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Full text of "Uncle Remus : his songs and his sayings : the folk-lore of the old plantation"

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UNCLE REMUS AND HIS MECEITFUL. JUG- 



UNCLE EEMUS 

HIS SONGS AND HIS SAYINGS 
THE FOLK-LORE OF THE OLD PLANTATION 




By JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS 



WITH ILLVSTEATI0N8 BT FBEDERICK 8. CHURCH AND 
JAMES H. MOSER 



NEW YORK 
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY 

1, 3, AND 5 BOND STEEET 
1881 



COPTEIGHT BT 

Al'PLETON AND COMPANY. 

1S80. 



INTRODUCTION. 



I AM advised by my publishers that this book is to be 
iiichided in their catalogue of humorous publications, and 
this friendly warning gives me an opportunity to say that 
however humorous it may be in effect, its intention is per- 
fectly serious ; and, even if it were otherwise, it seems to me 
that a volume written wholly in dialect must have its 
solemn, not to say melancholy, features. With respect to 
the Folk-Lore series, my purpose has been to preserve 
the legends themselves in their original simplicity, and to 
wed them permanently to the quaint dialect — if, indeed, it 
can be called a dialect — through the medium of which they 
have become a part of the domestic history of every South- 
ern family ; and I have endeavored to give to the whole a 
genuine flavor of the old plantation. 

Each legend has its variants, but in every instance I 
have retained that particular version which seemed to me 
to be the most characteristic, and have given it without 
embellishment and without exaggeration. The dialect, it 
will be observed, is wholly different from that of the Hon. 
Pompey Smash and his literary descendants, and different 



4- IXTRODUCTIOX. 

also from tlie intolerable misrepresentations of the minstrel 
stage, but it is at least phonetically genuine. Neverthe- 
less, if the language of Uncle Eeraus fails to give vivid 
hints of the really poetic imagination of the negro ; if it 
fails to embody the quaint and homely humor which was 
his most prominent characteristic ; if it does not suggest a 
certain picturesque sensitiveness — a curious exaltation of 
mind and temperament not to be defined by words — then I 
have reproduced the form of the dialect merely, and not 
the essence, and my attempt may be accounted a failure. 
At any rate, I trust I have been successful in presenting 
what must be, at least to a large jiortion of American 
readers, a new and by no means unattractive phase of negro 
character — a phase which may be considered a curiously 
sympathetic supplement to 'Mrs. Stowe's wonderful defense 
of slavery as it existed in the South. Mrs. Stowe, let mo 
hasten to say, attacked the possibilities of slavery with all 
the eloquence of genius ; but the same genius i>ainted the 
portrait of the Southern slave-owner, and defended him. 

A number of the plantation legends originally appeared 
in tlie columns of a daily newspaper — "The Atlanta Con- 
stitution " — and in that shape they attracted the attention 
of various gentlemen who were kind enough to suggest that 
they would prove to be valuable contributions to myth- 
literature. It is but fair to say that ethnological considera- 
tions formed no part of the undertaking which has resulted 
in the publication of this volume. Professor J. W. Powell, 
of the Smithsonian Institution, who is engaged in an in- 
vestigation of the mythology of the Xorth American In- 



INTRODUCTION. 5 

dians, informs me that some of Uucle Kemus's stories appear 
in a number of different languages, and in various modified 
forms, among the Indians ; and he is of the opinion that 
they are borrowed by the negroes from the red-men. But 
this, to say the least, is extremely doubtful, since another 
investigator (]\Ir. Herbert H. Smith, author of " Brazil 
and the Amazons") has met with some of these stories 
among tribes of South American Indians, and one in par- 
ticular he has traced to India, and as far east as Siam. Mr. 
Smith has been kind enough to send me the proof-sheets of 
his chapter on "The Myths and Folk-Lore of the Amazo- 
nian Indians," in which he reproduces some of the stories 
which he gathered while exploring the Amazons. 

In the first of his series, a tortoise falls from a tree upon 
the head of a jaguar and kills him ; in one of Uncle Remus's 
stories, the terrapin falls from a shelf in Miss Meadows's 
house and stuns the fox, so that the latter fails to catch 
the rabbit. In the next, a jaguar catches a tortoise by the 
hind-leg as he is disappearing in his hole ; but the tortoise 
convinces him he is holding a root, and so escapes ; Uncle 
Remus tells how the fox endeavored to drown the terrapin, 
but turned him loose because the terrapin declared his tail 
to be only a stump-root. Mr. Smith also gives the story of 
how the tortoise outran the deer, which is identical as to 
incident with Uncle Remus's story of how Brer Tarrypin 
outran Brer Rabbit. Then there is the story of how the 
tortoise pretended that he was stronger than the tapir. He 
tells the latter he can drag him into the sea, but the tapir 
retorts that he will pull the tortoise into the forest and kill 



6 INTRODUCTION. 

him besides. The tortoise thereupon gets a vine-stem, ties 
one end around the body of the tapir, and goes to the sea, 
where he ties tlie other end to the tail of a whale. He 
then goes into the wood, midway between them both, and 
gives the vine a shake as a signal for the pulling to begin. 
The struggle between the whale and tapir goes on until 
each thinks the tortoise is the strongest of animals. Com- 
pare this with the story of the terrapin's contest with the 
bear, in which Miss Meadows's bed-cord is used instead of 
a vine-stem. One of the most characteristic of Uncle B,q- 
mus's stories is that in which the rabbit proves to Miss 
Meadows and the girls that the fox is his riding-horse. 
This is almost identical with a story quoted by Mr. Smith, 
where the jaguar is about to m irry the deer's daughter. 
The cotia — a species of rodent — is also in love with her, 
and he tells the deer that he can make a riding-horse of 
the Jaguar. " Well," says the deer, "if you can make the 
jaguar carry you, you shall have my daughter." There- 
upon the story proceeds pretty much as Uncle Remus tells 
it of the fox and rabbit. The cotia finally jumps from the 
jaguar and takes refuge in a hole, where an owl is set to 
watch him, but he flings sand in the owl's eyes and escapes. 
In another story given by Mr. Smith, the cotia is very 
thirsty, and, seeing a man coming with a jar on his head, 
lies down in the road in front of him, and repeats this 
until the man puts down his jar to go back after all the 
dead cotias he has seen. This is almost identical with Un- 
cle Remus's story of how the rabbit robbed the fox of his 
game. In a story from Upper Egypt, a fox lie.; down in 



INTRODUCTION. 7 

the road in front of a man wlio is carrying fowls to market, 
and finally succeeds in securing them. 

This similarity extends to almost every story quoted by 
Mr. Smith, and some are so nearly identical as to point 
unmistakably to a common origin ; but when and where ? 
When did the negro or the North American Indian ever 
come in contact with the tribes of South America ? Upon 
this point the author of " Brazil and the Amazons," Avho 
is engaged in making a critical and comparative study of 
these myth-stories, writes : 

" I am not prepared to form a theory about these stories. There 
can be no doubt that some of them, found among the negroes and 
the Indians, had a common origin. The most natural solution would 
be to suppose that they originated in Africa, and were carried to 
South America by the negro slaves. They are certainly found 
among the Red Negroes ; but, unfortunately for the African theory, 
it is equally certain that they are told by savage Indians of the 
Amazons Valley, away up oa the Tapajos, Red Negro, and Tapura. 
These Indians hardly ever see a negro, and their languages are very 
distinct from the broken Portuguese spoken by the slaves. Tlio 
form of the stories, as recounted in the Tupi and Mundurucii lan- 
guages, seems to show that they were originally formed in those lan- 
guages or have long been adopted in them. 

" It is interesting to find a story from Upper Egypt (that of the 
fox who pretended to be dead) identical with an Amazonian story, 
and strongly resembling one found by you among the negroes. Varn- 
hagen, the Brazilian historian (now Vis3onde de Rio Branco), tried 
to prove a relationship between the ancient Egyptians, or other 
Turanian stock, and the Tupi Indians. His theory rested on rather 
a slender basis, yet it must be confessed that he had one or two 



8 INTRODUCTION. 

strong points. Do the resemblances between Old and New "World 
stories point to a similar conclusion ? It would be hard to say with 
the material that we now have. 

" One thing is certain. The animal stories told by the negroes 
in our Southern States and in Brazil were brought by them from 
Africa. Whether they originated there, or with the Arabs, or 
Egyptians, or with yet more ancient nations, must still be an open 
question. Whether the Indians got them from the negroes or 
from some earlier source is equally uncertain. We have seen enough 
to know that a very interesting line of investigation has been 
opened." 

Professor Ilartt, in his "Amazonian Tortoise Myths/' 
quotes a story from the " Riverside Magazine " of November, 
1868, which will be recognized as a variant of one given by 
Uncle Remus. I venture to append it here, with some 
necessary verbal and phonetic alterations, in order to give 
the reader an idea of the difference between the dialect of 
the cotton plantations, as used by Uncle Remus, and the 
lingo in vogue on the rice plantations and Sea Islands of the 
South Atlantic States : 

" One time B'er Deer an' B'er Cooter (Terrapin) was courtin', 
and de lady did bin lub B'er Deer mo' so dan B'er Cooter. She did 
bin lub B'er Cooter, but she lub B'er Deer de morest. So de noung 
lady say to B'er Deer and B'er Cooter bofe dat dey mus' hab a ten- 
mile race, an' de one dat beats, she will go marry him. 

"So B'er Cooter say to B'er Deer: 'You has got mo' longer 
legs dan I has, but I will run you. You run ten mile on land, and 
I will run ten mile on de water ! ' 

" So B'er Cooter went an' git nine er his fam'ly, an' put one 
at ebery milc-pos', and he hisse'f, what was to run wid B'er Deer, 



INTRODUCTIOJf. 9 

he was right in front of de young lady's do', in de broom- 
grass. 

" Dat mornin' at nine o'clock, B'er Deer he did met B'er Cooter 
at de f us mile-pos', wey dey was to start fum. So he call : ' Well, 
B'er Cooter, is you ready? Go long! ' As he git on to de nex' 
mile-pos', lie say : ' B'er Cooter ! ' B'er Cooter say : ' Hullo ! ' B'er 
Deer say : ' You dere ? ' B'er Cooter say : ' Yes, B'er Deer, I dere 
too.' 

" Nex' mile-pos' he jump, B'er Deer say : ' Hullo, B'er Cooter ! ' 
B'er Cooter say : ' Hullo, B'er Deer ! you dere too ? ' B'er Deer say : 
' Ki! it look like you gwine fer tie me; it look like we gwine fer 
de gal tie ! ' 

" Wen lie git to de nine-mile pos' ho tought he git dere fus, 
'cause he mek two jump ; so he holler : ' B'er Cooter ! ' B'er Cooter 
answer: '■ You dere too? ' B'er Deer say : ' It look like you gwine 
tie me.' B'er Cooter say : ' Go long, B'er Deer. I git dere in due 
season time,' which he does, and wins the race." 

The story of the Rabbit and the Fox, as told by the 
Southern negroes, is artistically dramatic in this : it pro- 
gi-esses in an orderly way from a beginning to a well-defined 
conclusion, and is full of striking episodes that suggest the 
culmination. It seems to me to be to a certain extent alle- 
gorical, albeit such an interpretation may be unreasonable. 
At least it is a fable thoroughly characteristic of the negro ; 
and it needs no scientific investigation to show why he se- 
lects as his hero the weakest and most harmless of all ani- 
mals, and brings him out victorious in contests with the 
bear, the wolf, and the fox. It is not virtue that triumphs, 
but helplessness ; it is not malice, but mischievousness. It 
would be presumptuous in me to offer an opinion as to the 



10 IXTRODUCTIOX. 

origin of these curious myth-stories ; but, if ethnologists 
should discover that tliey did not originate Avith the Afri- 
can, the proof to that eifect should be accompanied with a 
good deal of persuasive eloquence. 

Curiously enough, I have found few negroes who will 
acknowledge to a stranger that they know anything of these 
legends ; and yet to relate one of the stories is the surest 
road to their confidence and esteem. In this way, and in 
this way only, I have been enabled to collect and verify the 
folk-lore included in this volume. There is an anecdote 
about the Irishman and the rabbit which a number of ne- 
groes have told to me with great unction, and which is both 
funny and characteristic, though I will not undertake to 
say that it has its origin Avitli the blacks. One day an 
Irishman who had heard people talking about " mares' 
nests " was going along the big road — it is always the big 
road in contradistinction to neighborhood paths and by- 
paths, called in the vernacular "nigh-cuts" — when he 
came to a pumpkin-patch. The Irishman had never seen 
any of this fruit before, and he at once concluded that he 
had discovered a veritable mare's nest. Making the most 
of his opportunity, he gathered one of the pumpkins in his 
arms and went on his way. A pumpkin is an exceedingly 
awkward thing to carry, and the Irishman had not gone 
far before he made a misstep, and stumbled. The pump- 
kin fell to the ground, rolled down the hill into a "brush- 
heap," and, striking against a stump, was broken. The 
story continues in the dialect : " Wen de punkin roll in de 
bresh-heap, out Jump a rabbit ; en soon's de I'shmuns see 



INTRODUCTION. H 

dat, he take atter de rabbit en holler : ' Kworp, colty ! 
kworp, colty !' but de rabbit, he des flew." The point of 
this is obvious. 

As to the songs, the reader is warned that it will be 
found difficult to make them conform to the ordinary rules 
of versification, nor is it intended that they should so con- 
form. They are written, and are intended to be read, solely 
with reference to the regular and invariable recurrence of 
the caesura, as, for instance, the first stanza of the Revival 
Hymn : 

" Oh, whar ] sliill we go ] w'en de great | day comes | 
Wid de blow | in' er de truinpits | en de bang | in' er de drums | 
How man | y po' sin | ners'll be kotch'd | out late | 
En fine | no latch | ter de gold | in' gate | " 

In other words, the songs depend for their melody and 
rhythm upon the musical quality of time, and not upon 
long or short, accented or unaccented syllables. I am per- 
suaded that this fact led Mr. Sidney Lanier, who is thor- 
oughly familiar with the metrical peculiarities of negro 
songs, into the exhaustive investigation which has resulted 
in the publication of his scholarly treatise on " The Science 
of English Verse." 

The difference between the dialect of the legends and 
that of the character-sketches, slight as it is, marks the 
modifications which the speech of the negro has undergone 
even where education has played no part in reforming it. 
Indeed, save in the remote country districts, the dialect of 
the legends has nearly disappeared. I am perfectly well 
aware that the character-sketches are without permanent 



12 INTRODUCTION. 

interest, but they are embodied here for the purpose of 
presenting a phase of negro character wholly distinct from 
that which I haA"e endeavored to preserve in the legends. 
Only in this shape, and with all the local allusions, would 
it be possible to adequately represent the shrewd observa- 
tions, the curious retorts, the homely thrusts, the quaint 
comments, and the humorous philosophy of the race of 
which Uncle Eemus is a type. 

If the reader not familiar with plantation life will im- 
agine that the myth-stories of Uncle Eemus are told night 
after night to a little boy by an old negro who appears to 
be venerable enough to have lived during the period which 
he describes — who has nothing but i:)leasant memories of 
the discipline of slavery — and who has all the prejudices of 
caste and pride of family that were the natural results of 
the system ; if the reader can imagine all this, he will find 
little difficulty in appreciating and sympathizing with the 
air of affectionate superiority which Uncle Eemus assumes 
as he proceeds to unfold the mysteries of plantation lore to 
a little child who is a jiroduct of that practical reconstruc- 
tion wliich has been going on to some extent since the war 
in spite of the politicians. Uncle Eemus describes that 
reconstruction in his *' Story of the War," and I may as 
well add here for the benefit of the curious that that story 

is almost literally true. 

J. C. II. 



COISrTE:NTS 



Legends of the Old Plantation. 

I. — Uncle Remus initiates tlie Little Boy . . . 19 

II.— The Wonderful Tar-Baby Story . . . .23 

III. — Why Mr. Possum loves Peace .... 20 

IV. — How Mr. Rabbit was too sharp for Mr. Fox . . 29 

V. — The Story of the Deluge, and how it came about . 31 

VI. — Mr. Rabbit grossly deceives Mr. Fox . . .34 

VII. — Mr. Fox is again victimized .... 39 

VIII. — Mr. Fox is "outdone" by Mr. Buzzard . . .44 

IX.— Miss Cow falls a Victim to Mr. Rabbit ... 47 

X. — Mr. Terrapin appears upon the Scene . . .52 

XI. — Mr. Wolf makes a Failure .... 57 

XII.— Mr. Wolf tackles Old Man Tarry pin . . . .60 

XIII.— The Awful Fate of Mr. Wolf .... 63 

XIV.— Mr. Fox and the Deceitful Frogs . . . .68 

XV. — Mr. Fox goes a-hunting, but Mr. Rabbit bags the Game 70 

XVL— Old Mr. Rabbit, he's a Good Fisherman . . .72 

XVII.— Mr. Rabbit nibbles up the Butter ... 75 

XVIII. — Mr. Rabbit finds his Match at last . . - .80 

XIX.— The Fate of Mr. Jack Sparrow . . . .84 

XX.— How Mr. Rabbit saved his Meat . . . .89 

XXI. — Mr. Rabbit meets his Match again ... 94 



14 • CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

XXII.— A Story about the Little Rabbits . . . .97 

XXIII.— Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Bear .... 100 

XXIV.— Mr. Bear catches Old Mr. Bull-Frog . . .104 

XXV.— How Mr. Rabbit lost his Fine Bushy Tail . . Iu8 

XXVI. — Mr. Terrapin shows his Strength . . . .111 

XXVII.— Why Mr. Possum has no Ilair on his Tail . 11,5 

XXVIIL— The End of Mr. Bear 119 

XXIX. — Mr. Fox gets into Serious Business . . . 123 

X.X;X. — How Mr. Rabbit succeeded in raising a Dust . . 127 

XXXI.— A Plantation Witch . . . . ,131 

XXXII. — " Jacky-my-Lantern " ..... 136 

XXXIII.— Why the Negro is Black . . . .141 

XXXIV.— The Sad Fate of Mr. Fox . . . . . 113 

Plantation Puoverbs ..... 149 

Ills SOXGS. 
I. — Revival Hymn . . . . . .15.5 

II. — Camp-Meeting Song . . . . .150 

III.— Corn-Shucking Song 158 

IV.— The Plough-hands' Song . . . ICl 

v.— Christmas Play-Song . . . . .162 

VI.— Plantation Play-Song ..... 1C4 

VII. — Transcriptions : 

1. A Plantation Chant . . . .100 

2. A Plantation Serenade . . . .107 
VIII.— De Big Bethel Church 109 

IX. — Time goes by Turns . . . . .170 

A Stouy of the War . . . . .175 

His Sayings. 
I. — Jeems Rober'son's Last Illness . . . . 189 

II. — Uncle Remus's Church Experience . . . . 190 



CONTENTS. 


15 




PAGE 


III.— Uncle Remus and the Savannah Darkey . 


