Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/797

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WEST AFRICAN FOLKLORE.

Then the two walked together, and presently the goblin began singing, as he had done the first time. He sang:

"O young palm-oil seller,
You must now turn back."

And the little girl sang,

"I will not turn back."

And the goblin,

"You must leave the track."

And the girl.

"I will not turn back."

Then the goblin said, "Very well, come along." And they walked on till they reached the land of dead people.

The goblin gave the little girl some palm nuts and told her to make palm oil. He said, "When the palm oil is made, eat it yourself, and bring me the ha-ha." And the little girl ate the palm oil and brought the ha-ha to the goblin. And the goblin said, "Very well."

Then the goblin gave a banana to the little girl and told her to peel it. He said, "Eat the banana yourself, and bring me the skin." And the little girl ate the banana and carried the skin to the goblin.

Then the goblin said: "Go and pick three ados. Do not pick those which cry, 'Pick me, pick me, pick me,' but pick those which say nothing."

The little girl went. She found ados which said nothing, and she left them alone. She found others which cried, "Pick me, pick me, pick me," and she picked three of them.

Then the goblin said to her: "When you are half-way home, break one ado; when you are at the door, break another; and break the third when you are inside the house."

Half-way home the little girl broke one ado, and behold, numbers of lions and leopards and hyenas and snakes appeared. They ran after her, and harassed her, and bit her, till she reached the door of the house.

Then she broke the second ado, and behold more ferocious animals came upon her, and bit and tore her at the door.

The door was shut, and there was only a deaf man in the house. The little girl called to the deaf man to open the door, but he heard her not. And there, upon the threshold, the wild beasts killed the little girl.

II. THE MAIDEN WHO ALWAYS REFUSED.

My alo is about a beautiful maiden.

A man, his wife, and daughter lived in one house, in a certain town. And the girl grew up; she grew up very beautiful, and her father and mother were rich.