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Specimens of Bushman Folklore, by W.H.I. Bleek and L.C. Lloyd, [1911], at


We buried my wife in the afternoon. When we had finished burying her, we returned to the home of my sister, Whai-ttu,[1] and the other people, whence they had come forth. They had come to bury my wife with me; and we went away, crossing over the salt pan.

And we perceived a thing, which looked like a little child, as it sat upon the salt pan, seeming as if it sat with its legs crossed over each other.

And my sister, Whai-ttu, spoke, she questioned us: "Look ye! What thing sits yonder upon the salt pan? It is like a little child." And !kweiten-ta-||ken [another sister] spoke, she asked us: "Look ye! Why is it that this thing is truly like a person? It seems as if it had on the cap which Ddia!kwain's wife used to wear." And my sister, Whai-ttu, spoke, she answered: "Yes, O my younger sister! The thing truly resembles that which brother's wife was like." It did thus as we went along, it seemed as if it sat looking (towards) the place from which we came out.

And ||ku-ang spoke, she said: The old people used to tell me, that the angry people were wont to act thus, at the time when they took a person away, they used to allow the person to be in front of us, (so that) we might see it. Ye know that she really had a very little child, therefore, ye should allow us to look at the thing which sits upon this salt pan; it strongly resembles a person, its head is there, like a person." And I spoke, I said: "Wait! I will do thus, as I return to my home, I will see, whether I shall again perceive it, as it sits."

And we went to their home. And we talked there, for a little while. And I spoke, I said to

[1. Whai-ttu means "Springbok Skin".]

them that they appeared to think that I did not wish to return (home); for the sun was setting. And I returned on account of it. I thought that I would go in the same manner as we had come; that I might, going along, look whether I should again perceive it, as it sat. Going along I looked at the place, where it had sat; because of thought that it might have been a bush. I saw that I did not perceive it, at the place where it had sat. And I agreed that it must have been a different kind of thing.

For my mothers used to tell me that, when the sorcerers are those who take us away, at the time when they intend to take us quite away, that is the time when our friend is in front of us, while he desires that we may perceive him, because he f eels that he still thinks of us. Therefore, his outer skin[1] still looks at us, because he feels that he does not want to go away (and) leave us; for he insists upon coming to us. Therefore, we still perceive him on account of it.

My sister's husband, Mansee,[2] told us about it, that it had happened to him, when he was hunting about, as he was going along, he espied a little child, peeping at him by the side of a bush. And he thought: 'Can it be my child who seems to

[1. That part of him (with) which he still thinks of us, is that with which he comes before us, at the time when the sorcerers are taking him away; that is the time when he acts in this manner. For, my mother and the others used to tell me, that they change(?) (when we die) we do as the last people do, themselves into a different thing.

2. My sister, |a-kkumm's husband it was who told us, that he bad perceived a child who was afraid of him. It wanted to run away.]

have run after me? It seems to have lost its way, while it seems to have followed me.' And Mansse thought: 'Allow me to walk nearer, that I may look at this child (to see) what child (it) be.'

And Mansse saw that the child acted in this manner, when the child saw that he was going up to it, that he might see what child it was, he saw that the child appeared as if it feared him. The child sat behind the bush; the child looked from side to side; it seemed as if it wanted to run away. And he walked, going near to it; and the child arose, on account of it. It walked away, looking from side to side; it seemed as if it wanted to run away.

And Mansse looked (to see) why it was that the child did not wish him to come to it; and the child seemed to be afraid of him. And he examined the child; as the child stood looking at him. He saw that it was a little girl; he saw that the child was like a person. In other parts[1] (of it) it was not like a person; be thought that he would let the child alone. For a child who was afraid of him was here. And he walked on, while the child stood looking from side to side. And (as) the child saw that he went away from it, it came forward (near the bush), it sat down.

[1. At one time, when he looked at it, it was not like a person; for, it was different looking, a different thing. The other part of it resembled a person.]


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