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Notes on the Folklore of the Fjort, by Richard Edward Dennett, [1898], at


IN the beginning, when KaCongo had still one mother, and the whole family yet lived on grass and roots, and knew not how to plant, a woman brought forth three babes at one birth.

"Oh, what am I to do with them?" she cried. "I do not want them; I will leave them here in the grass." And the three little ones were very hungry, and looked about them for food. They walked and walked a long long way, until at last they came to a river, which they crossed.

They saw bananas, and palm-trees, and mandioca, growing in great quantities, but dared not eat the fruit thereof. Then the river-spirit called to them, and told them to eat of these good things. And the tiniest of the three tried a banana and found it very sweet. Then the other two ate them, and found them very good. And after this they ate of the other trees, and so grew up well nurtured and strong; and they learnt how to become carpenters and blacksmiths, and built themselves houses. The river-spirit supplied them with women for wives; and soon they multiplied and created a town of their own.

A man who had wandered far from his town came near to where the three brothers had built their home, and was astonished as he approached it, to bear voices. This man happened to be the father of the three brothers. So he returned to his town, without having entered the village, to tell his wife that he had found her children. Then the old woman set out with her husband to seek for her children, and wandered and wandered on, until she was too tired to go any further, when she sank down by the wayside to rest.

Now one of the children of the three brothers came across the old woman, and was afraid, and ran back to tell his father.

Then the three brothers set out with the intention of killing the intruder; but the river-spirit called out to them, and told them -not to kill her, but to take her to their home, and feed her, for she was their mother. And they did so.

Next: XXXII. Death And Burial Of The Fjort.