193 


IV.— Turnip Salad as a Text 


. 196 


v.— A Confession ..... 


197 


VI. — Uncle Remus with the Toothache . 


. 19S 


VII. — The Phonograph .... 


201 


VIII.— Race Improvement .... 


202 


IX.— In the Role of a Tartar . 


204 


X.— A Case of Measles .... 


. 206 


XL— The Emigrants ..... 


208 


XII.— As a Murderer .... 


. 210 


XIII.— His Practical View of Things . 


212 


XIV.— That DcceitfulJug .... 


. 214 


XV.— The Florida Watermelon 


218 


XVI. — Uuclc Remus preaches to a Convert 


. 220 


XVII.— As to Education .... 


222 


XVIII.— A Temperance Reformer . ' . 


. £24 


XIX.— As a Weather Prophet .... 


225 


XX.— The Old Man's Troubles 


. 226 


XXI.— The Fourth of July .... 


228 



LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 



UNCLE HEM US INITIATES THE LITTLE BOY. 

>9" 




One evening recently, the 
ady whom Uncle Remus calls 
"Miss Sally" missed her little 
seven-year-old. Making search 
for him through the house 
and through the yard, she 
heard the sound of voices in 
the old man's cabin, and, look- 
ing through the window, saw 
the child sitting by Uncle Remus. His head rested against 



20 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

the old man's arm, and ho was gazing with an expression 
of the most intense interest into the rough, weather-beaten 
face, tliat beamed so kindly upon him. This is what 
" Miss Sally " heard : 

'' Bimeby, one day, arter Brer Fox bin doin' all dat he 
could fer ter ketch Brer Rabbit, en Brer Rabbit bin doin' 
all he could fer ter keep 'im fum it. Brer Fox say to hisse'f 
dat he'd put up a game on Brer Rabbit, en he ain't mo'n 
got de wuds out'n his mouf twel Brer Rabbit come a 
lopin' up de big road, lookin' des ez plump, en ez fat, en 
ez sassy ez a Moggin boss in a barley-patch. 

" * Hoi' on dar. Brer Rabbit,' sez Brer Fox, sezee. 

" ' I ain't got time, Brer Fox,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, 
sorter mendin' his licks. 

'' 'I wantor have some confab wid you, Brer Rabbit,' sez 
Brer Fox, sezee. 

*' 'All right, Brer Fox, but you better holler fum whar 
you stan'. I'm monstus full er fleas dis mawnin',' sez Brer 
Rabbit, sezee. 

" 'I seed Brer B'ar yistiddy,' sez Brer Fox, sezee, 'en 
he sorter rake me over de coals kaze you en me ain't make 
frens en live naborly, en I tole 'im dat I'd see you.' 

" Den Brer Rabbit scratch one year wid his off hine- 
foot sorter jub'usly, en den he ups en sez, sezee : 

" 'All a settin', Brer Fox. Spose'n you drap roun' ter- 
morrer en take dinner wid mo. We ain't got no great 
doin's at our house, but I speck de ole 'oman en de chilluns 
kin sorter scramble roun' en git up sump'n fer ter stay yo' 
stummuck.' 



UNCLE REMUS INITIATES THE LITTLE BOY. 21 

<' 'I'm 'gree'ble, Brer Rabbit,' sez Brer Fox, sezee. 

" 'Den I'll 'jieii' on you,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. 

"Nex' day, Mr. Rabbit an' Miss Rabbit got up soon, 
'fo' day, en raided on a gyarden like Miss Sally's out dar, 
en got some cabbiges, en some roas'n years, en some spar- 
rer-grass, en dey fix up a smashin' dinner. Bimeby one 
er de little Rabbits, playin' out in de back-yard, come run- 
nin' in lioUerin', ' Ob, ma ! oh, ma ! I seed Mr. Fox a 
comin' ! ' En den Brer Rabbit lie tuck de chilluns by dcr 
years en make um set down, en den him en Miss Rabbit 
sorter dally roun' Avaitin' for Brer Fox. En dey keep on 
waitin', but no Brer Fox ain't come. Atter 'while Brer 
Rabbit goes to de do', easy like, en peep out, en dar, stick- 
in' out fum behime de cornder, wuz de tip-een' er Brer 
Fox tail. Den Brer Rabbit shot de do' en sot down, en 
put his paws behime his years en begin fer ter sing : 

" ' De place vvliarbouts 3'ovi spil] de grease, 
Eight dar youer boun' ter slide, 
An' whar you fine a bunch er ha'r, 
You'll sholy fine de hide.' 

'^ISTex' day. Brer Fox sont word by Mr. Mink, en skuze 
hisse'f kaze he wuz too sick fer ter come, en he ax Brer 
Rabbit fer ter come en take dinner wid him, en Brer Rabbit 
say he wuz 'gree'ble. 

''Bimeby, w'en de shaddcrs wniz at der shortes', Brer 
Rabbit he sorter brush up en santer down ter Brer Fox's 
house, en w'en he got dar, he yer somebody groanin', en 
he look in de do' en dar he see Brer Fox settiu' up in a 



22 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

rockin' cheer all wrop up wid flannil, en he look mighty 
weak. Brer Eabbit look all 'rouu', he did, but he ain't see 
no dinner. De dish-iian wuz settin' on de table, en close 
by "WUZ a kyarvin' knife. 

" ' Look like you gwineter have chicken fer dinner. Brer 
Fox,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. 

" ' Yes, Brer Rabbit, deycr nice, en fresh, en tender,' 
sez Brer Fox, sezee. 

"Den Brer Rabbit sorter pull his mustarsh, en say: 
' You ain't got no calamus root, is you, Brer Fox ? I done 
got so now dat I can't eat no chicken 'ceppin she's seasoned 
up wid calamus root.' En wid dat Brer Rabbit lipt out er 
de do' and dodge 'niong de bushes, en sot dar Avatchin' fer 
Brer Fox ; en he ain't watch long, nudder, kaze Brer Fox 
flung off de flannil en cropo out er de house en got whar he 
could cloze in on Brer Rabbit, en bimeby Brer Rabbit hol- 
ler out : ' Oh, Brer Fox ! I'll des put yo' calamus root out 
yer on dish yer stump. Better come git it while hit's 
fresh,' and wid dat Brer Rabbit gallop off home. En 
Brer Fox ain't never kotch 'ini yit, en w'at's mo', honey, 
he ain't gwineter." 



TDE WONDERFUL TAR-BABY STORY. 



23 



THE WONDERFUL TAR-BABY STORY. 

" Didn't the fox 7ieve7' catch the rabbit, Uncle Eemus ? " 
asked the little boy the next evening. 

"He come mighty nigh it, honey, sho's you bawn — 
Brer Fox did. One day atter Brer Eabbit fool 'im wid 
dat calamus root, Brer Fox went ter wuk en got 'im some 




tar, en mix it wid some turkentime, en fix up a contrap- 
shun wat he call a Tar-Baby, en he tuck dish yer Tar-Baby 
en he sot 'er in de big road, en den he lay off in de bushes 
fer ter see wat de news wuz gwineter be. En he didn't hat- 
ter wait long, nudd:r, kaze bimeby here come Brer Eabbit 



24 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION, 

pacin' down do road — lippity-clippity, clippity-lippity — dez 
ez sassy ez a jay-bird. Brer Fox, lie lay low. Brer Rab- 
bit come pranein' 'long twel he spy de Tar-Baby, en den he 
fotch up on his beliime legs like he wuz 'stonished. De 
Tar-Baby, she sot dar, she did, en Brer Fox, he lay low. 

" 'Mawnin' !' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee — 'nice wedder dis 
mawnin',' sezee. 

"Tar-Baby ain't sayin' nuthin', en Brer Fox, he lay 
low. 

"'How duz yo' sym'tums seem ter segasliuate ? ' sez 
Brer Rabbit, sezee. 

" Brer Fox, he wink his eye sIoav, en lay low, en de 
Tar-Baby, she ain't sapn' nuthin'. 

"'How you come on, den? Is you deaf?' sez Brer 
Rabbit, sezee. 'Kaze if you is, I kin holler louder,' sezee. 

" Tar-Baby stay still, en Brer Fox, he lay low. 

" ' Youer stuck up, dat's w'at you is,' says Brer Rabbit, 
sezee, ' en I'm gwineter kyore you, dat's w'at I'm a gwino- 
ter do,' sezee. 

"Brer Fox, he sorter chuckle in his stummuck, he did, 
but Tar-Baby ain't sayin' nuthin'. 

" ' I'm gwineter larn you howtcr talk ter 'specttubblo 
fokes ef hit's de las' ack,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. 'Ef 
you don't take oif dat hat en tell me howdy, I'm gwineter 
biis' you wide open,' sezee. 

" Tar-Baby stay still, en Brer Fox, he lay low. 

" Brer Rabbit keep on axiu' 'im, en de Tar-Baby, she 
keep on sayin' nuthin', twel present'y Brer Rabbit draw 
back wid his lis', he did, en blip he tuck 'er side er de 



THE WONDERFUL TAR-BABY STORY. £5 

head. Right dar's wliar he broke his merlasses jug. Ilis 
fis' stuck, en he can't pull loose. De tar hilt 'im. But 
Tar-Baby, she stay still, en Brer Fox, he lay low. 

" ' Ef you don't lemme loose, I'll knock you agin,' scz 
Brer Rabbit, sezee, en wid dat he fotcli 'er a wipe wid de 
;idder han', en dat stuck. Tar-Baby, she ain't sayin' nuth- 
in', en Brer Fox, he lay low. 

" ' Tu'n me loose, fo' I kick de natal stuffin' outen you,' 
sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, but de Tar- Baby, she ain't sayin' 
nuthin'. She des hilt on, en den Brer Rabbit lose de use 
er his feet in de same way. Brer Fox, he lay low. Den 
Brer Rabbit squall out dat ef de Tar-Baby don't tu'n 'im 
loose he butt 'er cranksided. En den he butted, en his 
head got stuck. Den Brer Fox, he sa'ntered fort', lookin' 
des ez innercent ez wunner yo' mammy's mockin'-birds. 

"'Howdy, Brer Rabbit,' sez Brer Fox, sezee. 'You 
look sorter stuck up dis mawnin',' sezee, en den he rolled 
on de groun', en laft en laft twel he couldn't lafl no mo'. 
' I speck you'll take dinner wid me dis time. Brer Rabbit. 
I done laid in some calamus root, en I ain't gwineter take 
no skuse,' sez Brer Fox, sezee." 

Here Uncle Remus paused, and drew a two-pound yam 
out of the ashes. 

" Did the fox eat the rabbit ? " asked the little boy to 
whom the story had been told. 

"Dat's all de f ur de tale goes," replied the old man. 
" He mout, en den agin he moutent. Some say Jedge B'ar 
come 'long en loosed 'im — some say he didn't. I hear Miss 
Sally callin'. You better run 'long." 
2 



26 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 



WHY MB. POSSUM LOVES PEACE. 

" One niglit," said Uncle Eemxis — taking Miss Sally's 
little boy on his knee, and stroking the child's hair thought- 
fully and caressingly — " one night Brer Possum call by fer 
Brer Coon, 'cordin' ter greement, en atter gobblin' up a dish 
er fried greens en smokin' a seegyar, dey rambled fort' fer 
ter see how de ballunce er de settlement wuz gittin' 'long. 
Brer Coon, he wuz wunner deze yer natchul pacers, en he 
racked 'long same ez Mars John's bay pony, en Brer Possum 
he went in a han'-gallup ; en dey got over heap er groun', 
mon. Brer Possum, he got his belly full er 'simmons, en 
Brer Coon, he scoop up a 'bunnunce er frogs en tadpoles. 
Dey amble 'long, dey did, des ez soshubble ez a baskit er 
kittens, twel bimeby dey hear Mr. Dog talkin' ter hisse'f 
way off in de woods. 

" ' Spozen he runs up on us, Brer Possum, w'at you 
gwineter do ? ' sez Brer Coon, sezee. Brer Possum sorter 
laff 'round de cornders un his mouf. 

" ' Oh, ef he come. Brer Coon, I'm gwineter stan' by 
you,' sez Brer Possum. ' Wat you gwineter do ?' sezee. 

" 'Who ? me ? ' sez Brer Coon. ' Ef he run up outer 
me, I lay I give 'im one twis',' sezee." 

" Did the dog come ? " asked the little boy. 

" Go 'way, honey ! " responded the old man, in an im- 
pressive tone. "Go way ! Mr. Dog, he come en he come 
a zoonin'. En he ain't wait fer ter say howdy, nudder. 



WHY MR. POSSUM LOVES PEACE. 27 

He des sail inter de two un um. De ve'y fus pas he make 
Brer Possum fetch a grin fum year ter year, en keel over 
like he wuz dead. Den Mr. Dog, he sail inter Brer Coon, 
en right dar's whar he drap his munnypus, kaze Brer Coon 
wuz cut out fer dat kinder bizness, en he fa'rly wipe up de 
face er de earf wid 'im. You better b'leeve dat w'en Mr. 
Dog got a chance to make hisse'f skase he tuck it, en w'at 
der wuz lef un him went skaddlin' thoo de woods like hit 
wuz shot outen a muskit. En Brer Coon, he sorter lick his 
cloze inter shape en rack off, en Brer Possum, he lay dar 
like he wuz dead, twel bimeby he raise up sotter keerful 
like, en w'en he fine de coas' cle'r he scramble up en scam- 
per off like sumpin was atter 'im." 

Here Uncle Remus paused long enough to pick up a live 
coal of fire in his fingers, transfer it to the palm of his 
hand, and thence to his clay pipe, which he had been filling 
— a proceeding that was viewed by the little boy with un- 
disguised admiration. The old man then proceeded : 

''Nex' time Brer Possum meet Brer Coon, Brer Coon 
'fuse ter 'spon' ter his howdy, en dis make Brer Possum feel 
mighty bad, seein' ez how dey useter make so many 'scur- 
shuns tergedder. 

" 'Wat make you hoi' yo' head so high. Brer Coon ? ' 
sez Brer Possum, sezee. 

*' ' I ain't runnin' wid cowerds deze days,' sez Brer 
Coon. ' W'en I wants you I'll sen' fer you,' sezee. 

" Den Brer Possum git mighty mad. 

" ' "Who's enny cowerd,' sezee. 

" 'You is,' sez Brer Coon, 'dat's who. I ain't soshatin' 



28 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLAXTATIOX. 

wid dem w'at lies down ou de grouu' en plays dead w'eu 
dar's a free fight gwiue on/ sezee. 

" Den Brer Possum gi'in en laff fit to kill liisse'f. 

" ' Lor', Brer Coon, you don't speck I done dat kaze I 
wuz 'feared, duz 3-ou ? ' sezee. ' Wy I want no mo' 'feared 
dan you is dis minnit. "W'at wuz dey fer ter be skeered 
un ? ' sezee. * I know'd you'd git away wid Mr. Dog ef I 
didn't, en I des lay dar watchin' you shake him, waitin' fer 
ter put in w'en de time come,' sezee. 

" Brer Coon tu'n up his nose. 

"'Dat's a mighty likely tale,' sezee, 'w'en Mr. Dog 
ain't mo'n tech you 'fo' you keel over, en lay dar stiff,' sezee. 

" ' Dat's des w'at I wuz gwineter tell you 'bout,' sez Brer 
Possum, sezee. 'I want no mo' skeer'd dan you is right 
now, en' I wuz fixin' fer ter give Mr. Dog a sample er my 
jaw,' sezee, 'but I'm de most ticklish chap w'at you ever 
laid eyes on, en no sooner did Mr. Dog put his nose down 
yer 'mong my ribs dan I got ter laffin, en I laft twel I 
ain't had no use er my lim's,' sezee, 'en it's a mussy 
unto Mr. Dog dat I wuz ticklish, kaze a little mo' en I'd 
e't 'im up,' sezee. ' I don't mine fightin', Brer Coon, no 
mo' dan you duz,' sezee, 'but I declar' ter grashus ef I kin 
stan' ticklin'. Git me in a row whar dey ain't no ticklin' 
'lowed, en I'm your man,' sezee. 

"En down ter dis day " — continued Uncle Remus, 
watching the smoke from his pipe curl upward over the lit- 
tle boy's head—" down ter dis day, Brer Possum's bound ter 
s'render w'en you tech him in de short ribs, en he'll laff 
ef he knows he's gwineter be smashed fer it." 



HOW MR. RABBIT WAS TOO SHARP FOR MR. FOX. 29 



HOW MR. BABBIT WAS TOO SHARP FOR MR. FOX. 

"Uncle Remus," said the little boy one evening, when 
he had found the old man with little or nothing to do, 
" did the fox kill and cat the rabbit when he canght him 
with the Tar- Baby?" 

" Law, honey, ain't I tell yon "bout dat ? " replied the 
old darkey, chuckling slyly. " I 'clar ter grashus I ought 
er tole you dat, but ole man Nod wuz ridin' on my eyeleds 
'twel a leetle mo'n I'd a dis'member'd my own name, en 
den on to dat here come yo' mammy hollerin' atter you. 

" Wat I tell you w'en I fus' begin ? I tole you Brer 
Rabbit wuz a monstus soon beas' ; leas'ways dat's w'at I 
laid out fer ter tell you. Well, den, honey, don't you go 
en make no udder kalkalashuns, kaze in dem days Brer 
Rabbit en his fambly wuz at de head er de gang w'en enny 
racket wuz on ban', en dar dey stayed. 'Fo' you begins 
fer ter wipe yo' eyes ' bout Brer Rabbit, you wait en see 
whar'bouts Brer Rabbit gwineter fetch up at. But dat's 
needer yer ner dar. 

"W'en Brer Fox fine Brer Rabbit mixt up wid de Tar- 
Baby, he feel mighty good, en he roll on de gi'oun' en laff. 
Bimeby he up'n say, sezee : 

" ' Well, I speck I got you dis time, Brer Rabbit,' sezee ; 
' maybe I ain't, but I speck I is. You been runnin' roun' 
here sassin' atter me a mighty long time, but I speck you 
done come ter de een' er de row. You bin cuttin' up yo' 



30 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATIO>f. 

cajiers en bouncin' 'roiin' iii dis naberliood ontwel you 
come ter b'leeve yo'se'f de boss er de whole gang. En den 
youer allers some'rs whar you got no bizness,' sez Brer Fox, 
sezee. ' Who ax you fer ter come en strike up a 'quamt- 
ence wid dish yer Tar-Baby ? En who stuck you up dar 
whar you iz ? Xobody in de roun' worril. You des tuck 
en Jam yo'se'f on dat Tar-Baby widout waitin' fer enny in- 
vite,' sez Brer Fox, sezee, 'en dar you is, en dar you'll stay 
twel I fixes up a bresh-pile and fires her up, kaze I'm gwine- 
ter bobbycue you dis day, sho,' sez Brer Fox, sezee. 

" Den Brer Eabbit talk mighty 'umble. 

