To appreciate this story one must hear it
recited, or rather sung.
Informant, old negro from la Vacherie.
XV. Marriage of Compair Lapin. ~ This story may be said to b
lion of " Ti Bonhomme Godron " (" The Tar Baby "), published by me i
"Bits of Louisiana Folk-Lore" (1888), and reproduced in the appendix to this
book. The number of characters introduced, and the various incidents, render
the " Marriage of Compair Lapin " the most interesting in my collection. The
incident about Jupiter and the dogs, although a little coarse, is amusing and
quaint, and the stratagem by which King Lion is defeated is ingenious and worthy
of Compair Lapin's fertile brain. Master Fox appears in the tale, but he is no
match for Compair Lapin, whom he finds to be no I sen grim us, the Wolf.
Informant, Dorlis Aguiilard, 157 Thalia Street, New Orleans.
PART II. MARCHEN.
XVI. King Peacock. — This story is pretty and naive. The daughter submits
so gently to her fate that we are glad to hear King Peacock ask her in marriage.
She accepts him on the spot, and her dream is realized. The incident of the red
seeds is common to a number of tales.
Informant, old negro from la Vacherie.
XVII. The Singing Bones. — This is a variant of a story found everywhere.
Informant, old n egress, 77 Esplanade Avenue.
XVIII. Jean Sotte. — This story might have been included among the animal
tales, as Compair Lapin is one of the personages, and gives such good advice to
Jean Sotte. The riddle is a reminiscence of classic mythology ; and Jean Sotte's
reply about bull's milk, although a little coarse, is very appropriate and reminds us
of a peculiar custom referred to in " Aucassin et Nicole*te."
Informant, Dorlis Aguiilard, 127 Thalia Street.
XIX. The DeviPs Marriage. — The incident of the obstacles thrown in the way
of the pursuer are common to many stories. M. Cosquin gives " Le Sifflet En-
chante*," " L'Oiseau Vert," * La Chatte Blanche," " Le Prince et son Cheva!," in
which are found some of the incidents of the " Devil's marriage." The warning
of the old woman to take dirty eggs and not clean ones belongs essentially to folk-
lore, and the women hanging in the closet is a motive of the Blue Beard type.
Climbing up the pole to catch the pumpkin has a local color peculiar to Louisiana,
and the ingratitude to the old horse is another incident often found in folk-tales.
Informant, old negro at la Vacherie.
XX. The Little Finger. — This story gives the tradition of the negroes about
the way they left Africa, and about life in that country. The little bird, Nita,
must be their African mocking-bird, and the part it plays in the tale is graceful
and poetic. The real folk-lore incident is the little finger left unburied and calling
for help ; this is of the type of the singing bones. The whole story shows the
lively imagination and somewhat poetic fancy of the negroes.
Informant, Dorlis Aguiilard, 127 Thalia Street.
XXI. The Statue of St. Anthony. — This is a pretty and naive tale. We take
an interest in the faith of the young girl in St Anthony, and we are glad to see
that the statue at last granted her prayer.
Informant, Fe*licie, colored woman who had lived for some time in Mexico.
XXII. The Little Boys and the Giants. — We have here a variant of the " Petit
Poucet " story. The incident of the pebble changed into a rock is common to
Informant, old negress, 77 Esplanade Avenue.
XXIII. The Men who became Birds. — This is a variant of one of the tales in
the " Seven Wise Men." The local color is the girl changed into a negress.
Informant, old negress, 77 Esplanade Avenue.
XXIV. The Good Little Serva nt. — This is a story of the type of the c^od
servant and the bad servant The incident of the master and the whips hidden
in a basket and brought into the ballroom is amusing.
Informant, Julia, 7 Prytania Street
XXV. The Basket of Flowers. — The incident in this story common to folk-
tales is the object stolen by a bird and found in the hollow of a tree.
Informant, old negress, yj Esplanade Avenue.
XXVI. John Green Peas. — The incidents of the goose laying gold coin and
of the shepherd taking John's place in the bag are to be found in numberless
folk-tales. M. Cosquin has of this type the following stories : " Rene* et son
Seigneur," " Richedeau," " Le Roi et ses Fils," " L'Homme au Pois."
Informant, Fe'licie, colored woman.
XXVII. A Poor Little Boy. — This story is of the type of the deceitful wife,
and has a moral end.
Informant, Julia, 7 Prytania Street
I. The Tar Baby (Piti Bonhomme Godron).
Bonnefoi, Bonnefoi ; Lapin, Lapin !
I am going to relate to you something which is very funny, as
you are going to see, and which happened a long time ago !
When the animals had the earth for themselves and there were
yet but few people, God ordered them not to eat each other, not to
destroy each other, but said that they might eat the grass with all
kinds of fruits that there were on the earth. That was better,
because they were all His creatures and it pained Him when they
killed each other ; but as quickly as they would eat the grass and
fruits, He, God, would take pleasure to make them grow again to
please them. But they did not obey the Master ! Mr. Lion began
by eating sheep, the dogs ate rabbits, the serpents ate the little
birds, the cats ate rats, the owls ate chickens. They began to eat
each other, they would have destroyed each other, if God had not
put a stop to all that ! He sent a great drought to punish their
cruelty. It was a thing which was funny, nevertheless, as you are
going to see.
There was smoke in the air, as when they burn cotton stalks ;
it looked as if there was a light mist After sunset, the heaven
remained red like fire. The sea, the rivers, the lakes, all began to
fall, to fall ; all fell at the same time, until there was not a drop of
water remaining. Neither did the dew fall early in the morning
to moisten the grass. Ah ! I tell you, my friends, all animals found
themselves in a great trouble. They were roaming about every-
where ; their tongues were hanging out ; they became thin, thin. —
There was among them a doctor who was called Mr. Monkey ;
he was half wizard, half voudou. They said he knew a great deal,
but he was a big talker, and did very little. He said to the other
animals that it was because they had made so many sins that God
sent them all these misfortunes to punish them ; that if there were
any among them who wanted to pay, he would pray to make the rain
fall. He had already succeeded very often when he asked for some-
Note. — The first ten stories are reprinted from my Bits of Louisiana Folk-Lon
(Transactions Modern Language Association of America, 1888).
thing ; God in heaven always listened to his prayer. There was
also a famous thief there; it was Mr. Fox, who ate all the chick-
ens there were in the neighborhood. He said to the other animals:
"Don't you listen to Dr. Monkey; he is a d rascal; he will
take your money without giving you anything for it. I know him,
he is a rascal ; you will have no rain at all ! It is better that we
should dig a well ourselves. We need not count upon anything else.
Let us go! hurrah ! right off, if you are all like me, for I am very
thirsty." Then Dr. Monkey told him : " I think indeed that you
are hungry, you d pirate; now that you have finished eating
all the chickens there were here, you are coming to play the brag-
gart here." Mr. Fox told him: "You are a liar; you know very
well that the owls, the polecats, and the weasels are eating all the
chickens, and you come and say it is I. You know that if there
is a thief here, it is you, you d prayer merchant." — All the
other animals, tigers, lions, wolves, elephants, crocodiles, serpents,
were running about to look for water. They had all assembled to
hear the dispute of Dr. Monkey and Mr. Fox.
I must tell you that if a hog grunts, a dog barks, a wolf howls, a
cow bellows, each kind of animal has its own language. A tiger or
an elephant or a lion cannot speak the language of another animal,
each one speaks his own language ; but when they are together, they
all understand each other — the hog which grunts understands the
dog which barks. It is not like us men; if a German comes to
speak with a Frenchman or an American, he will not understand,
any more than if an Englishman were to speak with a Spaniard who
does not understand English. We men are obliged to learn the
language of other nations, if we want to converse with them. Ani-
mals are not at all like that ; they understand each other as if they
spoke the same language. Well, I must tell you that Mr. Fox pre-
tended that if there was such a drought, the rain not having fallen
for a year, so that all the grass was parched up, and the trees had
lost their leaves, and there were neither flowers nor fruits, it was
because there were no clouds in the heaven to give water, and not a
prayer could make the rain fall. "All the water has gone into the
ground ; we must dig a large well in order to have water to drink.
Listen to me, my friends, and we shall find water."
Lion, who was the king, opened his mouth. He roared, the earth
shook, he spoke so loud I He beat his sides with his tail, and it
made a noise like a big drum in a circus. AH the other animals
lay flat on the ground. He said : " By the very thunder, the first
fellow who will speak to me about prayers, I shall give him some-
thing which will make him know rne. I am a good fellow ; when did
I ever eat another animal ? It is a lie, and I say that the little
lawyer Fox is a fine little fellow. He is right, we must dig a well
to have water immediately. Come here, Compair Bourriquet
(Donkey), it is you who have the finest voice here ; when you
speak, it is like a soldier's trumpet. You will go everywhere to
notify all animals that I, the king, I say that they must come to dig
up and scratch the earth, that we may have water. And those that
don't want to work, you will report them. You will come right off
that I may compel them to do their share of the work or pay some
other animal to do it."
