Parsons. Folklore of the Antilles

Today's free book is Folklore of the Antilles by Elsie Clews Parsons. For the table of contents, check at the bottom of this post below the image; I have only listed the stories available in English.

All three volumes of the book are available at Hathi Trust.



Rabbit Goes to Ask the Good Lord Our Father for a Little Wisdom
Rabbit and Bete-a-fe Go Fishing: Tiger's House (Rabbit Is Bitten by Centipede): Tiger Substitutes: Rabbit Makes Tiger Think He Is Holding a Tree
Rabbit Is Bitten by Snakes
Rabbit Makes Tiger Think He Is Holding the Bed
Wax Doll (Take My Place!): Tiger Listens to World Below: Rabbit Spat on Me!
Wax Doll: Tie Me in Your Place!
Rabbit Makes Tiger His Riding-horse
The Pass-word
Ber Lion Throws Pap Into the Hole
Bo Nancy and Bo Tick Race Cutting Grass: Take in the Medicine!
The Boastful Animals
Girl Livin' in a House Seven Stories in Heigh'
There Was a Young Man Who Loved Every Woman
Dere Lives an Ol' Woman, Had Two Sons
Spider Turns Baby to Learn the Princess' Name
Female Tiger Dressed Like a Woman
Ol' Nelson Godon Young Nelson Godon
Big Mouth, T'in Foot, Big Belly
John Sells Sugar to Mr. Berkeley: John Makes the Copper Boil With This Whip: John Kills His Mother and Revives Her: Tie Me in Your Place!
The Princess Who Gave the Meaning of Riddles
Cricket, Fortune-teller
The Contrary Brothers
Thin Leg, Big Belly, Peeper
The Skillful Brothers
When the Donkey Brays Thrice
Down Cow-gut Alley
Horse Egg
In Abraham's Bosom
Noodle Stories
French Planter and English Magistrate
Dead Men Return
Three Sailors


Rabbits Asks God to Give Him Sense
Compe Zaien and Compe Tig'e Go Fishing: Lion's House
Compe Tig'e T'ief
Tied in His Place
Foot Stinks!
The Pass-word
Playin Godfather
Le' We Play Tie! Leaves Cry, "Shame, Bo Lion, Shame!": Zaen Turns Baby
Against Speaking Ill
The Fatal Count
Cat and Rat Go Bathe
Children in the Wood: Escape Up the Tree
Lady and the Syrop
Dog in the Basket
Big Mouth, T'in Foot, Big Belly
Fish Lover
He Goes Back for His Flute: He Chops Wood for the Devil's Grandmother
Devil Hammers His Tongue
A Lady Have Two Sons
The Pepper Tree
The Things That Talked
What Please You, Please Me: John Fox, P'ofessor
Murderous Brother
The Biggest Lie
The Frightened Guest
They Got What They Wanted
Inside Whale
The Girl Who Knows Nancy Stories

St. Vincent

Tar Baby: Mock Plea: Nancy Tricks Shark: Trees and Stones Cry Shame! Ties Lion to Tree: Disguised as Baby: Blinds Lion
Cat Plays Dead to Kill Rats
Nancy Pretends to Pull Against Whale and Elephant
The Pass-word
Playing Godfather
Against Busy-bodies
King Rufus Gambles With the Devil
Mistress Baker Sends for Her Husband
Napkin and Carbins Who Whip
The Three Brothers

St. Lucia

Tiger and Rabbit Go to the Sea to Fish: Lying Down in the Road, Rabbit's Children Make Out They Are Dead: Tiger Is Dead but He Has Not Blown: Come and Take Your Coffee! Seven-headed Beast (The Two Brothers)
In Cow's Belly: Take My Place
Rabbit Asks God for More Sense
My Mother Killed Me
Crichette, Bon Divine
Devil Marriage: He Removes the Thorn From
The Lion's Paw: Board of Water
Old Lady and Her Wee Wee Goat
Hell Fire
One Leg Turkey


