Jamaica - Ballinder Bull
Richard Morgan, Santa Cruz Mountains.
Der is a bull de name of Ballinder Bull, but dem right name King Bymandorum. It is a wicked bull. De king said whoever kill Ballinder Bull, he will get his two daughter to marry to. All de men in de worl' try, an' couldn't kill him. One day, an' ol' lady stood by an' a woman was breedin' go to de horsepon' to tek water. De bull buck out de baby out of her an' went away. De ol' lady tek de baby an' rear him. When him come a good-sized boy, he send him to school. Every twelve o'clock when dey play marble, he lucky to win. De res' a chil' tell him said, "A da you mek so!" Four o'clock when him coming home, him say, "Ma, why de reason when I win doz odder chil' sai, "A da you mek so?" Him ma tell him tomorrow twelve o'clock get one switch play wid de least one an' after you win him tell you "A da you mek so!" gi' him two good lick an' you will come to know why dey use de word, So twelve o'clock he play an' win, an' tell him "A da you mek so!" He gi' him de two lick, an' after he give him de lick he said, "Hit let Ballinder Bull buck you out of you mudder belly." When de boy return home he said, "O mudder, you is not me right mudder!" De ol' lady said no, begun to tell him all dese t'ings were happen. De boy said, "Anywhere Ballinder Bull, a gwine kill him!"
Dis bull got gol'en tongue an' gol'en teet'. When de boy gwine along, him meet some noblemen and said, "My little boy, where am you goin'?" An' said, "I gwine a fight Ballinder Bull." De men said, "Boy, we after Ballinder Bull fe dis many year an' kyan't ketch him; what you t'ink upon you?" De boy said, "Never min', I gwine fight him!" De boy went where him feedin'. Bull never see him, go drink water. De boy go to de cotton-tree an' say, "Bear down, me good cotton-tree, bear down!" De cotton-tree bear down. Said, "Bear up, me good cotton-tree, bear up!" When de bull was coming, he hear de singin',
"Anywhere Ballinder Bull,
De' will kill him to-day!"
Ballinder Bull say, "What little boy up in de air jeering me as dis?" When he come, he fire bow an' arrow; de boy catch it. Him fire anodder one, an' he fire out de seven; de boy caught every one. De boy look on him an' sen' one of de bow an' arrow, peg down one of de han'. An' tek de odder one an' sen it t'ru de odder han'. He sen' anodder an' peg down one of de foot. He sen' anodder an' peg down de odder foot. He sen' anodder, he peg down one of de ears. He sen' anodder an' peg down de odder ear. De las' one, he sen it t'ru de head. An' he say, "Bear down, me good cotton-tree, bear down!" When de cotton-tree bear down, he catch de ears an' pinch it an' fin' dat de bull was dead. An' he came off an' say, "Bear up, me good cotton-tree, bear up!" an' de cotton-tree bear up. An' tek a knife an' tek out de teet', tek out de tongue an' travel.
De same day, he never went to de king yard. Hanansi goin' to ground an' saw de bull an' said, "Buck, Ballinder Bull! buck, Ballinder Bull!" De bull don' shake. "Hanansi said, "You damned son of a bitch, you won' get me fe kill to-day!" an' tek up de stone an' stone him an' fin' out dat de bull dead. De gladness in Hanansi! He went up chop off de bull head, bear it on to de king. When he go he said, "I kill Ballinder Bull, Sir!" De king say, "Oh, yes! you shall be my son-in-law tomorrow morning." Now der is a bell, every gate has a bell. So Hanansi gettin' ready to go to church, dey hear de bell ringin' at de gate an' dey sing,
'A who a knock a Nana gate, bing beng beng?
A who a knock a Nana gate, bing beng beng?"
When de boy come, de king say "What you want?" An' say, "I kill Ballinder Bull, Sir." Hanansi come out. (King says) "You's a little liar! Little boy like you couldn't fight Ballinder Bull!" An'
[1. In a Brownstown version of the same story, the song is as follows--
Ga-shaw-nee, oh, Ga-shaw-nee, oh, Ga-shaw-nee,
Look how lit-tle bit a Sam -my call yo' name, why.]
Hanansi run in, said, "Der is de 'head!" De boy put his han' in his pocket said, "Der de tongue an' de teet'!"
Dey ketch Hanansi an' 'tretch him out on a ladder, an' beat him, After dat, dey sen' him to look wood fe de weddin'. Dey sen' Dog to watch him. Hanansi carried de wood, carry about ten bundle. Ev'ry trip, Dog go wid him. When him come back, 'im say, "Brar Dog, you, love meat? I hear one hog over yonder; run go see if we kyan' get little!" By time Dog return back, Hanansi gwine under wood 'kin an' hide, an' all de hunt Dog hunt, kyan't fin' him till dis day.
This is one of the best-known stories in Jamaica. See Milne-Home, 67-69, Garshan Bull; P. Smith, 55-58, Bull Garshananee. All follow about the same pattern, and the same may be said of other versions collected in Jamaica which are not set down here.
In a version given by Mrs. Elizabeth Hilton, the boy buys twelve buta (arrows) and a bottle of water and a bottle of rum. When he calls "Geshawnee," the bull says, "Since I have been in this place, I never heard anyone call my name." The boy stays up the tree into which he has climbed by the formula, "Bear up, me good tree, bear up! I have often seen me father fell a green tree and leave a dry one."