Bourriquet was so glad he was to act as a newspaper, that he be-
gan to bray so loud that it was enough to render anybody deaf. —
" Depart, depart," said the king, " or I shall strike you." Then Bourri-
quet reared, and thought he was doing something nice, he was so
proud that the king had confidence in him, and then that gave him
the opportunity to order the other animals to come, in the name of
Lion, the king. On starting, he put down his head, then he kicked
half a dozen times with both feet, and made a noise which was as
if you were tearing up a piece of cotonnade. That is his way of
saluting the company, when he is glad
Now, all the animals which he met, he told them, that if they did
not come immediately to dig up and scratch the ground to make a
well, surely King Lion would eat them up. They were all so much
afraid, that they all came, except Compair Lapin, who was gnawing
a little piece of dry grass. — " Don't listen to what I tell you, re-
main there, and don't come right off, you will see what the king
will do with you." — "I don't care a d for you and the king
together ; come both of you, you will see how I '11 fix you. You
may go to the devil. Do I drink ? Where did I ever use water ?
Surely, that is something new to me. You are a fool, donkey that
you are, I never drink, a rabbit never drinks. My father and my
grandfather did not know how to drink, and as I am a real rabbit, I
don't use water. Never did a rabbit have little ones without ears,
you hear. If any one heard you he might believe that I am a bas-
tard. Go away, you big ears; for if I take my whip, I shall show
you your road, and make you trot faster than you ever gaHoped in
your life. If you knew me as I know you, you would not have
stopped here, surely."
Bourriquet saw that he could do nothing, so he went away ; but he
was not as proud as when he started to tell all animals that the king
ordered them to come to work. As soon as he arrived near the
king, he said : " Master, I went on all your errands, I saw all the
animals in the world, only Compair Lapin does not want to listen to
reason. He says he does not need water, let those who need it look
for it. Besides, if you are not satisfied, he will make you trot You
have no right to command him, be- .is free, free as air; he has
no master, none but God." — When/th.c king heard that, he told
Tiger, who was there, to go with tile Bear t<J" arrest Compair Lapin
and bring him here. " Take care you don't eat rtiro .on the way, for
if you do, I '11 give you such a beating as you neViir.-' had before.
You hear ? Well, go." — They started, and travelled a goo'd. while.-.
before they arrived. During this time, all the animals were working''"."
hard, each one had his share of the work, and they had even left a
big piece as Compair Lapin's task and that of the two who had
gone to arrest him. They looked everywhere : in the prairie, on
the mountain ; at last they fell on Compair Lapin, who was eating
the root of a cocklebur which was full of water. You know that
rabbits know how to dig up the earth and find water below, in the
roots of plants.
At the same moment when they arrived near him, Compair Lapin
was singing a little song which he had made about the king. He
said in it that the king was a fool, and did not know how to govern,
for his wife had many husbands, and he was laughing to himself, and
that perhaps, after they finished to dig that well, the king would
make all the animals pay taxes to drink the water from the well
they had dug with their sweat. I am not so foolish, I am not going
to work for that fellow ! Let the others do it, if they are fools, I
don't eare any more for the king than a dog for Sunday. Tra la la,
etc., . . . The tiger approached without making any noise, and
then he said : "Good morning, Compair Lapin, I ask your pardon,
if I disturb you, but I don't do it on purpose; the king has ordered
me to arrest you, I must obey him. You know that the weak must
submit to the strong ; this is why I advise you not to resist, because
the Bear and I will be obliged to eat you. Take my advice, come
quietly, perhaps you will come out all right ! Your mouth is hon-
eyed, you will get Mr. Fox to defend you ; he is a good little lawyer
and does not charge dear ! Come, let us go."
When Compair Lapin saw that he could not do otherwise, he let
the officers of the king arrest him. They put a rope around his neck,
and they started. When they were near the dwelling of the king,
they met Dr. Monkey on the way. He said: "Compair Lapin, I
think you are a pupil of Mr. Fox, you will have to pay for it; you
are gone up, my old fellow. How are you now ? Don't you feel
something getting cold within you ? That will teach you to read the
newspaper and meddle in politics on Sundays, instead of going
quietly to mass 1 "
Compair Lapin answered briefly : " I don't care a d for any-
thing you say, old Monkey ! And then, you know, he who must die,
must submit to his fate. Just hush up, you rascal ! You are trying
to injure me, but perhaps you frill be the loser ; I have not given up
all hope ; perhaps, before lpn£ you will be in trouble. Each one his
chance, that is allJh^TejfQ Veil you." — At last they arrived at a
big tree whicjx had •\een thrown down by the wind, and where the
king .was. Vested: •" The Tiger and the Bear, the two officers who
yete ip ad'tog 'Compair Lapin, said to the king : " Here is the fel-
•*/. tovf'l v *— " Haw ! haw!" said the king, "we shall judge him
■. : Immediately." Mr. Fox came slyly behind Compair Lapin, and
told him in his ears : " When they will ask you why you spoke badly
of the king, say that it is not true, that it is Bourriquet who lied to
do you harm. And then flatter the king very much, praise him and
make him some presents, you will come out all right. If you do
what I tell you, you will find it well for you. Otherwise, if you are
foolish enough to say all there is in your heart, take care, you will
come out all wrong. I assure you that the king will make hash with
you." — " You need not be afraid, Mr. Fox, I know what I have
to do ; I thank you for your good advice ; I am a lawyer myself."
Compair Lapin had suspected that they would come to arrest him ;
he had spoken so badly of the king and the government It is for
that he had put on his best coat, and a big gold chain around his
neck. He had said to one of his neighbors with whom he was quite
intimate, and also with his wife and daughter, and who was called
Compair Bouki, when the latter asked him where he was going so
finely dressed : " Yes, Compair Bouki, I shall soon go to see the king ;
and as it is the coat that makes the man, this is why I dressed so
well. It always produces a good effect on proud and foolish people."
When the king was ready to begin the case of Compair Lapin, he
said to the policemen : " Bring the prisoner here to be judged."
Then Compair Lapin advanced, and said : " O Lion, my dear Mas-
ter, you sent for me ; here I am. What do you want ? "
The Lion said : " I have to condemn you, because you are always
slandering me, and besides, you don't want to work to dig the well,
which we are making to drink. Everybody is working except you,
and when I sent Bourriquet to get you, you said to him that I was a
scoundrel, and that you would whip me ! You will know that if your
back has tasted of the whip, I have never been whipped ; even my
late mother did not dare to touch me ! What do you have to say ?
You rascal with the long ears hanging down. I suppose they are so
long, because the hounds have chased you so often. Speak right off,
or I shall mash you, like a too ripe persimmon."
Compair Lapin kept quite cool ; he knew that all that was a big
wind that would bring neither rain nor thunder. He rubbed his
nose with both paws, then he shook his ears, he sneezed, and then
he sat down and said : " The king is justice on earth — as God is
just in his holy Paradise ! Great ting, you who are more brave
than all of us together, you will -hear .the.truth. When you sent
Bourriquet to get me, he who is more of ;a-'donkey, than all the don-
keys in the world, when he came to my h6irse,."I.wap_.s.ick. I told
him : ' you will tell the king that I am very sorry that I- cannot come
now, but here is a fine gold chain, which you will present to thckirig-
for me, and you will tell him that I have forty twelve other animals to-
work in my place. Because that is too necessary a thing to get a well ;
it is life or death for us, and we cannot do without it. Tell him
also that there is but a great king like him to have such an idea, and
enough brains to save us all 1 ' What do you think he answered me ?
He replied that he did not care about a gold chain, that he did not
eat that. If I had given him a basket of corn or some hay, he would
have eaten it, but as to the chain, perhaps the king would hitch him
up to the plough with that same chain, and he would be sorry to
have brought it. When he went away, he said to me : ' Go on, papa,
I shall arrive before you, you will know that the ox which is ahead
always drinks clear water ! ' 1 suppose he meant that he would speak
before I should have the chance to be heard ! As I want the king to
believe that I am not telling stories, I have a witness who was there,
who heard all our conversation. If the king will have the kindness
to listen to his testimony, he will hear the same thing I have just
told him." Compair Lapin bowed to the king, and put the gold
chain around Lion's neck, and then he sat down on one side smiling,
he was so sure that his gift would produce a good effect and help
him to come out all right from his trouble. Now, Lion said to Mr.
Fox to speak quickly. " I know all that business, and if you
come here to lie, I 'II break your neck. You need not wag your tail
and make such grimaces, as if you were eating ants. Come on,
hurry ! I have no time." " Dear Master Lion," said the Fox, " I
shall tell you how all that happened : Compair Lapin, whom you see
here, is the best friend you have. The proof of it is that he brought
a big chain to make you a present. You will never see a Bourriquet
do that ; that is sure, because there is not in the world a greater
clown than those donkeys. Dan Rice took twenty-one years to train
a donkey ! He says that for $100,000 he would not undertake again
such a job. He would prefer to train fifty twelve thousand Lions,
because they would eat him up, or he would do something good with
them. Well, I must tell you, Mr. Lion, you, who are the king of all
animals, that same Bourriquet, whom you sent to represent you,
came to lie on you, and as to Compair Lapin, he is as white as snow !
