Jamaican Folktales Grandad Told Me- Melva P. Davids


Yellow Bow

A well dressed lad turned up one day
in a tiny village quite far away.
Boots all shiny and brand new
Shimmering smiles, eyes all blue.
Top hat, cane and coat undone
revealing a bow like rays of the sun.

Lovely Salina sauntered in
swinging hips batted eyes all dimmed
Her father thought him very cute
unlike the backward village youths.

So he walked his daughter down the aisle
No questions asked, the knot was tied
Salina went with him that night
His yellow bow was still a sight
’til dead bolt on brass door closed
and they fell on a bed of rose.

Silken skin all slithery wet
with whimpering voice Salina wept
Impatient  fangs could not resist
sultry look and curved firm hips.
The noose was set, his victim trapped
Salina stared at its scaly back.

Her father leapt, he heard a scream
He thought he was still in a dream.
Calling from a distance thread
‘Soon dear father, I’ll be dead.
Yellow Bow, the manlike snake

Will swallow me before daybreak.’

Into the night he sped with haste
An axe astride his back he came
Chopped though thick metal in he went
In.time to see the predicament
Salina’s head just disappeared
The serpent’s tongue was surely red

With one great lunge he slit its throat
Pulled at its tongue till all was spewed
In foetal stance Salina lay
Stunned and confused to God she prayed.

Into the night her father ran
Carrying Salina to his van
He sped off from this dark past
Thankful that their fear’s unmasked.

Teeth Like These?

A farmer went gathering crops one day
Saddled his horse then started to pray
Lord send abundant sunshine and showers too
so I can scatter more seeds as I ought to doThe sky in reply gathered all its grey
till a steady torrent was on its way
The lightning sizzled and Thunder roared
Both had scampered to a cavern door

Inside was another already soaked
in tattered black pants and eerie pale cloak
The farmer greeted then watched in awe
the stranger bade greeting from cage-like jaws

Humongous fangs gleamed from skull like face
The farmer’s heart pounded like feet in race
He thought of flight as time stood still
and immobile limbs had lost all will

A peal of thunder brought him back to life
he gathered his wits and was soon in flight
Ass unsure of the entire score
turned to follow then giving life to all four

They climbed a hill then stopped for a minute
Then called at a hut with a neighbour in it.
He could hardly speak, his head grew bigger
He shared his encounter with the ghost like figure.

This shifty neighbour seemingly quite amused
stared at the poor farmer so all confused
As he opened his mouth in portly glee
He cooned in a whisper, ‘teeth like these.’

The poor farmer did not wait to confirm
the grotesque figure he has discerned.
Both beast and man made it safely home
Both fell wearily to the stable floor

His son heard a thud and ran to see
what could the nature of this matter be
His shaken father looked in relief
His worried son he told his grief.

Both went inside and straight to bed
but a silent voice in the farmer’s head
‘Teeth like these,’ the voice cajoled
as his body shook and stomach growled.



























Kendal Crash




Poor Uncle Sonny




Rolling Calf







Brer Nancy










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