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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

that jar." So he ran ahead of the man and lay down in the path. The man thought it was a dead Cotia, and shoved it aside with his foot and went on. This the Cotia repeated four times, and at last the man said: "Here's another dead Cotia! Now, I will go back and get the others, and carry all four home." He put down the jar and went to look for the other Cotias. Then the Cotia jumped up and thrust his head into the jar, which contained molasses instead of water. In "Uncle Remus," p. 70, the Rabbit, by a similar stratagem, steals Brer Fox's game. Mr. Smith, p. 558, note, mentions a parallel to this story from Egypt (Khunzinger, "Upper Egypt, its People and its Products," p. 401). I do not recall any parallel in which animals are the actors; but a similar trick is found in many versions of the story of "The Master Thief," for instance, in Asbjörnsen and Moe's "Norske Folke-Eventyr," No. 34, "Mestertyven."

We are prepared now to consider briefly the origin of these stories, which are substantially the same in Brazil and in the Southern States. That the negroes of the United States obtained these stories from the South American Indians is an hypothesis no one would think of maintaining; but that the Indians heard these stories from the African slaves in Brazil, and that the latter, as well as those who were formerly slaves in the United States, brought these stories with them from Africa is, we think, beyond a doubt, the explanation of the resemblances we have noted. Owing to a scarcity of materials, we have not been able to show very clearly the African origin of these stories, but what we have cited makes it at least probable. Whether the African stories of "Reynard the Fox" are original with the Hottentots, or have been communicated to them by the Dutch, is a point we can not decide, in the absence of more ample material for comparison.

The most interesting point in the present investigation, and one that connects it with the recent discussions on the subject of folk-lore, is that, if our explanation be true, it shows that popular tales are more readily diffused than has heretofore been supposed. Professor Hartt ("Amazonian Tortoise Myths," p. 5) says: "The question has arisen, whether many of the stories I have given, that bear so close a resemblance to Old World fables, may not have been introduced by the negroes? But I see no reason for entertaining this suspicion, for they are too widely spread, their form is too thoroughly Brazilian, they are most numerous in just those regions where negroes are not and have not been abundant, and, moreover, they occur, not in Portuguese but in the lingua geral. The first objection would simply show the extent of the diffusion, the second what would naturally take place on the introduction of stories from a country with a different fauna, and the final objections were overthrown, we believe, by Professor Hartt's hearing these same stories from the negroes in Rio. He gave up the hypothesis of an Indian origin, and did not continue his collection. Mr. Smith (p. 548) makes about the same objections, which are invali-