Although Dr. Monkey has your confidence, it is he who is governing
secretly and advising all your people, and putting them in rebellion
against you, the king, to establish another government, where that
• • •
• • • •
same Dr. Monkey and BourrjijUet will govern in your place, when
they will succeed in putting*. you *otit. That is what they have been
trying to do for a. Ion J °<titpfej and that is what Compair Lapin and I
wanted to tjdl*£pu.? • *
Whexi tfi$ Vfag heard that, he said : " That is all right ; I am glad
.y(fyt\olc^me so. You can go with Compair Lapin, I acquit him."
\ *:I$fet**while they were hearing the case, Dr. Monkey and Bourriquet
•*• thought that it was not healthy for them to remain there, so they
escaped when they saw that the wrong side was being warmed up ;
they vanished, and no one knew where they had gone, so well were
they hidden. After that Compair Lapin and Mr. Fox both re-
mained in the same parish where the king resided Mr. Fox was
his deputy or chief clerk, and the other was mate ; that is to say, he
commanded the others and made them work to finish digging the
well with their paws. At last the well was completed ! All the ani-
mals drank, and they became strong again. The lioness recovered
her health also, and some time after that she gave birth to twelve
little cubs as yellow as gold, and all as pretty as could be. The king
was so glad that he pardoned all that were in the penitentiary, and he
allowed the exiles to return. When he granted their pardon, he told
them all to go and drink the water of the well. Then you may im-
agine that Dr. Monkey with his accomplice Bourriquet came out of
their hole to mingle with the others. But they began to spy and to
watch all that was being done or said. One day they met Mr. Fox
who was speaking of the government affairs in order to increase the
tax. He and Compair Lapin found that there was not enough money
in the treasury for them to become rich quickly. When Dr. Monkey
saw them both together, he began to smile. He came near them,
he bowed and said : " Let us forget what has passed, we must not be
looking for those old papers. Let us be friends and live quietly like
good neighbors." You might have thought they were the best
friends when they parted. Dr. Monkey said to his partner Bourri-
quet : " You see these two fellows Compair Lapin and Mr. Fox,
they are d scoundrels. I must get the best of them, or they will
beat me ; that is all I know ! " As Compair Lapin had said, when
they judged him, that he never drank water, the king had told him :
" Take care that you never try to drink water from this well ; I want
to see if you say the truth, and I order every one to watch you."
You will not believe me when I tell you that it is true that rabbits
never drink water, there is always enough water for them in the
grass which they eat. But expressly because they had forbidden
Compair Lapin to drink from that well, he wished to do it. All the
other animals praised that water so highly : it was so clear, so good.
That gave him such a thirst, that he felt at every moment as if he
had eaten well-peppered salt meat. He said to himself: " I don't
care ad I shall drink, and I shall see who is going to prevent me.
Besides, if they catch me, 1 shall always have the daughter of the
king to protect me. She will find some way of preventing them from
troubling me, for she has much influence with her father." He did
as he said ; every evening he drank his fill. But at last he wanted
to drink in the daytime also. It was a strange well ; its water was
not like any other water ; it made people drunk like whiskey, only,
instead of making you sick after you were drunk, it made you much
stronger than before, and they were beginning to perceive that all
those who were old were growing young again. Even the vegetables
which you watered with it, if you cut them, the next day they would
grow as fine as the day before.
When Compair Lapin began to see the effect of that water, he
said : " I must have some for the day also, it docs me a great deal of
good ; and as I am much older than the daughter of the king, I must
become as young as she. Let me be, I shall arrange it. Don't you
say anything." Well, when it was dark, he took his little calabash,
which contained about two bottles of water, he went to the well, and
filled it up. But he was so careful that the guard, which they put
every evening near the well, saw nothing.
Dr. Monkey and Bourriquet watched al! the time, because they
could not forget how Compair Lapin had treated them whilst he was
being judged. Therefore, they had sworn that they would catch
him. But in spite of all their efforts, they lost their trouble and
their time. At last, one day, Dr. Monkey went to see Bourriquet,
his comrade, and told him : " Come to my house, I have something
to show to you." He showed him Ti Bonhomme Godron (a man
made of tar), and said : " It is with that I want to catch the fellow;
as this time I shall be able to prove that he is guilty, we shall have
all his money, which the king will confiscate to give us for discover-
ing all his rascalities."
They took Ti Bonhomme Godron ; they put him in a little path,
where Compair Lapin was obliged to pass, very near the water, and
then they started ; they knew it was not necessary to watch ; Ti
Bonhomme Godron would attend to him without needing anybody's
help. I know not if Compair Lapin suspected something, but he
came quite late that evening. He never came at the same hour,
but he managed things so well that he always got his water, and no
one could catch him. When he arrived the evening they had placed
Bonhomme Godron there, he saw something black. He looked at it
for a long time, he had never seen anything like that before ! He
went back immediately, and went to bed. The next evening he came
again, advanced a little closer, looked for a long time, and shook his
head. At that moment, a frog jumped in the water : tchoappe. Corn-
pair Lapin flattened on the ground, as if crushed, and in two jumps
he reached his house. He remained three days without returning,
and Dr. Monkey and Bourriquet were beginning to despair, and to
believe that it was true that Compair Lapin did not drink at all.
But it was enough for this one that it was forbidden for him to be
still more anxious to drink. " Oh ! well," said he ; " I don't care ! I
have some money here, but the remainder is hidden in the briars. If
they catch me, I shall pay the police, and they will let me go. Be-
sides, I have the protection of the daughter of the king ; every night,
she comes to see me. It would be very strange if she did nothing
for me. Besides, I have always instructed the police to let go a man
who had money, and I suppose that they will make no exception for
me, for they would lose the money which I would give them."
This reassured him. He started in the evening ; it was a beauti-
ful moonlight night, and every one was out late promenading. It
was the end of spring : the honeysuckle perfumed the air, the mock-
ing-bird was singing in the pecan-tree, there was a light breeze,
which caused the leaves of the trees to dance, and the rustle pre-
vented any one to hear him walk. Everybody was in bed ; only the
dogs, from time to time, were barking at the big clouds, which were
fleeing before the wind. " It is my turn now ; I, Compair Lapin, I
am going to drink, but a drink that will count." He took his cala-
bash. When he arrived at the place where Bonhomme Godron was,
the old fellow was still there. It had been warm during the day,
and the tar was soft. When Compair Lapin arrived there, he said :
" Hum, hum, you have been long enough in my way. I do not
come to drink ; that is a thing which I never do ; I want to take a
bath to-night ; get away from here." " You don't want to answer ?
I tell you that I want to take a bath, you black scoundrel." Bon-
homme Godron did not reply ; that made Compair Lapin angry.
He gave him a slap, his hand remained glued. " Let me go, or I
shall strike you with the other hand." Bonhomme Godron did not
reply. He struck him cam with the other hand ; it remained stuck
also ! " I '11 kick you, d rascal, if you don't let me go." One
foot remained stuck, and then the other one.
Then he said : " You are holding me that they might injure me,
you want to try to rob me, but stop, you will see what I am going to
do to you. Let me go, or I shall strike you with my head and break
your mouth ! " As he said that, he struck, and a mule could not hit
harder, he was so mad. His head, however, my dear friends, re-
mained stuck also. He was caught, well caught. At daybreak, Dr.
Monkey and Bourriquet arrived. When they saw Compair Lapin
there, they laughed, they cursed him. They took a cart to bring
him to prison, and all along the way they told the people how they
had put a trap to catch the most famous rascal there was in the uni-
verse. It was the famous Compair Lapin who had so sullied the
reputation of the king's daughter, that there was not a great prince
who wanted to marry Miss L6onine, as Compair Lapin had spoken
so much about his being her lover. Mr. Fox, who was passing,
heard all the bad things which Dr. Monkey and Bourriquet were
saying about Compair Lapin, and he replied : " Yes, it is true, there
is nothing like a thief to catch another thief."
When they were taking Compair Lapin to prison, all who passed
on the road threw bricks at him, and they made a true clown of him.
When he arrived in the presence of the king, the latter said to him :
" Now, I would like to hear what you can say to get out of this
scrape." Compair Lapin replied : " When the tree falls, the goat
climbs on it ! I know I can die but once, I don't care. If it is my
money they want, I assure you that they will never see it. When I
was free, never Bourriquet and Dr. Monkey tried to quarrel with
me ; the wild hog knows on what tree he must rub himself. I assure
you that they are famous rascals." — " You must not speak in that
way before the king, but the king will try your case in a few min-
utes." — " What I say is well said; I am ready to hear the judgment."
