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57. Cockroach Stories.

a. Cock's Breakfast.

Richard Morgan, Santa Cruz Mountains.

One day Cockroach said lo Cock, "Brar Cock, get little breakfas' so I will come an' have breakfas' wid you." Cock said yes. Cockroach come, Cockroach eat. When he done 'e said, "Brat Cock, when you know time my breakfas' ready, come." Cock said, "How mus' I know?" Cockroach said, "I wi' gi' you a sign. When you hear I mak noise, don' come; but when you hear I stay still in de yard, you mus' come." When Cock go, he didn't fin' Cockroach. Cock return back to his yard. Secon' day, Cockroach come an' say, "O Brat Cock! from I lef' you heah, pain all over my skin so I go an' lie down, I couldn't look a t'ing; but t'-day you can come." Cock do de same, go to de yard, didn't fin' him, return back. When he ketch half way, he hear in Cockroach house,

"Ring a ting ting,
Me know nigger fe nigger!"

Cock tak time, tip on him toe. An' go long to one gourd, he hear Cockroach in a de gourd. An' Cock tak him bill, lick him at de gourd. Cockroach run out. Cock pick him up an' swaller him. So from dat day, not a cockroach walk a fowl yard any more.[1]

b. Feigning Sick. (1)

Eliza Wright, Maroon Town, Cock-pit country.

Cockroach an' Fowl, de two of dem keep house, an' de two of dem mak up to plant de groun'. An' ev'ry day Fowl ready fe go plant de groun', Cockroach fawn sick in bed. An' Fowl get up an' do everyt'ing in de house an' get Cockroach breakfas' an' bile it an' put it up, an' he go plant de groun'. An' when he catch part of de way, Cockroach come out of bed an' boil him breakfas', an' he didn't eat what Fowl left fe him, he fawn sick. An' he took up him fiddle an' sit down an' play now,

"Brar Fowl, I mak you plan' a groun'!
Brar Fowl, I mak you plan' a groun'!

So one day when Fowl go out, he go half way an' put down de plant an' dodge him. Cockroach tak him fiddle an' play again,

[1. This is a reference to the common saying, Cockroach never so drunk, no walk a fowl yard.]

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"Brar Fowl, I mak you plan' a groun'!
Brar Fowl, I mak you plan' a groun'!

An' Fowl run in an' pick him up an' swaller him, an' from dat day, Cockroach, if he ever so drunk, won't walk a fowl yard.

b. Feigning Sick. (2)

George Barrett, Maroon Town, Cock-pit country.

One day Anansi an' Cockroach make a bargain to give a day in groun' weed grass. Anansi was to go wid Cockroach to weed grass. De day fe him to go he sick, have fever. When Cockroach come, Anansi say he got fever. When Cockroach gone, he began to sing,

"Groun' too far!
Groun' too far!

Cockroach turn back, say, "You want to mak me a fool!" Anansi say, "Oh, no, no! fever!"

c. The Drum.

Mrs. Matilda Hall, Harmony Hall.

Once there is Dog, Monkey, Tiger, Puss and Cockroach. So Christmas coming and hear them playing all about music and them has none. An' said, "We have to make up to make a drum now, then how will we manage?" So they says, "The only way, we have to cut a little little of our skin to make a drum." The Roach said, "I have none", so them drive him out of the company and he got into a banana tree to live; then he turned round to them and said, "I first will play that drum!"--"How will you get it to play?" them ask him, an' said, "I first will play it!"

Well, them fit up the drum now with the skin, hang it up to get cure. So Christmas eve fall now. Then going to the market to buy up all them things, catch about three quarter of a mile they heard the drum playing, said, "Biddy bwoy! who playing our drum?" So it is Roach took down the drum, put it between his feet and began to play;

"Kelly money better kelly better,
Kelly money better kelly better,
Tira coota na tira ding ding,
Tira coota na tira ding ding!"

is the Roach singing. The Puss come see him and kill him, and Puss eat Roach until this day.

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Next: 58. Hunter, Guinea-hen and Fish.