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Anthology of Louisiana Literature

Alcée Fortier.
“The Tar Baby” (“Piti Bonhomme Godron”)


I am going to relate to you something which is very funny, as you are going to see, and which happened a long time ago!

When the animals had the earth for themselves and there were yet but few people, God ordered them not to eat each other, not to destroy each other, but said that they might eat the grass with all kinds of fruits that there were on the earth. That was better, because they were all His creatures and it pained Him when they killed each other; but as quickly as they would eat the grass and fruits, He, God, would take pleasure to make them grow again to please them. But they did not obey the Master! Mr. Lion began by eating sheep, the dogs ate rabbits, the serpents ate the little birds, the cats ate rats, the owls ate chickens. They began to eat each other, they would have destroyed each other, if God had not put a stop to all that! He sent a great drought to punish their cruelty. It was a thing which was funny, nevertheless, as you are going to see.

There was smoke in the air, as when they burn cotton stalks; it looked as if there was a light mist. After sunset, the heaven remained red like fire. The sea, the rivers, the lakes, all began to fall, to fall; all fell at the same time, until there was not a drop of water remaining. Neither did the dew fall early in the morning to moisten the grass. Ah! I tell you, my friends, all animals found themselves in a great trouble. They were roaming about everywhere; their tongues were hanging out; they became thin, thin — There was among them a doctor who was called Mr. Monkey; he was half wizard, half voudou. They said he knew a great deal, but he was a big talker, and did very little. He said to the other animals that it was because they had made so many sins that God sent them all these misfortunes to punish them; that if there were any among them who wanted to pay, he would pray to make the rain fall. He had already succeeded very often when he asked for something; God in heaven always listened to his prayer. There was also a famous thief there; it was Mr. Fox, who ate all the chickens there were in the neighborhood. He said to the other animals:

“Don’t you listen to Dr. Monkey; he is a d—— rascal; he will take your money without giving you anything for it I know him, he is a rascal; you will have no rain at all! It is better that we should dig a well ourselves. We need not count upon anything else. Let us go! hurrah! right off, if you are all like me, for I am very thirsty.” Then Dr. Monkey told him: “I think indeed that you are hungry, you d—— pirate; now that you have finished eating all the chickens there were here, you are coming to play the braggart here.” Mr, Fox told him: “You are a liar; you know very well that the owls, the polecats, and the weasels are eating all the chickens, and you come and say it is I. You know that if there is a thief here, it is you, you d—— prayer merchant.” — All the other animals, tigers, lions, wolves, elephants, crocodiles, serpents, were running about to look for water. They had all assembled to hear the dispute of Dr. Monkey and Mr. Fox.

I must tell you that if a hog grunts, a dog barks, a wolf howls, a cow bellows, each kind of animal has its own language. A tiger or an elephant or a lion cannot speak the language of another animal, each one speaks his own language; but when they are together, they all understand each other — the hog which grunts understands the dog which barks. It is not like us men; if a German comes to speak with a Frenchman or an American, he will not understand, any more than if an Englishman were to speak with a Spaniard who does not understand English. We men are obliged to learn the language of other nations, if we want to converse with them. Animals are not at all like that; they understand each other as if they spoke the same language. Well, I must tell you that Mr. Fox pretended that if there was such a drought, the rain not having fallen for a year, so that all the grass was parched up, and the trees had lost their leaves, and there were neither flowers nor fruits, it was because there were no clouds in the heaven to give water, and not a prayer could make the rain fall. “All the water has gone into the ground; we must dig a large well in order to have water to drink. Listen to me, my friends, and we shall find water.”

Lion, who was the king, opened his mouth. He roared, the earth shook, he spoke so loud! He beat his sides with his tail, and it made a noise like a big drum in a circus. All the other animals lay flat on the ground. He said: “By the very thunder, the first fellow who will speak to me about prayers, I shall give him something which will make him know me. I am a good fellow; when did I ever eat another animal? It is a lie, and I say that the little lawyer Fox is a fine little fellow. He is right, we must: dig a well to have water immediately. Come here, Compair Bourriquet (Donkey), it is you who have the finest voice here; when you speak, it is like a soldier’s trumpet. You will go everywhere to notify all animals that I, the king, I say that they must come to dig up and scratch the earth, that we may have water. And those that don’t want to work, you will report them. You will come right off that I may compel them to do their share of the work or pay some other animal to do it.”