— After the king and his friends had consulted together, they found
Compair Lapin guilty and they condemned him to death. They
ordered that he be put in prison until they could find an executioner
willing to execute him. The king thought that he would get rid of
a fellow who was too cunning for him, and then he would take ven-
geance on Compair Lapin, because he had injured Miss L^onine's
character in such a manner that it was a scandal.
While Compair Lapin was in prison, he was thinking how he
would manage to escape forever. He thought that he was in a
worse plight than he had ever been before. He said to himself :
" By Jove ! that is no child's play ; I think that I am gone up. Well,
as I am tired, let me sleep a little : it will do me good." He lay
down on the floor, and, soon after, he was snoring. He began to
dream that the beautiful L6onine, the daughter of the king, was
making a sign to him to tell him he need not be afraid, that she
would fix everything all right. He awoke contented, and at daybreak
the jailer opened the door of his prison and said to him : " They have
found an executioner willing to execute you, but before that, they
must cut off your ears ; it is Bourriquet who has offered his services
to send you in the other world. Take courage, my old fellow, I
am sorry for you, you are a good fellow, but you risked your life too
often. You know that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound
of cure ; now it is too late. Good-bye, comrade." At the same
moment the sheriff came with his deputies to take him to the place
of execution. — They arrived at the steep bank of a little river.
There were tall trees, grass, and briars everywhere. They chose a
clear space. When they arrived, there was a big crowd : gentlemen,
ladies, many children. All had come to see how they were going to
kill Compair Lapin. The king was there with all his family. Miss
L6onine, the daughter of the king, was there also. Oh ! but she
was so beautiful with her curls, which shone like gold in the sun.
She had a muslin dress as white as snow with a blue sash, and a
crown of roses on her head. The eyes of all were turned towards
her ; she was so pretty that they forgot completely Compair Lapin,
who was trembling like a leaf. Yes, indeed, he was sorry to leave
such a large fortune and such a beautiful wife as the king's daughter.
What pained him the most was to think that perhaps Dr. Monkey
or Bourriquet would marry Miss L6onine as soon as he would be
dead, because they both boasted that Compair Lapin was in their
way. Without him, they said they would have succeeded long ago.
Now the king said : " Well, let us put an end to all this ; advance,
Bourriquet, and read Compair Lapin his sentence." The king allowed
him to choose his death, as he pleased : to be drowned in the river,
burnt alive, or hung on a tree, or to have his neck cut with a sword.
" Yes, yes," said Compair Lapin, "all that at once, or one after the
other, if that pleases you so much that I should die, well, I am very
glad. Only, I was afraid that you would throw me in those great
thorns, that would tear my skin and I would suffer too much, and
then, the snakes and the wasps would sting me. Oh ! no, not that,
not that at all ! " Tell the king to do all except throwing me in those
briars ; for the love of God, who is in Heaven, and who will judge
you as you judge me ! " " Haw ! haw ! you are afraid of the thorns ?
We want to see you suffer, suffer, you scoundrel." — They were
making such a noise that the king said : " What is the matter ? " He
came closer, accompanied by his daughter, Miss L6onine, who had
come to see if Compair Lapin was going to die bravely ; that is to
say, every one thought so, but she had come to encourage him and
reassure him, because she had sent word to him secretly, while he
was in prison, that even if the rope was around his neck, she,
Miss Leonine, would arrive in time to take it off and save him,
because she loved him more than anything in the world.
They related to the king and to Miss L6onine what Compair
Lapin had said, and how much afraid he was to be thrown in the
thorns and to suffer. Miss L6onine came forward and said : " Papa,
I have a favor to ask you : I know that you hate Compair Lapin,
and I also, because he has sullied my name. Well, I want to make
you all see that what they said is not true. I want to see him
suffer for all his stories ; we must get rid of him, and I ask you to
throw him in the briars and let him rot there ; it is good enough
for such a rascal." All clapped their hands, they were so glad.
"Throw him in the briars; it is there indeed we must throw him,"
said the king; "he must suffer. Quick! Hurry I " — They took
Compair Lapin by each limb, they swung him once ; poor devil, he
was crying: "No, no, not in the briars, in fire, cut my neck, not
in the briars." They said : "Twice" — Vaf ! they threw him in a
great bunch of thorns.
As Compair Lapin fell in his native country, he sat down, he
rubbed his nose, shook his ears, and then he said : " Thank you, all
of you ; 1 thought you were stupid, but it is here my mother made
me ; I am at home here, and not one of you can come here to catch
me. Good-by, I know where I am going." Miss Leonine also was
very glad ; she knew where she would meet Compair Lapin that very
evening. That proves one thing to you, that Compair Lapin was a
hypocrite and pleaded false things to know the truth. It proves
another thing, that when a woman loves a man, she will do all he
wishes, and the woman will do all in her power to save him, and in
whatever place the man may be, the woman will go to meet him.
This is why they say that what a woman wants, God wants also.
As I was there when all that happened, they sent me here to
relate it to you, I have finished.
II. Compair Boukt and Compair Lapin, — No. 1.
One day, Compair Bouqui met Compair Lapin. " How," said he,
" is that you ? Don't you know that it is to-day that all persons are
selling their mothers to have something to eat ? " — " Ah ! yes," said
Compair Lapin, " I, also, am going to get my mother, and I shall
sell her for a kettle of hominy and one of gombo." Now both of
them started. Compair Bouqui tied his mother with a rope, and
during that time Compair Lapin tied his with a cobweb. Before he
entered the cart, he said ; " Now, mamma, as soon as you will arrive
near the briars you will jump down and run to the house." Com-
pair Bouqui sold his mother, and returned in his cart with his kettle
of hominy and his kettle of gombo. While he was on his way
home, he saw a rabbit lying in the road, and a little further, another
rabbit. He advanced a little more, and there was another rabbit.
When he came to the third rabbit, he said : " It is not possible,
those rabbits are dying of hunger instead of selling their mothers
to get something to eat ; let me get down to catch them." He was
not able to catch anything, because it was Compair Lapin who
pretended to be dead, to make Compair Bouqui leave his cart.
During that time, Compair Lapin ran to the cart of Compair Bou-
1 10 Appendix.
qui, stole his two kettles, cut the tail of his horse, planted it in the
ground, and, taking the cart away, went to hide himself. Compair
Bouqui came back to look for his cart, but he only saw the tail of
his horse planted in the ground. He began to dig in the ground, as
he thought that his horse and his cart had fallen in a hole, and he
called for help. Tiger came out of the woods, and helped Compair
Bouqui to dig. Compair Bouqui found Tiger so fat that he bit him
on his back, and escaped. Tiger asked Compair Lapin what he
could do to take vengeance on Compair Bouqui. Compair Lapin
said : " We must give a grand ball, come this evening to my house."
Tiger and Compair Lapin engaged good musicians and invited many
persons. Compair Lapin came out on the gallery, and began to
" Come to the grand ball,
Those that lost their wives,
Beautiful negresses from Senegal."
Compair Bouqui, who heard that, ran to Compair Lapin and cried
out : " It is my wife, it is not necessary to invite any more people."
But Compair Lapin pretended not to hear, and he beat his drum,
and sang : " Simion, carillon painpain, Simion, carillon pain pain."
Compair Bouqui entered Compair Lapin's cabin, and he took Tiger
for a woman, because he had hidden his beard and dressed like a
young lady. When the ball was over, Compair Bouqui remained
alone with Tiger, who gave him a good beating and ran off with
Compair Lapin. Now that is not all : Tiger and Compair Lapin
did not know where Compair Bouqui was. When Compair Lapin
came near his cabin, he cried out: "Good night, my cabin, good
night," and he said : " That is strange, my cabin, which always re-
plies, says nothing to-day." Compair Bouqui, who was not at all
cunning, answered : Good night, my master, good night." "Ah ! we
have him," said Compair Lapin, " get some fire, we are going to give
some smoke to Compair Bouqui, in this cabin." They burned poor
Compair Bouqui, and Compair Lapin was so glad that he jumped
like a kid and sang :
u Aie, aie, aie, Compair Lapin,
He is a little animal that knows how to jump."
III. Choal Djk (The Horse of God).
Choal Dj6 had a pond, and he allowed all the comrades to drink
from it, except Compair Lapin and his comrades. One day he
caught Compair Lapin near his pond. " If I catch you drinking
from my pond, I shall make you pay a fine." Compair Lapin re-
plied : " Well-ordained charity begins with one's self, and as you
are the master I am not going to drink from your pond." But one
Appendix. 1 1 1
day they killed a deer, and after having skinned it, they threw away
the skin. Compair Lapin picked up the skin and passed his head
in it; he then went to drink in Choal Dj6's pond. When Choal Dj6
saw that, he advanced nearer and asked Compair Ch6vreil who it
was that had marked him in that way. Compair Chivreil
answered : " It is Compair Lapin who made the sign of the cross
on me, and who put me in this condition, and if you don't let him
drink in your pond, he will do the same thing with you." — " Well,
you may tell Compair Lapin that he can come to drink in my pond
with all his comrades. I don't want him to do the same thing with
me ." _ Compair Lapin ran to his house, took off the skin, and came
back with his comrades to drink in Choal Dj6's pond. When Choal
Dj6 saw him coming, he said to him : " Drink as much as you want,
Compair Lapin, with your comrades." — Compair Lapin was always
more cunning than everybody else.
