NOW, den, said Uncle Remus, with unusual gravity, as soon as
the little boy, by taking his seat, announced that he was ready for
the evenings entertainment to begin; now, den, dish yer tale wat
Im agwine ter gin you is de las row er stumps, sho. Dish yers
whar ole Brer Fox los his breff, en he aint fine it no mo down ter
Did he kill himself, Uncle Remus? the little boy asked, with a
curious air of concern.
Hole on dar, honey! the old man exclaimed, with a great
affectation of alarm; hole on dar! Wait! Gimme room! I dont
wanter tell you no story, en ef you keep shovin me forrerd, I mout
git some er de facks mix up mong deysef. You gotter gimme room
en you gotter gimme time.
The little boy had no other premature questions to ask, and, after a
pause, Uncle Remus resumed:
Well, den, one day Brer Rabbit go ter Brer Fox house, he did, en
he put up mighty po mouf. He say his ole oman sick, en his
chilluns cole, en de fier done gone out. Brer Fox, he feel bad bout
dis, en he tuckn sply Brer Rabbit widder chunk er fier. Brer
Rabbit see Brer Fox cookin some nice beef, en his mouf gun ter
water, but he take de fier, he did, en he put out tords home; but
presenty yer he come back, en he say de fier done gone out. Brer
Fox low dat he want er invite to dinner, but he dont say nuthi, en
bimeby Brer Rabbit he upn say, sezee:
Brer Fox, whar you git so much nice beef? sezee, en den Brer Fox
he upn spon, sezee:
You come ter my house ter-morrer ef yo fokes aint too sick, en I
kin show you whar you kin git plenty beef mo nicer dan dish yer,
Well, sho nuff, de nex day fotch Brer Rabbit, en Brer Fox say,
Ders a man down yander by Miss Meadowss wat got heap er fine
cattle, en he gotter cow name Bookay, sezee, Cen you des go en
say Bookay, en shell open her mouf, en you kin jump in en git des
as much meat ez you kin tote, sez Brer Fox, sezee.
Well, Ill go long, sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, en you kin jump fus
en den Ill come follerin atter, sezee.
Wid dat dey put out, en dey went promernadin roan mong de
cattle, dey did, twel bimeby dey struck up wid de one dey wuz
atter. Brer Fox, he up, he did, en holler Bookay, en de cow flung er
mouf wide open. Sho nuff, in dey jump, en wen dey got dar, Brer
Fox, he say, sezee:
You kin cut mos ennywheres, Brer Rabbit, but dont cut round de
Den Brer Rabbit, he holler back, he did: Im a gitten me out a
Roasn, er bakin, er fryin, sez Brer Fox, sezee, dont git too nigh
de haslett, sezee.
Dey cut en dey kyarved, en dey kyarved en dey cut, en wiles dey
wuz cuttin en kyarvin, en slashin way, Brer Rabbit, he tuckn
hacked inter de haslett, en wid dat down fell de cow dead.
Now, den, sez Brer Fox, we er gone, sho, sezee.
Wat we gwine do? sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.
Ill git in de maul, sez Brer Fox, en youll jump in de gall, sezee.
Nex mawnin yer cum de man wat de cow blong ter, and he ax
who kill Bookay. Nobody dont say nuthin. Den de man say hell
cut er open en see, en den he whirl in, en twant no time fo he had
er intruls spread out. Brer Rabbit, he crope outn de gall, en say,
Mister Man! Oh, Mister Man! Ill tell you who kill yo cow. You
look in de maul, en dar youll fine im, sezee.
Wid dat de man tuck a stick and lam down on de maul so hard dat
he kill Brer Fox stone-dead. Wen Brer Rabbit see Brer Fox wuz
laid out fer good, he make like he mighty sorry, en he upn ax de
man fer Brer Fox head. Man say he aint keerin, en den Brer
Rabbit tuckn bring it ter Brer Fox house. Dar he see ole Miss Fox,
en he tell er dat he done fotch her some nice beef wat er ole man
sont er, but she aint gotter look at it twel she go ter eat it.
Brer Fox son wuz name Tobe, en Brer Rabbit tell Tobe fer ter
keep still wiles his mammy cook de nice beef wat his daddy sont
im. Tobe he wuz mighty hongry, en he look in de pot he did wiles
de cookin wuz gwine on, en dar he see his daddy head, en wid dat
he sot up a howl en tole his mammy. Miss Fox, she git mighty mad
wen she fine she cookin her ole man head, en she call up de dogs,
she did, en sickt em on Brer Rabbit; en ole Miss Fox en Tobe en
de dogs, dey push Brer Rabbit so close dat he hatter take a holler
tree. Miss Fox, she tell Tobe fer ter stay dar en mine Brer Rabbit,
wile she goes en git de ax, en wen she gone, Brer Rabbit, he tole
Tobe ef he go ter de branch en git im a drink er water dat hell gin
im a dollar. Tobe, he put out, he did, en bring some water in his
hat, but by de time he got back Brer Rabbit done out en gone. Ole
Miss Fox, she cut and cut twel down come de tree, but no Brer
Rabbit dar. Den she lay de blame on Tobe, en she say she gwineter
lash im, en Tobe, he put out en run, de ole oman atter im.
Bimeby, he come up wid Brer Rabbit, en sot down fer to tell im
how twuz, en wiles dey wuz a settin dar, yer come ole Miss Fox a
slippin up en grab um bofe. Den she tell um wat she gwine do.
Brer Rabbit she gwineter kill, en Tobe she gwineter lam ef its de
las ack. Den Brer Rabbit sez, sezee:
Ef you please, maam, Miss Fox, lay me on de grinestone en
groun off my nose so I cant smell no mo wen Im dead.
Miss Fox, she tuck dis ter be a good idee, en she fotch bofe un
urn ter de grinestone, en set urn up on it so dat she could groun
off Brer Rabbit nose. Den Brer Rabbit, he upn say, sezee:
Ef you please, maam, Miss Fox, Tobe he kin turn de handle
wiles you goes atter some water fer ter wet de grinestone, sezee.
Cose, soonz Brer Rabbit see Miss Fox go atter de water, he jump
down en put out, en dis time he git clean away.
And was that the last of the Rabbit, too, Uncle Remus? the little
boy asked, with something like a sigh.
Dont push me too close, honey, responded the old man; dont
shove me up in no coruder. I dont wanter tell you no stories. Some
say dat Brer Rabbits ole oman died fum eatin some pizen-weed,
en dat Brer Rabbit married ole Miss Fox, en some say not. Some
tells one tale en some tells nudder; some say da fum dat time
forrerd de Rabbits en de Foxes make frens en stay so; some say
dey kep on quollin. Hit look like it mixt. Let dem tell you wat
knows. Dat wat I years you gits it straight like I yeard it.
There was a long pause, which was finally broken by the old man:
Hits gin de rules fer you ter be noddin yer, honey. Bimeby youll
drap off en Ill hatter tote you up ter de big ouse. I hear dat baby
cryin, en bimeby Miss Sallyll fly up en be a hollern atter you
Oh, I wasnt asleep, the little boy replied. I was just thinking.
Well, dats diffunt, said the old man. Ef youil clime up on my
back, he continued, speaking softly, I speck I aint too ole fer ter
be yo hoss fum yer ter de house. Many en manys de time dat I
toted yo Unk Jeems dat away, en Mars Jeems wuz heavier sot dan
wat you is.