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Title: The Bojabi Tree
Author: Rickert, Edith, Botkin, Gleb
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Bojabi Tree" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



THE BOJABI TREE

[Illustration: ALL THE BEASTS WERE HUNGRY]

[Illustration]



  THE BOJABI TREE

  BY
  EDITH RICKERT

  PICTURES BY
  GLEB BOTKIN

  [Illustration]

  GARDEN CITY      NEW YORK
  DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY
  1923

  [Illustration]



  COPYRIGHT, 1923, BY

  DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY

  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THAT OF TRANSLATION
  INTO FOREIGN LANGUAGES, INCLUDING THE SCANDINAVIAN

  COPYRIGHT, 1922, BY D. C. HEATH & COMPANY

  PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES
  AT
  THE COUNTRY LIFE PRESS, GARDEN CITY, N. Y.

  _First Edition_



THE BOJABI TREE



[Illustration]



CHAPTER ONE

ROBIN RAT


In the land of All-the-Beasts there was a GREAT HUNGER. Some of the
animals who were so HUNGRY were

  Tabby Tiger
    Bruno Bear
      Katy Crocodile
        Robin Rat
          Pinky Pig
            Giddy Goat
              Tommy Tortoise

and many more--more than you could ever count in a year.

[Illustration: THEY COULD NOT EAT IT]

They ran around the wood, here and there and everywhere, eating roots
and twigs and any old scraps they could find. But still they were
HUNGRY.

One day they came to a Big Tree full of fruit. But they could not eat
it, for they did not know what it was.

[Illustration: “LET US SEND ROBIN RAT”]

They sat down in a circle round the tree, and said, “What can we do?”

When they had thought a while, they said, “Let us send Robin Rat up
the river to Leo, our King, and ask him what the fruit is and whether
we may eat it.”

[Illustration: ROBIN RAT PICKS THE FRUIT]

Robin Rat was young and spry. He scuttled up the tree and brought down
one of its fruits to show King Leo.

It was a DELICIOUS looking fruit!

It looked like an

APPLEORANGEPLUMPEARBANANA

but it smelled like a

BANANAPEARPLUMORANGEAPPLE.

[Illustration: SUNSET ON THE RIVER]

Then Robin Rat scuttled down to the river bank and climbed into his
little canoe.

All the day and all the day he paddled

  and paddled
  and PADDLED

up the river.

And the Great Red Sun dropped behind the trees.

Then he found King Leo on the bank, all ready to receive visitors. He
was wearing his crown tipped on the back of his head because he felt
happy. He smiled at Robin Rat as pleasant as you please, and asked him
to stay to supper.

[Illustration]

[Illustration: ALL READY TO RECEIVE VISITORS]

[Illustration: NIGHT IN THE GREAT WOOD]

After supper they curled up and went to sleep. There was nothing else
to do, you see. For this is the way it looked in the

  GREAT WOOD.

[Illustration: IN THE MORNING]

In the morning King Leo said politely, “What can I do for you, my small
friend?”

Then Robin Rat answered, “Please tell us, King Leo, what is the name
of this tree and whether we may eat the fruit of it. We are all SO
HUNGRY!”

[Illustration: KING LEO SNIFFS AT THE FRUIT]

King Leo looked at the fruit that was like an

APPLEORANGEPEARPLUMBANANA

and he sniffed at the fruit that was like a

BANANAPLUMPEARORANGEAPPLE.

Then he said, “It is a good fruit. You may eat it. The name of the tree
is

  BOJABI.”

[Illustration: ALL THE DAY HE PADDLED]

Then Robin Rat hung his cap over his right ear and climbed into his
little canoe.

All the day and all the day he paddled down the great river.

And all the way he was thinking how much he could eat of that

  DELICIOUS fruit.

And at night he came home.

[Illustration: WAITING FOR ROBIN RAT]

All the Beasts were waiting for him on the shore. He came up, whisking
his paddle _this_ way and _that_ way through the water, just to show
how well he could do it.