" ' I don't keer w'at you do wid me, Brer Fox,' sezee, 
' so you don't fling me in dat brier-patch. Eoas' me, Brer 
Fox,' sezee, 'but don't fling me in dat brier-patch,' 
sezee. 

" 'Hit's so much trouble fer ter kindle a fler,' sez Brer 
Fox, sezee, 'dat I speck I'll hatter hang you,' sezee. 

" 'Hang me des ez high as you please. Brer Fox,' sez 
Brer Eabbit, sezee, 'but do fer de Lord's sake don't fling 
me in dat brier-patch,' sezee. 

" 'I ain't got no string,' sez Brer Fox, sezee, 'en now 
I speck I'll hatter drown you,' sezee. 

" 'Drown me des ez deep ez you please. Brer Fox,' sez 
Brer Eabbit, sezee, 'but do don't fling me in dat brier- 
jiatch,' sezee. 

" 'Dey ain't no water nigh,' sez Brer Fox, sezee, 'en 
now I speck I'll hatter skin you,' sezee. 

" 'Skin me. Brer Fox,' sez Brer Eabbit, sezee, 'snatch 
out my eyeballs, far out my years by de roots, en cut off 



THE STORY OF THE DELUGE. 31 

my legs,' sezee, * but do please, Brer Fox, don't fling me 
in dat brier-patch,' sezee. 

"Co'se Brer Fox wanter hurt Brer Eabbit bad ez he 
kin, so he cotch 'im by de behime legs en slung 'im right 
in de middle er de brier-patch. Dar wuz a considerbul 
flutter whar Brer Eabbit struck de bushes, en Brer Fox 
sorter hang 'roun' fer ter see w'at avuz gwineter happen. 
Bimeby he hear somebody call 'im, en way up de hill he 
see Brer Rabbit settin' cross-legged on a chinkapin log 
koamin' de pitch outen his har wid a chip. Den Brer Fox 
know dat he bin swop off mighty bad. Brer Rabbit wuz 
bleedzed fer ter fling back some er his sass, en he holler 
out: 

" 'Bred en bawn in a brier-patch. Brer Fox — bred en 
bawn in a brier-patch ! ' en wid dat he skip out des ez 
lively ez a cricket in de embers." 



V. 



THE STORY OF THE DELUGE AND HOW IT CAME 
ABOUT. 

"One time," said Uncle Remus — adjusting his specta- 
cles so as to be able to see how to thread a large darning- 
needle with which he was patching his coat — " one time, 
way back yander, 'fo' you wuz horned, honey, en 'fo' Mars 
John er Miss Sally wuz horned — way back yander 'fo' enny 



32 LEGENDS OF THE OLD TLAXTATION. 

un us wuz borned, de anemils en de beasteses sorter 'lecsliun- 
eer roun' 'mong deyselves, twel at las' dey' greed fer ter haye 
a 'sembly. In dem days," continued the old man, observing 
a look of incredulity on the little boy's face, "in dem days 
creeturs had lots mo' sense dan dey got now ; let 'lone dat, 
dey had sense same like folks. Hit was tech en go wid 
um, too, mon, en w'en dey make up dere mines w'at hatter 
be done, 'twant mo'n menshun'd 'fo' hit wuz done. Well, 
dey 'lected dat dey hatter hole er 'sembly fer ter sorter 
straighten out marters en yer de complaints, en w'en de 
day come dey wuz on han'. De Lion, he wuz dere, kaze he 
wuz de king, en he hatter be dere. De Ehynossyhoss, he 
wuz dere, en de Elephent, he wuz dere, en de Cammils, en 
de Cows, en plum down ter de Crawfishes, dey wuz dere. 
Dey wuz all dere. En w'en de Lion shuck his mane, en 
tuck his seat in de big cheer, den de sesshun begun fer ter 
commence." 

''What did they do. Uncle Eemus?" asked the little 
boy. 

'' I kin skacely call to mine 'zackly wa't dey did do, but 
dey spoke speeches, en hollered, en cusst, en flung der lan- 
gwidge 'roun' des like w'en yo' daddy wuz gwineter run 
fer de legislater en got lef. Howsomever, dey 'ranged der 
'fairs, en splained der bizness. Bimeby, w'ile dey wuz 
'sputin' 'longer wunner nudder, de Elephent tromped on 
wunner de Crawfishes. Co'se w'en dat creetur put his foot 
down, w'atsumever's under dere's bound fer ter be squshed, 
en dey wuzn't nuff er dat Crawfish lef fer ter tell dat he'd 
bin dar. 



THE STORY OF THE DELUGE. 33 

"Dis make de udder Crawfishes mighty mad, en dey 
sorter swawmed tergedder en draw'd up a kinder peramble 
wid some wliarfo'es in it, en read her out in de 'sembly. But, 
bless grashus ! sech a racket wuz a gwine on dat nobody 
ain't hear it, 'ceppin may be de Mud Turkle en de Spring 
Lizzud, en dere enfloons wuz pow'ful hickin'. 

" Bimeby, w'iles de Nunicorn wuz 'sputin' wid de Lion, 
en w'ile de Hyener wuz a laffin ter hisse'f, de Elephent 
squshed anudder one er de Crawfishes, en a little mo'n he'd 
er mint de Mud Turkle. Den de Crawfii^hes, w'at dey wuz 
lef un um, swawmed tergedder en draw'd up anudder per- 
amble wid sum mo' wliarfo'es ; but dey might ez well er 
sung Ole Dan Tucker ter a harrycane. De udder creeturs 
wuz too bizzy wid der fussin' fer ter 'spon' unto de Craw- 
fishes. So dar dey wuz, de Crawfishes, en dey didn't know 
w'at minnit wuz gwineter be de nex' ; en dey kep' on git- 
tin madder en madder en skeerder en skeerder, twel bime- 
by dey gun de wink ter de Mud Turkle en de Spring Liz- 
zud, en den dey bo'd little holes in de groun' en went down 
outer sight." 

''Who did, Uncle Remus ?" asked the little boy. 

" De Crawfishes, honey. Dey bo'd inter de groun' en 
kep' on bo'in twel dey onloost de fountains er de earf ; 
en de waters squirt out, en riz higher en higher twel de 
hills wuz kivvered, en de creeturs wuz all drownded ; en 
all bekaze dey let on 'mong deyselves dat dey wuz bigger 
dan de Crawfishes." 

Then the old man blew the ashes from a smoking yam, 
and proceeded to remove the peeling. 



34 LEGENDS OF TEE OLD PLANTATION. 

" Where was the ark, Uncle Remus ?" the little boy in- 
quired, presently. 

"W'icli ark's dat?" asked the old man, in a tone of 
well-feigned curiosity. 

''Noah's ark," replied the child. 

"Don't you pester wid ole man Noah, honey. I boun' 
he tuck keer er dat ark. Dat's Av'at he wuz dere fer, en 
dat's w'at he done. Leas'ways, dat's w'at dey tells me. 
But don't you bodder longer dat ark, 'ceppin' your mammy 
fetches it up. Dey mout er bin two deloojes, en den agin 
dey moutent. Ef dey wuz enny ark in dish yer w'at de 
Crawfishes brung on, I ain't hecrn tell un it, en w'en dey 
ain't no arks 'roun, I ain't got no time fer ter make um en 
put um in dere. Hit's gittin' yo' bedtime, honey." 



VI. 

MR. RABBIT GROSSLY DECEIVES MR. FOX. 

OxE evening when the little boy, whose nights with 
Uncle Remus are as entertaining as those Arabian ones of 
blessed memory, had finished supper and hurried out to sit 
with his venerable patron, he found the old man in great 
glee. Indeed, Uncle Remus was talking and laughing to 
himself at such a rate that the little boy was afraid he had 
company. The truth is, Uncle Remus nad heard the child 
coming, and, when the rosy-cheeked chap put his head in 



MR. RABBIT GROSSLY DECEIVES MR. FOX. 35 

at the door, was engaged in a monologue, the burden of 
which seemed to be — 

" Ole Molly Ilar\ 
Wat you doin' dar, 
Settiii' in de cornder 
Smokin' yo' seegyar ? " 

As a matter of course this vague allusion reminded the 
little boy of the fact that the wicked Fox was still in pur- 
suit of the Rabbit, and he immediately put his curiosity in 
the shape of a question. 

"Uncle Remus, did the Rabbit have to go clean away 
when he got loose from the Tar-Baby ? " 

" Bless grashus, honey, dat he didn't. Who ? llim ? 
You dunno nuthin' 'tall 'bout Brer Rabbit ef dat's de way 
you puttin' 'im down. Wat he gwine 'way fer ? He 
mouter stayed sorter close twel de pitch rub off'n his ha'r, 
but twern't menny days 'fo' he wuz lopin' up en down de 
naberhood same ez ever, en I dunno ef he wern't mo' sas- 
sier dan befo'. 

" Seem like dat de tale 'bout how he got mixt up wid 
de Tar-Baby got 'roun' 'mongst de nabers. Leas'ways, 
Miss Meadows en de gals got win' un' it, en de nex' time 
Brer Rabbit paid um a visit Miss Meadows tackled 'im 'bout 
it, en de gals sot up a monstus gigglement. Brer Rabbit, he 
sot up dcs ez cool ez a cowcumber, he did, en let 'em run 
on." 

" Who was Miss Meadows, Uncle Remus ? " inquired 
the little boy. 



36 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

"Don't ax mc, honey. She wuz in de tale, Miss Mead- 
ows en de gals wuz, en de tale I give you like hi't wer' gun 
ter me. Brer Eabbit, he sot dar, he did, sorter lam' like, 
en den bimeby he cross his legs, he did, and wink his eye 
slow, en up en say, sezee : 

" ' Ladies, Brer Fox wuz my daddy's ridin'-hoss fer 
thirty year ; maybe mo', but thirty year dat I knows un,' 
sezee ; en den he paid um his 'specks, en tip his beaver, en 
march off, he did, des ez stiff en ez stuck up ez a fire-stick. 

" Nex' day. Brer Fox cum a callin', and w'en he gun 
fer ter laff 'bout Brer Rabbit, Miss Meadows en de gals, dey 
ups en tells 'im 'bout w'at Brer Eabbit say. Den Brer 
Fox grit his toof sho' nuff, he did, en he look mighty 
dumpy, but w'en he riz fer ter go he up en say, sezee : 

" ' Ladies, I ain't 'sputin' w'at you say, but I'll make 
Brer Eabbit chaw up his words en spit um out right yer 
whar you kin see 'im,' sezee, en wid dat off Brer Fox 
marcht. 

"En w'en he got in de big road, he shuck de dew off'n 
his tail, en made a straight shoot fer Brer Rabbit's house. 
Wen he got dar, Brer Eabbit wuz spectin' un 'im, en de 
do' wuz shet fas'. Brer Fox knock. Nobody ain't ans'er. 
Brer Fox knock. Nobody ans'er. Den he knock agin — 
blam ! blam ! Den Brer Eabbit holler out mighty weak : 

" ' Is dat you, Brer Fox ? I want you ter run en fetch 
de doctor. Dat bait er pusly w'at I e't dis mawnin' is git- 
tin' 'way wid me. Do, please, Brer Fox, run quick,' sez 
Brer Eabbit, sezee. 

" ' I come after you. Brer Eabbit,' sez Brer Fox, sezee. 



MR. RABBIT GROSSLY DECEIVES MR. FOX. 37 

*Dere's gwineter be a party up at Miss Meadows's,' sezee. 
* All de gals '11 be dare, en I promus' dat I'd fetch you. 
De gals, dey 'lowed dat hit wouldn't be no party 'ceppin' I 
fotcli you,' sez Brer Fox, sezee. 

*' Den Brer Rabbit say he wuz too sick, en Brer Fox say 
he wuzzent, en dar dey had it up and down, 'sputin' en 
contendin'. Brer Eabbit say he can't walk. Brer Fox 
say he tote 'im. Brer Eabbit say how ? Brer Fox say 
in his arms. Brer Eabbit say he drap 'im. Brer Fox 
'low he won't. Bimeby Brer Eabbit say he go ef Brer 
Fox tote 'im on his back. Brer Fox say he would. Brer 
Eabbit say he can't ride widout a saddle. Brer Fox 
say he git de saddle. Brer Eabbit say he can't set in 
saddle less he have bridle fer ter hoi' by. Brer Fox say he 
git de bridle. Brer Eabbit say he can't ride widout 
bline bridle, kaze Brer Fox be shyin' at stumps 'long de 
road, en fling 'im off. Brer Fox say he git bline bridle. 
Den Brer Eabbit say he go. Den Brer Fox say he ride 
Brer Eabbit mos' up ter Miss Meadows's, en den he could 
git down en walk de balance er de way. Brer Eabbit 'greed, 
on den Brer Fox lipt out atter de saddle en de bridle. 

" Co'se Brer Eabbit know de game dat Brer Fox wuz 
fixin' fer ter play, en he 'termin' fer ter outdo 'im, en by 
de time he koam his ha'r en twis' his mustarsh, en sorter 
rig up, yer come Brer Fox, saddle en bridle on, en lookin' 
cz peart ez a circus pony. He trot up ter de do' en stan' 
dar pawin' de ground en chompin' de bit same like she 
'nuff boss, en Brer Eabbit he mount, he did, en dey am- 
ble off. Brer Fox can't see behime wid de bline bridle 



38 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATIOX. 

on, but bimeby he feel Brer Ealjbit raise one er liis 
foots. 

'' 'Wat you doin' now, Brer Babbit ?' sezee. 

" ' Short'uin' de lef stir'j:). Brer Fox,' sezee. 

'' Bimeby Brer Rabbit raise up de udder foot. 

'' 'Wat you doin' now, Brer Rabbit ?' sezee. 

" ' Pullin' down my pants, Brer Fox,' sezee. 

"All de time, bless grashus, honey. Brer Rabbit wer 
puttin' on his spurrers, en w'en dey got close to Miss Mead- 
ows's, whar Brer Rabbit wuz to git off, en Brer Fox made 
a motion fer ter stan' still, Brer Rabbit slap de spurrers 
inter Brer Fox flanks, en you better b'leeve he got over 
groun'. Wen dey got ter de house. Miss Meadows en all 
de gals wuz settin' on de peazzer, en stidder stoppin' at de 
gate. Brer Rabbit rid on by, he did, en den come gallopin' 
down de road en up ter de hoss-rack, w'icli he hitch Brer 
Fox at, en den he santer inter de house, he did, en shake 
ban's wid de gals, en set dar, smokin' his seegyar same ez a 
town man. Bimeby he draw in long puff, en den let hit 
out in a cloud, en squar hisse'f back en holler out, he did : 

" ' Ladies, ain't I done tell you Brer Fox wuz de ridin'- 
hoss fer our fambly ? He sorter losin' his gait' now, but 
I speck I kin fetch 'im all right in a mont' er so,' sezee. 

" En den Brer Rabbit sorter grin, he did, en de gals 
giggle, en Miss Meadows, she praise up de pony, en dar 
wuz Brer Fox hitch fas' ter de rack, en couldn't he'p 
hisse'f." 

"Is that all. Uncle Remus ?" asked the little boy as 
the old man paused. 



MR. FOX IS AGAIN VICTIMIZED. 39 

" Dat ain't all, honey, but 'twon't do for ter give out 
too much cloff fer ter cut one pa'r pants," replied the old 
man sententiously. 



MR. FOX IS AGAIN VICTIMIZED. 

AVnEJf " Miss Sally's " httle boy went to Uncle Eemus 
the next night to hear the conclusion of the adventure in 
which the Kabbit made a riding-horse of the Fox to the 
great enjoyment and gratification of Miss Meadows and the 
girls, he found the old man in a bad humor. 

"I ain't tellin' no tales ter bad chilluns," said Uncle 
Eemus curtly. 

*'But, Uncle Eemus, I ain't bad," said the little boy 
plaintively. 

" Who dat chunkin' dem chickens dis mawnin' ? Who 
dat knockin' out fokes's eyes wid dat Yallerbammer sling 
des 'fo' dinner ? Who dat sickin' dat pinter puppy after 
™y P^g ? Who dat scatterin' my ingun sets ? Who dat 
flingin' rocks on top er my house, w'ich a little mo' en one 
un em would er drap spang on my head ? " 

"Well, now. Uncle Eemus, I didn't go to do it. I 
won't do so any more. Please, Uncle Eemus, if you will 
tell me, I'll run to the house and bring you some tea- 
cakes. " 

"Seein' urn's better'n hearin' tell un um," rejilied the 



iO 



LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 




old man, the severity of his coun- 
tenance relaxing somewhat ; but 
the little boy darted out, and 
in a few minutes came running 
back with his pockets full and 
his hands full. 

" I lay yo' mammy '11 'spishun dat 
de rats' stummucks is widenin' in dis ni 
berhood w'en she come fer ter count 
'er cakes," said Uncle Remus, w: 
a chuckle. " Deze," he continued, 
dividing the cakes into two equal 
parts — "deze I'll tackle now, en 
deze I'll lay by fer Sunday. 

"Lemme see. I mos' dis'- 
member wharbouts Brer Fox en "^^i^i 
Brer Babbit wuz." 



MR. FOX IS AGAIN VICTIMIZED. 41 

"The rabbit rode the fox to Miss Meadows's, and 
hitched him to the horse-rack," said the little boy. 

"Wy co'se he did," said Uncle Remus. "Co'se he 
did. Well, Brer Rabbit rid Brer Fox up, he did, en tied 
'im to de rack, en den sot out in de peazzer wid de gals a 
smokin' er his seegyar wid mo' proudness dan wa't you mos' 
ever see. Dey talk, en dey sing, en dey play on de pean- 
ner, de gals did, twel bimeby hit come time fer Brer Rab- 
bit fer to be gwine, en he tell um all good-by, en strut out 
to de hoss-rack same's ef he wuz de king er de patter-roll- 
ers,* en den he mount Brer Fox en ride off. 

"Brer Fox ain't sayin' nuthin 'tall. He des rack off, he 
did, en keep his mouf shet, en Brer Rabbit know'd der wuz 
bizness cookin' up fer him, en he feel monstus skittish. Brer 
Fox amble on twel he git in de long lane, outer sight er 
Miss Meadows's house, en den he tu'n loose, he did. He rip 
en he r'ar, en he cuss, en he swar ; he snort en he cavort." 

"What was he doing that for, Uncle Remus?" the 
little boy inquired. 

" He wuz tryin' for ter fling Brer Rabbit off'n his back, 
bless yo' soul ! But he des might ez well er rastle wid his 
own shadder. Every time he hump hisse'f Brer Rabbit 
slap de spurrers in 'im, en dar dey had it, up en down. 
Brer Fox fa'rly to' up de groun', he did, en he jump so 

* Patrols. In the country districts, order was kept on the plantations 
at night by the knowledge that they were liable to be visited at any mo- 
ment by the patrols. Hence a song current among the negroes, the chorus 
of which was : 

" Run, nigger, run ; patter-roller ketch you — 
Run, nigger, run ; hit's almos' day." 



