UNCLE REMUS was in good humor one evening recently when
he dropped casually into the editorial room of The Constitution,
as has been his custom for the past year or two. He had a bag slung
across his shoulder, and in the bag was a jug. The presence of this
humble but useful vessel in Uncle Remuss bag was made the
occasion for several suggestive jokes at his expense by the
members of the staff, but the old mans good humor was proof
against all insinuations.
Dat ar jugs bin ter wab, mon. Hits wunner deze yer ole timers. I
got dat jug down dar in Putmon County wen Mars Lisha Ferryman
wuz a young man, an now hes done growed up, an got ole an
died, an his chilluns is growed up an dey kin count dere
granchilluns, an yit dars dat jug des ez lively an ez lierbul fer ter
kick up devilment ez wat she wuz wen she come fum de foundry.
Thats the trouble, said one of the young men. Thats the reason
wed like to know whats in it now.
Now youer gittin on mashy groun, replied Uncle Remus. Dats
de pint. Dats wat make me say wat I duz. I bin knowin dat jug
now gwine on sixty-fi year, an de jug wats more seetful dan dat
jug aint on de topside er de worrul. Dar she sets, continued the
old man, gazing at it reflectively, dar she sets dez ez natchul ez er
ambertype, an yit whars de man wat kin tell wat kinder confab
shes a gwineter carry on wen dat corn-cob is snatched outen er
mouf? Dat jug is mighty seetful, mon.
Well, it dont deceive any of us up here, remarked the
agricultural editor, dryly. Weve seen jugs before.
I boun you is, boss; I boun you is. But you aint seed no seetful
jug like dat. Dar she sets a bellyin out an lookin mighty fat an
full, an yit shed set dar a bellyin out ef dere wuzent nuthin but
win under dat stopper. You knows dat she aint got no aigs in her,
ner no bacon, ner no grits, ncr no termartusses, ner no shellotes, an
dats bout all you duz know. Dog my cats ef de seetfulness er dat
jug dont git away wid me, coutinued Uncle Remus, with a
chuckle. I wuz comm cross de bridge des now, an Brer John
Henry seed me wid de bag slung onter my back, an de jug in it, an
he ups an sez, sezee:
Heyo, Brer Remus, aint it gittin late for watermillions?
Hit wuz de seetfulness er dat jug. If Brer John Henry knowd de
color er dat watermillion, I speck hed snatch me up fo de
confunce. I clar ter grashus ef dat jug aint a caution!
I suppose its full of molasses now, remarked one of the young
Hear dat! exclaimed Uncle Remus, triumphantlyhear dat! Wat
I tell you? I sed dat jug wuz seetful, an I sticks to it. I bin knowin
What has it got in it? broke in some one; molasses, kerosene, or
Well, I lay shes loaded, boss. I aint shuk her up sence I drapt in,
but I lay shes loaded.
Yes, said the agricultural editor, and its the meanest bug-juice
in townregular sorghum skimmings.
Dats needer yer ner dar, responded Uncle Remus. Po fokes
better be fixin up for Chrismus now wile rashuns is cheap. Dats
me. Wen I year Miss Sally gwine bout de house wisslin Wen I
kn Read my Titles Cieran wen I see de martins swawmin atter
sundownan wen I year de peckerwoods confabbin togedder dese
moonshiny nights in my een er townen I knows de hot wedders a
breakin up, an I know its bout time fer po fokes fer ter be rastlin
roun and huntin up dere rashuns. Dats me, up an down.
Well, we are satisfied. Better go and hire a hall, remarked the
sporting editor, with a yawn. If you are engaged in a talking
match you have won the money. Blanket him somebody, and take
him to the stable.
An wats mo, continued the old man, scorning to notice the
insinuation, dough I year Miss Sally wisslin, an de peckerwoods
a chatterin, I aint seein none er deze yer loafin niggers fixin up
fer ter migrate. Dey kin holler Kansas all roun de naberhood, but
ceppin a man come long an spell it wid greenbacks, he dont
ketch none er deze yer town niggers. You year me, dey aint
Stand him up on the table, said the Sporting editor; give him
Better go down yer ter de calaboose, an git some news fer ter
print, said Uncle Remus, with a touch of irony in his tone. Some
new nigger mighter broke inter jail.
You say the darkeys are not going to emigrate this year? inquired
the agricultural editor, who is interested in these things.
Shoo! dat dey aint! I done seed an I knows.
Well, how do you know?
How you tell wen crow gwineter light? Niggers bin promnadin
by my house all dis summer, holdin dere heads high up an de
wites er dere eyeballs shinin in de sun. Dey wuz too bigitty fer ter
look over de gyardin palms. long bout den de wedder wuz
fetchin de natal sperrits er turkentime outen de pine-trees an de
groun wuz farly smokin wid de hotness. Now that its gittin sorter
airish in de mornins, dey dont pear like de same niggers. Dey
done got so deyll look over in de yard, an nex news you know dell
be tryin fer ter scrape up quaintence wid de dog. Wen dey passes
now dey looks at de chicken-coop an at der tater-patch. Wen you
see niggers gittin dat familious, you kin pen on dere campin wid
you de ballunce er de season. Day fo yistiddy I kotch one un um
lookin over de fence at my shoats, an I sez, sez I:
Duz you wanter purchis dem hogs?
Oh, no, sezee, I wuz des lookin at dere pints.
Well, dey aint pintin yo way, sez I, an, fuddermo, ef you dont
bodder longer dem hogs dey aint gwineter clime outer dat pen an
tack you, nudder, sez I.
An I boun, continued Uncle Remus, driving the corn-cob
stopper a little tighter in his deceitful jug and gathering up his
bagan I boun dat my ole muskitil go off tween me an dat same
nigger yit, an hell be at de bad een, an dis seetful jugll fuse ter go
ter de funerl.