Jamaican Stories

Week 8: African Traditions - Assignments - Reading - Resources - Images

Goat on the Hill-side (Julia Gentle, Santa Cruz Mountains)

Reading time: 2 minutes. Word Count: 200 words

Here Tacoomah and Anansi engage in some extremely brutal activity. You know things are going to get ugly when they get out their machete...

The time hard. Anansi said to Tacoomah, "How going to manage wid de hard time?" So Tacoomah said, "You know we do? I will get me machete an' I go half shut de door, den I will say, 'Police, I sick!'" Den, when people come, Tacoomah take de machete an' chop dem, put dem in de barrel for de hungry time.

Anansi say, "Brar Tacoomah, barrel nearly full?"--"No, Brar." He cry out again how Tacoomah poorly; an' de people come an' as dey come, he kill dem put in barrel to serve in hungry time.

Den Goat up on de hill-side say he see everybody goin' in, nobody come out; de house so little, how is it gwine to hold all doze people? So Goat come down now off de hill-side to see how Tacoomah. He peep in. Tacoomah say, "Come in!" an' Goat run right back up hill-side. An' from dat day, Goat stay up on hill-side.

Questions. Make sure you can answer these questions about what you just read:

  • how did Anansi and Tacoomah get food to eat when times were hard?
  • why was Goat suspicious about what was happening in Anansi's house?
  • why does Goat stay up on the hillside now?

Source: Jamaica Anansi Stories by Martha Warren Beckwith (1924). Weblink.

Modern Languages / Anthropology 3043: Folklore & Mythology. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.
Page last updated: October 9, 2004 12:52 PM