IV. Compair Bouki and Compair Lapin. — No. 2.
One day, Compair Bouqui went to see Compair Lapin. When he
entered the cabin, he saw a big pot, which was on the fire, and it
smelt so good that Compair Bouqui could not stay quiet. When the
food was cooked, Compair Bouqui had also his share and he found
it so good that he kept on bothering Compair Lapin to know where
he took such good meat. — " Pray, Compair Lapin, tell me where you
find that meat." — "No, Compair Bouqui, you are too greedy." —
" Compair Lapin, my poor children are dying of hunger, tell me where
you find that meat." — "No, Compair Bouqui, you are too rascally."
At last, he bothered Compair Lapin so much, so much, that Com-
pair Lapin said : " Listen, Compair Bouqui, I am going to tell you,
but you must not tell any one, and you must do as I tell you. You
know the king's ox, which is in the pasture, and which is so fat,
well, you will take a bag and a knife, you will watch when he will
open his mouth to eat, you will jump in his throat, and when you
will arrive in his belly, you will begin to cut the meat to put in
your bag. Now, be very careful not to cut near his heart, because
you would kill him. When he will open his mouth again to eat, you
will jump out and run home. Don't you let any one see you." The
next morning, Compair Bouqui took his bag and his knife and ran
into the pasture. When the king's ox opened his mouth to eat, he
jumped into his belly, and he began to cut the meat and to put it
into his bag. The more he cut, the closer he came to the heart of
the ox. He saw that the meat was so fine and fat, that he said to
himself : " What will it matter, if I cut a little piece, that will not
kill him." He took his knife, he cut a piece, lo ! the ox of the king
fell down dead, and Compair Bouqui could not come out of his belly.
All the people came to see what had happened, how the ox that
was so fine had died like that. They said : " We must open him to
see what was the matter with him." When they did that, what did
they see ? Compair BouquL " Ah ! Corn pair Bouqui, it is you who
killed the ox of the king, you wanted to steal meat, just wait, we are
going to fix you." — They took Compair Bouqui, they opened his
belly, they took out his bowels, they filled him with sand, and they
closed the opening with a cork. When Compair Bouqui returned
home he was very much ashamed. His children ran to see the good
meat which he had brought. — " Papa, give us some meat." — " There
is none, my children." — " Yes, papa, something smells good on you."
The little ones advanced, and Compair Bouqui backed, backed.
The children commenced to smell the cork; they found it smelt
good, because there was honey on it They began to suck the cork,
to suck the cork. Lo ! the cork came out ; all the sand ran out,
Compair Bouqui died on the spot. He was fiat on the ground.
V. Compair Bouki and Compair Lapin. — No. 3.
One day the children of Compair Bouki met those of Compair
Lapin, who had on fine Sunday dresses and new shoes. When the
little Boukis returned home, they asked their father why he did not
give them fine clothes like those of Compair Lapin's children. Com-
pair Bouki went to see Compair Lapin, and asked him where he took
the fine things he had given to his children. Compair Lapin did not
want to reply, but Compair Bouki annoyed him so much that he said
to him : " Go and cut wood in the forest ; and when you will be tired,
look in the centre of the forest, and you will see a big tree. Go to
sleep under it, and when you will awake, say : ' Tree, how sweet you
are ! ' The tree will say : ' If I were to open, what would you say ? '
You will reply : ' If you open, I shall be very glad.' When the tree
will open, enter into it ; it will close up, and you will see many pretty
things. Take what you want, and tell the tree : ' Open ! ' when you
will wish to depart." Compair Bouki did what Compair Lapin had
said, but when he saw all there was in the tree, he wanted to take so
many things that he forgot to say : " Tree, open ! "
The tree belonged to some thieves, who hid their booty in it.
They came back in the woods, and they found Compair Bouki, who
was stealing their goods. I need not tell you that they gave Com-
pair Bouki such a beating that he could not move.
VI. Compair Bouki and Compair Lapin. — No. 4.
Compair Bouki and Compair Lapin went together to pay a visit to
some young ladies. While they were speaking, Compair Lapin said
to the young ladies : " You see Compair Bouki; he is not a person,
he is a horse which my father has left me." The young ladies said :
"Oh! no, we cannot believe that." Now Compair Lapin returned
home ; and when came the day appointed for the visit to the young
ladies, he dressed up fine, and covered his clothes with a hog's skin.
When Compair Bouki came in, he said : " Are you ready, Com-
pair ? " Compair Lapin replied : " But no, don't you see how I am
covered up? I feel cold, and I am suffering so much from my feet
that I don't know how I am going to do to walk." Compair Bouki,
who was always so stupid, said : " Mount on my back, and when you
will be near the house of the young ladies, you will get down."
Compair Lapin said : " I don't know if I shall be able to mount on
your back, but I shall try." Without Compair Bouki's seeing it,
Compair Lapin put on his spurs and mounted on Bouki's back.
While he was on Compair Bouki's back, Compair Lapin was all the
time moving. His friend asked him what was the matter. " I am
suffering so much that I know not how to sit." Compair Lapin
said that, but he was trying to shake off his hog's skin.
When they arrived near the house of the young ladies, Compair
Lapin stuck Compair Bouki, with his spurs, and Compair Bouki
started running. Compair Lapin jumped down, and went into the
house of the young ladies, to whom he said: "You see that I was
right when I told you that Compair Bouki was a horse which my
father had left me."
VII. Compair Bouki and Compair Lapin. — No. 5.
One day, quite early, Compair Lapin arose, and he felt hunger
gaining upon him. He looked everywhere in the cabin ; he found
nothing to eat. He ran towards Compair Bouki. When he arrived,
he saw Compair Bouki, who was gnawing a bone. — Eh ! Compair
Bouki, I had come to take breakfast with you ; but I see that you
don't have anything famous to give me. — Times are hard, Compair
Lapin ; there are no more rations in the cabin ; only this bone left.
Compair Lapin reflected a little. — Welt! Compair Bouki, if you
wish, we shall go hunting for the eggs of the tortoise. — Agreed
upon ! let us go right off. Compair Bouki took his basket and his
hoe, and they started towards the bayou in the woods. — Compair
Lapin, I don't often go hunting for tortoise eggs ; I don't know well
how to find them. — Don't trouble yourself, Compair Bouki, I find
all the time a place where tortoises lay their eggs. You, you will dig
When they arrived at the bayou, Compair Lapin walked slowly,
looking well on this side and on that side. Soon he came to a dead
stop. — Compair Bouki, the tortoise thinks she is cunning. She
scratches the ground with her big paw, and she lays her eggs in a
hole ; then she puts a little sand on them, and then she scatters
leaves on her nest. You see this hillock ? Take off the leaves, and
scratch with your hoe ; sure you will find eggs. Compair Bouki did
what Compair Lapin told him, and they saw a pile of eggs shining
in that hole. — Compair Lapin, you are more cunning than I ; I am
very glad to have you for my friend. Compair Lapin shared the
eggs ; he gave half to Compair Bouki. — Compair Bouki, I am very
hungry; I am going to eat my eggs immediately. — Do as you
want, Compair Lapin ; I shall take mine to my wife to have them
They went on a long time still, and they found many eggs. Com-
pair Lapin always ate his ; Compair Bouki did not like raw eggs ;
he put them all in his basket. — Compair Bouki, I am beginning to
be tired ; I believe it is time for us to return home. — I have enough
eggs for to-day, Compair Lapin ; let us go back. — As they were going
towards the river, Compair Lapin said to himself : Compair Bouki
does not know how to find tortoise eggs ; it is I who found them ;
they ought all to belong to me. I must make some trick to gain
them. — As they were nearly arrived at the river, Compair Lapin
said : Compair Bouki, I forgot to take some eggs for my old mother.
You would be very kind to lend me a dozen. I shall return them to
you another time. — Compair Bouki gave a dozen, and they went
each on his way. Compair Lapin went to put his dozen of eggs in
his cabin, then he went to Compair Bouki's. When he came near
the cabin of Compair Bouki he began to complain, and to hold his
belly with both hands. Compair Bouki came out. — What is the
matter with you, Compair Lapin ? You don't look very welL — Oh !
no, Compair Bouki, those eggs have poisoned me.
I beg of you ; quick, run to get the doctor. — I shall run as fast
as I can, daddy. As soon as Compair Bouki started, Compair Lapin
went to the kitchen and fell to eating tortoise eggs. — Thank you,
great Lord, I shall eat my belly full to-day. The physician lives far,
I have the time to eat all before they come.