Bourriquet was so glad he was to act as a newspaper, that he began to bray so loud that it was enough to render anybody deaf. — “Depart, depart,” said the king, “or I shall strike you.” Then Bourriquet reared, and thought he was doing something nice, he was so proud that the king had confidence in him, and then that gave him the opportunity to order the other animals to come, in the name of Lion, the king. On starting, he put down his head, then he kicked half a dozen times with both feet, and made a noise which was as if you were tearing up a piece of cotonnade. That is his way of saluting the company, when he is glad.

Now, all the animals which he met, he told them, that if they did not come immediately to dig up and scratch the ground to make a well, surely King Lion would eat them up. They were all so much afraid, that they all came, except Compair Lapin, who was gnawing a little piece of dry grass. — “Don’t listen to what I tell you, remain there, and don’t come right off, you will see what the king will do with you.” — “I don’t care a d—— for you and the king together; come both of you, you will see how I’ll fix you. You may go to the devil. Do I drink? Where did I ever use water? Surely, that is something new to me. You are a fool, donkey that you are, I never drink, a rabbit never drinks. My father and my grandfather did not know how to drink, and as I am a real rabbit, I don’t use water. Never did a rabbit have little ones without ears, you hear. If any one heard you he might believe that I am a bastard. Go away, you big ears; for if I take my whip, I shall show you your road, and make you trot faster than you ever galloped in your life. If you knew me as I know you, you would not have stopped here, surely.”

Bourriquet saw that he could do nothing, so he went away; but he was not as proud as when he started to tell all animals that the king ordered them to come to work. As soon as he arrived near the king, he said: “Master, I went on all your errands, I saw all the animals in the world, only Compair Lapin does not want to listen to reason. He says he does not need water, let those who need it look for it. Besides, if you are not satisfied, he will make you trot You have no right to command him, he is free, free as air; he has no master, none but God.” — When the king heard that, he told Tiger, who was there, to go with the Bear to arrest Compair Lapin and bring him here. “Take care you don’t eat him on the way, for if you do, I’ll give you such a beating as you never had before. You bear? Well, go.” — They started, and travelled a good while before they arrived. During this time, all the animals were working hard, each one had his share of the work, and they had even left a big piece as Compair Lapin’s task and that of the two who had gone to arrest him. They looked everywhere: in the prairie, on the mountain; at last they fell on Compair Lapin, who was eating the root of a cocklebur which was full of water. You know that rabbits know how to dig up the earth and find water below, in the roots of plants.

At the same moment when they arrived near him, Compair Lapin was singing a little song which he had made about the king. He said in it that the king was a fool, and did not know how to govern, for his wife had many husbands, and he was laughing to himself, and that perhaps, after they finished to dig that well, the king would make all the animals pay taxes to drink the water from the well they had dug with their sweat. I am not so foolish, I am not going to work for that fellow! Let the others do it, if they are fools, I don’t care any more for the king than a dog for Sunday. Tra la la, etc., . . . The tiger approached without making any noise, and then he said; “Good morning, Compair Lapin, I ask your, pardon, if I disturb you, but I don’t do it on purpose; the king has ordered me to arrest you, I must obey him. You know that the weak must submit to the strong; this is why I advise you not to resist, because the Bear and I will be obliged to eat you. Take my advice, come quietly, perhaps you will come out all right! Your mouth is honeyed, you will get Mr. Fox to defend you; he is a good little lawyer and does not charge dear! Come, let us go.”

When Compair Lapin saw that he could not do otherwise, he let the officers of the king arrest him. They put a rope around his neck, and they started. When they were near the dwelling of the king, they met Dr. Monkey on the way. He said: “Compair Lapin, I think you are a pupil of Mr. Fox, you will have to pay for it; you are gone up, my old fellow. How are you now? Don’t you feel something getting cold within you? That will teach you to read the newspaper and meddle in politics on Sundays, instead of going quietly to mass!”

Compair Lapin answered briefly: “I don’t care a d—— for anything you say, old Monkey! And then, you know, he who must die, must submit to his fate. Just hush up, you rascal! You are trying to injure me, but perhaps you will be the loser; I have not given tip all hope; perhaps, before long, you will be in trouble. Each one his chance, that is all I have to tell you.” — At last they arrived at a big tree which had been thrown down by the wind, and where the king was seated. The Tiger and the Bear, the two officers who were leading Compair Lapin, said to the king: “Here is the fellow!” — “Haw! haw!” said the king, “we shall judge him immediately.” Mr, Fox came slyly behind Compair Lapin, and told him in his ears: “When they will ask you why you spoke badly of the king, say that it is not true, that it is Bourriquet who lied to do you harm. And then flatter the king very much, praise him and make him some presents, you will come out all right. If you do what I tell you, you will find it well for you. Otherwise, if you are foolish enough to say all there is in your heart, take care, yon will come out all wrong. I assure you that the king will make hash with you,” — “You need not be afraid, Mr. Fox, I know what I have to do; I thank you for your good advice; I am a lawyer myself.”

