Types ATU0126 The sheep chases the wolf
Motifs K1715 the sheep chases the wolf
K2327 wolf-captor scared by fiddle-playing of captive ram who escapes
Gerber thinks it must have been a human tale: "A ram fiddler is so odd a conception that it must have had its prototype in a real fiddler."
Baer then comments: "Gerber was unacquainted wiht the Hausa tale in which a goat and a kid wander into the home of a hyena and her children. The goat grinds corn and sings, the kid corroborating her statements. Through the words of the song, she makes the hyena believe she has killed ten elephants, ten lions, and ten hyenas. Hyena and her cubs flee."
Baer notes that the absence of the lyrics in Harris's story undermines the meaning; it's not clear what frightened the wolves this way. "This is another example of an action being retained in a tale, but the motivation being lost in the retelling. The African version, almost certainly the source, clears up the puzzle in Uncle Remus."
The action without the motivation also happens in the Owens story about slapping the insects while pretending to talk about something else (Harris got that story correct). Chase071