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Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling ’ ‘Perfectly true,’ said Tegumai. And there’s more in this game than you think. Taffy, dear, I’ve a notion that your Daddy’s daughter has hit upon the finest thing that there ever was since the Tribe of Tegumai took to using shark’s teeth instead of flints for their spear-heads. I believe we’ve found out the big secret of the world.’ ‘Why?’ said Taffy, and her eyes shone too with incitement. ‘I’ll show,’ said her Daddy. ‘What’s water in the Tegumai language?’ ‘Ya, of course, and it means river too--like Wagai-ya--the Wagai river.’ ‘What is bad water that gives you fever if you drink it--black water--swamp-water?’ ‘Yo, of course.’ ‘Now look,’ said her Daddy. ‘S’pose you saw this scratched by the side of a pool in the beaver-swamp?’ And he drew this. (8.) ‘Carp-tail and round egg. Two noises mixed! Yo, bad water,’ said Taffy. ‘’Course I wouldn’t drink that water because I’d know you said it was bad.’ ‘But I needn’t be near the water at all. I might be miles away, hunting, and still--’ ‘And still it would be just the same as if you stood there and said, “G’way, Taffy, or you’ll get fever.” All that in a carp-fish-tail and a round egg! O Daddy, we must tell Mummy, quick!’ and Taffy danced all round him. ‘Not yet,’ said Tegumai; ‘not till we’ve gone a little further. Let’s see. Yo is bad water, but So is food cooked on the fire, isn’t it?’ And he drew this. (9.) ‘Yes. Snake and egg,’ said Taffy ‘So that means dinner’s ready.


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