42 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

high en he jump so quick dat he mighty nigh snatch his 
own tail off. Dey kep' on gwine on dis way twel bimeby 
Brer Fox lay down en roll over, he did, en dis sorter on- 
settle Brer Rabbit, but by de time Brer Fox got back on 
his footses agin. Brer Rabbit wuz gwine thoo de under- 
bresh mo' samer dan a race-hoss. Brer Fox he lit out atter 
'im, he did, en he push Brer Rabbit so close dat it wuz 
'bout all he could do fer ter git in a holler tree. Hole too 
little fer Brer Fox fer ter git in, en he hatter lay down en 
res' en gedder his mine tergedder. 

" While he wuz layin' dur, Mr. Buzzard come floppin' 
long, en seein' Brer Fox stretch out on de groun', he lit en 
view de premusses. Den Mr. Buzzard sorter shake his 
wing, en put his head on one side, en say to hisse'f like, 
sezee : 

" ' Brer Fox dead, en I so sorry,' sezee. 

'^ ' Xo I ain't dead, nudder,' sez Brer Fox, sezee. ' I 
got ole man Rabbit pent up in yer,' sezee, * en Fm a 
gwineter git 'im dis time ef it take twel Chris'mus,' sezee. 

" Den, atter some mo' palaver. Brer Fox make a bar- 
gain dat Mr. Buzzard wuz ter watch de hole, en keep Brer 
Rabbit dar wiles Brer Fox went atter his axe. Den Brer 
Fox, he lope off, he did, en Mr. Buzzard, he tuck up his 
stan' at de hole. Bimeby, w'en all git still. Brer Rabbit 
sorter scramble down close ter de hole, he did, en holler 
out : 

'' ' Brer Fox ! Oh ! Brer Fox ! ' 

"Brer Fox done gone, en nobody say nuthin'. Den 
Brer Rabbit squall out like he wuz mad ; sezee : 



MR. FOX IS AGAIN VICTIMIZED. 43 

" ' You needn't talk less you wanter/ sezee ; ' I knows 
youer dar, en I ain't keerin',' sezee. ' I des wanter tell you 
dat I wish mighty bad Brer Tukkey Buzzard wuz here,' 
sezee. 

" Den Mr. Buzzard try ter talk like Brer Fox : 

" ' Wat you want wid Mr. Buzzard ? ' sezee. 

" ' Oh, nutliin' in 'tickler, 'cep' dere's de fattes' gray 
squirl in yer dat ever I see,' sezee, 'en ef Brer Tukkey 
Buzzard wuz 'roun' he'd be mighty glad fer ter git 'im,' 



" ' How Mr. Buzzard gwine ter git 'im ? ' sez de Buz- 
zard, sezee. 

" ' Well, dars a little hole roun' on de udder side cr de 
tree,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, ' en ef Brer Tukkey Buzzard 
wuz here so he could take up his stan' dar,' sezee, ' I'd 
drive dat squir'l out,' sezee. 

" 'Drive 'im out, den,' sez Mr. Buzzard, sezee, 'en I'll 
see dat Brer Tukkey Buzzard gits 'im,' sezee. 

" Den Brer Eabbit kick up a racket, like he wer' driv- 
in' sumpin' out, en Mr. Buzzard he rush 'roun' fer ter ketch 
de squir'l, en Brer Eabbit, he dash out, he did, en he des 
fly fer home." 

At this point Uncle Remus took one of the tea-cakes, 
held his head back, opened his mouth, dropped the cake in 
with a sudden motion, looked at the little boy with an ex- 
pression of astonishment, and then closed his eyes, and be- 
gun to chew, mumbling as an accompaniment the plaintive 
tune of " Don't you Grieve atter Me." 

The seance was over ; but, before the little boy went 



44 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

into the " big house," Uncle Eenius laid his rough hand 
tenderly on the child's shoulder, and remarked, in a conti- 
dential tone : 

" Honey, you nius' git up soon Chris'nius ma^vnin' en 
open de do' ; kase I'm gwineter bounce in on Marse John 
en Miss Sally, en holler Chris'mus gif des like I useter en- 
durin' de falimin' days fo' de war, w'en ole Miss wuz 'live. 
I boun' dey don't fergit de ole nigger, nudder. Wen you 
hear me calliu' de pigs, honey, you des hop up en onfassen 
de do'. I lay I'll give Marse John wunner deze yer 'sprize 
parties." 



MR. FOX IS ''OUTDOXE'' BY MR. BUZZARD. 

''Ef I don't run inter no mistakes," remarked Uncle 
Eemus, as the little boy came tripping in to see him after 
supper, " Mr. Tiikkey Buzzard wuz gyardin' de holler wliar 
Brer Rabbit went in at, en w'ich he come out un." 

The silence of the little boy verified the old man's recol- 
lection. 

" Well, Mr. Buzzard, he feel mighty lonesome, he did, 
but he done prommust Brer Fox dat he'd stay, en he 'ter- 
min' fer ter sorter hang 'roun' en jine in de joke. En he 
ain't hatter wait long, nudder, kase bimeby yer come 
Brer Fox gallopin' thoo de woods wid his axe on his 
shoulder. 



MR. FOX IS "OUTDOxXE" BY MR. BUZZARD. 45 

" ' How you speck Brer Eabbit gittin' on, Brer Buz- 
zard?' sez Brer Fox, sezee. 

" ' Oh, lie in dar,' sez Brer Buzzard, sezee. ' He mighty 
still, dough. I speck he takin' a nap,' sezee. 

" 'Den I'm des in time fer ter wake 'im up,' sez Brer 
Fox, sezee. En wid dat he fling off his coat, en spit in his 
han's, en grab de axe. Den he draw back en come down 
on de tree — pow ! En eve'y time he come down wid de axe 
— pow ! — Mr. Buzzard, he step high, he did, en holler out : 

" ' Oh, he in dar. Brer Fox. He in dar, sho.' 

''En eve'y time a chip ud fly off, Mr. Buzzard, he'd 
jump, en dodge, en hole his head sideways, he would, en 
holler : 

" ' He in dar. Brer Fox. I done heerd 'im. He in dar, 
sho.' 

" En Brer Fox, he lammed away at dat holler tree, he 
did, like a man maulin' rails, twel bimeby, atter he done 
got de tree mos' cut thoo, he stop fer ter ketch his href, en 
he seed Mr. Buzzard laffin' behime his back, he did, en 
right den en dar, widout gwine enny fudder, Brer Fox, he 
smelt a rat. But Mr. Buzzard, he keep on holler'n : 

" ' He in dar, Brer Fox. He in dar, sho. I done seed 
'im.' 

"Den Brer Fox, he make like he peepin' up de holler, 
en he say, sezee : 

" ' Run yer, Brer Buzzard, en look ef dis ain't Brer 
Eabbit's foot hanging down yer.' 

" En Mr. Buzzard, he come steppin' up, he did, same 
ez ef he wer treddin' on kurkle-burrs, en he stick his head 



i6 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

in de hole ; en no sooner did he done dat dan Brer Fox 
grab 'im. Mr. Buzzard flap his wings, en scramble 'roun' 
right smartually, he did, but 'twant no use. Brer Fox 
had de 'vantage er de grip, he did, en he hilt 'im right 
down ter de groun'. Den Mr. Buzzard squall out, sezee : 

" Lemme 'lone, Brer Fox. Tu'n me loose,' sezee ; ' Brer 
Rabbit'll git out. Youer gittin' close at 'im,' sezee, 'en 
leb'm mo' licks'll fetch 'im,' sezee. 

"'I'm nigher ter you, Brer Buzzard,' sez Brer Fox, 
sezee, 'dan I'll be ter Brer Rabbit dis day,' sezee. 'Wat 
yoii fool me fer ? ' sezee. 

" ' Lemme 'lone, Brer Fox,' sez Mr. Buzzard, sezee ; 
'my ole 'oman waitin' fer me. Brer Rabbit in dar,' sezee. 

" 'Dars a bunch er his fur on dat black-be'y bush,' sez 
Brer Fox, sezee, ' en dat ain't de way he come,' sezee. 

" Den Mr. Buzzard up'n tell Brer Fox how 'twuz, en 
he low'd, Mr. Buzzard did, dat Brer Rabbit wuz de low- 
downest w'atsizname w'at he ever run up wid. Den Brer 
Fox say, sezee : 

" 'Dat's needer here nor dar, Brer Buzzard,' sezee. ' I 
Icf you yor fer ter watch dish yer hole, en I lef ' Brer Rabbit 
in dar. I comes back en I fines you at de hole en Brer Rab- 
bit ain't in dar,' sezee. ' I'm gwineter make you pay fer't. 
I done bin tampered wid twel plum' down ter de sap suck- 
cr'll set on a log en sassy me. I'm gwineter fling you in a 
bresh-heap en burn you up,' sezee. 

" 'Ef you fling me on der fier. Brer Fox, I'll fly 'way,' 
sez Mr. Buzzard, sezee. 

"'Well, den, I'll settle yo' hash right now,' sez Brer 




MISS COW FALLS A VICTIM TO BRER RABBITS 
DECEIT. 



MISS COW FALLS A VICTIM TO MR. RABBIT. 47 

Fox, sezee, en Avid dat lie grab Mr. Buzzard by de tail, lie 
did, en make fer ter dash 'ini 'gin de groun', but des 'bout 
dat time de tail fedders come out, en Mr. Buzzard sail off 
like wunner dese yer berloons ; en ez he riz, he holler back: 

"'You gimme good start, Brer Fox,' sezee, en Brer 
Fox sot dar en watch 'im fly outer sight." 

" But what became of the Eabbit, Uncle Kemus ? " asked 
the little boy. 

" Don't you pester 'longer Brer Eabbit, honey, en don't 
you fret 'bout 'im. You'll year whar he went en how he 
come out. Dish yer cole snap rastles wid my bones, now," 
continued the old man, putting on his hat and picking up 
his walking-stick. " Hit rastles wid me monstus, en I get- 
ter rack 'roun' en see if I kin run up agin some Chris'mus 
leayin's." 



IX. 
MISS COW FALLS A VICTIM TO MR. RABBIT. 

''Uncle Remus," said the little boy, "what became 
of the Rabbit after he fooled the Buzzard, and got out of 
the hollow tree ? " 

" Who ? Brer Rabbit ? Bless yo' soul, honey, Brer 
Rabbit went skippin' 'long home, he did, des ez sassy ez a 
jay-bird at a sparrer's nes'. He went gallopin' 'long, he 
did, but he feel mighty tired out, en stiff in his jints, en he 
wuz mighty nigh dead for sumpin fer ter drink, en bimeby. 



43 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLAXTATION. 

wen he got mos' home, he spied ole Miss Cow feediii' roun' 
in a fiel', he did, en he 'termin' fer ter try his han' wid 
'er. Brer Rabbit know mighty well dat Miss Cow won't 
give 'im no milk, kaze she done 'fuse 'im mo'n once, en 
w'en his ole 'oman wuz sick, at dat. But never mind dat. 
Brer Rabbit sorter dance nj) 'long side er de fence, he did, 
en holler out : 

" 'Howdy, Sis Cow,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. 

" ' Wjj howdy. Brer Rabbit,' sez Miss Cow, sez she. 

" 'How you fine yo'se'f deze days, Sis Cow ?' sez Brer 
Rabbit, sezee. 

'' ' I'm sorter toler'ble, Brer Rabbit ; how you come 
on ?' sez Miss Cow^, sez she. 

" ' Oh, I'm des toler'ble myse'f, Sis Cow ; sorter linger'n' 
twix' a bauk en a break-down,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. 

"'How yo' fokes, Brer Rabbit?' sez Miss Cow, sez 
she. 

" 'Dey er des middlin', Sis Cow ; how Brer Bull gittin' 
on ? ' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. 

" 'Sorter so-so,' sez Miss Cow, sez she. 

" ' Dey er some mighty nice 'simmons up dis tree, Sis 
Cow,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, 'en I'd like mighty well fer 
ter hare some un um,' sezee. 

" 'How you gwineter git um, Brer Rabbit ?' sez she. 

" 'I 'low'd maybe dat I might ax you fer ter butt 'gin 
de tree, en shake some down, Sis Cow,' sez Brer Rabbit, 
sezee. 

" Cose Miss Cow don't wanter diskommerdate Brer 
Rabbit, en she march up ter de 'simmon tree, slie did, en 



MISS COW FALLS A VICTIM TO MR. RABBIT. 49 

hit it a rup wid'er liawns — blam ! Now, den," continued 
Uncle Eemus, tearing off the corner of a plug of tobacco 
and cramming it into his mouth — "now, den, dem 'sim- 
mons wuz green ez grass, en na'er one never drap. Den 
Miss Cow butt de tree — blim ! Na'er 'simmon drap. Den 
Miss Cow sorter back off little, en run agin de tree — blip ! 
No 'simmons never drap. Den Miss Cow back off little 
fudder, she did, en hi'st her tail on 'er back, en come agin 
de tree, kerblam ! en she come so fas', en she come so hard, 
twel wunner her hawns went spang thoo de tree, en dar 
she wuz. She can't go forreds, en she can't go backerds. 
Dis zackly w'at Brer Eabbit waitin' fer, en he no sooner 
seed ole Miss Cow all fas'en'd up dan he jump up, he did, 
en cut de pidjin-wing. 

"'Come he'p me out, Brer Rabbit,' sez Miss Cow, sez 
she. 

" '1 can't clime. Sis Cow,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, 'but 
I'll run'n tell Brer Bull,' sezee ; en wid dat Brer Rabbit put 
out fer home, en 'twan't long 'fo here he come wid his ole 
'oman en all his chilluns, en de las' wunner de fambly wuz 
totin' a pail. De big uns had big pails, en de little uns had 
little pails. En dey all s'roundid ole Miss Cow, dey did, en 
you hear me, honey, dey milk't 'er dry. De ole uns milk't 
en de young uns milk't, en den w'en dey done got nuff. 
Brer Rabbit, he up'n say, sezee : 

" ' I Avish you mighty well. Sis Cow. I 'low'd bein's 
how dat you'd hatter sorter camp out all night dat I'd bet- 
ter come en swaje yo' bag,' sezee." 

" Do which, Uncle Remus ? " asked the little boy. 
3 



50 LEGENDS OF THE OLD rLAXTATION. 

" Go 'long, honey ! Swaje 'er bag. Wen cows don't 
git milk't, der bag swells, en youk'n hear um a moanin' en 
a beller'n des like dey wuz gittin' hurtid. Dat's w'at Brer 
Rabbit done. He 'sembled his fambly, he did, en he swaje 
ole Miss Cow's bag. 

" Miss Cow, she stood dar, she did, en she study en 
study, en strive fer ter break loose, but de hawn done bin 
jam in de tree so tight dat twuz way 'fo day in de mornin' 
'fo' she loose it. Ennyhow hit wuz endurin' er de night, 
en atter she git loose she sorter graze 'roun', she did, fer ter 
jestify 'er stummuek. She 'low'd, ole Miss Cow did, dat 
Brer Rabbit be hoppin' 'long dat way fer ter see how she 
gittin' on, en she tuck'n lay er trap fer 'im ; en des 'bout 
sunrise wat'd ole Miss Cow do but march up ter de 'sim- 
mon tree en stick er hawn back iu de hole ? But, bless yo' 
soul, honey, w'ile she wuz croppin' de grass, she tuck one 
raoufull too menny, kaze w'en she hitch on ter de 'simmon 
tree agin. Brer Rabbit wuz settin' in de fence cornder a 
watchin' un 'er. Den Brer Rabbit he say ter hisse'f : 

'•' ' Ileyo,' sezee, 'w'at dis yer g^'ine on now ? Hole 3^0' 
bosses. Sis Cow, twel you hear me comin',' sezee. 

" En den he crope off down de fence, Brer Rabbit did, 
en bimeby here he come — lippity-clippity, clippity-lippity 
— des a sailin' down de big road. 

'• ' Mawnin', Sis Cow,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, Miow 
you come on dis mawnin' ? ' sezee. 

" ' Po'ly, Brer Rabbit, po'ly,' sez Miss Cow, sez she. 
' I ain't had no res' all night,' sez she. ' I can't pull loose,' 
sez she, ' but ef you'll come en ketch holt er my tail. Brer 



MISS COW FALLS A VICTIM TO MR. RABBIT. 5] 

Rabbit,' sez she, 'I reckin maybe I kin fetch my hawn 
out,' sez she. Den Brer Eabbit, he come up little closer, 
but he ain't gittin' too close. 

" ' I speck I'm nigh nufE, Sis Cow,' sez Brer Eabbit, 
sezee. 'I'm a mighty puny man, en I might git trompled,' 
sezee. 'You do de pullin', Sis Cow,' sezee, 'en I'll do de 
gruntin',' sezee. 

Den Miss Cow, she pull out 'er hawn, she did, en tuck 
atter Brer Eabbit, en down de big road dey had it. Brer 
Eabbit wid his years laid back, en Miss Cow wid 'er head 
down en 'er tail curl. Brer Eabbit kep' on gainin', en 
bimeby he dart in a brier-patch, en by de time Miss Cow 
come 'long he had his head stickin' out, en his eyes look big 
ez Miss Sally's chany sassers. 

" 'Heyo, Sis Cow ! Whar you gwine ?' sez Brer Eab- 
bit, sezee. 

" ' Howdy, Brer Big-Ej^es,' sez Miss Cow, sez she. ' Is 
you seed Brer Eabbit go by ? ' 

" 'He des dis minit pass,' sez Brer Eabbit, sezee, 'en 
he look mighty sick,' sezee. 

" En wid dat, Miss Cow tuck down de road like de dogs 
wuz atter 'er, en Brer Eabbit, he des lay down dar in de 
brier-patch en roll en laff twel his sides hurtid 'im. He 
bleedzd ter laff. Eox atter 'im, Buzzard atter 'im, en Cow 
atter 'im, en dey ain't kotcli 'im yit." 



52 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

X. 

MR. TERRAPIN APPEARS UPON TEE SCENE. 

"Miss Sally's" little boy again occuj-jjing tlie anxious 
position of auditor, Uncle Remus took the shovel and "put 
de noses er de chunks tergedder," as he expressed it, and 
then began : 

" One da}^ atter Sis Cow done run pas' 'er own shadder 
tryin' fer ter ketch 'im, Brer Rabbit tuck'n 'low dat he wuz 
gwineter drap in en see Miss Meadows en de gals, en he got 
out his piece er lookin'-glass en primp up, he did, en sot 
out. Gwine canterin' 'long de road, who sliould Brer 
Rabbit run up wid but ole Brer Tarrypiu — de same ole 
one-en-sixpunce. Brer Rabbit stop, he did, en rap on de 
roof er Brer Tarrypin house." 

" On the roof of his house, Uncle Remus ?" interrupted 
the little boy. 

