YOULL tromple on dat bark twel hit wont be fitten fer ter fling
way, let l one make hoss-collars outn, said Uncle Remus, as the
little boy came running into his cabin out of the rain. All over the
floor long strips of wahoo bark were spread, and these the old
man was weaving into horse-collars.
Ill sit down, Uncle Remus, said the little boy.
Well, den, you better, honey, responded the old man, kaze I
spizes fer ter have my wahoo trompled on. Ef twuz shucks, now,
hit mout be diffunt, but Im a gittin too ole fer ter be projickin
longer shuck collars.
For a few minutes the old man went on with his work, but with a
solemn air altogether unusual. Once or twice he sighed deeply, and
the sighs ended in a prolonged groan, that seemed to the little boy
to be the result of the most unspeakable mental agony. He knew by
experience that he had done something which failed to meet the
approval of Uncle Remus, and he tried to remember what it was,
so as to frame an excuse; but his memory failed him. He could
think of nothing he had done calculated to stir Uncle Remuss
grief. He was not exactly seized with remorse, but he was
very uneasy. Presently Uncle Remus looked at him in a sad and
hopeless way and asked:
Wat dat long rigmarole you bin tellin Miss Sally bout yo little
brer dis mawnin?
Which, Uncle Remus? asked the little boy, blushing guiltily.
Dat des wat Im a axin un you now. I hear Miss Sally say shes a
gwineter stripe his jacket, en den I knowed you bin tellin on im.
Well, Uncle Remus, he was pulling up your onions, and then he
went and flung a rock at me, said the child, plaintively.
Lemme tell you dis, said the old man, laying down the section of
horse-collar he had been plaiting, and looking hard at the little
boylemme tell you disder aint no way fer ter make tattlers en
tailbarers turn out good. No, dey aint. I bin mixin up wid fokes
now gwine on eighty year, en I aint seed no tattler come ter no
good een. Dat I aint. En ef ole man Mthoozlum wuz livin clean
twel yit, hed upn tell you de same. Sho ez youer settin dar. You
member wat come er de bird wat went tattlin roun bout Brer
The little boy didnt remember, but he was very anxious to know,
and he also wanted to know what kind of a bird it was that so
Hit wuz wuner dese yer uppity little Jack Sparrers, I speck, said
the old man; dey wuz allers boddern longer udder fokess
bizness, en dey keeps at it down ter dis day-peckin yer, en pickin
dar, en scratchin out yander. One day, atter he bin fool by ole Brer
Tarrypin, Brer Rabbit wuz settin down in de woods studdyin how
he wuz gwineter git even. He feel mighty lonesome, en he feel
mighty mad, Brer Rabbit did. Taint put down in de tale, but I
speck he cusst en rard roun considerbul. Leasways, he wuz settin
out dar by hissef, en dar he sot, en study en study, twel bimeby he
jump up en holler out:
Well, dog-gone my cats ef I cant gallop roun ole Brer Fox, en
Im gwineter do it. Ill show Miss Meadows en de gals dat Im de
boss er Brer Fox, sezee.
Jack Sparrer up in de tree, he hear Brer Rabbit, he did, en he sing
Im gwine tell Brer Fox! Im gwine tell Brer Fox!
Chick-a-biddy-win-a-blowin-acuns-fallin! Im gwine tell Brer
Uncle Remus accompanied the speech of the bird with a peculiar
whistling sound in his throat, that was a marvelous imitation of a
sparrows chirp, and the little boy clapped his hands with delight,
and insisted on a repetition.
Dis kinder tarrify Brer Rabbit, en he skasely know wat he gwine
do; but bimeby he study ter hissef dat de man wat see Brer Fox
fus wuz boun ter have de inturn, en den he go hoppin off tords
home. He didnt got fur wen who should he meet but Brer Fox, en
den Brer Rabbit, he open up:
Wat dis twix you en me, Brer Fox? sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. I
hear tell you gwine ter sen me ter struckshun, en nab my fambly,
en stroy my shanty, sezee.
Den Brer Fox he git mighty mad.
Who bin tellin you all dis? sezee.
Brer Rabbit make like he didnt want ter tell, but Brer Fox he sist
en sist, twel at las Brer Rabbit he up en tell Brer Fox dat he hear
Jack Sparrer say all dis.
Cose, sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, wen Brer Jack Sparrer tell me dat
I flew up, I did, en I use some langwidge wich Im mighty glad dey
werent no ladies round nowhars so dey could hear me go on,
Brer Fox he sorter gap, he did, en say he speck he better be
santern on. But, bless yo soul, honey, Brer Fox aint santer fur, fo
Jack Sparrer flipp down on a simmon-bush by de side er de road,
en holler out:
Brer Fox! Oh, Brer Fox!Brer Fox Brer Fox he des sorter canter
long, he did, en make like he dont hear im. Den Jack Sparrer upn
sing out agin:
Brer Fox! Oh, Brer Fox! Hole on, Brer Fox! I got some news fer
you. Wait Brer Fox! Hitll stonish you.
Brer Fox he make like he dont see Jack Sparrer, ner needer do he
hear im, but bimeby he lay down by de road, en sorter stretch
hissef like he fixin fer ter nap. De tattlin Jack Sparrer he flewd
long, en keep on callin Brer Fox, but Brer Fox, he aint sayin
nuthin. Den little Jack Sparrer, he hop down on de groun en
flutter roun mongst de trash. Dis sorter track Brer Fox tenshun,
en he look at de tattlin bird, en de bird he keep on callin:
I got sumpn fer ter tell you, Brer Fox.
Git on my tail, little Jack Sparrer, sez Brer Fox, sezee, kaze Im
def in one year, en I cant hear outn de udder. Git on my tail,
Den de little bird he upn hop on Brer Foxs tail.
Git on my back, little Jack Sparrer, kaze Im def in one year en I
cant hear outn de udder.
Den de little bird hop on his back.
Hop on my head, little Jack Sparrer, kaze Im def in bofe years.
Up hop de little bird.
Hop on my toof, little Jack Sparrer, kaze Im def in one year en I
cant hear outn de udder.
De tattlin little bird hop on Brer Foxs toof, en den
Here Uncle Remus paused, opened wide his mouth and closed it
again in a way that told the whole story.1
Did the Fox eat the bird allallup? asked the little boy.
Jedge Bar come long nex day, replied Uncle Remus, en he fine
some fedders, en fum dat word went roun dat ole man Squinch
Owl done kotch nudder watzizname.
1. An Atlanta friend heard this story in Florida, but an alligator
was substituted for the fox, and a little boy for the rabbit. There is
another version in which the impertinent gosling goes to tell the
fox something her mother has said, and is caught; and there may
be other versions. I have adhered to the middle Georgia version,
which is characteristic enough. It may be well to state that there
are different versions of all the storiesthe shrewd narrators of the
mythology of the old plantation adapting themselves with ready
tact to the years, tastes, and expectations of their juvenile