When Compair Lapin had nearly finished eating the eggs, he
heard Compair Bouki speaking outside. — Doctor Monkey, I am
very glad that I met you on the road ; my friend is very sick. —
Compair Lapin did not lose any time ; he opened the window and
jumped out. Compair Bouki came into the cabin ; he did not see
Compair Lapin. He ran into the kitchen ; the shells of the eggs
were scattered all about. Compair Lapin was already in the fields.
Compair Bouki tore his hair, he was so angry. He started to run
after Compair Lapin. Compair Lapin had eaten so many eggs, that
he was not able to run fast. When he saw Compair Bouki was
pressing him too close, he hid in a hole in a tree.
Appendix. 1 1 5
Compair Bouki called Compair Torti, who was passing on the
road. — Com pair Torti, pray come to watch Compair Lapin, who
stole all your eggs. I am going to get my axe to cut down this tree.
— Go quickly, Compair Bouki ; I shall watch the rascal well. When
Compair Bouki started, Compair Lapin said : Compair Torti, look in
this hole ; you will see if I have your eggs. Compair Torti lifted
his head ; Compair Lapin sent some decayed wood in his eyes.
Compair Torti went to wash his eyes in the bayou ; Compair Lapin
ran off immediately. Compair Bouki came to cut the tree ; he saw
that Compair Lapin had already run away. He was so angry he
went to Compair Torti, on the bank of the bayou, and he cut off his
tail with his axe. — It is for this reason that the tail of the tortoise is
so short to this very day.
VIII. Compair Bouki and Compair Zapin. — No. 6.
One day, Compair Bouki, who was dying of hunger, went to see
his old friend, Compair Lapin. He found him thinking of nothing,
and occupied in cleaning some fish. Bouki asked where he had
taken that. His old friend related his story to him. He told him :
" You see, daddy, I went to watch for the fish cart on the road. I
saw it coming ; I lay down in the road, as if I was dead. The
master of the cart came down right off to pick me off. He shook
me up a little ; and after that, he threw me in his cart, on a pile of
fish. I did not move my feet, like Mr. Fox. I watched well the
old master, until I saw he had forgotten me. I began quietly to
throw all the fish in the road until we had nearly gone a mile further ;
then, when I thought I had enough, I jumped down and picked up
all the fish which I had thrown in the road. There were one hun-
dred or a thousand — I did not count ; I was in such a hurry. I
put them all by myself on my back, faster than I could ; and I came
straight here to eat them." Compair Bouki reflected a long while ;
he was a tittle afraid that if he tried to do the same thing, he would
put himself again in trouble. Compair Lapin, who was looking at
him with his good eyes, saw that his friend was reflecting too long.
He told him: "Old friend, you are dying of hunger; do like me;
go and watch for the cart on the road, steal as much as you can, and
we shall have a grand festival."
Old Bouki, who was greedy, could not resist ; he started, he lay
down on the road as if he was dead for true, he lifted his feet in
the air to deceive people better. When the master of the cart came
very near, he saw old Bouki, who was playing his tricks to catch him.
He came down with a big plantation whip, and gave him a whipping
which had red pepper, black pepper, and salt, it burned so much.
Compair Bouki remained one month in his bed after that. He did
1 1 6 Appendix.
not have a single feather left, and had colics to his very beak. They
gave him a great deal of tafia to give him strength ; they put him in
a large bath made with gombo, and they made him drink some laurel
tea all the time after that When Compair Bouki was cured, he
swore, but too late, that Compair Lapin would never deceive him
All the goats which are not rascals,
Ought to fear the old rabbits.
IX. Ein ViS Zombi Malin. — The Cunning Old Wizard.
There was once a prince who was very rich. One day the prin-
cess, his daughter, lost a big diamond. While she was crying for
her jewel, an old man came to the palace, and said that he was a
wizard. The prince promised that he would give him anything he
would ask, if he would say where was the diamond. The wizard
only asked for three meals, and promised to find the jewel. They
gave him an excellent breakfast, and when he had eaten all, he said :
" One is taken." The servants of the prince began to tremble, be-
cause it was they who had stolen the diamond. After his dinner,
the wizard said : " Two are taken." The servants trembled still more.
After supper, the wizard said : " Three are taken." When they heard
that, the three thieves fell on their knees before the wizard, and said
that they would give back the diamond, if he promised to say nothing
to their master.
Now the wizard took the diamond, rolled it up in a piece of bread,
and threw it before a turkey in the yard. The turkey gobbled up
the bread with the diamond. The wizard went to get the prince and
his daughter, and told them that the diamond was in the turkey's
stomach, and that they would find it, on killing the turkey. That
was done, and the diamond was found. The prince was very glad,
and said that the old man was the greatest wizard in the world. —
At the court everybody was admiring the wizard, but a few young
men were not sure that he was a true wizard, and they wanted to
catch him. They caught a cricket in the grass, they put it in a box,
and they asked the wizard to tell them what there was in the box.
The old man did not know, and he said to himself : " Well, Cricket,
you are caught." His name was Cricket, but the people there did
not know that, and they thought that the wizard had guessed that
there was a cricket in the box. Therefore, the old man passed for a
great wizard, and they gave him many good things : and yet he was
merely cunning, and had had luck.
X. Ein Fame ki tournin Macaque. — A Woman changed into a Monkey.
There was once a gentleman who had a field of peanuts. Every
day he saw that some one was eating a row of peanuts. He asked his
wife who was eating his peanuts. His wife said it was his brother
who was eating them every day. He then caught hold of the little
boy and gave him a good beating. The next day he saw another
row of peanuts had been eaten. He seized the little boy and gave
him another beating. The little boy said, " That is too much ; my
brother is always beating me ; I must make him see that it is his
wife who is eating his peanuts." The next day he did not carry his
brother's dinner in the field, but he told him to come to the house,
and he would show him who was eating his peanuts. When they'
came in, his wife approached to serve the dinner, and now the little
boy began to sing : " Tou man, — tou mang£ tou, tou man, tou mang6
tou." The woman said : " Why are you singing that ? I don't want
you to sing that, sing something else." — " No, that is what I want
to sing." He continued to sing, and they saw the woman begin to
scratch, begin to jump, and at last she became a monkey. She ran
into the peanut field, and she ate a whole row. " You see," said the
little boy, " that it is not I who eat your peanuts ; it is your wife
who, every day, becomes a monkey." The gentleman advanced with
a stick, but the monkey ran into the woods and climbed upon a tree.
XL The Talking Eggs>
There was once a lady who had two daughters ; they were called
Rose and Blanche. Rose was bad, and Blanche was good ; but the
mother liked Rose better, although she was bad, because she was
her very picture. She would compel Blanche to do all the work,
while Rose was seated in her rocking-chair. One day she sent
Blanche to the well to get some water in a bucket. When Blanche
arrived at the well, she saw an old woman, who said to her : " Pray,
my little one, give me some water ; I am very thirsty." " Yes,
aunt," said Blanche, " here is some water ; " and Blanche rinsed her
bucket, and gave her good fresh water to drink. " Thank you, my
child, you are a good girl ; God will bless you."
A few days after, the mother was so bad to Blanche that she ran
away into the woods. She cried, and knew not where to go, because
she was afraid to return home. She saw the same old woman, who
was walking in front of her. " Ah ! my child, why are you crying?
What hurts you ? " " Ah, aunt, mamma has beaten me, and I am
afraid to return to the cabin." " Well, my child, come with me ; I
1 The four following stories (Nos. XI.-XIV.) are reprinted from the Journal of
American Folk-Lore (1888).
will give you supper and a bed ; but you must promise me not to
laugh at anything which you will see." She took Blanche's hand,
and they began to walk in the wood. As they advanced, the bushes
of thorns opened before them, and closed behind their backs. A
little further on, Blanche saw two axes, which were fighting ; she
found that very strange, but she said nothing. They walked further,
and behold ! it was two arms which were fighting ; a little further,
two legs ; at last, she saw two heads which were fighting, and which
said : " Blanche, good morning, my child ; God will help you." At
last they arrived at the cabin of the old woman, who said to Blanche :
" Make some fire, my child, to cook the supper ; " and she sat down
near the fireplace, and took off her head. She placed it on her
knees, and began to louse herself. Blanche found that very strange ;
she was afraid, but she said nothing. The old woman put back her
head in its place and gave Blanche a large bone to put on the fire
for their supper. Blanche put the bone in the pot. Lo ! in a moment
the pot was full of good meat.
She gave Blanche a grain of rice to pound with the pestle, and
thereupon the mortar became full of rice. After they had taken
their supper, the old woman said to Blanche: "Pray, my child,
scratch my back." Blanche scratched her back, but her hand was
all cut, because the old woman's back was covered with broken glass.
When she saw that Blanche's hand was bleeding, she only blew on
it, and the hand was cured.
When Blanche got up the next morning, the old woman said to
her : " You must go home now, but as you are a good girl I want to
make you a present of the talking eggs. Go to the chicken-house ;
all the eggs which say ' Take me,' you must take them ; all those
which will say ' Do not take me/ you must not take. When you will
be on the road, throw the eggs behind your back to break them."