Compair Lapin had suspected that they would come to arrest him; he had spoken so badly of the king and the government. It is for that he had put on his best coat, and a big gold chain around his neck. He had said to one of his neighbors with whom he was quite intimate, and also with his wife and daughter, and who was called Compair Bouki, when the latter asked him where he was going so finely dressed: “Yes, Compair Bouki, I shall soon go to see the king; and as it is the coat that makes the man, this is why I dressed so well. It always produces a good effect on proud and foolish people.” When the king was ready to begin the case of Compair Lapin, he said to the policemen: “Bring the prisoner here to be judged.”

Then Compair Lapin advanced, and said: “O Lion, my dear Master, you sent for me; here I am. What do you want?”

The Lion said: “I have to condemn you, because you are always slandering me, and besides, you don’t want to work to dig the well, which we are making to drink. Everybody is working except you, and when I sent Bourriquet to get you, you said to him that I was a scoundrel, and that you would whip roe! You will know that if your back has tasted of the whip, I have never been whipped; even my late mother did not dare to touch me! What do you have to say? You rascal with the long ears hanging down. I suppose they are so long, because the hounds have chased you so often. Speak right off, or I shall mash you, like a too ripe persimmon.”

Compair Lapin kept quite cool; he knew that all that was a big wind that would bring neither rain nor thunder. He rubbed his nose with both paws, then he shook his ears, he sneezed, and then he sat down and said: “The king is justice on earth — as God is just in his holy Paradise! Great king, you who are more brave than all of us together, you will hear the truth. When you sent Bourriquet to get me, he who is more of a donkey than all the donkeys in the world, when he came to my house, I was sick. I told him: ‘you will tell the king that I am very sorry that I cannot come now, but here is a fine gold chain, which you will present to the king for me, and you will tell him that I have forty twelve other animals to work in my place. Because that is too necessary a thing to get a well; it is life or death for us, and we cannot do without it. Tell him also that there is but a great king like him to have such an idea, and enough brains to save us all!’ What do you think he answered me? He replied that he did not care about a gold chain, that he did not eat that.. If I had given him a basket of corn or some hay, he would have eaten it, but as to the chain, perhaps the king would hitch him up to the plough with that same chain, and he would be sorry to have brought it. When he went away, he said to me: ‘Go on, papa, I shall arrive before you, you will know that the ox which is ahead always drinks clear water!’ I suppose he me &t that he would speak before I should have the chance to be heard! As I want the king to believe that I am not telling stories, I have a witness who was there, who heard all our conversation. If the king will have the kindness to listen to his testimony, he will hear the same thing I have just told him.” Compair Lapin bowed to the king, and put the gold chain around Lion’s peck, and then he sat down on one side smiling, he was so sure that his gift would produce a good effect and help him to come out all right from his trouble. Now, Lion said to Mr. Fox to speak quickly. “I know all that business, and if you come here to lie, I’ll break your neck You need not wag your tail and make such grimaces, as if you were eating ants. Come on, hurry! I have no time.” “Dear Master Lion,” said the Fox, “I shall tell you how all that happened: Compair Lapin, whom you see here, is the best friend you have. The proof of it is that he brought a big chain to make you a present. You will never see a Bourriquet do that; that is sure, because there is not in the world a greater clewn than those donkeys. Dan Rice took twenty-one years to train a donkey! He says that for $100,000 he would not undertake again such a job. He would prefer to train fifty twelve thousand Lions, because they would eat him up, or he would do something good with them. Well, I must tell you, Mr. Lion, you, who are the king of all animals, that same Bourriquet, whom you sent to represent you, came to lie on you, and as to Compair Lapin, he is as white as snow! Although Dr. Monkey has your confidence, it is he who is governing secretly and advising all your people, and putting them in rebellion against you, the king, to establish another government, where that same Dr. Monkey and Bourriquet will govern in your place, when they will succeed in putting you out. That is what they have been trying to do for a long time, and that is what Compair Lapin and I wanted to tell you.”

