|Personal note -- To quote from the flyleaf of How God Fix Jonah:
A revised edition with two new stories was published in 2000, illustrated with blockprints created by Ashley Bryan (the one for this story is shown at the left). Lorenz closes his introduction with the following lead-in:
I suspect we had the book long before I first encountered the David He No Fear story, but it was in Ashley's lively rendition of that story at one of the annual "Islesford Literary Evenings" after the book came out that first made me really aware of the book. David is just one of many delightful stories, but because it was "my first," it has stayed with me.
I approached the prospect of ever doing this in public with some trepidation -- a white man trying to do a piece in West African dialect, based on a number of cues Lorenz provides in his introduction. I talked with Ashley about it, and he categorically put that concern aside. To Ashley, the stories must live, and to live they must be given voice, and to him it is unacceptable to limit that voice only to the people who originated the story. So I've worked over this for a long time, and although my dialect is hardly West African, I give it my best shot.Meanings -- Lorenz mentions various unfamiliar words and expressions in his introduction. In this story, the word palaver is not just "word", but connotes many words in discussions or the conducting of business, sometimes with an implication of trouble. Chop is food. To humbug someone is to bother him or her, and when your heart lay down, you are at peace.
David He No Fear
David mind the sheep for him pa.
David don't humbug nobody
Bye-m-bye the war palaver catch Judah country
Bye-m-bye the word come back
David go fore him pa face.
Then David see the giant.
The giant holler out
David walk up close