"Co'se honey, Brer Tarrypin kare his house Avid 'im. 
Rain er shine, hot er cole, strike up wid ole Brer Tarrypin 
w'en you will en w'ilst you may, en whar you fine 'im, dar 
you'll fine his shanty. Hit's des like I tell you. So den ! 
Brer Rabbit he rap on de roof er Brer Tarr}-pin's house, he 
did, en ax wuz he in, en Brer Tarrypin 'low dat he wuz, en 
den Brer Rabbit, he ax 'im howdy, en den Brer Tarr}i)in 
he likewise 'spon' howdy, en den Brer Rabbit he say whar 
wuz Brer Tarryi:)in gwine, en Brer Tarrypin, he say w'ich 
he wern't gwine nowhar skasely. Den Brer Rabbit 'low lie 
wuz on his way fer ter see Miss Meadows en de gals, en he 



MR. TERRAPIN APPEARS UPOX THE SCENE. 



53 



ax Brer Tarrjpin ef he won't jine in en go long, en Brer 
Tarrypin 'spon' he don't keer ef he do, en den dey sot out. 
Dey had plenty er time fer confabbin' 'long de way, but 
bimeby dey got dar, en Miss Meadows en de gals dey come 
ter de do', dey did, en ax urn in, en in dey went. 

" Wen dey got in, Brer Tarrypin wuz so fiat-footed dat 
he wuz too low on de flo', en he wern't high nuff m a cheer, 
but while they wuz all scramblin' 'roun' tryin' fer ter git 




Brer Tarrypin a cheer, Brer Eabbit, he pick 'im up en put 
'im on de shelf whar de water-bucket sot, en ole Brer Tar- 
rypin, he lay back up dar, he did, des as proud ez a nigger 
widder cook 'possum. 



54 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

" Co'se de talk fell on Brer Fox, en Miss Meadows en 
de gals make a great 'miration 'bout w'at a gaily ridin'-hoss 
Brer Fox wuz, en dey make lots er fun, en lalf en giggle 
same like gals duz deze days. Brer Rabbit, lie sot dar in 
de cheer smokin' his seegyar, en he sorter kler up his th'oat, 
en say, sezee : 

" 'I'd er rid 'im over dis mawnin', ladies,' sezee, 'but I 
rid 'im so hard yistiddy dat he went lame in de off fo' leg, 
en I speck I'll hatter swoji 'im off yit,' sezee. 

''Den Brer Tarrypin, he up'n say, sezee : 

" ' Well, ef you gwineter sell 'im Brer Rabbit,' sezee, 
'sell him some'rs outen dis naberhood, kaso he done bin 
yer too long now,' sezee. 'No longer'n day 'fo' yistiddy,' 
sezee, ' Brer Fox pass me on de road, en whattor you reckin 
he say ? ' sezee : 

"'Law, Brer Tarrypin,' sez Miss Meadows, sez she, 
' you don't mean ter say he cust ? ' sez she, en den de gals 
hilt der fans up 'fo' der faces. 

" ' Oh, no, ma'm,' sez Brer Tanypin, sezee, ' he 
didn't cust, but he holler out — " lIe3-o Stinkin' Jim ! " ' 
sezee. 

" 'Oh, my ! You hear dat, gals ?' sez Miss Meadows, 
sez she ; ' Brer Fox call Brer Tarrypin Stinkin' Jim,' sez 
she, en den Miss Meadows en de gals make great wonder- 
ment how Brer Fox kin talk dat a way 'bout nice man like 
Brer Tarrypin. 

"But bless gi-ashus, honey! w'ilst all dis gwine on. 
Brer Fox wuz stannin' at de back do' wid one year at de 
cat-hole lisscnin'. Eave-drappcrs don't hear no good er 



MR. TERRAPIN APPEARS UPON THE SCENE. 55 

dcyse'f, en cle way Brer Fox wuz 'bused dat day wuz a 
caution. 

"Bimeby Brer Fox stick his head in de do', en holler 
out : 

" 'Good evenin', fokes, I wish you mighty well,' sezee, 
en wid dat he make a dash for Brer Eabbit, but Miss Mead- 
ows en de gals dey holler en squall, dey did, en Brer Tarry- 
pin he got ter scramblin' roun' up dar on de shelf, en o2 
he come, en blip he tuck Brer Fox on de back er de head. 
Dis sorter stunted Brer Fox, en w'en he gedder his 'niem- 
bunce de mos' he seed wuz a pot er greens turnt over in de 
fireplace, en a broke cheer. Brer Eabbit wuz gone, en Brer 
Tarrypin wuz gone, en Miss Meadows en de gals wuz gone." 

" "Where did the Rabbit go, Uncle Remus ? " the little 
boy asked, after a pause. 

" Bless yo' soul, honey ! Brer Rabbit he skint up do 
chimbly — dats w'at turnt de pot er greens over. Brer 
Tarrypin, he crope under de bed, he did, en got behime 
de cloze-chist, en Miss Meadows en de gals, dey run out in 
de yard. 

" Brer Fox, he sorter look roun' en feel er de back er 
his head, whar Brer Tarrypin lit, but he don't see no sine 
er Brer Rabbit. But de smoke en de ashes gwine up de 
chimbly got de best er Brer Rabbit, en bimeby he sneeze — 
liucTcyclioiv ! 

'''Aha!" sez Brer Fox, sezee: 'youer dar, is you?' 
sezee. ' Well, I'm gwineter smoke you out, ef it takes a 
mont'. Youer mine dis time,' sezee. Brer Rabbit ain't 
sayin' nuthin'. 



56 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATIOxN. 

" ^ Aiu't you comin' down ?' sez Brer Fox, sezee. Brer 
Eabbit ain't sayin' nuthin'. Den Brer Fox, he went out 
atter some wood, he did, en w'en he come back he hear 
Brer Rabbit laffin'. 

"'Wat you laffin' at. Brer Rabbit?' sez Brer Fox, 
sezee. 

'" ' Can't tell you. Brer Fox,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. 

" 'Better tell. Brer Rabbit,' sez Brer Fox, sezee. 

" ' 'Taint nuthin but a box er money somebody done 
gone en lef up yer in de cliink er de chimbly,' sez Brer 
Eabbit, sezee. 

" 'Don't b'leeve you,' sez Brer Fox, sezee. 

" ' Look up en see,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, en w'en Brer 
Fox look up, Brer Rabbit spit his eyes full er terbarker 
joose, he did, en Brer Fox, he make a break fer de branch, 
en Brer Rabbit he come down en tole de ladies good-by. 

" 'How you git 'im off. Brer Rabbit ?' sez Miss Mead- 
ows, sez she. 

'"Who? me?' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee; 'w'y I des 
tuck en tole 'im dat ef he didn't go 'long home en stop 
playin' his pranks on spectubble fokcs, dat I'd take 'im out 
and th'ash 'im,' sezee." 

"And what became of the Terrapin ? " asked the little 
boy. 

"Oh, well den!" exclaimed the old man, "chilluns 
can't speck ter know all 'bout eve'ything 'fo' dey git some 
res'. Dem eyelods er yone wanter be propped wid straws 
dis minnit." 



MR. WOLF MAKES A FAILURE. 57 



MR. WOLF MAKES A FAILURE. 

" I LAY yo' ma got comp'ny," said Uncle Eemus, as the 
little boy entered the old man's door with a huge piece of 
mince-pie in his hand, '"'enef she aint got comp'ny, den 
she done gone en drap de cubberd key soni'ers whar you 
done run up wid it." 

" Well, I saw the pie lying there, Uncle Remus, and I 
just thought I'd fetch it out to you." 

" Tooby sho, honey," rei^lied the old man, regarding 
the child with admiration. *' Tooby sho, honey ; dat 
changes marters. Ghrismus doin's is outer date, en dey 
aint got no bizngss layin' roun' loose. Dish yer pie," 
Uncle Remus continued, holding it up and measuring it 
with an experienced eye, " will gimme strenkfer ter persoo 
on atter Bi-er Fox en Brer Rabbit en de udder beastesses 
w'at dey roped in 'long Avid um." 

Here the old man ])aused, and proceeded to demolish 
the pie — a feat accomplished in a very short time. Then 
he wiped the crumbs from his beard and began : 

" Brer Fox feel so bad, en he git so mad 'bout Brer Rab- 
bit, dat he dunno w'at ter do, en he look mighty down- 
hearted. Bimeby. one day wiles he wuz gwine 'long de 
road, ole Brer Wolf come up wid 'im. Wen dey done 
howdyin' en axin' atter one nudder's fambly kunnexshun, 
Brer Wolf, he 'low, he did, dat der wuz sump'n wrong wid 
Brer Fox, en Brer Fox, he 'low'd der wern't, en he went 



58 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

on en laff en make great ter-do kaze Brer Wolf look like 
he spishun sump'n. But Brer Wolf, he got mighty long 
head, en he sorter broach 'bout Brer Rabbit's kyar'ns on, 
kaze de way dat Brer Babbit 'ceive Brer Fox done got ter 
be de talk er de naberhood. Den Brer Fox en Brer Wolf 
dey sorter palavered on, dey did, twel bimeby Brer Wolf he 
up'n say dat he done got plan fix fer ter trap Brer Babbit, 
Den Brer Fox say how. Den Brer Wolf up'n tell 'im dat 
de way fer ter git de drap on Brer Babbit wuz ter git 'im in 
Brer Fox house. Brer Fox dun know Brer Rabbit uv ole, 
en he know dat sorter game done wo' ter a frazzle, but Brer 
Wolf, he talk mighty 'swadin'. 

" ' How you gwine git 'im dar ?' sez Brer Fox, sezee. 

" 'Fool 'im dar,' sez Brer Wolf, sezee. 

" ' Who gwine do de foolin' ?' sez Brer Fox, sezee. 

" ' I'll do de foolin',' sez Brer Wolf, sezee, 'ef you'll do 
de gamin',' sezee. 

'* * How you gwine do it ? ' sez Brer Fox, sezee. 

*' ' You run 'long home, en git on de bed, en make like 
you dead, en don't you say nuthin' twel Brer Rabbit come 
en put his ban's outer you,' sez Brer Wolf, sezee, 'en ef 
we don't git 'im fer supper, Joe's dead en Sal's a widder,' 
sezee. 

" Dis look like mighty nice game, en Brer Fox 'greed. 
So den he amble off home, en Brer Wolf, he march off ter 
Brer Rabbit house. W'en he got dar, hit look like no- 
body at home, but Brer Wolf he walk up en knock on de 
do' — blam ! blam ! Nobody come. Den he lam aloose en 
knock 'gin — blim ! blim ! 



MR. WOLF MAKES A FAILURE. 6<) 

" ' Who dar ? ' sez Bror Rabbit, sezec. 

" •' Fr'en',' scz Brer Wolf. 

" ' Too meuny fr'en's spiles de dinner,' sez Brer Rabbit, 
sezee ; ' w'ich un's dis ? ' sezee. 

"'I fetch bad news, Brer Rabbit,' sez Brer Wolf, sezee. 

" ' Bad news is soon tole,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. 

" By dis time Brer Rabbit done come ter de do', wid his 
head tied up in a red hankcher. 

" ' Brer Fox died dis mawnin',' sez Brer Wolf, sezee. 

" ' Whar yo' mo'nin' gown. Brer Wolf ? ' sez Brer Rab- 
bit, sezee. 

" ' Gwine atter it now,' sez Brer Wolf, sezee. ' I dcs 
call by fer ter bring de news. I went down ter Brer Fox 
house little bit 'go, en dar I foun' 'im stiff,' sezee. 

" Den Brer Wolf lope off. Brer Rabbit sot down en 
scratch his head, he did, en bimeby he say ter hisse'f dat he 
b'leeve he sorter drap 'roun' by Brer Fox house fer ter see 
how de Ian' lay. No sooner said'n done. Up he Jump, en 
out he went. W'en Brer Rabbit got close ter Brer Fox 
house, all look lonesome. Den he went up nigher. No- 
body stirrin'. Den he look in, en dar lay Brer Fox stretch 
out on de bed des ez big ez life. Den Brer Rabbit make 
like he talkin' to hisse'f. 

'' 'Nobody 'roun' fer ter look atter Brer Fox — not even 
Brer Tukkey Buzzard ain't come ter de funer'l,' sezee. ' I 
hope Brer Fox ain't dead, but I speck he is,' sezee. 'Even 
down ter Brer Wolf done gone en lef 'im. Hit's de busy 
season wid me, but I'll set up wid 'im. He seem like he 
dead, yit he mayn't be,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. 'W'en a 



60 LEGExVDS OF THE OLD rLAXTATIOX. 

man go ter see dead fokes, dead fokes allers raises up der 
behime leg en hollers, ivahoo ! ' sezee. 

" Brer Fox he stay still. Den Brer Rabbit he talk little 
louder : 

'"Mighty funny. Brer Fox look like he dead, yit he 
don't do like he dead. Dead fokes hists der behime leg en 
hollers loalioo ! w'en a man come ter see um,' sez Brer Rab- 
bit, sezee. 

" Sho' nuff, Brer Fox lif up his foot en lioller tvahoo ! 
en Brer Rabbit he tear out de house like de dogs wuz atter 
'im.' Brer Wolf mighty smart, but nex' time you hear 
fum 'im, honey, he'll be in trouble. You des hole yo' brelf' n 
wait." 



XIT. 
MR. FOX TACKLES OLD MAN TAREYPIX. 

" OxE day," said Uncle Remus, sharpening his knife on 
the palm of his hand — " one day Brer Fox strike up wid 
Brer Tarr\'pin right in de middle er de big road. Brer 
Tarrypin done heerd 'im comin', en he 'low ter hissef dat 
he'd sorter keep one eye open ; but Brer Fox wuz monstus 
perlite, en he open up de confab, he did, like he ain't see 
Brer Tarrypin sence de las' freshit. 

" ' Heyo, Brer Tarrypin, whar you bin dis long-come- 
short ?' sez Brer Fox, sezee. 

" 'Lounjun 'roun', Brer Fox, lounjun 'roun',' sez Brer 
Tarrypin. 




BRER FOX TACKLES BRER TARRYPIN. 



MR. FOX TACKLES OLD MAN TARRYPIN. Til 

" 'You don't look sprucy like you did, Brer Tarrypin,' 
sez Brer Fox, sezee. 

" 'Lounjun 'roun' en suffer'n',' sez Brer Tarrypin, sezee. 

" Den de talk sorter run on like dis : 

" 'Wat ail you, Brer Tarrypin ? Yo' eye look mighty 
red,' sez Brer Fox, sezee. 

"'Lor', Brer Fox, you dunner w'at trubble is. You 
ain't bin lounjun 'roun' en suffer'n',' sez Brer Tarryjiin, 



" ' Bofe eyes red, en you look like you mighty weak, 
Brer Tarrypin,' sez Brer Fox, sezee. 

" 'Lor', Brer Fox, you dunner w'at truble is,' sez Brer 
Tarrypin, sezee. 

"'Wat ail you now. Brer Tarrypin?' sez Brer Fox, 
sezee. 

" ' Tuck a walk de udder day, en man come 'long en 
sot de fiel' a-fier. Lor', Brer Fox, you dunner w'at trub- 
ble is,' sez Brer Tarrypin, sezee. 

" ' How you git out de fier. Brer Tarrypin ? ' sez Brer 
Fox, sezee. 

" ' Sot en tuck it. Brer Fox,' sez Brer Tarrypin, sezee. 
* Sot en tuck it, en de smoke sif in my eye, en de fier 
scorch my back,' sez Brer Tarrypin, sezee. 

" ' Likewise hit bu'n yo' tail off,' sez Brer Fox, sezee. 

" ' Oh, no, dar's de tail. Brer Fox,' sez Brer Tarrypin, 
sezee, en wid dat he oncurl his tail fum under de shell, en 
no sooner did he do dat dan Brer Fox grab it, en holler 
out : 

" ' Oh, yes. Brer Tarrypin ! Oh, yes ! En so youer de 



e52 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

man w'at lam me on cle head at Miss Meadows's is you ? 
Youer in wid Brer Rabbit, is you ? Well, I'm gwineter out 
you.' 

"Brer Tarrypin beg en beg, but 'twan't no use. Brer 
Fox done bin fool so much dat he look like he 'termin' fer 
ter have Brer Tarrypin haslett. Den Brer Tarrypin beg 
Brer Fox not fer ter drown 'im, but Brer Fox ain't makin' 
no prommus, en den he beg Brer Fox fer ter bu'n' im, kaze 
he done useter fier, but Brer Fox don't say nuthin'. Bime- 
by Brer Fox drag Brer Tarr3'pin off little ways b'low de 
spring-'ouse, en souze 'im under de water. Den Brer Tar- 
rypin begin fer ter holler : 

'* 'Tu'n loose dat stump root en ketch holt cr me — tu'n 
loose dat stump root en ketch holt er me.' 

'' Brer Fox he holler back : 

" ' I ain't got holt er no stump root, en I is got holt cr 
you.' 

" Brer Tarr\^>in he keep on holler'n : 

" ' Ketch holt er me — Fm a drownin' — Fm a drownin' 
— tu'n loose de stump root en ketch holt er me.' 

" Sho nuff, Brer Fox tu'n loose de tail, en Brer Tarry- 
pin, he went down ter de bottom — kerblunkity-blink ! " 

N"o t}iiographical combination or description could do 
justice to the guttural sonorousness — the peculiar intona- 
tion — which Uncle Remus imparted to this combination. 
It was so peculiar, indeed, that the little boy asked : 

" How did he go to the bottom, Uncle Remus ?" 

" Kerblunkity-blink ! " 

** Was he drowned, Uncle Remus ? " 



THE AWFUL FATE OF MR. WOLF. 63 

" Who ? 01c mail Tarrypin ? Is you drowndid w'en 
yo' ma tucks you in de bed ? " 

" Well, no," replied the little boy, dubiously. 

'' Ole man Tarrypin wuz at home I tell you, honey. 
Kerblinkity-bhmk ! " 



THE AWFUL FATE OF MR. WOLF. 

Uncle Eemus was half-soling one of his shoes, and his 
Miss Sally's little boy had been handling his awls, his ham- 
mers, and his knives to such an extent that the old man 
was compelled to assume a threatening attitude ; but peace 
reigned again, and the little boy perched himself on a chair, 
watching Uncle Remus driving in pegs. 

" Folks w'at's allers pesterin' people, en bodderin' 'longer 
dat w'at ain't dern, don't never come ter no good eend. 
Dar wuz Brer Wolf ; stidder mindin' nn his own bizness, 
he hatter take en go in pardnerships wid Brer Fox, en dey 
want skacely a minnit in de day dat he Avant atter Brer 
Rabbit, en he kep' on en kep' on twel fus' news you knowed 
he gotkotchup wid — en he got kotch up wid monstus bad." 

"Goodness, Uncle Remus ! I thought the Wolf let the 
Rabbit alone, after he tried to fool him about the Fox being 
dead." 

" Better lemme tell dish yer my way. Bimeby hit'll be 
yo' bed time, en Miss Sally'll be a hollerin' atter you, en 



64 



LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLAXTATION. 



you'll be a whimplin' roun', en den Mars Jolm'Il fetch np 
de re'r wid dat ar strop w'at I made fer 'im." 

