ONE time, said Uncle Remus, whetting his knife slowly and
thoughtfully on the palm of his hand, and gazing reflectively in the
fireone time Brer Wolf
Why, Uncle Remus! the little boy broke in, I thought you said
the Rabbit scalded the Wolf to death a long time ago.
The old man was fairly caught and he knew it; but this made little
difference to him. A frown gathered on his usually serene brow as
he turned his gaze upon the childa frown in which both scorn and
indignation were visible. Then all at once he seemed to regain
control of himself. The frown was chased away by a look of
Dar now! Wat I tell you? he exclaimed as if addressing a
witness concealed under the bed. Aint I done tole you so? Bless
grashus! ef chilluns aint gittin so dey knows mon ole fokes, en
deyll spute longer you en spute longer you, ceppin der ma call
urn, wich I speck twont be long fo she will, en den Ill set yere by
de chimbly-cornder en git some peace er mine. Wen ole Miss wuz
livin, continued the old man, still addressing some imaginary
person, hit uz mon enny her chilluns ud dast ter do ter come
sputin longer me,: en Mars Johnll tell you de same enny day you
Well, Uncle Remus, you know you said the Rabbit poured hot
water on the Wolf and killed him, said the little boy.
The old man pretended not to hear. He was engaged in searching
among some scraps of leather under his chair, and kept on talking
to the imaginary person. Finally, he found and drew forth a nicely
plaited whip-thong with a red snapper all waxed and knotted.
I wuz fixin up a wip fer a little chap, he continued, with a sigh,
but, bless grashus! fo I kin git er done de little chap done growd
up twel he know mon I duz.
The childs eyes filled with tears and his lips began to quiver, but
he said nothing; whereupon Uncle Remus immediately melted.
I clar to goodness, he said, reaching out and taking the little boy
tenderly by the hand, ef you aint de vey spit en image er ole Miss
wen I brung er de las news er de war. Hits des like skeerin up a
ghos wat you aint feard un.
Then there was a pause, the old man patting the little childs hand
You aint mad, is you, honey? Uncle Remus asked finally, kaze
ef you is, Im gwine out yere en butt my head gin de do jam.
But the little boy wasnt mad. Uncle Remus had conquered him
and he had conquered Uncle Remus in pretty much the same way
before. But it was some time before Uncle Remus would go on
with the story. He had to be coaxed. At last, however, he settled
himself back in the chair and began:
Cose, honey, hit mout er bin ole Brer Wolf, er hit mout er bin er
ner Brer Wolf; it mout er bin fo he got kotch up wid, er it mont er
bin atterwards. Ez de tale wer gun to me des dat away I gin it unter
you. One time Brer Wolf wuz comm long home fum a fishin
frolic. He santer long de road, he did, wid his string er fish cross
his shoulder, wen fus news you know ole Miss Patridge, she hop
outer de bushes en flutter long right at Brer Wolf nose. Brer Wolf
he say ter hissef dat ole Miss Patridge tryin fer ter toll im way
fum her nes, en wid dat he lay his fish down en put out inter de
bushes whar ole Miss Patridge come fum, en bout dat time Brer
Rabbit, he happen long. Dar wuz de fishes, en dar wuz Brer
Rabbit, en wen dat de case wat you speck a sorter innerpenent
man like Brer Rabbit gwine do? I kin tell you dis, dat dem fishes
aint stay whar Brer Wolf put um at, en wen Brer Wolf come back
dey wuz gone.
Brer Wolf, he sot down en scratch his head, he did, en study en
study, en den hit sorter rush inter his mine dat Brer Rabbit bin
long dar, en den Brer Wolf, he put out fer Brer Rabbit house, en
wen he git dar he hail im. Brer Rabbit, he dunno nuthin tall bout
no fishes. Brer Wolf he upn say he bleedzd ter bleeve Brer Rabbit
got dem fishes. Brer Rabbit ny it up en down, but Brer Wolf stan
to it dat Brer Rabbit got dem fishes. Brer Rabbit, he say dat if Brer
Wolf bleeve he got de fishes, den he give Brer Wolf lief fer ter kill
de bes cow he got. Brer Wolf, he tuck Brer Rabbit at his word, en
go off ter de pastur en drive up de cattle en kill Brer Rabbit bes
Brer Rabbit, he hate mighty bad fer ter lose his cow, but he lay his
plans, en he tell his chilluns dat he gwineter have dat beef yit. Brer
Wolf, he bin tuck up by de patter-rollers fo now, en he mighty
skeerd un um, en fus news you know, yer come Brer Rabbit
hollerin en tellin Brer Wolf dat de patter-rollers comm.
You run en hide, Brer Wolf, sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, en Ill stay yer
en take keer er de cow twel you gits back, sezee.
Soons Brer Wolf hear talk er de patter-rollers, he scramble off
inter de underbrush like he bin shot outn a gun. En he want mon
gone fo Brer Rabbit, he whirl in en skunt de cow en salt de hide
down, en den he tuckn cut up de kyarkiss en stow it way in de
smoke-ouse, en den he tuckn stick de een er de cow-tail in de
groun. Atter he gone en done all dis, den Brer Rabbit he squall out
fer Brer Wolf:
Run yer, Brer Wolf! Run yer! Yo cow gwine in de groun! Run
Wen ole Brer Wolf got dar, wich he come er scootin, dar wuz
Brer Rabbit horin on ter de cow-tail, fer ter keep it fum gwine in
de groun. Brer Wolf, he kotch holt, en dey gin a pull er two en up
come de tail. Den Brer Rabbit, he wink his off eye en say, sezee:
Dar! de tail done pull out en de cow gone, sezee.
But Brer Wolf he wernt de man fer ter give it up dat away, en he got im a spade,
en a pick-axe, en a shovel, en he dig en dig fer dat cow twel diggin
wuz pas all enduunce, en ole Brer Rabbit he sot up dar in his front
poch en smoke his seegyar. Evey time ole Brer Wolf stuck de
pick-axe in de clay, Brer Rabbit, he giggle ter his chilluns:
He diggy, diggy, diggy, but no meat dar! He diggy, diggy, diggy,
but no meat dar!
Kase all de tiine de cow wuz layin pile up in his smoke-ouse, en
him en his chilluns wuz eatin fried beef an inguns evey time dey
Now den, honey, you take dis yer wip, continued the old man,
twining the leather thong around the little boys neck, en scamper
up ter de big ouse en tell Miss Sally fer ter gin you some un it de
nex time she fine yo tracks in de sugar-bairl.