As Blanche walked, she broke the eggs. Many pretty things came
out of those eggs. It was now diamonds, now gold, a beautiful car-
riage, beautiful dresses. When she arrived at her mother's, she had
so many fine things that the house was full of them. Therefore her
mother was very glad to see her. The next day, she said to Rose :
" You must go to the woods to look for this same old woman ; you
must have fine dresses like Blanche."
Rose went to the woods, and she met the old woman, who told
her to come to her cabin ; but when she saw the axes, the arms, the
legs, the heads, fighting, and the old woman taking off her head to
louse herself, she began to laugh and to ridicule everything she saw.
Therefore the old woman said : " Ah ! my child, you are not a good
girl; God will punish you." The next day she said to Rose: "I
don't want to send you back with nothing ; go to the chicken-house,
and take the eggs which say ' Take me.' "
Appendix. 1 1 g
Rose went to the chicken-house. All the eggs began to say :
"Take me," "Don't take me;" "Take me," "Don't take me."
Rose was so bad that she said : " Ah, yes, you say ' Don't take me,'
but you are precisely those I want." She took all the eggs which
said "Don't take me," and she went away with them.
As she walked, she broke the eggs, and there came out a quantity
of snakes, toads, frogs, which began to run after her. There were
even a quantity of whips, which whipped her. Rose ran and
shrieked. She arrived at her mother's so tired that she was not
able to speak. When her mother saw all the beasts and the whips
which were chasing her, she was so angry that she sent her away like
a dog, and told her go to live in the woods.
There was once a lady who had four daughters. They were so
pretty that everybody wanted to marry them. They were called
La Graisse, Depomme, Banane, and Pacane. La Graisse was the
prettiest, but she never went out in the sun, because they were afraid
that she would melt. La Graisse used to go out every day in a
beautiful golden carriage. The son of the king saw her every day,
but La Graisse was so pretty and the carriage shone so much that it
dazzled his eyes, and he had to rub them in order to be able to see.
The king's son was in love with La Graisse. He ran to the mother
to ask her to let him marry her ; but the mother, who knew that La
Graisse was the prettiest of her daughters, wanted to marry the
others first. She called Depomme : "Depomme oh ! orimomo, ori-
momo!" Depomme came, but the gentleman looked at her well,
and said that it was not the one he wanted ; she would spoil too
quickly. The mother called: "Banane oh! orimomo, orimomo!"
Banane came. The gentleman did not want her ; she would rot too
The mother called: " Pacane oh ! orimomo, orimomo! " Pacane
came. The gentleman said Pacane would become rancid. At last
the mother called: "La Graisse oh! orimomo, orimomo!" La
Graisse came. As soon as he saw her he took her, and led her to his
beautiful house and married her.
The king's son went hunting every day. While he was not there,
the servants tormented La Graisse. She was afraid to tell her hus-
band, and she did all they wanted. One day the cook told her that
she did not want to cook the dinner ; that La Graisse had to do it
herself. Poor La Graisse I she cried and cried, but they forced her
to stay by the fire. But she was melting and melting: in the end,
there was nothing but La Graisse (grease) everywhere ; the kitchen
was full of it.
1 20 Appendix.
The little bird of La Graisse saw that It dipped its wings into
the grease ; it flew in the wood to the gentleman ; it flapped its
wings in his face. The gentleman saw the grease which was on the
wings ; he thought of his dear La Graisse ; he galloped home ; he
found his wife all melted on the floor. He was so sorry that he
picked up all the grease and put it in an old bath-tub, and when the
grease was cold it became a woman again. But she was never as
pretty as before ; for the earth had mixed with the grease, and she
was all yellow and dirty. Her husband did not love her any more,
and sent her back to her mother.
XIII. The Golden Fish.
There was once a young girl who had a lover. It was a fine young
man, a prince, but the father did not want him to court his daughter.
He went to see an old wizard, who lived in the woods, and said to
him : " I pray you, wizard, make that young man leave my daughter
alone. I do not want them to marry."
One day the young girl and the young man were seated on the
river bank ; the wizard came and changed the young man into a fish,
which jumped into the water.
The father thought that the young girl would forget the young
man, now that he was a fish, and he did not watch her any more ;
but every day the young girl would sit on the river bank and sing :
" Caliwa wa, caliwa co ; waco, raoman dit oui ; waco, popa dit non ;
caliwa wa, caliwa co."
As soon as she sang that the water opened, and a beautiful red
fish, with a golden crown on his head, came near the young girl.
He brought her cakes, oranges, apples, for her to eat.
The father perceived that the young girl went every day to the
river bank. One day he watched her, and saw what she was doing.
The next day he brought his gun with him ; and when the girl sang,
and the beautiful fish came, he killed it, and took it home to cook it
The young girl was told to cook the fish. When she took it to
cut it, the fish began to sing : " Cut me then, wa, wa ; scrape me
then, wa, wa; mix me then, wa, wa ; put some salt, wa, wa."
When the fish was cooked they placed it on the table. The young
girl did not want to eat, and cried for her fish ; but the father was so
greedy and ate so much that his belly burst, and a quantity of little
fishes came out and escaped to the water.
After the dinner the young girl went to sit down on the river
bank, where they had thrown the scales of her fish. She wept so
much that the earth opened, and she disappeared in the hole to go to
meet her fish. When her mother came to look for her, she saw only
one lock of her daughter's hair which was coming out of the earth.
Once there was a lady who resided in a beautiful house. She had
been married a long time, but had no children. One day that she
was standing on her gallery, she saw an old woman who was passing
with a basket of apples on her head. When the lady saw the
beautiful apples she wished to eat one ; she called the old woman,
and told her that she wanted to buy an apple. The old merchant-
woman did not want to sell an apple ; but she gave one to the lady,
and said : —
" I know that you wish to have a child ; eat this apple, and
to-morrow you will be the mother of a beautiful boy."
The young woman took the apple, laughing, and pared it. She
threw the peel in the yard, and ate the apple.
The old woman had not lied ; during the night the lady gave
birth to a fine boy, and what is very strange is that a mare which
was in the yard ate the apple-peels, and she had a foal during the
The lady was very glad to have a child ; and she said that as the
little horse was born the same night as the little boy, it should be
Both grew up together, and they loved each other very much. As
the little horse was born through a miracle, he could be saddled and
bridled without any one touching him. When the boy wanted to
ride, he cried : " Saddle and bridle, my little horse ! " and the horse
came immediately, all ready to be mounted.
When the boy grew up, he was tired of remaining at his mother's,
and set out to seek adventures. He said to no one where he was
going, mounted his horse, and travelled for a long time, until he
arrived in the country of a great king.
One evening he came to a beautiful house ; they told him that
it was the residence of the king, and that he had a very pretty
The young man wanted to see the princess, therefore he de-
scended from his horse and made him disappear; for I ought to
have told you that the horse could disappear whenever his master
wished it, and he himself could change his clothes according to his
desire, taking sometimes the clothes of a beggar, and sometimes the
clothes of a prince .
On that day, he dressed like a beggar, and went towards the
kitchen. He acted as if he could not speak well, and every time
they spoke to him he answered but two words : " Give me." "You
are hungry?" "Give me." — "You are thirsty?" "Give me."
They called him Give me, and they allowed him to sleep in the
kitchen, in the ashes. He helped the servants of the king, and they
thought he was an idiot.
The whole week Give me remained in the kitchen, but when
Sunday came, and every one had gone to mass, he put on his best
clothes, ordered his horse to appear with saddle and bridle, and
began to gallop all over the garden of the king. He broke the
flower-pots, the young plants; nothing could stop him. On that
very day the daughter of the king was sick, and she did not go to
mass. She remained at home, and looked in the garden through
the window. She saw Give me> and she found him very handsome.
Give me stopped galloping in the garden when he thought the
mass was almost finished. He made his horse disappear, and went
back to the kitchen with his beggar's clothes.
When the king came back he was furious to see the damage
which had been done in his garden. He summoned his servants,
but they said that Give me was the only person who had remained
at home. The king questioned him, but he replied all the time,
" Give me."
The next Sunday the same thing happened again, and the daughter
of the king remained at home to see Give me. The king was so
angry that he said he would catch the rascal who was spoiling his
garden. On the third Sunday he did not go to mass, but he hid
himself in the house. He caught Give me, who was dressed like a
prince and galloping in the garden on his horse.
The king was very much astonished, and he asked the handsome
young man to relate his story.
Give me told him how he was born, and made his horse appear
and disappear, and changed his clothes at his will.
He told the king that he was in love with his daughter, and asked
her in marriage. The king said yes, and Give me married the prin-
cess, and sent for his mother.
They lived a long time, and were very happy, because it was a good
old witch who had given Give me's mother the apple to eat.
THE AMERICAN FOLK-LORE SOCIETY,
ALCfiE FORTIER, New Orleans, La.
WASHINGTON MATTHEWS, Fort Wingate, N. M.
J. OWEN DORSEY, Washington, D. C
FRANZ BOAS, Chicago, III.