When the king heard that, he said: “That is all right; I am glad you told me so. You can go with Compair Lapin, I acquit him.” But while they were hearing the case, Dr. Monkey and Bourriquet thought that it was not healthy for them to remain there, so they escaped when they saw that the wrong side was being warmed up; they vanished, and no one knew where they had gone, so well were they hidden. After that Compair Lapin and Mr. Fox both remained in the same parish where the king resided. Mr. Fox was his deputy or chief clerk, and the other was mate; that is to say, he commanded the others and made them work to finish digging the well with their paws. At last the well was completed! All the animals drank, and they became strong again. The lioness recovered her health also, and some time after that she gave birth to twelve little cubs as yellow as gold, and all as pretty as could be. The king was so glad that he pardoned all that were in the penitentiary, and he allowed the exiles to return. When he granted their pardon, he told them all to go and drink the water of the well. Then you may imagine that Dr. Monkey with his accomplice Bourriquet came out of their hole to mingle with the others. But they began to spy and to watch all that was being done or said. One day they met Mr. Fox who was speaking of the government affairs in order to increase the tax. He and Compair Lapin found that there was not enough money in the treasury for them to become rich quickly. When Dr. Monkey saw them both together, he began to smile. He came near them, he bowed and said: “Let us forget what has passed, we must not be looking for those old papers. Let us be friends and live quietly like good neighbors.” You might have thought they were the best friends when they parted Dr. Monkey said to his partner Bourriquet: “You see these two fellows Compair Lapin and Mr. Fox, they are d—— scoundrels. I must get the best of them, or they will beat me; that is all I know!” As Compair Lapin had said, when they judged him, that he never drank water, the king had told him: “Take care that you never try to drink water from this well; I want to see if you say the truth, and I order every one to watch you.”

You will not believe me when I tell you that it is true that rabbits never drink water, there is always enough water for them in the grass which they eat. But expressly because they had forbidden Compair Lapin to drink from that well, he wished to do it. All the other animals praised that water so highly: it was so clear, so good. That gave him such a thirst, that he felt at every moment as if he had eaten well-peppered salt meat. He said to himself: “I don’t care a d—— I shall drink, and I shall see who is going to prevent me.

“Besides, if they catch me, I shall always have the daughter of the king to protect me. She will find some way of preventing them from troubling me, for she has much influence with her father He did as he said; every evening he drank his fill. But at last he wanted to drink in the daytime also. It was a strange well; its water was not like any other water; it made people drunk like whiskey, only, instead of making you sick after you were drunk, it made you much stronger than before, and they were beginning to perceive that all those who were old were growing young again. Even the vegetables which you watered with it, if you cut them, the next day they would grow as fine as the day before.”

When Compair Lapin began to see the effect of that water, he said: “I must have some for the day also, it does me a great deal of good; and as I am much older than the daughter of the king, I must become as young as she. “Jest me be, I shall arrange it. Don’t you say anything.” Well, when it was dark, he took his little calabash, which contained about two bottles of water, he went to the well, and filled it up. But he was so careful that the guard, which they put every evening near the well, saw nothing.

Dr. Monkey and Bourriquet watched all the time, because they could not forget how Compair Lapin had treated them whilst he was being judged. Therefore, they had sworn that they would catch him. But in spite of all their efforts, they lost their trouble and their time. At last, one day, Dr. Monkey went to see Bourriquet, his comrade, and told him: “Come to my house, I have something to show to you.” He showed him Ti Bonhomme Godron (a man made of tar), and said: “It is with that I want to catch the fellow; as this time I shall be able to prove that he is guilty, we shall have all his money, which the king will confiscate to give us for discovering all his rascalities.”

They took Ti Bonhomme Godron; they put him in a little path, where Compair Lapin was obliged to pass, very near the water, and then they started; they knew it was not necessary to watch; Ti Bonhomme Godron would attend to him without needing anybody’s help. I know not if Compair Lapin suspected something, but he came quite late that evening. He never came at the same hour, but he managed things so well that he always got his water, and no one could catch him. When he arrived the evening they had placed Bonhomme Godron there, he saw something black. He looked at it for a long time, he had never seen anything like that before! He went back immediately, and went to bed. The next evening he came again, advanced a little closer, looked for a long time, and shook his head. At that moment, a frog jumped in the water: tchoappe. Compair Lapin flattened on the ground, as if crushed, and in two jumps he reached his house. He remained three days without returning, and Dr. Monkey and Bourriquet were beginning to despair, and to believe that it was true that Compair Lapin did not drink at all. But it was enough for this one that it was forbidden for him to be still more anxious to drink. “Oh! well” said he; “I don’t care! I have some money here, but the remainder is hidden in the briars. If they catch me, I shall pay the police, and they will let me go. Besides, I have the protection of the daughter of the king; every night, she comes to see me. It would be very strange if she did nothing for me. Besides, I have always instructed the police to let go a man who had money, and I suppose that they will make no exception for me, for they would lose the money which I would give them.”

