Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/796

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By and by the goblin gave a banana to the little girl, and said, "Eat this banana, and give me the skin." But the little girl pealed the banana and gave it to the goblin, and ate the skin herself.

Then the goblin said to the little girl: "Go and pick three ados[1] Do not pick the ados which cry, 'Pick me, pick me, pick me'; but pick those that say nothing, and then return to your home. When you are half-way back, break one ado; break another when you are at the house door, and the third when you are inside the house." And the little girl said, "Very well."

She picked the ados as she was told, and returned home.

When she was half-way home she broke one ado, and behold, many slaves and horses appeared and followed her.

When she was at the house door the little girl broke the second ado, and behold, many creatures appeared, sheep and goats and fowls, more than two hundred, and followed her.

Then, when she had entered the house, the little girl broke the last ado, and at once the house was filled to overflowing with cowries, which poured out of the doors and windows.

The mother of the little girl took twenty country cloths, twenty strings of valuable beads, twenty sheep and goats, and twenty fowls[2] and went to make a present to the iyale.[3]

The iyale asked whence all these things came, and when she had been told she refused to accept them. She said she would send her own child to do the same, and that she could easily get as much.[4].

Then the iyale made palm oil and gave it to her own little girl, and told her to go and sell it in the market.

The little girl went to the market. The goblin came, bought palm oil of her, and paid her with cowries. He gave the proper number of cowries, but the little girl hid one and pretended that he had not given her enough.

"What am I to do?" said the goblin. "I have no more cowries."

"Oh!" said the little girl, "I will follow you to your house, and then you can pay me." And the goblin said, "Very well."

  1. The ado is a small calabash, commonly used for keeping medicinal powders in.
  2. The Yorubas reckon by scores and two hundreds—i. e., ten scores.
  3. In polygamous households the chief wife, who rules the others, is called the iyale, "mistress of the house." The mother of the little girl was one of the inferior wives, called iya-ivo, "mistress of trade," because they usually sell in the markets.
  4. From the European point of view this would appear to be a good trait on the part of the iyale, for the inference would be that she did not wish to deprive the subordinate wife of so much property, but that would not be the construction a native would put on it. To the native mind a person only refuses a present when he is nurturing rancor against the donor, and to refuse a gift is regarded as a sign of enmity