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Jamaica Anansi Stories/Mr. Lenaman's Corn-field

65. Mr. Lenaman's Corn-field. George Parkes, Mandeville.

There was a man named Mr. Lenaman. He went to a place to rent a piece of ground. He didn't know that it was a burial ground. It was about twenty acres of land. When he went, he chopped with his machete "pom!" He heard a voice say, "Who chop bush den?" He answered, "Me, Mr. Lenaman." The v'ice said,

"Big an' little, get up an' help Mr. Lenaman chop bush! No mo' bush mustn't lef to-day."

So all de ghosts, big an' small, get up chop off de bush clean. Mr. Lenaman was very glad. He went home and told his wife of the luck he had met. When the bush dry up, he went back to burn it an' starting to burn it he hear de v'ice say, "Who burn bush deh?" He said, "Me, Mr. Lenaman." The v'ice said,

"Big an' little, get up an' help Lenaman bu'n bush! No mo' bush mustn't lef to-day."

An' all de ghost get up an' help Mr. Lenaman bu'n off de bush clean. The nex' day, himself an' wife went to plant corn. As they make the firs' chop say "pom!," hear de v'ice say, "Who plant corn deh?" He say, "Me, Mr. Lenaman." De v'ice say,

"Big an' little, get up help Lenaman plant corn! No mo' corn mustn't lef to-day."

An' all de ghost get up an' help him plant de corn, plant off de whole twenty acres.

When de corn grow up, he went back to mol' it. As he started, the v'ice says, "Who mol' corn deh?" He said, "Me, Mr. Lena-man." The v'ice said,

"Big an' little, get up help Lenaman mol' corn! No mo' corn mustn't lef to-day."

An' all de ghost get up an' help dem mol' off de corn dat day. Now de corn grow up an' bear an' dry. Mr. Lenaman send his wife an' boy one day to go an' see how dey stay, an' tol' 'em not to break any because if dey break one, de ghosts will break it all off an' den Mr. Lenaman won't get none. He is going to get a lot of people to go there with him one day to help him break them, so that he can get a plenty. Now the wife an' boy went to the groun', but when they go, they forget what Mr. Lena-man tol' them. In coining away, they broke one each. They hear the v'ice say, "Who broke corn deh?" They said, "Mr. Lenaman wife an' boy." The v'ice say,

"Big an' little get up an' help Lenaman wife an' boy break corn! No mo' corn mus' be lef to-day."

An' dey break off every bit!

The wife an' boy went home an' tol' it to Mr. Lenaman. The three of them went back to the groun'. Mr. Lenaman got vex an' started to beat the wife an' boy. The v'ice said, "Who beat wife an' boy deh?"

He said, "Me, Mr. Lenaman." V'ice said,

"Big an' little, get up go an' help Mr. Lenaman beat wife an' bwoy! No mo' wife an' bwoy mustn't lef to-day."

So dem beat de wife an' boy so dat dem kill dem.

So Mr. Lenaman stan' up now didn't know what to do, start to scratch his head. The v'ice said, "Who 'cratch head deh?" He said, "Me, Mr. Lenaman." The v'ice said,

"Big an' little, get up an' help Lenaman 'cratch head! No mo' head mustn't lef to-day."

An' de whole of dem start to 'cratch his head, 'cratch it until he dead."