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BLACK-AMERICAN TALE

ONCE ON A SOUTHERN PLANTATION, THE BUTLER, MOSES,
A HOUSE SLAVE WOULD TATTLE TO THE MASTER ABOUT
EVERYTHING THE HOUSE AND FIELD SLAVES DID. ON
ONE OCCASSION, MOSES TOLD THE MASTER THAT A
FIELD SLAVE HAD STOLEN SOME FOOD. THE MASTER
TOOK THE THIEF TO THE RIVER AND THREW HIM IN.
LATER, DURING A PARTY AT THE BIG HOUSE, MOSES
TOOK A STROLL DOWN NEAR THE RIVER. HE SAW
A SKELETON. UPON CLOSER INSPECTION, THE
SKELETON SPOKE, SAYING, "TEETH AND TONGUE
BROUGHT ME HERE". MOSES INQUIRED, "WHAT?"
THE SKELETON REPLIED, "TEETH AND TONGUE
BROUGHT ME HERE". MOSES, BIG EYED AND
VERY FRIGHTENED, SCURRIED BACK TO THE
BIG HOUSE CRYING FOR HIS MASTER.
THE MASTER, PERTURBED AT BEING DISTURBED DURING
HIS PARTY, ASKED MOSES WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM.
MOSES TOLD HIM THAT HE HAD SEEN A TALKING
SKELETON AT THE RIVER. THE MASTER WARNED
MOSES ABOUT DISTURBING HIS PARTY WITH SUCH
FOOLISHNESS. MOSES PERSISTED WITH HIS ACCOUNT
OF THE TALKING SKELETON DOWN NEAR THE RIVER.
THE MASTER, TIRED OF MOSES' SILLY BABBLING, DE-
CIDED TO CHECK THE RIVER. HOWEVER, HE WARNED
MOSES THAT IF HE WAS LYING, HE WOULD KILL HIM.
THEY RUSHED TO THE RIVER AND COULD NOT FIND
THE TALKING SKELETON. THE MASTER SHOT MOSES
AND LEFT HIM BY THE RIVER TO DIE BEFORE RE-
TURNING TO HIS PARTY. WHILE MOSES LAY DYING,
BY THE RIVER, THE SKELETON REAPPEARED SAYING
"TEETH AND TONGUE BROUGHT ME HERE."

Submitter comment: LEGEND TOLD BY GRANDFATHER WHEN WE TATTLED.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Tale

Date learned: 00001950S

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