Rabbit Went to Ask God for a Little Bit of Wisdom


Wheel Me Back, Ber Wheeler!
The Girl Who Lived to Dance
The Parson's Beard
The Frightened Guest
Skin, Skin, Why You Burnin' Me, Skin?
The Boy on the Gallows



Tie Me in De Fattes' Part of De Herbs: Tie Me!
Don't Marry to a Woman Dat Does Say Hun
Magic Flight
The Parson's Hog
They Think It a Song
Moon Cheese

Les Saints

(None in English)

Marie Galante  

(None in English)


Jack Outwits Lion
Mock Cockcrow: Lion Substitutes: Refugees in the Ridge Pole
Monkey Steals the Meat: Mock Beating
Decoy: Mock Pursuit
False Letter: Take My Place Mock Plea: Mock Pursuit
Tar Baby
Inside the Cow
Terycooma and Ber Nancy
Terracooma Loses His Wings: Terracooma Cuts Off Merrymaid's Breast: the Give-away
Why Cat Eats Rat
Why Dog Eats Fox
The Tug-of-war
He Eats His Words: the Leaves Cry Shame!
Donkey Carries Monkey Over the Bridge
Brer Heady-heady and Hawk
Niggardly Godmother
Hog Bridegroom
The Chosen Suitor
Barking Head
Big Foot, Big Belly, Small Foot, and Broad Mouth
The Two Brothers
The Child Betrays
Two Thieves
Come in or Stay Out!
The Goat That Won't Walk Fast
Jock and the Beanstalks
Pennyworth of Wit
The Bluffing Swimmer


The Wings Melt: the Threat Midway: Mock Plea
Hurricane Coming
Monkey Husband
The Ordeal
The Chosen Suitor
Guessing a Name
Outwitting to Learn a Name
He Sings to Make the Old Woman Dance
Banjo Tune
The Dumb Lady
He Burns Up His House: in the Bag
Six Robbers
Gorilla Mating
The Six Little Pigs
Mosquito's Knee and Fly's Mouth
Only One Mouthful


Mistaken Hold: Bellyful of Sand
Horn for a Stump
Rabbit and Ber Chickerber Go Fishing
Playing Dead Twice on the Road
False Message: Take My Place!
Tar Baby
Mock Cockcrow: in Cow's Belly
Annancy Gives a Bath
Shell-fish Takes Back His Wings: Put Down Trash!
Dog's Hands
Nancy Brings Up the Goat Ear
They Sell Their Mothers: Buried Tails: He Touches Up the Cut
Riding-horse: Watcher Tricked
Cat Races on Turtle's Back
Turtle Races Goat
Dog Takes Back His Belly Cork
Why Fowls Eat Cockroaches
Dog and Mongoose
Mongoose, Dog Know You Well
Rat Eats Up All Th Erice
Nancy, Tacoma and Bru Buzzard, Three Butchers
Lion Turns on Monkey
The Girl Buys Nothing
Nancy Eats the Wedding Meal
Cast Your Bread Upon the Waters
Ground Dove and Mountain Dove Compete in Their Trees
Rabbit and Hummingbird Have a Cooking Match
Animal Cries
Boar-hog Husband
The Girl Tells Who Lifted for Her
Ordeal by River
Murderous Mother
He Goes Back for His Flute: He Pounds Cassava for the Devil
He Exchanges the Hate
Above the Robbers: Man in the Bag
The Pot That Cooks Without Fire: Money Tree
Master Thief
Three Questions for the King's Daughter
He Makes the Girl Laugh
The Three Corpses to Throw Away
Devil Bridegroom
Yellow Beast
The Bird That Would Not Let the Sun Shine
Giant Plays Grandmother
The Things That Talked
Glass of Water
Why the Sea Is Salt
Parrot and Monkey Keep Shop
Niggah and a Mule Is Two Damn Fool

