Jamaican Stories

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

Goat and Plantain (Rennie Macfarlane, Mandeville)

Reading time: 2 minutes. Word Count: 200 words

Here comes another fable about the Goat, who turns out to be pretty dangerous himself... even if he does say "Baa-a-a."

Goat plant his plantain tree an' when it begun to bear he go an' look at it, an' when he look at it he say it will soon fit. The nex' day he go again an' say, "It is fit; it will soon ripe!" An' the nex' day when he come to cut it, Br'er Nansi cut it an' eat it. Br'er Goat said, "Baa-a-a, where's me plantain?"

He go to Anansi house an' Anansi an' his wife an' two children run up in housetop. Br'er Goat wait down below. Anansi daughter said she was tired, wanted to drop on the groun' an' she drop an' Goat cut her up an' put her in his tread-bag, an' he said, "Baa-a-a, here's me plantain!" Anansi son say he wanted to drop an' he drop. An' Br'er Goat cut him up an' put him in his tread-bag, an' he said, "Baa-a-a, here's me plantain!"

An' Anansi wife say, "I want to drop!" an' she drop an' Goat cut her up an' put her in the tread-bag, an' said, "Baa-a-a, here's me plantain!"

An' Br'er Anansi said, "As I'm so fat, sprinkle some ashes on the groun' an' when I drop I won't mash." An' Br'er Goat sprinkle it on the groun' an' Anansi drop an' the ashes fly up in Goat face an' blind him. An' Br'er Nansi keep the plantain-tree for himself an' when it bear, he eat it.

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

  • why was Goat angry at Anansi?
  • what happened to Anansi's son and daughter and wife?
  • how did Anansi escape from Goat?

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