Tuesday, December 11, 2018

C077. The Snake Eggs

43. The Cunning Snake. Text Source: Nights with Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris. Online at Project Gutenberg. I have removed the frame material and standardized the spelling; click here for the original spelling plus all notes to the story.


Hoo! Me been hear one song-tale; me hear 'im so long time ago. One time there been one old Afriky woman, he call 'im name Coomba. He go walk through the woods, he walkythrough the field. By and by he is been come upon one snake-nest fill with egg. Snake big snake, egg big egg. Afriky womans is been want them egg so bad; he afraid for take 'em. He gone home; he is see them egg in he dream, he want 'em so bad. When the next day morning come, the Afriky womans say he please for have them egg. He go away, he been see the snake-nest, he is get the egg; he fetch 'em at he own house; he cook 'em for he breakfast.

By and by the snake been come by he nest. Egg done gone. He put he nose upon the ground, he is track the Afriky womans by he own house. Snake come by the Afriky womans house; he ask about he egg. Afriky womans say he no have been see no egg. Snake see the skin what been upon he egg; he ask what is this. Afriky womans no say nothing at all. Snake he say, "Why for you come break up me nest and take me egg?"

Afriky womans he no say nothing at all. He toss he head, he make like he no hear the snake voice, he go about he work. Snake, he say, "Woman! You is been hear me voice when me cry out. You been take me egg; you is been destroy me chillun. Take care your own; take care your own."

Snake gone away; he slick out he tongue, he slide away. By and by the Afriky womans, he have one pretty little pickaninny; he love 'im hard all over. He is mind what the snake say; he tote the pickaninny 'round upon he back. He call 'im Nancy, he tote 'im far, he love 'im hard.

Snake, he been stay in the bush-side; he watch all day, he wait all night; he get hungry for the pickaninny, he want 'im so bad. He been slick out he tongue, he been slide through the grass, he been hanker for the pickaninny.

By and by the Afriky womans tote the Nancy till he get tire; he puff, he blow, he work he gill same like cat-fish.

He puff, he blow, he pant; he say, "The pickaninny, he done get big like one bag rice. He done get so heavy, me ain't most know what for do. Me ain't can tote 'im no more."

The Afriky womans is been put the pickaninny down upon the ground. He make up one song in he head, and he learn the little gal for answer the song. He do show 'im how for pull out the peg in the door. Snake, he is been lay coil up in the bush; he say nothing at all.

Afriky womans is learn the pickaninny for answer the song, and when he start for go off, he say, "put the peg in the door and you no open 'im for nobody 'cept you is hear me song."

Little gal, he say yes ma'am, and the Afriky womans gone off. Snake stay still. He coil up in he coil; he ain't move he tail. By and by, towards night-time, the Afriky womans come back where he live. He stand by the door; he talk this song:
Walla walla witto, me Nancy,
Walla walla witto, me Nancy,
Walla walla witto, me Nancy!

He voice become finer towards the last till he do get loud for true. The little gal, he do make answer like this, "Andolee! Andoli! Andolo!"

He know he mammy voice, and he been pull out the peg quick. He run to he mammy; he mammy done hug 'im up. Next day, he the same thing; two, three, seven day, he the same thing. Afriky womans holler the song; the little gal make answer upon the other side the door. Snake, he lay coil up in the bush. He watch the night, he listen the day; he try for learn the song; he no say nothing at all. By and by, one time when Afriky womans been gone away, snake, he wait till he most time for womans for come back. He gone by the door; he open he mouth; he say:
Wullo wullo widdo, me Nancy,
Wullo wullo widdo, me Nancy,
Wullo wullo widdo, me Nancy!

He try for make he voice come fine like the little gal mammy; he do have one rough place in he throat, and he voice come big. Little gal no make answer. He no open the door. He say, "Go away from there-there! Me mammy no holler the song like dat!"

Snake, he try one, two, three time; he ain't no use. Little gal no open the door, he no make answer. Snake he slick out he tongue and slide away; he say he must learn the song sure 'nough.

By and by, the Afriky womans come back. He holler the song:
Walla walla witto, me Nancy,
Walla walla witto, me Nancy,
Walla walla witto, me Nancy!

Little gal say, "That me mammy!' He answer the song, "Andolee! Andoli! Andolo!"

Snake, he coil up in the chimney-corner; he hold he breath for listen; he do learn the song. 

Next day morning the Afriky womans been gone away and left the little gal all by heself. All the day long the snake he think about the song; he say 'im in he mind, he say 'im forward, he say 'im backward. By and by, most towards sundown, he come at the door; he come, he holler the song:
Walla walla witto, me Nancy,
Walla walla witto, me Nancy,
Walla walla witto, me Nancy!

The little gal, he think the snake been he mammy; he is answer the song, "Adolee! Andoli! Andolo!"

He make answer like that, and he open the door quick. He run upon the snake before he see 'im. Snake, he been hug the little gal more same than he mammy; he is twist he tail 'round 'im; he is catch 'im in he coil. Little gal he holler, he squall; he squall, he holler. Nobody been come by for hear 'im. Snake he squeeze 'im tight, he no let go; he squeeze 'im tight, he swallow 'im whole; he break no bone; he take the little gal like he stand.

By and by the little mammy come home at he house. He holler the song, he get no answer. He become scared; he voice shake, he body tremble. He listen, he no hear no fuss. He push the door open, he no see nothing at all; the little gal gone! The woman he holler, he cry; he ask where he little gal been gone; he no get no answer. He look all 'round, he see where the snake been 'cross the road. He holler, "Ow, me Lord! The snake been come swallow me little Nancy gal. I gonna hunt 'im up; I gonna follow the snake past the end the earth."He go in the swamp, he cut 'im one cane; he come back, he find the snake track, and he do follow along where he lead. 

Snake he so full with the little gal he no walk fast; little gal mammy, he been mad, he go straight along. 

Snake he so full with the little gal, he come sleepy. He lay down, he shut he eye. He open 'im no more. The woman come upon the snake when he been lay there asleep; he come upon 'im, and he take the cane and break he head, he mash 'im flat. He cut the snake open, he find the little gal same like he been asleep. He take 'im home, he wash 'im off. 

By and by the little gal open he eye, and soon he see he mammy, he answer the song. He say, "Andolee! Andoli! Andolo!"

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