St. Kitts  

The Give-away
Nancy Boils Sheep: Tied in the Pease Field: Take My Place! False Call
Lion, Rabbit, and Dog Go Fishing
Monkey Husband
The Giant
Hide Me!
Devil Marriage
Salt, Butter, and Pull-my-ear
He Goes Back for His Flute: He Pounds Cassaba for Granny Sarah
Jumble Country
The Pot That Boils Without Fire: Jack Pretends to Kill His Sister: the Tamarind Dessert: in the Bag
The Horse That Rescues: Man or Woman?
Pot and Skin
The Good Child and the Bad
Fortune Teller
The Two Brothers
Turned to Stone
Who Is Entitled to the Chicken?
God's Call
Fox and Stork
He Poisons the Teacher and Blows Up the Schoolhouse: the Privateer

St. Eustatius  

Take My Place!
False Message: Take My Place! Mock Pursuit
Mock Cockcrow: in Cow's Belly
Turtle Tells Her Name
Magic Flight
He Kills and Revives
Man in the Barrel
Can a Bull Give Milk?
How to Make One Suck His Lips
Jack the Giant Killer
The Bluffing Swimmer


A Bone in His Throat: the Pass-word
They Pray for Rain: Lion Turns on His Rescuer
The Boar Hog Suitor
The Ordeal
Don't Pull My Hair
Children in the Woods

St. Bartholomew  

Exchanging the Caps
He Sends the Pig to Church: Noodle: the Killing Hot Bath
The Princess With the Mole
The Three Companions
The Five Wild Ducks
Who Speaks First
The Princess and the Mangy Dog
Pack of Cards

St. Martin  

Tar Baby
In Cow's Belly
Fool Planting: Tar Baby: How Tukemah Got His Pretty Clothes: the Pelicans Take Back Their Feathers: She Eats Her Words
Cockroach Fools Fowl
The Less Greedy Is Rewarded
The Spirit Mother Rescues Her Children
Murderous Mother
They Cut Their Way Out From Inside the Giant
Guessing a Name
He Gets the Better of His Mother
Can Poached Eggs Hatch?
Seven-headed Beast: Two Brothers
He Meets the King's Conditions
He Saves the Vessel


In Cow's Belly
Lion Waves Both Hands

St. Croix  

Caught in His Own Trap
Tar Baby: Bo Goat Takes Bo Lion's Place
False Message: Bo Tiger Takes Bo Rabbit's Place: Shoo
Fly! Mock Pursuit
Tar Baby: Eavesdropper: Without Scratching
Without Scratching: Lion Tied by His Hair
Playing Dead: the Cat's Party
In the Rafters
Blinding the Watcher
Lion Makes Deer His Riding-horse
Two of Dem Was Cou'tin' De Same Ladee
Suitor Test: Rabbit Makes Lion His Riding-horse
Ber Nancy Rides Ber Deer
Father God Talks
The Race (Fox Carries Crab)
Breaking Hook Contest
Bo Pigeon and Mountain Dove Race for the King's Daughter
Lion Gives a Ball
Bru Goat's Horn
Bru Nancy Hol' a Party
Five Cent Not'in'
Playing Godfather
Monkey Steals
Musquito, Jack Spaniar', and Fly
Mock Plea
The Escape
Paying for the Guinea Bird
Mock Moonrise: Calling Down the Pumpkins
Fish Lover
The Chosen Suitor
Magic Flight
Half Man
Full Pot Full
In the Tree Above the Robbers
Murderous Mother
Beauty and the Beast
The Old Lady Who Ate Her Bunch O' Berry
The Corn the Guinea Birds Ate
My Little Doggie
A Deer an' a Dutchman
Rich Man and Poor Man
Quamie Has Moved
Sycamore Tree
He Calls the King's Wife a Liar
Milk Snake
The Two Rogues
Tumpy Ben Visits the Women
Half Past Twelve When I Left Hell
The Hymn
The Parson's Beard
Whatsoever in Thy Bosom
The Imitative Choir
Dumpling and Goathead