“What is it, Robin Rat?” said All the Beasts. “Tell us the name!” they
roared and howled and grunted and whined and shrieked and squealed,
each in his own PARTICULAR voice.

“Oh!” said Robin Rat. “I knew it a while ago, but now I have clean
forgotten.”

[Illustration: WHAT HAPPENED TO ROBIN RAT]

Then All the Beasts stepped into the water and upset Robin Rat’s little
canoe.

  They SPLASHED and they
       SPLUTTERED and they
       SP-L-ANKED

Robin Rat.

Squeaksqueaksqueaksqueaksqueak!

Nobody heard a word more from _him_ that day.



[Illustration]



CHAPTER TWO

PINKY PIG


But now All the Beasts were HUNGRIER STILL.

They sat in a circle round the tree and thought a while.

Then they said, “Let us send Pinky Pig to King Leo to ask the name of
the tree. But Pinky Pig,

DO NOT FORGET IT!”

[Illustration: “LET US SEND PINKY PIG”]

[Illustration: ROWING UP THE RIVER]

Pinky Pig trotted away home--

  trip trap, trip trap, trip trap.

He put on his best blue coat and buttoned it up, though it squeezed him
a little.

Then he trotted--trip trap, trip trap, trip trap--down to his little
rowboat and took his oars to row up the big river.

All the day and all the day he rowed

  and he rowed
  and he ROWED

up the big river.

[Illustration: KING LEO ON THE BANK]

And the Great Red Sun dropped behind the trees.

Then he found King Leo on the bank, all ready to receive visitors. His
crown was a little crooked because he had put it on in a hurry when he
saw Pinky Pig coming.

He smiled politely but he did not invite Pinky Pig to stay to supper.

“What can I do for you, my plump friend?” he asked.

Pinky Pig showed him the fruit that looked like an

APPLEORANGEPEARPLUMBANANA

and smelled like a

BANANAPLUMPEARORANGEAPPLE,

and said, “Please, King Leo, we must know the name of this tree or we
cannot eat the fruit. Please be so kind as to tell us.”

Then King Leo said,

  “I have told Robin Rat.
  I will tell you.
  The name of the tree is

  BOJABI!

  Do not forget it.”

[Illustration: “WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU?”]

[Illustration: H-R-R-R-UMPH!]

Pinky Pig trotted back to his rowboat--trip trap, trip trap, trip trap.

All the night and all the night he rowed--he rowed--and he ro-o-owed
until the oars--dropped--from--his--hands--and the big river took the
boat down itself.

Pinky Pig curled up under the seat. And this is the sound that came
from the boat:

  H-r-r-r-umph
    h-h-r-r-r-_umph_
      h-h-h-r-r-r-r-UM-MPH!

[Illustration: THE ARRIVAL OF PINKY PIG]

In the morning Pinky Pig sat up and rubbed his eyes. He was at home.
All the Beasts stood on the river bank looking at him. “What is it,
Pinky Pig? Tell us the name!” they whistled and snarled and squealed
and shrieked and whined and grunted and howled and roared, each in his
own PARTICULAR voice.

“I know it,” said Pinky Pig. Then he yawned.

“I knew it last night,” he said,
“but--ah--ah--I--must--have--been--asleep, and--ah--for--got--ten it.”

That is the way he talked when he was yawning.

Then All the Beasts jumped into the water and smashed Pinky Pig’s boat
and his oars.

  They PLUNGED about and
        PUNCHED poor Pinky Pig and
        POUNDED him until he went
  plop--plop--into the water.

SQue-e-e-e-e-e-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-AL!

He ran home with the water running off him and making little puddles
here and there.

Nobody heard a word more from _him_ that day.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER THREE

GIDDY GOAT


But now All the Beasts were HUNGRIER and HUNGRIER. They could have
eaten nails if there had been any nails in the Great Wood.

They sat in a circle round the tree and thought a while.

[Illustration]

Then they said, “Giddy Goat is older than Pinky Pig, and wiser than
Robin Rat. Let us send him to King Leo to ask the name of the tree, so
that we may eat the fruit of it before we starve.

