Friday, July 29, 2016

C114. Baer (p. 118). The Rattlesnake and the Polecat

This is Chase114.

A2416.3 bad smell of skunk

Baer makes connection with Chase163 where Bear, "the perpetual dupe, allows him in."

Baer insists that this is a skunk, not polecat: "Although Uncle Remus consistently uses the European term polecat rather than the American Indian skunk (segunku), it is the American skunk he has in mind."

Baer lists some skunk legends: "Skunk's spray once had the power to kill, but he has since been deprived of that power and now just smells bad."

conclusion: "I have found no parallels to these Polecat stories and am of the opinion they are indigenous Afro-American tales based on observation of the behavior and qualities of native animals and their human counterparts."


I am not sure why Baer is so sure that this is not a polecat, and why Harris would not use the word skunk...? But I have updated my Diigo index accordingly.

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