St. Thomas  

Tar Baby: Take My Place! Over the Hole: Mock Directions
Hurricane Coming: in the Roof
Without Scratching
God Speaking
Lion's Head Fast in the Honey Hive
Nancy Fails to Feed the Ground Doves
The Escape: Feasting on Cat
Singing the Tree Down
The Devil's Daughter
Twelve Head
Murderous Mother
The Twelve Brothers
On the Scaffold
He Cries Robbers!
The Porto Rican Spirit
Half Past One When She Left Jerusalem
Ghost and Lion


By Day Very Small, in the Evening Larger Than a Tiger
Today for You an' Tomorrow for Me: T'row-back, T'row Me Back: Put Down Mattress

The Good Child and the Bad Child

Volume 3


1. Rabbit seeks endowments
2. Sharing the spoils
3. Adding to the score
4-5. The thief is bitten: Dummy in pen
6. Refugees in the housetop
7. Mistaken hold
8. Horn for a stump
9. Playing dead twice in the road
10. Rabbit eats all elephant’s fish
11. Stealing the drag
12. Mock beating
13. Mock pursuit
14. Caught in his own trap (heavey, heave!)
15. Caught in his own trap (deadfall)
16. Too swollen to escape
17. Rabbit is a blind
18. Rabbit catches lizard
19. Rabbit says, “Get out!”
20. Exchanging godchildren
21. False message
22. Shoo fly!
23. Substitute victim (take my place!)
24. Tar baby
25. Mock plea
26. In cow’s belly
27. Self-incrimination
28. He throws down fruit
29. Tell or I bite
30. Mock sunrise (mock cockcrow)
31. Playing dead
32. Mock wake
33. Piping down the rats
34. The give-away (mock funeral)
35. The give-away (house answers)
36. The birds take back their feathers
37. Put me down a mattress!
38. He eats his words
39. The plug
40. Nancy tricks shark
41. He makes them dance
42. Dog’s horns
43. An ear for an ear
44. They sell their mothers
45. Buried tails
46. Three butchers
47. Riding-horse
48. His captor says a grace
49. Tug-of-war
50. Relay race (or race with substitutes in line)
51. Side-tracked in the race
52. The race won on the back of the other
53. Spider turns baby
54. The pass-word
55. The earth has eyes
56. The end of the world (or storm coming)
57. Borrowed finery (or belly cock)
58. Cockroach before fowl
59. Why fowls eat cockroaches
60. Cockroach fools fowl
61. Monkey’s head for pot rest
62. Watcher tricked
63. Lion throws pap into the hole
64. Man is stronger
65. The reaping race
66. Defecating test
67. Eating or drinking test
68. Endurance test
69. Breaking hook contest
70. Take in the medicine!
71. The boastful animals
72. Scratching test
73. Playing godfather
74. The talking gourd
75. The leaves cry shame!
76. He turns to his rescuer
77. Tied by his hair
78. Magic against busy-bodies
79. The fatal count
80. The killing hot bath
81. Jumping match
82. How to dive
83. Mock judge
84. Enemy playmates
85. Pass me over the bridge!
86. Dog goes to town
87. He overreaches
88. Tiger takes all the drinks
89. Fast in the honey hive
90. Greedy cat
91. The fraudulent count
92. The tables turned
93. Goatskin and tigerskin
94. The child without a head
95. Voice above
96. False order
97. Carried in a hammock
98. Terrifying by a disguise
99. How he got his pretty clothes
100. Mouse and elephant
101. As big as his thigh
102. Dog talks too much
103. Dog is afraid
104. Pelican learns to dive
105. Monkey’s bet
106. Tortoise crosses the bridge
107. Fox and stork entertain each other
108. What news?
109. Cat eats rat
110. Why the dead stay dead
111. Dog and mongoose
112. How cock escapes
113. Heady-heady and hawk
114. Nancy fails to feed the ground doves
115. Fowl’s drink
116. The birds compete
117. Paying for the guinea bird
118. Calf jacket
119. Banjo tune
120. Witch-spouse
121. Fish-girl
122. Girl-bird
123. Singing bone
124. Do not cut my hair!
125. Forbidden fruit
126. Murderous mother
127. Ordeal by cross
128. Ordeal by river
