Tuesday, December 11, 2018

C100. The Wise Bird and the Foolish Bird

66. The Wise Bird and the Foolish Bird. 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. This is one of Daddy Jack's Gullah stories.


One time theyre been two bird. One been smart bird; the other, he been fool bird. They been live in the same country; they been using the same swamp. The smart bird, he is been come upon the fool bird; he been talk. He been say, "Ki! You long in the leg, you deep in the craw. You been stand well; you been last long time."

Fool bird, he look proud, he toss he head; he say, "Me no make no brag."

Smart bird, he say, "Let's we try see for how long time we is can go without vittles and drink."

Fool bird, he stretch he neck, he toss he head; he say, "All right; me beat you all day every day. Me beat you all the time."

Smart bird, he say, "If you been agree with this, less we take we place. You get upon the creek-side and take one horn, I get upon the tree up there, and take another horn. Let's we stand there-there till we see how long time we is can do without vittle and drink. When I blow upon me horn dun you blow upon your horn for answer me; me blow, you blow, then we both blow."

Fool bird walk about big; he say, "Me will do 'em!"

Next day morning come. The smart bird been take one horn and fly upon the tree. The fool bird been take one other horn and sat by the creek-side. They been start in for starve theyself. The fool bird, he stay by the creek-side where they been nothing at all for eat; he no can find no vittle there-there. Smart bird get in the tree the ant and the bug swarm in the bark plenty. He pick them ant, he eat them ant; he pick them bug, he eat them bug. He pick till he craw come full; he feel very good.

Fool bird, he down by the creek-side. He sat down, he come tired; he stand up, he come tired; he walk about, he come tired. He stand upon one leg, he stand upon the other; he pit he head 'neath he wing; still he come tired. 

Smart bird shut he eye; he feel very good. When he come hungry, he pick ant, he pick bug, till he have plenty, towards dinner-time he pick up he horn, he toot 'em strong — Tay-tay, tenando wanzando waneanzo!

Fool bird craw been empty, but he have wind. He take the horn, he blow very well; he make 'em say — Tay-tay tenando wanzando olando!

Smart bird pick ant plenty; he get full up. He wait till most towards sundown; he blow upon the horn — Tay-tay tenando wanzando waneanzo!

Fool bird make answer, but he come weak; he ain't have eat nothing it all. Soon next day morning smart bird take he horn and toot 'em. He done been eat, he done been drink dew on the leaf. Fool bird, he toot 'em horn, he toot 'em slow.

Dinner-time, smart bird been take he horn and blow; he ain't been hungry nothing at all; he have good feeling. Fool bird toot 'em horn; he toot 'em slow. Night time come, he no toot 'em no more. Smart bird come down, he find 'em done gone dead.

Watch them deceitful folks; he been do you bad.

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