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 [71. Pea-fowl as Messenger.]


71. Pea-fowl as Messenger.

Jekyll, 84-85, connects the animal competitors with the story of making the dumb girl speak, as in numbers 95, 96. In Milne-Home, 73-77, the animals compete to sing at the king's dance. In African parallels, some peril is involved of which a bird is to bear warning. But in all my versions and in those given by Mrs. Parsons from Andros Island, 112-113, the birds summon the father of a new-born child. The song of one of my versions from Maroon-town runs,

Mr. Canoe-lo, Mr. Canoe-lo,
I want de key of de hall door,
Mistress Canoe hard labour.

Mrs. Parsons says that the negroes of Andros Island agreed that this was the most popular story on the island.

Compare Torrend, 87-88; Junod, 140-141; Dennett, 103-104; Jacottet, 108; Theal, 63-66; Renel 1:32-34; 279-281, 282-287; Parsons, Andros Island, 112-113; Sea Islands, 106.

Peafowl's reward gives an explanatory turn to the end of the story. In Hendricks version from Mandeville, Peafowl sings,

Mister Conna Levrin, Mister Conna Levrin,
When she's going to die, ah-h!

The husband reaches home in haste. The lady gives Pea-fowl the promised reward, and "he took the bag of gold and the silver, and in his joy he threw it right over his head, over his entire body, never remembered his two feet. That's the reason why Pea-fowl's so handsome all over- has such beautiful feathers and such ugly feet."

Next: Note 72. The Barking Puppy.