This reassured him. He started in the evening; it was a beautiful moonlight night, and every one was out late promenading. It was the end of spring: the honeysuckle perfumed the air, the mocking-bird was singing in the pecan-tree, there was a light breeze, which caused the leaves of the trees to dance, and the rustle prevented any one to hear him walk. Everybody was in bed; only the dogs, from time to time, were barking at the big clouds, which were fleeing before the wind. “It is my turn now; I, Compair Lapin, I am going to drink, but a drink that will count.” He took his calabash. When he arrived at the place where Bonhomme Godron was, the old fellow was still there. It had been warm during the day, and the tar was soft. When Compair Lapin arrived there, he said: “Hum, hum, you have been long enough in my way. I do-not come to drink; that is a thing which I never do; I want to take a bath to-night; get away from here.” “You don’t want to answer? I tell you that I want to take a bath, you black scoundrel.” Bonhomme Godron did not reply; that made Compair Lapin angry. He gave him a slap, his hand remained glued. “Let me go, or I shall strike you with the other hand.” Bonhomme Godron did not reply. He struck him cam with the other hand; it remained stuck also! I’ll kick you, d—— rascal, if you don’t let me go.” One foot remained stuck, and then the other one.

Then he said; “You are holding me that they might injure me, you want to try to rob me, but stop, you will see what I am going to do to you. Let me go, or I shall strike you with my head and break your mouth” As he said that, he struck, and a mule could not hit harder, he was so mad. His head, however, my dear friends, remained stuck also. He was caught, well caught At daybreak, Dr. Monkey and Bourriquet arrived. When they saw Compair Lapin there, they laughed, they cursed him. They took a cart to bring him to prison, and all along the way they told the people how they had put a trap to catch the most famous rascal there was in the universe. It was the famous Compair Lapin who had so sullied the reputation of the king’s daughter, that there was not a great prince who wanted to marry Miss Léonine, as Compair Lapin had spoken so much about his being her lover, Mr. Fox, who was passing, heard ail the bad things which Dr. Monkey and Bourriquet were saying about Compair Lapin, and he replied: “Yes, it is true, there is nothing like a thief to catch another thief.”

When they were taking Compair Lapin to prison, all who passed on the road threw bricks at him, and they made a true clown of him. When he arrived in the presence of the king, the latter said to him: “Now, I would like to hear what you can say to. get out of this scrape.” Compair Lapin replied: “When the tree falls, the goat climbs on it! I know I can die but once, I don’t care. If it is my money they want, I assure you that they will never see it. When I was free, never Bourriquet and Dr. Monkey tried to quarrel with me; the wild hog knows on what tree he must rub himself. I assure you that they are famous rascals.” — “You must not speak in that way before the king, but the king will try your case in a few minutes.” — “What I say is well said; I am ready to hear the judgment.” — After the king and his friends had consulted together, they found Compair Lapin guilty and they condemned him to death. They ordered that he be put in prison until they could find an executioner willing to execute him. The king thought that he would get rid of a fellow who was too cunning for him, and then he would take vengeance on Compair Lapin, because he had injured Miss Léonine character in such a manner that it was a scandal.