  But Giddy Goat,
  DO NOT FORGET IT!”

[Illustration]

“A-rashum!” said Giddy Goat. He was afraid of catching cold. Away he
ran--ker-lipp, ker-lipp--to his house to get a big woolly muffler to
wear on the river. He wrapped it three times round his neck and tucked
it neatly under his beard.

Then he ran--ker-lipp, ker-lipp--down to his little sailboat on the
river.

All the day and all the day he sailed

  and he sailed
  and he SAILED

up the big river.

And the Great Red Sun dropped behind the trees.

[Illustration: SAILING TO KING LEO]

Then he found King Leo on the bank, _not_ ready to receive visitors.
His crown was on straight and he looked very CROSS.

“Whatdoyouwant?” he snapped--just like that.

“A-rashum!” said Giddy Goat. “I beg your Majesty’s pardon. I have a
cold coming on.”

He showed King Leo the fruit that looked like an

APPLEORANGEPEARPLUMBANANA

and smelled like a

BANANAPLUMPEARORANGEAPPLE,

and said, “If you would be so very kind, King Leo, to tell us the name
of this tree, so that we may know whether we may eat the fruit of it.”

Then King Leo said,

  “I have told Robin Rat.
  I have told Pinky Pig.
  I will tell you.
  But I will not tell ANYBODY ELSE.
  The name is BOJABI.
  DO NOT FORGET IT!”

[Illustration: “I BEG YOUR MAJESTY’S PARDON”]

[Illustration]

“A-rash-oo!” said Giddy Goat and he skipped away--ker-lipp,
ker-lipp--to his sailboat.

  All the night and all the night he sailed
             and he sailed
             and he SAILED.

All the way he was remembering the name, and he remembered it very well.

He sailed so fast that he got home in the early, early morning.

And all the way when he wasn’t remembering the name, he was sneezing:

“A-tchoo! A-rashum! A-tchoo!”

All the Beasts were waiting for him--rows and rows of them. Those in
the back rows looked over the shoulders of those in the front rows, or
climbed on their backs.

They pushed and jostled one another until they had upset Giddy Goat’s
sailboat. Ker-splash!--he went into the river.

Such a sight as he was when they pulled him out. His long hair was full
of water. His beard was full of water. His eyes were full of water. His
beautiful new muffler was full of water.

When the animals crowded round him to ask the name of the tree, he
shook himself so that the water flew in their faces, and ran away
home--ker-lipp, ker-lipp--with a most dreadful

[Illustration: A-TCHOO!]

[Illustration: SUCH A SIGHT!]

[Illustration]

His wife made him go to bed. And not one word could anyone get from him
all that day but A-tchoo! A-rashum! A-TCHOO!

[Illustration]



CHAPTER FOUR

TOMMY TORTOISE


By this time All the Beasts were so HUNGRY that they sat round
the tree and cried.

You see there was no one else who had a boat.

“What shall we do?” they wailed and howled and buzzed and grunted and
groaned and sobbed and lamented, each in his own most PARTICULAR voice.

Then Tommy Tortoise, who had been lying asleep in the sun, opened one
eye, and said, “What is all this fuss about? Haven’t you found out the
name of this tree YET?”

They said they had not and cried harder than ever.

“Oh, well,” said he, “if that’s all, I’ll go and get it for you.”

“YOU!” snarled Tabby Tiger.

“You! You!” grunted Bruno Bear.

“You!” snapped Katy Crocodile, biting her word off short.

“You-u-u-u!” trumpeted Elizabeth Elephant.

“You! You! You!” chattered Mimi Monkey.

You never heard such a noise--not even at the circus--as there was when
they all said this, each in his own PARTICULAR voice.

“Yes, me--I mean _I_,” said Tommy Tortoise in his little, thin voice.

Then he crawled slowly home, trailing one foot after the other, as some
boys do on their way to school.

He found his mother knitting stockings and rocking the baby.

“Hssh!” said Mrs. Tortoise. “He’s just dropping off.”

