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17. House in the Air.

a. Tracking Anansi.

Simeon Falconer, Santa Cruz Mountains.

Anansi live into a tree with wife and children, then go about and robber the others and they can't find where he live. So Tiger and Bredder Tacoomah dog him and see when he send down the rope and swing up whatever he provide for the family. So Bredder Tiger go to a tin-smith to give him a fine v'ice and went to the tree and him sing,

"Mama, mama, sen' down rope,
Sen' down rope, Brer Nansi deh groun' a!"

Then the mother find out it was not Bredder Nansi from the coarseness of the v'ice. So he go to a gold-smith now, and he come back again and sing again. Now he get a v'ice same as Bredder Nansi.

"Mama, mama, sen' down rope,
Sen' down rope, Brer Nansi deh groun' a!"

Then the mother let the rope down to receive him. Brer Nansi coming from a distance see the mother swinging him up in the tree now and say,

"Mama, cut de rope! mama, cut de rope!"

And she cut the rope and Bredder Tiger fell and broke his neck. Bredder Nansi tak him and have him now for him dinner. They couldn't eat Bredder Nansi at all; him was the smartest one of all.

b. Rabbit and Children going up to Heaven.

William Sounders, Mandeville.

Once de Rabbit an' chil'ren was going up to Heaven. Dey was singin' dat dey goin' up to Heaven t'-day, an' Brar Anansi want to go along wid dem to have a feed. Having got in de merit dey sing,

"Mammy an' Harry,
Pull up de merit, pull up de merit!"

An' when Anansi quite away on de journey was goin' up to heaven, he was singin',

"Pull up de merit, pull up de merit!"

an' de Rabbits say, "What is dat? Dat is Anansi voice!" De chil'ren say, "Yes, dat is Anansi voice." Rabbits say,

"Mammy an' Harry,
Cut down de merit, cut down de merit!"

an' de merit cut down an' from dat day poor Anansi's waist was cut off, leave a little bit!

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c. Duppy's House in the Air.

Harold Tulloch, Queen Anne's Bay.

Once Brer Duppy[1] make his house in de air. So he have a sling to sling down himself every morning, an' as soon as he' come down he say to de sling, "Go up, me chin-chin, go up!" So Bredder Nansi come to find out Duppy house, an' he was wondering how to get up in dis house, so he dodge one side in de evening. An' when Bredder Duppy come he said, "Come down, me chin-chin, come down!" an' it came right down. He get in an' said, "Go up, me chin-chin, go up!" an' it go right up. By dis time Anansi was listening. Nex' morning, as soon as Bredder Duppy move off about a mile, Bredder Nansi went right up an' said, "Come down, me chin-chin, come down!" an' it came down. Den Bredder Nansi get in it and said, "Go up, me chin-chin, go up!"

After he went up, he search de house an' eat off all what he found in de house. He want to come down now, but he couldn't remember de name. So he lay off dere until de duppy come catch him in de house. Brer Duppy said to him, "Lawd! Brer Anansi, what you doin' up heah?" He said, "Brer Duppy, was jus' goin' up a-top heah to look fe me family, win' ketch me on de way an I' stop heah." An' Bredder Duppy tak some boiling water an' t'row on him an' he was dead,

[1. A duppy is a ghost, spirit, or any supernatural apparition, but here probably refers to the Devil.]

d. Carencro's[2] House with a Key.

Richard Morgan, Santa Cruz Mountains.

Kyan-crow got a house. De libber de key to de house. When him gwine out den ca' out, "Libber me yum yum!" Ev'ry door shut up. Hanansi stan' aside saw; when him gone, him go up said, "Libber me yum yum!" de door open. An' get inside. As him go in he say, "Libber me yum yum!" de door shet. De fust t'ing him do, him eat de libber so den when Brar Kyan-crow come an' ca' out, "Libber me yum yum!" do' kyan't open. An' say, "Somet'ing de matter a me house t'-day!", When den get little crebbice a de windah gwine in at de house, den didn't see de key at all. Well, Hanansi run out, an' him ketch Hanansi.

Hanansi say, "Brar Kyan-crow, you know you do? You no lob dance? I wi' play fe you!" Kyan-crow say all right. Hanansi say, "But me banjo kyan' play widout hot water." When dey goin' along hall, when de banjo playin' "Ba cimba cimba," Hanansi say,

[2. Crow's name in French stories.]

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"All right, Brar Kyan-crow, turn back-way come." He tak de packey, he dippy up full of de hot water an' say, "All right, Brar Kyan-crow, dance come now!" As Kyan-crow come, he meet him wid de packey hot water. Kyan-crow tumble down. So from dat day every Kyan-crow got peel-head.

Next: 18. Goat on the Hill-side.