129. The thief will choke
130. The escape
131. Pennyworth of nothing
132. Monkey steals girls
133. Suitor tests
134. He sings the tree up and down
135. The devil goes up with his mother
136. He makes a suit for the devil
137. The devil’s bell
138. Chosen suitor
139. The girl who can’t keep a secret
140. Bluebeard
141. The girl who would dance
142. Abandoned to the devil
143. Singing fish
144. Singing boy
145. Barking head
146. The doll that sticks
147. Eat the dung!
148. “Guess my name, and I will eat your food”
149. Rival brothers
150. Who is entitled to the chicken?
151. The sleepless boy
152. Exchanging caps
153. The bag you have to fall into
154. The devil climbs a tree for an apple
155. Zombi woman and human woman
156. The impossible demand
157. Bamboo seed
158. He follows her into the grave
159. Zombi funeral
160. Zombi servant
161. Jumbie country
162. Put me down where you found me
163. She takes ofi her skin
164. Counting the grains
165. Witch fire
166. The witch’s child fails
167. Werewolf and vampire
168. Werewolf and thief
169. Werewolf transformation
170. Goat tongue
171. He thwarts his father
172. The devil’s daughter and magic flight
173. Guard on the mountain
174. The ferryman
175. The ferryman’s trick
176. He rescues his sisters
177. His sisters disappear
178. Beauty into dog
179. Carried by eagle
180. Escape up the tree
181. He kills the cow that killed his mother
182. The abandoned children
183. Guessing a name
184. Hide me!
185. Outwitting to learn a name
186. Identifying by name
187. She sends for her husband
188. Animal messengers
189. Solomon’s choice
190. He sends for his wife (or the dumb wife)
191. The lady visitor
192. Sweet misery
193. Dog in the basket
194. Old bull and young bull
195. Big mouth, big belly, thin leg
196. Mosquito and fly
197. Shut up!
198. Pinch-me-eye
199. Fish lover
200. Fish husband
201. Long lost brother
202. The trapped wife
203. The tree goes up into the air
204. He goes back for his flute
205. The song is answered
206. The banjo calls
207. The singing egg
208. Devil scullion
209. The stolen girl
210. She seeks a saviour
211. The devil calls like her mother
212. The blacksmith hammers devil’s tongue
213. Wolf whitens his paws
214. He chops wood for his captor
215. He punctures the fontanelle
216. He sends the pig to church
217. He scalds his mother to death
218. He charges another with killing his mother
219. Above the robbers
220. He divides house and horse
221. He makes money with half of the horse
222. He burns the house and the cane
223. John sells sugar
224. The pot that boils without fire
225. He kills and revives
226. Wise and foolish
227. Wise, Foolish and the Tortoise
228. He believes he is dead
229. Two thieves
230. Master thief
231. The king’s treasury
232. The greedy mother
233. Mock priest
234. How can a man give birth
235. Fool planting
236. Man or woman?
237. Donkey, table and whip
238. The good child and the bad
239. Cowherd brothers
240. Cinderella and the parrot
241. Donkey skin
242. Bluebird
243. Frog suitor
244. Beauty and the beast
245. Twin brothers: seven tongues
246. The beast that keeps the country dark
247. The king’s swineherd
248. Three brothers
249. Murderous brother
250. The enchanted sheep
251. Treacherous sister (or magic arm band)
252. The thorn in lion’s paw
253. Little oil lamp, belt, cutlass
254. The wager on the wife’s chastity
255. The battle of the enchanters
256. Aladdin’s lamp
257. The bastard guards his father’s flowers
258. Man of iron
259. The grateful dead
260. The tree that cures
261. The two comperes
262. Beauty and valet
263. Beauty at the well
264. They conceal his death
265. On the gallows
266. Snow White
267. Her duck brothers
