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 [24. The Duckano tree.]


24. The Duckano Tree.

Tacoomah in this tale plays the part of Cunnie-more-than-father of the preceding as a spy to discover a hidden food-supply. It is a very popular Jamaica story, told by Milne-Home, 120-124; Wona, 62-66; Pamela Smith, 78.

{p. 248}

Compare Edwards, 79; Dayrell, 26-28.

The story has three parts. (1) The son by means of a trail of ashes discovers a hidden food supply. (2) He takes all but one fruit and charms that so that his father cannot pick it. (3) Dog picks it up and swallows it, is pursued, discovered by his eyes in the ground, and the stolen fruit is squeezed out of him, thus causing the "sink places" in his two sides.

(1) For the trail of ashes compare Barker, 51-54; Arcin, 478; Dayrell, 27; Nassau, 204, 141, 155; Harris, Friends, 15-20.

(2) In Dayrell's story of The King's Magic Drum, the king gives Tortoise a tree which bears foo-foo once a year and drops foo-foo and soup once a day, but will lose the power if visited twice. The son follows and breaks the spell. The Kaffir "Iron John" story of The Bird that made milk (Callaway, 99-104; Theal, 29-39), is the story of a food-producing animal trapped by the father and let loose by the son.

In Barker, Anansi, to punish men, gets the wisdom of the world sealed up in a jar and attempts to hide it away from everyone but himself in the top of a tall tree. His son, Kweku Tsin, follows him to the tree where he is hiding it, and, in his anger, Anansi lets the jar fall and break.

(3) In Theal, 158 -168, a man whose greed in hiding a food-supply from his family has been discovered and punished, calls upon his dogs to aid him. Later his son escapes from the cannibals by slipping into a hole.

Next: Note 25. Food and Cudgel.