*H. CARRINGTON BOLTON, New York, N. Y.
JOHN G. BOURKE, Fort Riley, Kans.
DANIEL G. BRINTON, Philadelphia, Pa.
ALEXANDER F. CHAMBERLAIN, Worcester, Mass.
MATTOON M. CURTIS, Cleveland, O.
ALICE C. FLETCHER, Washington, D. C.
GEORGE BIRD GRINNELL, New York, N. Y.
OTIS T. MASON, Washington, D. C
FREDERIC W. PUTNAM, Cambridge, Mass.
♦JOHN READE, Montreal, P. Q.
•WILLIAM HENRY SCHOFIELD, Cambridge, Mass.
W. W. NEWELL, Cambridge, Mass.
J. WALTER FEWKES, Boston, Mass.
JOHN H. HINTON, New York, N. Y.
STEWART CULIN, Philadelphia, Pa.
• Councillors tx officio, as Presidents of Local Branches.
THE AMERICAN FOLK-LORE SOCIETY,
John Abercromby, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Isaac Adler, New York, N. Y.
Samuel P. Avery, Jr., New York, N. Y.
Edward E. Ayer, Chicago, 111.
Eugene F. Bliss, Cincinnati, O.
Boston Athenaeum, Boston, Mass.
Mrs. Mary M. Barclay, Milwaukee, Wis.
Charles P. Bowditch. Boston, Mass.
William Inglis Bradley, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
Daniel G. Brinton, Philadelphia, Pa.
Philip Greely Brown, Portland, Maine.
John Caldwell, Edgewood Park, Pa.
Miss Mary Chapman, Cambridge, Mass.
Miss Ellen Chase, Boston, Mass.
Francis James Child, Cambridge, Mass.
Clarence H. Clark, Philadelphia, Pa.
Mattoon Monroe Curtis, Cleveland, O.
Charles P. Daly, New York, N. Y.
William G. Davies, New York, N. Y.
Charles F. Daymond, New York, N. Y.
Hiram Edmund Deats, Flemington, N. J.
James Dougherty, Philadelphia, Pa.
James W. Ellsworth, Chicago, 111.
John Fiske, Cambridge, Mass.
Miss Alice C. Fletcher, Washington, D. C.
Alc£e Fortier, New Orleans, La.
Edward Foster, New Orleans, La.
Joseph E. Gillingham, New York, N. Y.
Miss Caroline Patterson Hale, Philipsburgh, Centre Co., Pa.
Charles C. Harrison, Philadelphia, Pa.
E. Sidney Hartland, Gloucester, England.
Mrs. Esther Herrmann, New York, N. Y.
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Cambridge, Mass.
John H. Hinton, New York, N. Y.
Richard Hodgson, Boston, Mass.
Robert Hoe, New York, N. Y.
John E. Hudson, Boston, Mass.
E. Francis Hyde, New York, N. Y.
Edward C. James, New York, N. Y.
Miss Louise Kennedy, Concord, Mass.
Robert H. Lamborn, New York, N. Y.
Henry R. Lang, New Haven, Conn.
Henry Charles Lea, Philadelphia, Pa.
Mrs. Mary Holland Lee, Cambridge, Mass.
Charles McK. Leoser, Larchmont Manor, N. Y.
Benjamin Lord, New York, N. Y.
Albert Matthews, Boston, Mass.
Washington Matthews, Washington, D. C.
J. Meyer, New York, N. Y.
John Erving Moore, Weimar, Germany.
Miss Agnes Morgan, Osaka, Japan.
William Wells Newell, Cambridge, Mass.
Miss L. Norcross, Boston, Mass.
Oswald Ottendorfer, New York, N. Y.
Mrs. Gilman H. Perkins, Rochester, N. Y.
George M. Richardson, Berkeley, Cal.
William L. Richardson, Boston, Mass.
Robert Hudson Riley, Bensonhurst, Long Island, N. Y.
Charles Schaffer, Philadelphia, Pa.
Otto B. Schlutter, Hartford, Conn.
C. Bernard Shea, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Gardner P. Stickney, Milwaukee, Wis.
Henry Kendall Thaw, Pittsburgh, Pa.
John S. Tilney, Orange, N. J.
Henry H. Vail, New York, N. Y.
Samuel D. Warren, Boston, Mass.
Henry T. West, Milwaukee, Wis.
Edward Wheelright, Boston, Mass.
Alfred M. Williams, Providence, R. I.
Henry J. Willing, Chicago, 111.
Mrs. Henry J. Willing, Chicago, 111.
Richard Wood, Philadelphia, Pa.
Mrs. E. L. Youmans, New York, N. Y.
THE AMERICAN FOLK-LORE SOCIETY.
JOURNAL OF AMERICAN FOLK-LORE.
Vols. I.-VII. 1 888- 1 894.
MEMOIRS OF THE AMERICAN FOLK-LORE SOCIETY.
Vol. I. FOLK-TALES OF ANGOLA.
By Heli Chatelain.
Vol. II. LOUISIANA FOLK-TALES.
By Alcee Fortier.
A Fund for the Publication of Special Memoirs.
From the Report of the Committee on Publication, 18Q2.
The American Folk-Lore Society was founded in 1888 for the purpose of
collecting and publishing the folk-lore — including myths, superstitions,
legends, and customs — of America.
The Society holds annual meetings at which reports are received and
The Journal of American Folk-Lore, a quarterly periodical published
by the Society, contains about one hundred pages in each issue. .
As articles printed in The Journal are necessarily limited in extent, a
thoroughly comprehensive treatment of a special subject is not possible.
It is therefore desirable to establish the publication of a series of mono-
graphs, uniform in style and size with the Journal, to be entitled " Me-
moirs of The American Folk-Lore Society."
It is evident that the small annual fee of three dollars, paid by the mem-
bers of the Society, will not be adequate for the purpose of publishing the
contemplated series of Memoirs. A committee of the Society has therefore
been appointed to consider the matter of obtaining a publication fund.
The Committee has suggested and the Council has voted that a publica-
tion fund be formed by annual contributions of ten dollars, for such period
as individual subscribers may designate.
These subscribers will be enrolled as members of the Society, and will
receive all its publications issued after the date of their subscriptions,
including The Journal and Memoirs.
A list of the annual subscribers will be printed annually in The Journal
and in each Memoir, as long as their subscriptions continue.
The outlay of money obtained in this way will be under the direction of
a Committee annually appointed ; and the fund itself will be under the finan-
cial management of the Treasurer and Council of the Society.
Persons who are willing to assist in the formation of the proposed fund
will please send their names to the Permanent Secretary ; or remit their
contributions directly to the Treasurer.
COMMITTEE ON PUBLICATION, 1894.
Franz Boas, Chicago, 111.
Daniel G. Brinton, Philadelphia, Pa.
Alexander F. Chamberlain, Worcester, Mass.
Stewart Culin, Philadelphia, Pa.
J. Owen Dorsey, Washington, D. C.
David P. Penhallow, Montreal, P. Q.
The President, Secretary, and Treasurer of the Society.
EXTRACTS FROM THE
By-Laws of the American Folk-Lore Society.
Art. I. Name. The Name of this corporation shall be The American
Art. II. Objects. The Society shall have for its object the study of
folk-lore in general, and in particular the collection and publication of the
folk-lore of America.
Art. III. Membership. Persons interested in the study of folk-lore, or
who desire to aid the Society in its work, are eligible to membership. There
shall be four classes of members, namely, Patrons, Honorary Members, Life
Members, and Members.
(i.) Members shall be elected by the Council. (2.) Members paying to
the Treasurer fifty dollars in one payment shall be designated Life Members.
(3.) Persons paying to the Treasurer five hundred dollars in one payment
shall be designated Patrons. Patrons, Honorary Members, and Life Mem-
bers shall be exempt from annual dues, and shall enjoy all the privileges of
Art. IV. Annual Dues. The dues of members shall be three dollars
per annum, payable on the first of January in each year.
Art. V. Officers. The officers of the Society shall be as follows : a Pres-
ident, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Corresponding Secretary*
Permanent Secretary, Treasurer, Curator, Nine Councillors.
Art. VI. (1.) Council. The nine Councillors, together with the seven
other officers above named, and the presiding officers of the local branches,
shall constitute the Council of the Society. The Council shall conduct all
the affairs of the Society, including the finances, the admission of members,
the business of the meetings, and the issue of publications.
Art. XI. Local Branches. Local branches may be organized, with their
own independent officers and regulations, by members of the American Folk-
Lore Society, provided the organization is approved by the Council. The
presiding officers of local branches shall be ex-officio members of the Council
of the American Folk-Lore Society.
Art. XII. Amendments. These by-laws may be amended at any An-
nual Meeting of the Society, by a two thirds vote of those present, provided
the proposed amendments are approved by the Council, and provided further
that, after such approval, notice of the proposed changes be sent by the Per-
manent Secretary to each member of the Society at least three weeks before
the meeting at which the proposed amendments shall be acted upon.