The child laughed, and playfully shook his fist in the 
simple, serious face of the venerable old darkey, but said 
no more. Uncle Kemus waited awhile to be sure there was 
to be no other demonstration, and then proceeded : 

"Brer Rabbit ain't see no peace w'atsumever. He 
can't leave home 'cep' Brer "Wolf 'ud make a raid en 




tote off some er de fambly. Brer Rabbit b'ilt "im a straw 
house, en hit wuz tored down ; den he made a house outen 
pine-tops, en dat went de same way ; den he made 'im a 
bark house, en dat wuz raided on, en eve'y time he los' a 



THE AWFUL FATE OF MR. WOLF. 65 

house he los' wunner his chilluns. Las' Brer Rabbit got mad, 
he did, en cust, en den he went off, he did, en got some 
kyarpinters, en dey b'ilt 'im a plank house wid rock founda- 
shuns. Atter dat he could have some peace en quietness. 
He could go out en pass de time er day wid his nabers, en 
come back en set by de tier, en smoke his pipe, en read de 
newspapers same like enny man w'at got a fambly. He 
made a hole, he did, in de cellar whar de little Rabbits 
could hide out w'en dar wuz much uv a racket in de naber- 
liood, en de latch er de front do' kotch on de inside. Brer 
Wolf, he see how de Ian' lay, he did, en he lay low. De 
little Rabbits wuz mighty skittish, but hit got so dat cole 
chills ain't run up Brer Rabbit's back no mo' w'en he 
heerd Brer Wolf go gallopin' by. 

"Bimeby, one day w'en Brer Rabbit wuz fixin' fer tor 
call on Miss Coon, he heerd a monstus fuss en clatter up 
de big road, en 'mos' 'fo' he could fix his years fer ter lissen, 
Brer Wolf run in de do'. De little Rabbits dey went inter 
dere hole in de cellar, dey did, like blowin' out a cannle. 
Brer Wolf wuz far'ly kivver'd wid mud, en mighty nigh 
outer win'. 

" ' Oh, do pray save me, Brer Rabbit ! ' sez Brer Wolf, 
sezee. ' Do please, Brer Rabbit ! de dogs is atter me, en 
dey'll far me up. Don't you year um comin' ? Oh, do 
please save me. Brer Rabbit ! Hide me some'rs whar de 
dogs won't git me.' 

" No quicker sed dan done. 

" ' Jump in dat big chist dar, Brer Wolf,' sez Brer Rab- 
bit, sezee ; 'jump in dar en make yo'se'f at home.' 



66 LEGENDS OF THE OLD TLANTATION. 

"In jump Brer Wolf, down come de led, en inter de 
hasp went de hook, en dar Mr. Wolf wuz. Den Brer Rab- 
bit Avent ter de lookin'-glass, he did, en wink at hisse'f, en 
den he drawd de rockin'-cheer in front er de fier, he did, en 
tuck a big chaw terbarker." 

" Tobacco, Uncle Remus ? " asked the little boy, in- 
credulously. 

"Rabbit terbarker, honey. You know dis yer life 
ev'lastin' w'at Miss Sally puts 'mong de cloze in de trunk ; 
well, dat's rabbit terbarker. Den Brer Rabbit sot dar long 
time, he did, turnin' his mine over en wukken his thinkin' 
masheen. Bimeby he got up, en sorter stir 'roun'. Den 
Brer Wolf open up : 

" 'Is de dogs all gone. Brer Rabbit ?' 

" 'Seem like I hear one un um smellin' roun' de chim- 
bly-cornder des now.' 

" Den Brer Rabbit git de kittle en fill it full er water, en 
put it on de fier. 

" 'W'at you doin' now. Brer Rabbit ?' 

" 'I'm fixin' fer ter make 3'ou a nice cup er tea, Brer 
Wolf.' 

"Den Brer Rabbit went ter de cubberd en git de gim- 
let, en commence for ter bo' little holes in de chist-led. 

" 'W'at you doin' now. Brer Rabbit ?' 

'"I'm a bo'in' little holes so you kin get bref, Brer 
Wolf.' 

"Den Brer Rabbit went out en git some mo' wood, en 
fling it on de fier. 

" ' W'at you doin' now, Brer Rabbit ? ' 



THE AWFUL FATE OF MR. WOLF. 67 

" ' I'm a chunkin' up de ficr so you won't git cole, Brer 
Wolf.' 

"Den Brer Rabbit went down inter de cellar en fotcli 
out all his chilluns. 

" 'Wat you doin' now, Brer Rabbit ?' 

" ' I'm a tellin' my chilluns w'at a nice man you is, Brer 
Wolf.' 

" En de chilluns, dey had ter put der ban's on der moufs 
fer ter keep fum laffiu'. Den Brer Rabbit he got de kittle 
en commenced fer to po' de hot water on de chist-lid. 

'* ' W'at dat I hear. Brer Rabbit ? ' 

" ' You hear de win' a blowin', Brer Wolf.' 

"Den de water begin fer ter sif thoo. 

" ' W'at dat I feel, Brer Rabbit ? ' 

"'You feels de fleas a bitin'. Brer Wolf.' 

'"Dey er bitin' mighty hard. Brer Rabbit.' 

" ' Tu*ii over on de udder side. Brer Wolf.' 

" ' W'at dat I feel now. Brer Rabbit ? ' 

"'Still you feels de fleas, Brer Wolf.' 

"'Deyer eatin' me up. Brer Rabbit,' en dem wuz de 
las' words er Brer Wolf, kase de scaldin' water done de 
bizness. 

" Den Brer Rabbit call in his nabers, he did, en dey hilt 
a reg'lar juberlee ; en ef you go ter Brer Rabbit's house 
right now, I dunno but w'at you'll fine Brer Wolf's hide 
hangin' in de back-po'ch, en all bekaze he wuz so bizzy wid 
udder fo'kses doin's." 



68 LEGExXDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 



MR. FOX AND THE DECEITFUL FROGS. 

When the little boy ran in to see Uncle Remus tlie 
night after he had told him of the awful fate of Brer Wolf, 
the only response to his greeting was : 

" I-doom-er-ker-kum-mer-ker ! " 

Xo explanation could convey an adequate idea of the 
intonation and pronunciation which Uncle Remus brought 
to bear upon this wonderful word. Those who can recall 
to mind the i:)eculiar gurgling, jerking, liquid sound made 
by pouring water from a large jug, or the sound produced 
by throwing several stones in rapid succession into a pond 
of deep water, may be able to form a very faint idea of the 
sound, but it can not be reproduced in print. Tlie little 
boy was astonished. 

" What did you say, Uncle Remus ? " 

" I-doom-er-ker-kum-mer-ker ! I-doom-cr-kcr-kum-mer 
ker ! " 

"What is that?" 

" Dat's Tarrypin talk, dat is. Bless yo' soul, honey," 
continued the old man, brightening 'up, " w'en ycu git 
ole ez me — w'en you see w'at I sees, en year w'at I years — 
de creeturs dat you can't talk wid '11 be mighty skase — dey 
will dat. W'y, ders er old gray rat w'at uses 'bout yer, en 
time atter time he comes out w'en you all done gone ter bed 
en sets up dar in de cornder en dozes, en me en him talks 
by de 'our ; en w'at dat ole rat dunno ain't down in de 



MR. FOX AND THE DECEETFUL FROGS. 09 

spellin' book. Des now, w'en you run in and broke me up, 
I wuz fetchin' inter my mine w'at Brer Tarrypin say ter 
Brer Fox w'en he turn 'im loose in de branch." 

'' Wluit did he say. Uncle Remus ?" 

" Dat w'at he said — I-doom-er-ker-kum-mer-ker ! Brer 
Tarrypin wuz at de bottom er de pon', en he talk back, he 
did, in bubbles — I-doom-er-ker-kum-mer-ker ! Brer Fox, 
he ain't sayin' nuthin', but Brer Bull-Frog, settin' on de 
bank, he hear Brer Tarrypin, he did, en he hollei back : 

" ' Jug-er-rum-kum-dum ! Jug-er-rum-kum-dum ! ' 

" Den n'er Frog holler out : 

" ' Knee-deep ! Knee-deep ! ' 

" Den ole Brer Bull-Frog, he holler back : 

" ' Don't-you-berlieve-'im ! Don't-you-berlieve-'im ! ' 

" Den de bubbles come up fum Brer Tarrypin: 

" ' I-doom-er-ker-kum-mer-ker ! ' 

" Den n'er Frog sing out : 

" ' Wade in ! Wade in ! ' 

" Den ole Brer Bull-Frog talk thoo his ho'seness : 

" ' Dar-you'll-fine-yo'-brudder ! Dar-you'll-fine-yo'-brud- 
der ! ' 

" Sho nuff, Brer Fox look over de bank, he did, en dar 
wuz n'er Fox lookin' at 'im outer de water. Den he 
retch out for ter shake ban's, en in he went, heels over 
head, en Brer Tarrypin bubble out : 

" ' I-doom-er-ker-kum-mer-ker ! ' " 

"Was the Fox drowned. Uncle Remus?" asked the 
little boy. 

*'Hewern't zackly drowndid, honey," replied the old 



70 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

man, witli an air of cautious reserve. *'He did manage 
fer ter scramble out, but a little mo' en de Mud Turkle 
would er got 'im, en den he'd er bin made hash un worril 
widout een'." 



MR. FOX GOES A-IIUXTIXG, BUT MR. RABBIT BAGS 
TEE GAME. 

'^Atter Brer Fox hear 'bout how Brer Rabbit done 
Brer Wolf," said Uncle Remus, scratching his head with 
the point of his awl, " he 'low, he did, dat he better not be 
so brash, en he sorter let Brer Rabbit 'lone. Dey wuz all 
time seein' one nudder, en 'bunnunce er times Brer Fox 
could er nab Brer Rabbit, but eve'y time he got de chance, 
his mine 'ud sorter rezume 'bout Brer AVolf, en he let Brer 
Rabbit 'lone. Bimeby dey 'gun ter git kinder familious 
wid wunner nudder like dey useter, en it got so Brer Fox'd 
call on Brer Rabbit, en dey'd set uj^ en smoke dor pipes, 
dey would, like no ha'sh fcelin's 'd ever rested 'twixt um. 

" Las', one day Brer Fox come 'long all rig out, en ax 
Brer Rabbit fer ter go huntin' wid 'im, but Brer Rabbit, he 
sorter feel lazy, en he tell Brer Fox dat he got some udder 
fish fer ter fry. Brer Fox feel mighty sorry, he did, but he 
say he b'leeve he try his ban' enny how, en off he put. He 
wuz gone all day, en he had a monstus streak er luck. Brer 
Fox did, en he bagged a sight er game. Bimeby, to'rds do 



MR. FOX GOES A-HUNTING. 71 

shank er de evenin', Brer Rabbit sorter stretch liisse'f, he 
did, en 'low hit's mos' time fer Brer Fox fer ter git 'long 
home. Den Brer Rabbit, he went'n mounted a stump fer 
ter see ef he could year Brer Fox comin'. He ain't bin 
dar long, twel sho' nuff, yer come Brer Fox thoo de 
woods, singing like a nigger at a frolic. Brer Rabbit, he 
lipt down off'n de stump, he did, en lay down in de road en 
make like he dead. Brer Fox he come 'long, he did, en |ee 
Brer Rabbit layin' dar. He tu'n 'im over, he did, en 'zam- 
ine 'im, en say, sezee : 

" ' Dish yer rabbit dead. He look like he bin dead long 
time. He dead, but he mighty fat. He de fattes' rabbit 
w'at I ever see, but he bin dead too long. I feard ter take 
'im home,' sezee. 

" Brer Rabbit ain't sayin' nuthin'. Brer Fox, he sorter 
lick his chops, but he went on en lef Brer Rabbit layin' in 
de road. Dreckly he wuz outer sight, Brer Rabbit, he 
jump up, he did, en run roun' thoo de woods en git befo 
Brer Fox agin. Brer Fox, he come up, en dar lay Brer 
Rabbit, periently cole en stiff. Brer Fox, he look at Brer 
Rabbit, en he sorter study. Atter while he onslung his 
game-bag, en say ter hisse'f, sezee : 

" ' Deze yer rabbits gwine ter was'e. I'll des 'bout 
leave my game yer, en I'll go back'n git dat udder rabbit, 
en I'll make fokes b'leeve dat I'm ole man Hunter fum 
Huntsville,' sezee. 

" En wid dat he drapt his game en loped back up 
de road atter de udder rabbit, en w'en he got outer 
sight, ole Brer Rabbit, he snatch up Brer Fox game en 



72 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATIOX. 

put out fer home. Nex' time he see Brer Fox, he holler 
out: 

" ' What you kill de udder day,' Brer Fox ? ' sezeo. 

" Den Brer Fox, he sorter koam his flank wid his tongue, 
en holler back : 

" ' I kotch a han'ful er hard sense. Brer Rabbit,' sezee. 

" Den ole Brer Rabbit, he laff, he did, en up en 'spon,' 
sezee : 

" 'Ef I'd a know'd you wuz atter dat. Brer Fox, Pd a 
loant you some er mine,' sezee." 



OLD MR. BABBIT, HE'S A GOOD FISHERMAX. 

'' Brer Rabbit en Brer Fox wuz like some chilluns 
w'at I knows un," said Uncle Remus, regarding the little 
boy, who had come to hear another story, with an affecta- 
tion of great solemnity. " Bofe xtu um wuz allers atter 
wunner nudder, a prankin' en a pester'n 'roun', but Brer 
Rabbit did had some peace, kaze Brer Fox done got skittish 
'bout puttin' de clamps on Brer Rabbit. 

"One day, w'en Brer Rabbit, en Brer Fox, en Brer 
Coon, en Brer B'ar, en a whole lot un um wuz clearin' up 
a new groun' fer ter plant a roas'n'year patch, de sun 'gun 
ter git sorter hot, en Brer Rabbit he got tired ; but he 
didn't let on, kaze he 'fear'd de balance un um'd call 'im 



OLD MR. RABBIT, HE'S A GOOD FISHERMAN. 73 

lazy, en he keep on totin' off trash en pilin' up bresh, twel 
bimeby lie holler out dat he gotter brier in his ban', en 
den he take'n slip off, en hunt fer cool place fer ter res'. 
Atter w'ile he come 'crosst a well wid a bucket hangiu' in 
it. 

"'Dat look cool,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, 'en cool I 
speck she is. I'll des 'bout git in dar en take a nap,' en wid 
dat in he jump, he did, en lie ain't no sooner fix hisse'f dan 
de bucket 'gun ter go down." 

" Wasn't the Rabbit scared, Uncle Remus ? " asked the 
little boy. 

"Honey, dey ain't bin no wusser skeer'd beas' sence 
de worril begin dan dish yer same Brer Rabbit. He far'ly 
had a ager. He know whar he cum fum, but he dunner 
whar he gwine. Dreckly he feel de bucket hit de water, en 
dar she sot, but Brer Rabbit he keep mighty still, kaze he 
dunner w'at minnit gwineter be de nex'. He des lay dar 
en shuck en shiver. 

" Brer Fox allers got one eye on Brer Rabbit, en w'en 
he slip off fum de new groun', Brer Fox he sneak atter 'im. 
He know Brer Rabbit avuz atter some projick er nudder, 
en he tuck'n crope off, he did, en watch 'im. Brer Fox see 
Brer Rabbit come to de well en stop, en den he see 'im jump 
in de bucket, en den, lo en beholes, he see 'im go down 
outer sight. Brer Fox wuz de mos' 'stonish Fox dat you 
ever laid eyes on. He sot off dar in de bushes en study en 
study, but he don't make no head ner tails ter dis kinder 
bizness. Den he say ter hisse'f, sezee : 

" 'Well, ef dis don't bang my times,' sezee, 'den Joe's 
4 



74 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLAXTATION. 

dead en Sal's a Avidder. Iliglit down dar in dat well Brer 
Eabbit keep his money hid, en ef 'tain't dat den he done 
gone en 'skiver'd a gole-mine, en ef 'tain't dat, den I'm a 
gwineter see w'at's in dar,' sezee. 

" Brer Fox crope up little nigher, he did, en lissen, but 
he don't year no fuss, en he keep on gittin' nigher, en yit 
he don't year nuthin'. Bimoby he git up close en peep 
down, but he don't see nuthin' en he don't year nuthin'. 
All dis time Brer Rabbit mighty nigh skeer'd outen his 
skin, en he fear'd fer ter move kaze de bucket might keel 
over en spill him out in de water. Wile he sayin' his pra'rs 
over like a train er kyars runnin', ole Brer Fox holler out : 

" ' Heyo, Brer Rabbit ! Who you Avizzitin' down dar ? ' 
sezee. 

" 'Who ? Me ? Oh, I'm des a fishin', Brer Fox,' sez 
Brer Rabbit, sezee. ' I des say ter myse'f dat I'd sorter 
sprize you all wid a mess cr fishes for dinner, en so here I is, 
en dar's de fishes. I'm a fishin' fer suckers. Brer Fox,' sez 
Brer Rabbit, sezee. 

"'Is dey many un um down dar. Brer Rab1)it?' sez 
Brer Fox, sezee. 

" ' Lot's un um, Brer Fox ; scoze en scoze un um. De 
water is natally live wid um. Come down en he'p me haul 
um in, Brer Fox,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. 

" ' How I gwineter git down, Brer Rabbit ?' 

"'Juni]) inter de bucket, Brer Fox. Ilit'll fetch you 
down all safe en souu'.' 

"Brer Rabbit talk so hapjiy en talk so sweet dat Brer 
Fox he jump in de bucket, he did, en, ez he went down, 



MR. RABBIT NIBBLES UP TEE BUTTER. 75 

co'sc his weight pull Brer Rabbit up. Wen (ley pass one 
nuclder on de half-way groun', Brer Rabbit he sing out : 

" ' Good-by, Brer Fox, take keer yo' cloze, 
Fer (lis is de way de worril goes ; 
Some goes up en some goes down. 
You'll git ter de bottom all safe en soun'.' * 

"Wen Brer Rabbit got out, he gallop off en tole de 
fokes w'at de well b'long ter dat Brer Fox wuz down in dar 
muddyin' up de drinkin' water, en den he gallop back ter 
de well, en holler down ter Brer Fox : 

" ' Yer come a man wid a great big gun — 
Wen he iiaul you up, you jump en run.'" 

"What then, Uncle Remus?" asked the little boy, as 
the old man paused. 

" In des 'bout half n'our, honey, bofe un urn wuz back 
in de new groun' wukkin des like dey never heer'd er no 
well, ceppin' dat eve'y now'n den Brer Rabbi t'd bust out in 
er laff, en ole Brer Fox, he'd git a spell er de dry grins." 



XVII. 

ME. RABBIT NIBBLES UP THE BUTTER. 

