How a Bushdevil Was Danced to Death

A Bushdevil wandered through the forest until he came to a place where two paths crossed; and here he made his home. This was a bad thing for the people who used these paths, for Bushdevils are wicked and devour human beings.

When anyone came to the crossroads the Bushdevil would jump out of his hole in the ground, holding a drum under his arm. He would begin beating the drum, and command the wayfarer to dance.

“Dance, O man! Dance, and I will drum for you — and he who tires first must die!”

The unfortunate traveler, be he man or woman or child, would be obliged to dance a Dance of Death; for invariably the dancer tired first, and was killed and eaten by the Bushdevil.

In a nearby town there were two twins; and, as all men know, twins often have unusual powers. They make fine magicians and medicine men, they are wise in telling fortunes and know the use of herbs and poison.

This pair of twins decided they would outwit and kill the Bushdevil, who had killed many people from their town and they left their town one morning to see what they could do. One of them crept ahead softly, softly, and hid behind an anthill close to the Bushdevil’s hole, and then his brother boldly approached singing in a pleasant song.

The Bushdevil heard him coming and jumped from his hold.

“Ho! he cried in great delight. He had not seen a man for days. “Ho, young man. Come and dance for me! Bushdevil began tampering excitedly with his drum.

“Thank you, sir,” said the lad. “It is a fine morning for a dance — play on!”

The Bushdevil threw back his herd and laughed at such insolence.

“Do you know, youth, that the one of us who tires first must die?”

“Fine,” said the twin. That means the other one will Live“ He danced and danced to the Bushdevil’s drumming, and when he was tired he skipped behind the anthill and his brother skipped out in his place. In this fashion the twins danced for three whole days; whenever one was dancing the other one was resting.

The Bushdevil was astonished to see, so he thought, one man danced on and on, day and night, and he himself grew tired. The twins kept changing places. The Bushdevil dropped, and wilted, and at last he fell exhausted on the ground.

The twins killed Bushdevil by cutting off his head; they impaled the head on a stake and carried it into town, and there it stayed as a warning to all devils that twins lived in that place and would tolerate no wicked deviltry.