“Mother,” said Tommy Tortoise. “How can I remember the name of that
tree if I go up the river to get it?”

“Tommy,” said Mrs. Tortoise, “do you remember how you used to go to
school with all the other little tortoises and learn things?”

“Yes,” said Tommy.

  “Nine times one makes nine,
  Nine times two makes eighteen,
  Nine times three makes twenty-seven--”

He said the Nines table because anybody can say the Tens, and he wasn’t
sure about the Elevens.

“Hsh!” said Mrs. Tortoise. “That will do. You will wake the Baby.”

“But I will tell you how to remember.” She whispered in his ear.

Then she said, “Now, Tommy, whatever happens to you, mind your manners.
Remember to bow to King Leo and to speak to him so politely that he
will know you have been well brought up.”

“Yes, Mother,” said Tommy Tortoise.

[Illustration: MRS. TORTOISE GIVES ADVICE]

Then he put on his cap with the red tassel, and he went down to the
river. He had no boat; so he had to swim.

  All the day and all the day he swam
           and he swam
           and he SWAM.

When he was tired swimming, he would turn over on his shell and float
with all his legs kicking in the water, just as the Baby kicks in his
bath.

And the Great Red Sun dropped behind the trees.

When Tommy Tortoise reached King Leo’s home, King Leo was NOT curled
up comfortably wearing his crown and ready to receive visitors. He was
standing on the river bank waving his tail. His big head was waggling
_this_ way and _that_ way, and he was not smiling AT ALL.

Before Tommy could speak a word, or even make his best bow, King Leo
said:

“R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R! S-s-cat! S-scamper! S-scat!
S-skedaddle!

  I told Robin Rat.
  I told Pinky Pig.
  I told Giddy Goat.
  I WILL NOT TELL YOU

that the name of the tree is bojabi.

R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R!”

“Bojabi,” whispers Tommy Tortoise to himself, and jumps--ker-lump--into
the river again.

[Illustration: “I WILL NOT TELL YOU”]

[Illustration: SINGING ON THE RIVER]

  All the night and all the night he swam
              and he swam
              and he SWAM.

But it was easy work to let the big river carry him on its back.

All the night and all the night he made up a little song and sang it,
like this:

  “O Robin Rat, what shall we eat?
    Bojabi--bojabi--bojabi.
  O Pinky Pig, so fat and neat,
    Bojabi--bojabi--bojabi.
  O Giddy Goat, so fast and fleet,
    Bojabi--bojabi--bojabi.
  O Humpy Hippo, hard to beat,
    Bojabi--bojabi--bojabi.
  O Bruno Bear, with clumsy feet,
    Bojabi--bojabi--bojabi.
  O Katy Crocodile, here’s a treat,
    Bojabi--bojabi--bojabi.
  O Tommy Tortoise, of Puddle Street,
    Bojabi--bojabi--bojabi.
  O All-the-Beasts, come quick and eat
    Bojabi--bojabi--bojabi.”

And THAT was what his mother had told him to do.

[Illustration]

All the Beasts were lying on the bank of the river. Far away they heard
the little, thin voice of Tommy Tortoise singing his song. They pricked
up their ears, looking _this_ way and _that_ way as they listened.

And presently Tommy Tortoise came crawling up through the mud.

“What is it?” they cried, each in his own PARTICULAR voice. You would
have thought that all the circuses in the world were there.

“Bojabi,” said Tommy Tortoise, and crawled away home without another
word.

[Illustration: SUPPER!]

That night All the Beasts had bojabi for their supper.

But Tommy Tortoise had cream with his.

[Illustration: THE KING OF ALL THE BEASTS]

After that All the Beasts in that wood were never hungry. They could
always eat bojabi.

They made Tommy Tortoise their king. “For,” they said, “if he could
remember the name of the bojabi tree, he can do anything.”

As far as I know he is king of All the Beasts in the Great Wood to-day.

                                    --Adapted from an African Folk Tale.

[Illustration: THE End]



TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES:


  Italicized text is surrounded by underscores: _italics_.

  Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.





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