" De animils en de beastesses," said Uncle Remus, shak- 
ing his coffee around in the bottom of his tin-cup, in order 

* As a Northern friend suggests that this story may be somewhat ob- 
scure, it may be as well to state that the well is supposed to be supplied 
with a rope over a wheel, or pulley, with a bucket at each end. 



V6 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLAXTATIOX. 

to gather up all the sugar, "dey kep' on gittin' mo' en mo' 
familious wid wunner nudder, twel bimeb}^, 'twan't long'fo' 
Brer Rabbit, en Brer Fox, en Brer Possum got ter sorter 
bunchin' der perwishuns tergedder in de same shant}^ Atter 
w'ile de roof sorter 'gun ter leak, en one day Brer Rabbit, 
en Brer Fox, en Brer Possum, 'semble fer ter see ef dey 
can't kinder patch her up. Dey had a big day's work 
in front un um, en dey fotch der dinner wid um. Dey 
lump de Tittles up in one pile, en de butter w'at Brer Fox 
brung, dey goes en puts in de spring-'ouse fer ter keep cool, 
en den dey went ter wuk, en 'twan't long 'fo' Brer Rabbit 
stummuck 'gun ter sorter growl en pester 'im. Dat butter 
er Brer Fox sot heavy on his mine, en his mouf water 
eve'y time he 'member 'bout it. Prcseut'y he say ter his- 
se'f dat he bleedzd ter have a nip at dat butter, en den he 
lay his plans, he did. Fus' news you know, w'ile dey wuz 
all wukkin' 'long, Brer Rabbit raise his head quick en fling 
his years forrerd en holler out : 

" ' Here I is. W'at you want wid me ? ' en off he put 
like sump'n avuz atter 'im. 

"He sallied 'roun', ole Brer Rabbit did, en atter he 
make sho dat nobody ain't foller'n un 'im, inter de spring- 
'ouse he bounces, en dar he stays twel he git a bait er 
butter. Den he santer on back en go to wuk. 

" ' Whar you bin ?' sez Brer Fox, sezee. 

" '' I hear my chilluns callin' me,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, 
'en I hatter go see w'at dey want. My ole 'oman done 
gone en tuck mighty sick,' sezee. 

" Dey wuk on twel bimeby de butter tas'e so good dat 



MR. R.VBBIT NIBBLES UP THE BUTTER. 77 

ole Brer liabhit want some mo'. Den lie raise np his head, 
he did, en holler out : 

" ' Heyo ! Hole on I I'm a comin' ! ' en off he put. 

''Dis time he stay right smart w'ile, en w'en he git 
back Brer Fox ax him whar he bin. 

'"I bin ter see my ole 'oman, en she's a sinkin,' sezee. 

"Dreckly Brer Rabbit hear um callin' 'im ag'in en off 
he goes, en dis time, bless yo' soul, he gits de butter out 
so clean dat he kin see hisse'f in de bottom er de bucket. 
He scrape it clean en lick it dry, en den he go back ter wuk 
lookin' mo' samer dan a nigger w'at de patter-rollers bin 
had holt un. 

" 'How's yo' ole 'oman dis time ?' sez Brer Fox, sezee. 

" 'I'm oblije ter you, Brer Fox,' sez Brer Eabbit, sezee, 
' but I'm fear'd she's done gone by now,' en dat sorter make 
Brer Fox en Brer Possum feel in moanin' wid Brer Rabbit. 

"Bimeby, w'en dinner-time come, dey all got out der 
vittles, but Brer Rabbit keep on lookin' lonesome, en Brer 
Fox en Brer Possum dey sorter rustle roun' fer ter see ef 
dey can't make Brer Rabbit feel sorter sj)limmy." 

"What is that. Uncle Remus ?" asked the little boy. 

" Sorter splimmy-splammy, honey — sorter like he in a 
crowd — sorter like his ole 'oman ain't dead ez she moiit be. 
You know how fokes duz w'en dey gits whar people's a 
moanin'. " 

The little boy didn't know, fortunately for him, and 
Uncle Remus went on : 

'• Brer Fox en Brer Possum rustle roun', dey did, git- 
tin out de vittles, en bimeby Brer Fox, he say, sezee : 



78 LEGENDS OF THE OLD TLANTATIOX. 

"'Brer Possum, 3'ou run down tcr de spring en fetch 
de butter, en I'll sail 'roun' yer en set de table,' sezee. 

" Brer Possum, he lope off atter de butter, en dreckly 
here he come lopin' back wid his years a trimblin' en his 
tongue a hangin' out. Brer Fox, he holler out : 

" ' Wat de matter now. Brer Possum ?' sezee. 

"'You all better run yer, fokes,' sez Brer Possum, 
sezee. ' De las' drap er dat butter done gone ! ' 

" ' AVhar she gone ? ' sez Brer Fox, sezee. 

"'Look like she dry up,' sez Brer Possum, sezee. 

"Den Brer Eabbit, he look sorter solium, he did, en 
he up'n say, sezee : 

'"I speck dat butter melt in somebody mouf,' sezee. 

" Den dey went down ter de spring wid Brer Possum, en 
sho nuff de butter done gone. Wiles dey wuz sputin' over 
der wunderment, Brer Eabbit say he see tracks all 'roun' 
dar, en he p'int out dat ef dey'll all go ter sleep, he kin 
ketch de chap w'at stole de butter. Den dey all lie down 
en Brer Fox en Brer Possum dey soon drapt off ter sleep, 
but Brer Rabbit he stay 'wake, en w'en de time come he 
raise up easy en smear Brer Possum mouf wid de butter 
on his paws, en den he run off en nibble up de bes' er de 
dinner w'at dey lef layin' out, en den he come back en 
wake up Brer Fox, en show 'im de butter on Brer Possum 
mouf. Den dey wake up Brer Possum, en tell 'im 'bout it, 
but c'ose Brer Possum 'ny it ter de las'. Brer Fox, dough, 
he's a kinder lawyer, en he argafy dis way — dat Brer Pos- 
sum wuz de fus one at de butter, en de fus one fer ter miss 
it, en mo'n dat, dar hang de signs on his mouf. Brer Pos- 



MR. RABBIT NIBBLES UP THE BUTTER. 79 

sum see dat dey got 'im jammed up in a cornder, on den 
he up en say dat de way fer ter ketch de man w'at stole de 
butter is ter b'il' a big bresh-heap en set her afier, en all 
ban's try ter jump over, en de one w'at fall in, den he de 
chap w'at stole de butter. Brer Rabbit en Brer Fox dey 
bofe 'gree, dey did, en dey whirl in en b'il' de bresh-heap, 
en dey b'il' her high en dey b'il' her wide, en den dey totch 
her off. Wen she got ter blazin' up good. Brer Rabbit, he 
tuck de fus turn. He sorter step back, en look 'roun' en 
giggle, en over he went mo' samer dan a bird fly in'. Den 
come Brer Fox. He got back little fudder, en spit on his 
ban's, en lit out en made de jump, en he come so nigh git- 
tin' in dat de een' er his tail koteli afier. Ain't you never 
see no fox, honey ? " inquired Uncle Remus, in a tone 
that implied both conciliation and information. 

The little boy thought probably he had, but he wouldn't 
commit himself. 

" Well, den," continued the old man, " nex' time you see 
one un urn, you look right close en see ef de een' er his tail 
ain't w'ite. Hit's des like I tell you. Dey b'ars de skyar 
er dat bresh-heap down ter dis day. Dey cr marked — dat's 
w'at dey is — dey er marked," 

" And what about Brother Possum?" asked the little 
boy. 

" Ole Brer Possum, he tuck a runnin' start, he did, en 
he come lumberin' 'long, en he lit — kerblam ! — right in de 
middle er de fier, en dat wuz de las' er ole Brer Pos- 
sum." 

" But, Uncle Remus, Brother Possum didn't steal the 



80 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

butter after all," said the little boy, who Avas not at all sat- 
isfied with such summary injustice. 

"Dat w'at make I say w'at I duz, honey. In dis 
worril, lots er fokes is gotter suffer fer udder fokes sins. 
Look like hit's mighty on wrong ; but hit's des dat aAvay. 
Tribbalashun seem like she's a waitin' roun' de cornder fer 
ter ketch one en all un us, honey." 



MR. RABBIT FINDS HIS MATCH AT LAST. 

" Hit look like ter me dat I let on de udder night dat 
in dem days w*en de beastesses wuz santer'n 'roun' same like 
fokes, none un um wuz brash nuff fer ter ketch up Avid Brer 
Rabbit," remarked Uncle Eemus, reflectively. 

" Yes," replied the little boy, " that's what you said." 

" Well, den," continued the old man with unction, 
" dar's whar my 'membunce gin out, kaze Brer Eabbit did 
git kotched up wid, en hit cool 'im off like po'in' spring 
water on one er deze yer biggity fices." 

" How was that. Uncle Eemus ? " asked the little boy. 

" One day w'en Brer Eabbit wuz gwine lippity-clippitin' 
down de road, he meet up wid ole Brer Tarrypin, en atter 
dey pass de time er day wid wunner nudder, Brer Eabbit, 
he 'low dat he wuz much 'blije ter Brer Tarrypin fer de 
han' he tuck in de rumpus dat day down at ^liss Mead- 
ows' s." 



MR. RABBIT FINDS HIS MATCH AT LAST. 81 

" When lie dropped off of the water-shelf on the Fox's 
head," suggested the little boy. 

"Dat's de same time, honey. Den Brer Eabbit 'low dat 
Brer Fox run mighty fas' dat day, but dat ef he'd er bin 
atter 'im stidder Brer Rabbit, he'd er kotch 'im. Brer Rab- 
bit say he could er kotch 'im hisse'f but he didn't kcer 'bout 
leaviu' de ladies. Dey keep on talkin', dey did, twel bime- 
by dey gotter 'sputin' 'bout w'ich wuz de swif'es'. Brer 
Rabbit, he say he kin outrun Brer Tarrypin, en Brer Tarry- 
pin, he des vow dat he kin outrun Brer Rabbit. Up en 
down dey had it, twel fus news you know Brer Tarrypin 
say he got a fifty-dollar bill in de chink er de chimbly at 
home, en dat bill done tole 'im dat he could beat Brer Rab- 
bit in a fa'r race. Den Brer Rabbit say he got a fift3'-dollar 
bill w'at say dat he kin leave Brer Tarrypin so fur behime, 
dat he could sow barley ez he went 'long en hit 'ud be ripe 
nuff fer ter cut by de time Brer Tarr3'pin pass dat way. 

" Enny how dey make de bet en put up de money, en 
ole Brer Tukky Buzzard, he wuz summonzd fer ter be de 
jedge, en de stakeholder ; en 'twan't long 'fo' all de 'range- 
ments wuz made. De race wuz a five-mile heat, en de 
groun' wuz medjud off, en at de een' er ev'ey mile a pos' 
wuz stuck up. Brer Rabbit wuz ter run down de big road, 
en Brer Tarrypin, he say he'd gallup thoo de woods. 
Fokes tole 'im he could git long faster in de road, but ole 
Brer Tarrypin, he know wa't he doin'. Miss Meadows 
en de gals en mos' all de nabers got win' er de fun, en 
■vt'en de day wuz sot dey 'termin' fer ter be on han'. Brer 
Rabbit he train hisse'f ev'ey day, en he skip over de groun' 



82 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

des ez gavly ez a June cricket. Ole Brer Tarrypin, he lay 
low in de swamp. He had a wife en th'ee chilluns, ole 
Brer Tarrypin did, en dey wuz all de ve'y spit en image er 
do ole man. Ennybody w'ut know one funi de udder got- 
ter take a spy-glass, en den dey er li'ble fer ter git 
fooled. 

" Dat's de way marters stan' twel de day er de race, en 
on dat day, ole Brer Tarrypin, en his ole 'oman, en his th'ee 
chilluns, dey got up 'fo' sun-uj), en went ter de place. De 
ole 'oraan, she tuck 'er stan' nigh de f us' mile-pos', she did, 
en de chilluns nigh de udders, up ter de las', en dar ole Brer 
Tarrypin, he tuck his stan'. Bimeby, here come de fokes : 
Jedge Buzzard, he come, en Miss Meadows en de gals, dey 
come, en den yer come Brer Rabbit wid ribbins tied 'roun' 
his neck en streamin' fum his years. De fokes all went ter 
de udder een' er de track fer ter see how dey come out. 
Wen de time come Jedge Buzzard strut 'roun' en pull out 
his watch, en holler out : 

*' * Gents, is you ready ? ' 

"Brer Rabbit, he say 'yes,' en ole Miss Tarrypin holler 
'go ' fum de uidge er de woods. Brer Rabbit, he lit out on 
de race, en ole Miss Tarrypin, she put out for home. Jedge 
Buzzard, he riz en skimmed 'long fer ter see dat de race 
wuz runned fa'r. Wen Brer Rabbit got ter de fus mile- 
pos' wunner de Tarrypin chilluns crawl out de woods, he 
did, en make fer de place. Brer Rabbit, be holler out : 

" ' Whar is you. Brer Tarrypin ? ' 

" •' Yer I come a bulgin',' sez de Tarrypin, sezee. 

"Brer Rabbit so glad he's ahead dat he put out harder 




MISS MEADOWS EN DE GALS. 



MR. RABBIT FIXDS HIS MATCH AT LAST. 83 

dan ever, en de Tarrypin, lie make fer liome. Wen he 
come ter de nex' pos', nudder Tarrypin crawl out er de 
woods. 

" ' Wliar is you, Brer Tarrypin?' scz Brer Eabbit, 
sezee. 

" ' Yer I come a bilin',' sez de Tarrypin, sezee. 

" Brer Rabbit, he lit out, lie did, en come ter nex' 
pos', en dar wuz de Tarrypin. Den he come ter nex', en 
dar wuz de Tarrypin. Den he had one mo' mile fer ter 
run, en he feel like he gittin' bellust. Bimeby, ole Brer 
Tarrypin look way off down de road en he see Jedge Buz- 
zard sailin' 'long en he know hit's time fer 'im fer ter be 
up. So he scramble outen de woods, en roll 'cross de ditch, 
en shuffle thoo de crowd er folks en git ter de mile-pos' en 
crawl behime it. Bimeby, fus' news you know, yer come 
Brer Rabb't. He look 'roun' en he don't see Brer Tarry- 
pin, en den he squall out : 

" ' Gimme de money, Brer Buzzard ! Gimme de mon- 
ey!' 

" Den Miss Meadows en de gals, dey holler and laff fit 
ter kill deyse'f, en ole Brer Tarrypin, he raise up fum be- 
hime de pos' en sez, sezee : 

" 'Ef you'll gimme time fer ter ketch my breff, gents 
en ladies, one en all, I speck I'll finger dat money myse'f,' 
sezee, en sho nuff. Brer Tarrypin tie de pu's 'roun' his neck 
on skaddle* off home." 

* It may be interesting to note here that in all probability the word 
" skedaddle," about which there was some controversy during the war, came 
from the Virginia negro's use of " skaddle," which is a corruption of " scat- 
ter." The matter, however, is ha/dly worth referring to. 



84 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

*'But, Uncle Remus," said the little boy, dolefully, 
"that was cheating." 

"Co'se, honey. Dc beastesses 'gun ter cheat, en den 
fokes tuck it u]!, en hit keep on spreadin'. Hit mighty 
ketchin', en you mine yo' eye, honey, dat somebody don't 
cheat you 'fo' yo' ha'r git gray ez de ole nigger's," 



XIX. 

TEE FATE OF MR. JACK SPARROW. 

" You'll tromple on dat bark twel hit won't be fitten 
far ter fling 'way, let 'lone make hoss-collars out'n," 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. 

"I'll 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 tromi:»led on. Ef 
'twuz shucks, now, hit mout be diffunt, but I'm 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 gi'oan, 
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 



THE FATE OF MR. JACK SPARROW. 85 

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 Remus's 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 : 

"AV'at dat long rigmarole you bin tellin' Miss Sally 
'bout yo' little brer dis mawnin ? " 

"AVhich, Uncle Remus?" asked the little boy, blush- 
ing guiltily. 

*' Dat des w'at I'm a axin' un you now. I hear Miss 
Sally say she's a gwineter strii)e liis 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 doAvn 
the section of horse-collar he had been plaiting, and look- 
ing hard* at the little boy — " lemme tell you dis — der ain't 
no way fer ter make tattlers en tail-b'arers turn out good. 
No, dey ain't. I bin mixin' up wid fokes now gAvine on 
eighty year, en I ain't seed no tattler come ter no good 
een'. Dat I ain't. En ef ole man M'thoozlum wuz livin' 
clean twel yit, he'd up'n tell you de same. Sho ez youer 
settin' dar. You 'member w'at 'come er de bird w'at went 
tattlin' 'roun' 'bout Brer Rabbit ? " 

The little boy didn't remember, but he was very anxious 
to know, and he also wanted to know what kind of a bird 
it was that so disgraced itself. 



86 LEGENDS OF THE OLD TLAXTATION. 

"Hit -wuz wunner deze yer uppit}' little Jack Sparrcrs, 
I speck," said the old man ; " day avuz allers bodder'ji' 
longer udder fokes's bizness, en dey keeps at it down ter dis 
day — peckin' yer, and i)ickin' dar, en scrateliin' out yan- 
der. One day, atter he bin fool by ole Brer Tarrypin, Brer 
Eabbit wuz settin' down in do woods studdyin' how he wuz 
gwineter git even. He feel mighty lonesome, en he feel 
mighty mad. Brer Rabbit did. Tain't put down in do tale, 
but I speck he cusst en r'ar'd 'roun' considerbul. Leas'- 
ways, he wuz settin' out dar by hisse'f, en dar he sot, en 
study en study, twel bimeby he jump up en holler out : 

" ' Well, doggone my cats ef I can't gallop 'roun' ole 
Brer Fox, en I'm gwineter do it. I'll show Miss Meadows 
en de gals dat I'm de boss er Brer Fox,' sezee. 

"Jack Sparrer up in de tree, he hear Brer Rabbit, he 
did, en he sing out : 

" ' I'm gwine tell Brer Fox ! I'm gwine tell Brer Fox I 
Chick-a-biddy-win'-a-blowin'-acuns-fallin' ! I'm gwine tell 
Brer Fox ! '" 

Uncle Remus accompanied tlie speech of the bird with 
a peculiar whistling sound in his throat, that was a mar- 
velous imitation of a sparrow's chirp, and the little boy 
clapped his hands with delight, and insisted on a repetition. 

" Dis kinder tarrify Brer Rabbit, en he skasely know 
w'at he gwine do ; but bimeby he study ter hisse'f dat do 
man w'at see Brer Fox fus wuz boun' ter have de inturn, en 
den he go hoppin' off to'rds home. He didn't got fur w'en 
who sliould he meet but Brer Fox, en den Brer Rabl)it, he 
open up : 



THE FATE OF MR. JACK SPARROW. 87 

" 'Wat (lis twix' you en me, Brer Fox ?' sez Brer Rab- 
bit, sezee. ' I hear tell you gwine ter sen' me ter 'struck- 
shun, en nab my fambly, en 'stroy niy shanty,' sezee. 