While Compair Lapin was in prison, he was thinking how he would manage to escape forever. He thought that he was in a worse plight than he had ever been before. He said to himself: “By Jove! that is no child’s play; I think that I am gone up. Well, as I am tired, let me sleep a little: it will do me good.” He lay down on the floor, and, soon after, he was snoring. He began to dream that the beautiful Léonine, the daughter of the king, was making a sign to him to tell him he need not be afraid, that she would fix everything all right. He awoke contented, and at daybreak the jailer opened the door of his prison and said to him: “They have found an executioner willing to execute you, but before that, they must cut off your ears; it is Bourriquet who has offered his services to send you in the other world. Take courage, my old fellow, I am sorry for you, you are a good fellow, but you risked your life too often. You know that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure; now it is too late. Good-bye, comrade.” At the same moment the sheriff came with his deputies to take him to the place of execution, — They arrived at the steep bank of a little river. There were tall trees, grass, and briars everywhere. They chose a clear space. When they arrived, there was a big crowd: gentlemen, ladies, many children. All had come to see how they were going to kill Compair Lapin. The king was there with all his family. Miss Léonine, the daughter of the king, was there also. Oh! but she was so beautiful with her curls, which shone like gold in the sun. She had a muslin dress as white as snow with a blue sash, and a crown of roses on her head. The eyes of all were turned towards her; she was so pretty that they forgot completely Compair Lapin, who was trembling like a leaf. Yes, indeed, he was sorry to leave such a large fortune and such a beautiful wife as the king’s daughter. What pained him the most was to think that perhaps Dr. Monkey or Bourriquet would marry Miss Léonine as soon as he would be dead, because they both boasted that Compair Lapin was in their way. Without him, they said they would have succeeded long ago.

Now the king said: “Well, let us put an end to all this; advance, Bourriquet, and read Compair Lapin his sentence.” The king allowed him to choose his death, as he pleased: to be drowned in the river, burnt alive, or hung on a tree, or to have his neck cut with a sword. “Yes, yes,” said Compair Lapin, “all that at once, or one after the other, if that pleases you so much that I should die, well, I am very glad. Only, I was afraid that you would throw me in those great thorns, that would tear my skin and I would suffer too much, and then, the snakes and the wasps would sting me. Oh no, not that, not that at all! “Tell the king to do all except throwing me in those briars; for the love of God, who is in Heaven, and who will judge you as you judge me!” “Haw! haw! you are afraid of the thorns? We want to see you suffer, suffer, you scoundrel.” — They were making such a noise that the king said: “What is the matter?” He came closer, accompanied by his daughter, Miss Léonine, who had come to see if Compair Lapin was going to die bravely; that is to say, every one thought so, but she had come to encourage him and reassure him, because she had sent word to him secretly, while he was in prison, that even if the rope was around his neck, she, Miss Léonine, would arrive in time to take it off and save him, because she loved him more than anything in the world.

They related to the king and to Miss Léonine what Compair Lapin had said, and how much afraid he was to be thrown in the thorns and to suffer. Miss Léonine came forward and said: “Papa, I have a favor to ask you: I know that you hate Compair Lapin, and I also, because he has sullied my name. Well, I want to make you all see that what they said is not true. I want to see him suffer for all his stories; we must get rid of him, and I ask you to throw him in the briars and let him rot there; it is good enough for such a rascal. All clapped their hands, they were so glad. “Throw him in the briars; it is there indeed we must throw him,” said the king; “he must suffer. Quick! Hurry!” — They took Compair Lapin by each limb, they swung him once; poor devil, he was crying: “No, no, not in the briars, in fire, cut my neck, not in the briars.” They said: “Twice” — Vap! they threw him in a great bunch of thorns.

As Compair Lapin fell in his native country, he sat down, he rubbed his nose, shook his ears, and then he said: “Thank you, all of you; I thought you were stupid, but it is here my mother made me; I am at home here, and not one of you can come here to catch me. Good-by, I know where I am going Miss Léonine also was very glad; she knew where she would meet Compair Lapin that very evening. That proves one thing to you, that Compair Lapin was a hypocrite and pleaded false things to know the truth. It proves another thing, that when a woman loves a man, she will do all he wishes, and the woman will do all in her power to save him, and in whatever place the man may be, the woman will go to meet him. This is why they say that what a woman wants, God wants also.

As I was there when all that happened, they sent me here to relate it to you. I have finished.


  1. BONNEFOI, BONNEFOI; LAPIN, LAPIN! Bonne foi, from the Latin bona fide. True, true! Rabbit, rabbit!
  2. Compair Bouki. Brother Hyena.
  3. Compair Lapin Brother Rabbit.
  4. Dan Rice. Dan Rice (1823-1900) was a clown and circus performer. He was famous as the creator of the “one horse show.”

Prepared By


Fortier, Alcée, trans. “The Tar Baby (Piti Bonhomme Godron).” Louisiana Folk-Tales in French Dialect and English Translation. Ed. Alcee Fortier. Boston: American Folk-Lore Society, 1895. 138-150. Internet Archive. Web. 13 July 2012. <http:// archive.org/ details/ ajs8769. 0001.001. umich.edu>.

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