268. The princess asleep in the wood
269. The substituted bride
270. The envious sisters
271. The faithful friend
272. Puppy substitute
273. Oedipus
274. Red Riding-Hood
275. The substituted letter (or the girl without hands)
276. The brand
277. Picking the right girl
278. The princess who asks riddles
279. Who gets angry first
280. The sackful of lies
281. Pregnant by rabbit
282. Magical impregnation: in the king’s pocket
283. The token of chastity
284. The princess with the mole
285. False diviner
286. Blufiing swimmer
287. He saves the vessel
288. The clever tailor
289. Puss in boots
290. Jack and the beanstalk
291. The contrary brother
292. The wonderful helpers
293. The skillful brothers
294. The housekeepers
295. The magic chicken
296. The magic fruit
297. The danced-out shoes
298. He divides the meat for the animals: his soul in an egg
299. The speaking horse
300. All things talk
301. Breaking wind forever
302. Half-Chicken
303. Crazy donkey
304. The child and the serpent
305. The frightened guest
306. Saint Joseph is witness
307. The hoodwinked husband
308. The blind husband
309. The dead who return
310. The woman and the priest
311. Three husbands
312. The three precepts
313. Warning through a name
314. The clever boy
315. The child betrays
316. The biggest lie
317. He meets the king’s conditions
318. Guessing God’s mind
319. Futile jealousy
320. Getting rid of the corpse
321. As big a fool
322. The man who understood animal speech
323. Little Brother Fever
324. Tree spirit
325. Gold ball, silver ball, copper ball
326. Queen Cecile
327. She frees her lover
328. Contradictions
329. Twelve days
330. Days of the week
331. Mock egg
332. The little pigs
333. The goat that would not walk fast
334. They take and they give
335. Death up a tree
336. Seen from the housetop
337. Gullible wife
338. Too lazy to live
339. Whatsoever in thy bosom
340. God’s call
341. Half past twelve when I left hell
342. God is stupid!
343. Hell fire
344. Saint Joseph’s candles
345. Enough for one, enough for two
346. Second sight
347. Come in or stay out!
348. The dog eats the priest’s dinner
349. The bet on the priest
350. Pack of cards
351. Nothing but the truth
352. The priest wins the bet for him
353. The priest gives a nose
354. Born with a rosary
355. Incestuous priest
356. Why priests wear drawers
357. The miracle
358. One-leg turkey
359. Cockcrow
360. Dove’s call
361. Animal cries
362. They got what they wanted
363. What pleases you, pleases me
364. Noodle
365. The same answer
366. Parasol
367. Trunk
368. Inside Whale
369. French planter and English magistrate
370. He tests his women
371. Who will speak first
372. Why the sea is salt
373. Parrot and monkey keep shop
374. Pay me for my trouble!
375. Pun (lait-laid)
376. Little gifts
377. Niggah and mule is two damn fool
378. The parson’s beard
379. Hymn misunderstood
380. The imitative choir
381. The suitor’s presents
382. Unheeded warning
383. Princess and mangy dog
384. Spirit lion
385. Spirit mother
386. Spirit mother rescues her children
387. Gorilla mate
388. Magic trap
389. Magic stick
390. Supernatural cofiins
391. Digging for treasure
392. School boy adventure
393. Turned to stone
394. Monkey steals
395. Deer and Dutchman
396. Rich man and poor man
397. Milk snake
398. Tumpy Ben visits the women
399. Dumpling and goat head
400. Feasting on cat
401. He cries “Robbers!”
402. Ghost and lion
403. He kills his father with rum
404. Moon cheese

Saint Vincent
Saint Lucia
Les Saintes
Marie Galante
Saint Kitts
Saint Eustatius
Saint Bartholomew
Saint Martin
Saint Croix
Saint Thomas

Saint Vincent
Saint Lucia
Les Saintes
Marie Galante
Saint Croix
Saint Thomas

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