In a Mandeville version by John Macfarlane, the boy's name is "Simon Tootoos," the bull's "Garshanee." The woman makes him a pudding and he takes six eggs each of hen, turkey and bird. He opens three gates with song, and the giant appears in the form of a bull. He climbs a cotton-wood tree. When the bull throws arrows at him he says, "I see me father take his little finger and catch longer arrows than those!" He catches twelve, with which he pelts the bull in return.
Neither of these versions ends with the false claim.
In another Mandeville version given by a lad, Clarence Tathum, the slayer of the mother is a giant named "Tako-rimo." The son takes a yard of tobacco and a pone. With the tobacco, he bribes the watchman to give him information about the giant and an iron-crow-bar. He goes inside and sees a servant lousing the giant's head. "Massa, der is someone calling you name," says the servant. "Who would calling my name so uncommon?" answers the giant. The giant flings a sword, which the boy catches and himself flings the crowbar and kills the giant, The story goes on to tell how the boy is imprisoned by the brother, "Giant Despair," and escapes exactly as in the tale of "Jack the Giant-Killer," while the giant falls into a trench and is killed.
In Stephen Johnson's version from Claremont, a huge animal by the name of "Grandezee" kills the mother but spares the child. To escape the beast, the boy climbs a tree and sings, "Bear up, me good tree, for I often see me father get down tall trees and ketch them up again!" He throws three pegs and pegs down Grandezee and takes out the golden tongue and teeth. The false claim follows.
In a version from Brownstown by Emanuel Johnson, "Geshawnee was a kind of witch t'ing live into de river." He has seven heads. Sammy cuts seven lances, climbs a tree and calls his name. He says, 'From day I'm born, never see a big man call me name, much more a little boy!' He knocks his side and brings out axe-men, rain and cattle, which attack the tree in vain. Sammy sings, "Bear up, me good tree, bear up. I oftentimes see me father cow haul down a tree an' me father say, 'Bear up, me good tree, bear up,' an' that tree bear up.' Sammy kills the monster. The story of the false claim follows.
In Parsons's fragment, 145-146, the name is Kramytadanta. The boy takes a bottle of water and a loaf and sings from the tree.
Seven episodes regularly belong to the story. (1) A bull (or monster) kills a woman whose new-born son is saved and brought up by a woman-friend or relative. (2) The boys at school mock at him because he has no father, and he learns the story of his parentage. (3) He takes certain objects for slaying the monster. (4) He sings a name-song as challenge. (5) He climbs a tree which resists attack. (6) He slays the beast by hurling missiles from the tree. (7) Anansi claims the deed.
Compare Zeltner's stories of Soundita, 1-6, and Kama, 54-61; Renel 1: 82-85; 117-118; Tremearne, 408-412; Lenz, 22; Fortier, 11-13; Harris, Friends, 86-89; Boas, Notes, JAFL 25: 258.
(1) In the less sophisticated versions, the bull kicks the child from the "breeding" woman.
(2) See Burton's Arabian Nights Tales (Burton Club, 1885) 1:231. The mocking incident is common in Maori tales.
(3) In Zeltner's "Soundita" story, the contest with a witch turned buffalo is carried on with three magic eggs and three magic arrows. In Fortier, the boy fights the bull with flap-jacks. The arrows suggest the weapons used in the fight of Sir Percival with the Red Knight in the English romance version. See also number 79, 80, 82.
(4) By comparing this bull version with Harris, Friends, 86- 89, and Fortier, 11-13, it is clear that the North American version contained the two episodes, that of exposing the bull husband by means of a song, as in number 87, and that of the challenge to conflict which completes number 89 in Jamaica. In Harris, the word used for the bull transformation is "Ballybaloo-bill," which is very close to my "Ballinder bull." The more common name in Jamaica is "Geshawnee," as in P. Smith's version and Johnson's song. But in Johnson's song, as in Harris, the boy is named Sammy and his small size emphasized. In the Harris-Fortier version, one episode is used to motivate the other, The first episode explains the rather mysterious use of the song in the Ballinder Bull story and in number 88, where the bull seems surprised that anyone knows enough to challenge him by name and where the knowledge itself seems bound up with his defeat. In Jekyll's version of number 88, when the son challenges the father by name a cow calls, "Master, master, I hear some one calling your name." The bull answers, "No, no, not a man can call my name!" At some stage in transmission a fatal name motive must have dropped out and a magic song taken its place.
This comparison with Harris and Fortier merely proves a relation with the Jamaica story. It by no means explains the original source of the American version, or its exact relation to the other bull stories collected; namely, numbers 84 and 88. Zeltner's story of Soundita, 3-5, has perhaps more elements in common with the Harris-Fortier story than any other African parallel, and further analysis may decide whether the complex Senegambian story is in the direct line or merely has gathered episodes from a common source.
(5) and (6) See note to number 82 and Bolte u. Polívka, discussing Grimm 60, Two Brothers.
(7) The episode of the mock claim appears also in the next number and in 97.
Jamaica Anansi Stories ,Martha Warren Beckwith, New York, Published By The American Folk-Lore Society, G. E. Stechert & Co., Agents.  and is now in the public domain.