" Den Brer Fox he git mighty mad. 

" ' Who bin tellin' you all dis ? ' sezee. 

" Brer Rabbit make like he didn't 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 Sparrcr say all dis. 

" ' Co'se,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, ' w'en Brer Jack 
Sparrer tell me dat I flew up, I did, en I use some lan- 
gwidge Av'icli I'm mighty glad dey wern't no ladies 'roun' 
nowhars so dey could hear me go on,' sezee. 

" Brer Fox he sorter gap, he did, en say he speck he 
better be sa'nter'n on. But, bless yo' soul, honey. Brer 
Fox ain't sa'nter 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 don't hear 'im. Den Jack Sparrcr up'n sing out 
agin : 

" ' Brer Fox ! Oh, Brer Fox ! Hole on, Brer Fox ! I 
got some news fer you. Wait, Brer Fox ! Hit'll 'stonish 
you.' 

'* Brer Fox he make like he don't see Jack Sparrer, ner 
needer do he hear 'im, but bimeby he lay down by de road, 
en sorter stretch hisse'f like he fixin' fer ter nap. De tat- 
tlin' Jack Sparrer he flew'd 'long, en keep on callin' Brer 
Fox, but Brer Fox, he ain't sayin' nuthin'. Den little 
Jack Spai-rcr, he hop down on dc groun' en flutter 'roun' 



88 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLAXTATIOxV. 

'mongst de trash. Dis sorter 'track Brer Fox "tcnshun, en 
he look at de tattlin' bird, en de bird he keep on callin' : 

" '1 got sump'n fer ter tell you, Brer Fox.' 

"'Git on my tail, little Jack Sparrer,' sez Brer Fox, 
sezee, * kaze Fm de'f in one year, en I can't hear out'n de 
udder. Git on my tail,' sezee. 

" Den de little bird he up'n hop on Brer Fox's tail. 

" ' Git on my back, little Jack Sparrer, kaze I'm de'f in 
one year en L can't hear out'n de udder.' 

"Den de little bird hop on his back. 

" ' Hop on my head, little Jack Sparrer, kaze Fm de"f 
in bofe years.' 

" Up hop de little bird. 

"'Hop on my toof, little Jack Sparrer, kaze I'm de'f 
in one year en I can't hear out'n de udder.' 

" De tattlin' little bird hop on Brer Fox's toof, en 
den—" 

Here Uncle Ecmus paused, opened wide his mouth and 
closed it again in a way that told the whole story.* 

"Did the Fox eat the bird all— all— up?" asked the 
little boy. 

" Jedge B'ar come 'long nex' day," replied Uncle Re- 

* 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 stories — the 
shrewd narrators of the mythology of the old plantation adapting them- 
selves with ready tact to the years, tastes, and expectations of their juvenile 
audiences. 



HOW MR. RABBIT SAVED HIS MEAT. 89 

mus, " en lie fine some feddcrs, en fum dat word went 
roun' tlat ole man Sqnincli Owl done kotcli nudder watziz- 
name." 



HOW MR. RABBIT SAVED HIS MEAT. 

"One time," said Uncle Kemus, whetting his knife 
slowly and thoughtfully on the palm of his hand, and 
gazing reflectively in the fire — "one 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 child — 
a 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 Christian resig- 
nation. 

"Dar now ! W'at I tell you ?" he exclaimed as if ad- 
dressing a witness concealed under the bed. " Ain't I done 
tole you so ? Bless grashus ! ef chilluns ain't gittin' so dey 
knows mo'n ole fokes, en dey '11 spute longer you en spute 
longer you, ceppin der ma call um, w'ich I speck twon't be 
long 'fo' she will, en den I'll set yere by de chimbly-cornder 
en git some peace cr mine. W'en ole Miss wuz livin'," con- 



90 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 




tinned the old man, still addressing some imaginary per- 
son, "hit 'nz mo'n enny her Chilians 'ud dast ter do ter 
come 'spntin' longer me, en Mars John'll tell you do 
same enny day you ax 'im." 

" Well, Uncle Remus, yon know you said the Ifahljit 
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. 




HOW MR. RABBIT SAVED HIS MEAT. 91 

and kept on talking to the imaginary person. Finally, he 
found and drew forth a nicely plaited whip-thong with a 
red snapper all ivaxed and knotted. 

"1 wuz fixin' up a w'ip fer a little chap," he continued, 
with a sigh, ''but, bless grashus ! 'fo' I kin git 'er done, 
de little chap done grow'd up twel he know mo'n I duz." 

The child's eyes filled with tears and his lips began to 
quiver, but he said nothing ; Avhereupon Uncle Remus im- 
mediately melted. 

"I 'clar' to goodness," he said, reaching out and taking 
the little boy tenderly by the hand, "ef you ain't de ve'y 
spit en image er ole Miss w'en I brung 'er de las' news er 
de war. Hit's des like skeerin' up a ghos' w'at you ain't 
fear'd un." 

Then there was a pause, the old man patting the little 
child's hand caressingly. 

"You ain't mad, is you, honey ?" Uncle Remus asked 
finally, ''kaze ef you is, I'm gwine out yere en butt my 
head 'gin de do' jam'.'' 

But the little boy wasn't mad. Uncle Remus had con- 
quered 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 : 

" Co'se, honey, hit mout er bin ole Brer Wolf, er hit mout 
er bin er n'er Brer Wolf ; it mout er bin 'fo' he got kotch 
up wid, er it mout er bin atterwards. Ez de tale wer gun 
to me des dat away I gin it unter you. One time Brer Wolf 



92 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATIOX. 

wuz comiu' 'long home fum a fisliin' frolic. lie s'anter 
'long de road, he did, wid his string er fish 'cross his shoul- 
der, wen fus news you know ole Miss Pa'tridge, she hop 
outer de bushes en flutter 'long right at Brer Wolf nose. 
Brer Wolf he say ter hisse'f dat ole Miss Pa'tridge 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 Pa'tridge 
come fum, en 'bout dat time Brer Eabbit, he happen 'long. 
Dar wuz de fishes, en dar wuz Brer Eabbit, en w'en dat 
de case w'at 3'ou speck a sorter innerpen'ent man like Brer 
Babbit gwine do ? I kin tell you dis, dat dem fishes ain't 
stay Avhar Brer Wolf put um at, en w'en 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 Eabbit bin 'long dar, en den Brer Wolf, he put 
out fer Brer Eabbit house, en w'en he git dar he hail 
'im. Brer Eabbit, he dunno nuthin' tall 'bout no fishes. 
Brer Wolf he up'n say he bleedzd ter b'leeve Brer Eabbit 
got dem fishes. Brer Eabbit 'ny.it up en down, but Brer 
Wolf stan' too it dat Brer Eabbit got dem fishes. Brer 
Eabbit, he say dat if Brer Wolf b'leeve he got de fishes, 
den he give Brer AVolf lief fer ter kill de bes' cow he got. 
Brer Wolf, he tuck Brer Eabbit at his word, en go off ter 
de pastur' en drive up de cattle en kill Brer Eabbit bes' 
cow. 

" Brer Eabbit, 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- 



HOW MR. RABBIT SAVED HIS MEAT. 93 

rollers 'fo' now, en he mighty skeerd un um, en fns news 
you know, yer come Brer Eabbit hollerin' en tellin' Brer 
Wolf dat de patter-rollers comin'. 

" ' You run en hide. Brer Wolf,' sez Brer Eabbit, sezee, 
'en I'll stay yer en take keer er de cow twel you gits back,' 
sezee. 

"Soon's Brer Wolf hear talk er de patter-rollers, he 
scramble off inter de underbresh like he bin shot out'n a 
gun. En he want mo'n gone 'fo' Brer Eabbit, he whirl in 
en skunt de cow en salt de hide down, en den he tuck'n cut 
up de kyarkiss en stow it 'way in de smoke-'ouse, en den 
he tuck'n stick de een' er de cow-tail in de groun'. Atter 
he gone en done all dis, den Brer Eabbit he squall out fer 
Brer Wolf : 

" ' Eun yer. Brer Wolf ! Eun yer ! Yo' cow gwine in 
de groun' ! Eun yer ! ' 

" W'en ole Brer Wolf got dar, w'ich he come er scootin', 
dar wuz Brer Eabbit hol'in' 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 
Eabbit, he wink his off eye en say, sezee : 

" ' Dar ! de tail done pull out en de cow gone,' sezee. 

" But Brer Wolf he wer'n't 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 
endu'unco, en ole Brer Eabbit he sot up dar in his front 
po'ch en smoke his seegyar. Eve'y time ole Brer Wolf 
stuck de pick-axe in de clay, Brer Eabbit, he giggle ter his 
chilluns : 



94 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION'. 

" ' He diggy, diggy, diggy, but no meat dar ! He diggy, 
^^SSJ} diggy, but no meat dar ! ' 

*' Kaze all de time de cow wuz layin' pile up in his 
smoke-'ouse, en him en his chill uns wuz eatin' fried beef 
en inguns eve'y time dey mouf water. 

"Now den, honey, you take dis yer w'ip," continued 
the old man, twining the leather thong around the little 
boy's 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." 



ME. RABBIT MEETS HIS MATCH AGALY. 

" Dere wuz nuddor man dat sorter play it sharp on 
Brer Eabbit," said Uncle Eemus, as, by some mysterious 
process, he twisted a hog's bristle into the end of a piece 
of thread — an operation which the little boy watched with 
great interest. "In dem days," continued the old man, 
" de beastesses kyar'd on marters same ez fokes. Dey went 
inter fahmin', en I speck ef de troof wuz ter come out, dey 
kep' sto', en had der camp-meetin' times en der bobbycues 
w'en de wedder wuz 'greeble." 

Uncle Remus eyidently thought that the little boy 
wouldn't like to hear of any further discomfiture of Brer 
Rabbit, Avho had come to be a sort of hero, and he was not 
mistaken. 




BRER RABBIT MEETS HIS MATCH AGAIN. 



MR. RABBIT MEETS HIS MATCH AGAIX. 95 

" I thought tlie Terrapin was the only one that fooled 
the Eabbit," said the little boy, dismally. 

" Hit's des like I tell you, honey. Dey ain't no smart 
man, 'cep' w'at dey's a smarter. Ef ole Brer Eabbit hadn't 
er got kotch up wid, de nabers 'ud er tuck 'im for a li'ant, 
en in dem times dey bu'nt witches 'fo' you could squinch 
yo' eyeballs. Deydiddat." 

" Who fooled the Rabbit this time ? " the little boy 
asked. 

When Uncle Remus had the bristle " sot " in the thread, 
he proceeded with the story : 

" One time Brer Rabbit en ole Brer Buzzard 'eluded 
dey'd sorter go snacks, en crap tergedder. Hit wuz a mighty 
good year, en de truck tu'n out monstus well, but bimeby, 
w'en de time come fer dividjun, hit come ter light dat ole 
Brer Buzzard ain't got nuthin'. De crap wuz all gone, en 
dey want nuthin' dar fer ter show fer it. Brer Rabbit, he 
make like he in a wuss fix'n Brer Buzzard, en he mope 
'roun', he did, like he fear'd dey gwineter sell 'im out. 

" Brer Buzzard, he ain't sayin' nuthin', but he keep up 
a monstus thinkin', en one day he come 'long en holler en 
tell Brer Rabbit dat he done fine rich gole-minc dc3 'cross 
de river. 

" ' You come en go 'longer me, Brer Rabbit,' scz Brer 
Tukky Buzzard, sezee. ' I'll scratch en you kin grabble, en 
'tween de two un us we'll make short wuk er dat gole-mine,' 
sezee. 

" Brer Rabbit, he wuz high up fer de jol), but ho study 
en stud}^, he did, how he gwineter git 'cross de water, kaze 



96 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

ev'y time lie git liis foot wet all tie fambly kotch cole. Den 
he up'n ax Brer Buzzard how he gwine do, en Brer Buz- 
zard he up'n say dat he kyar Brer Rabbit 'cross, en wid dat 
ole Brer Buzzard, he squot down, he did, en spread his 
wings, en Brer Rabbit, he mounted, en up dcy riz." There 
was a pause. 

" What did the Buzzard do then ? " asked the little boy. 

" Dey riz," continued Uncle Remus, "■ en w'en dey lit, 
dey lit in de top er de highest sorter pine, en de pine w'at 
dey lit in wuz growin' on er ilun, en de ilun avuz in de mid- 
dle er de river, wid de deep water runnin' all 'roun'. Dey 
ain't mo'n lit 'fo' Brer Rabbit, he know w'ich way de win' 
'uz blowin', en by de time ole Brer Buzzard got hisse'f bal- 
lunce on a lim'. Brer Rabbit, he up'n say, sezee : 

" 'Wiles we er res'n here, Brer Buzzard, en bein's you 
bin so good, I got sump'n fer ter tell you,' sezee. ' I got a 
gole-mine er my own, one w'at I make myse'f, en I speck 
we better go back ter mine 'fo' we bodder 'longer yone,' 
sezee. 

" Den ole Brer Buzzard, he laff, he did, twel he shake, 
en Brer Rabbit, he sing out : 

" ' Hole on. Brer Buzzard ! Don't flop yo' wings w'en 
you laff, kaze den ef you duz, sump'n 'ill drap fum up yer, 
en my gole-mine won't do you no good, en needer will yone 
do me no good.' 

" But 'fo' dey got down fum dar, Brer Rabbit done tole 
all 'bout de crap, en he hatter promus fer ter 'vide fa'r en 
squar. So Brer Buzzard, he kyar 'im back, en Brer Rabbit 
he walk w;ak in de knees a mont' atterwuds." 



A STORY ABOUT THE LITTLE RABBITS. 97 



A STORY ABOUT THE LITTLE RABBITS. 

"Fine um wliar you will en w'en 3'ou may," remarked 
Uncle Remus with emphasis, " good chilliins allers gits tuck 
keer on. Dar wuz Brer Rabbit's chilluns ; dey minded der 
daddy en mammy fum day's een' ter day's een'. Wen ole 
man Rabbit say 'scoot,' dey scooted, en w'en ole Miss Rab- 
bit say 'scat,' dey scatted. Dey did dat. En dey kcp der 
cloze clean, en dey ain't had no smut on der nose nudder." 

Involuntarily the hand of the little boy went up to his 
face, and he scrubbed the end of his nose with his coat- 
sleeve. 

"Dey wuz good chilluns," continued the old man, 
heartily, "en ef dey hadn't er bin, der wuz one time w'en 
dey wouldn't er bin no little rabbits — na'er one. Dat's 
w'at." 

"What time was that, Uncle Remus ?" the little boy 
asked. 

" De time w'en Brer Fox drapt in at Brer Rabbit house, 
en didn't fouu' nobody dar ceppin' de little Rabbits. Ole 
Brer Rabbit, he wuz off some'rs raiding on a collard patch, 
on ole Miss Rabbit she wuz tendin' on a quiltin' in de na- 
berhood, en wiles de little Rabbits wuz playin' hidin'-switch, 
in drapt Brer Fox. De little Rabbits wuz so fat dat dey 
fa'rly make his mouf water, but he 'member 'bout Brer 
Wolf, en he sheered fer ter gobble um up ceppin' he got 
some skuse. De little Rabbits, dey mighty skittish, en dey 
5 



98 LEGENDS OF THE OLD TLAN'TATION. 

sorter huddle deyse'f np tergcdder en watcli Brer Fox mo- 
tions. Brer Fox, he sot dar en study w'at sorter skuse he 
gwineter make up. Bimeby he see a great big stalk er su- 
gar-cane stau'in' up in de cornder, en he cle'r up his th'oat 
en talk biggity : 

"'Yer! you young linhs dar, sail 'roun' yer en broke 
me a piece er dat sweetnin'-tree,' sezee, en den he koff. 

"De little Rabbits, dey got out de sugar-cane, dey did, 
en dey rastle wid it, en sweat over it, but twan't no use. 
Dey couldn't broke it. Brer Fox, he make like he ain't 
watchin', but he keep on holler'n : 

" ' Hurry up dar, Rabs ! I'm a waitin' on you.' 

"Ende little Rabbits, dey hustle 'roun' en rastle wid 
it, but dey couldn't broke it. Bimeby dey hear little bird 
singin' on top er de house, en de song wa't de little bird 
Bing wuz dish yer : 

" ' Take yo' toofiej; en gnyaw it, 
Take yo' toofies en saw it, 
Saw it en yoke it, 
En den you kin broke it.' 

" Den de little Rabbits, dey git mighty glad, en dey 
gnyawed de cane mos' 'fo' ole Brer Fox could git his legs 
oncrosst, en w'en dey kyard 'im de cane, Brer Fox, he sot 
dar en study how he gwineter make some mo' skuse fer nab- 
bin' un um, en bimeby he git up en git down de sifter w'at 
wuz hangin' on de wall, en holler out : 

" ' Come yer, Rabs ! Take dish yer sifter, en run down't 
de spring en fetch me some fresh water.' 



A STORY ABOUT THE LITTLE RABBITS. 90 

" De little Rabbits, dey run down't de sjiring, en try ter 
dip up de water wid de sifter, but co'se hit all run out, en 
hit keep on runuin' out, twell bimeby de little Rabbits sot 
down en 'gun ter cry. Den de little bird settin' up in de 
tree he begin fer tor sing, en dish yer's de song wa't he sing : 

" 'Sifter bole water same ez a tray, 

Ef you fill it wid moss en dob it wid clay ; 
De Fox git madder de longer you stay — 
Fill it wid moss en dob it wid clay.' 

" Up dey jump, de little Rabbits did, en dey fix de sifter 
so 'twon't leak, en den dey kyar de water ter ole Brer Fox. 
Den Brer Fox he git mighty mad, en p'int out a great big 
stick er wood, en tell de little Rabbits fer ter put dat on de 
fier. De little chaps dey got 'roun' de wood, dey did, en 
dey lif at it so hard twel dey could see der own sins, but 
de wood ain't budge. Den dey hear de little bird singin', 
en dish yer's de song w'at he sing : 

" ' Spit in yo' ban's en tug it en toll it, 
En git bebine it, en pusb it, en pole it; 
Spit in yo' ban's en r'ar back en roll it.' 

'' En des 'bout de time dey got de wood on de fier, der 
daddy, he come skippin' in, en de little bird, he flew'd 
away. Brer Fox, he seed his game wuz up, en 'twan't long 
'fo' he make his skuse en start fer ter go. 

" ' You better stay en take a snack wid me. Brer Fox,' 
sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. ' Sence Brer Wolf done quit comin' 
en settin' up wid me, I gittin' so I feels right lonesome dese 
long nights,' sezee. 



100 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLAXTATIOX. 

"But Brer Fox, lie button up his coat-collar tight en 
des put out fer home. En dat w'at you better do, honey, 
kaze I see Miss Sally's shadder sailin' backerds en for'ds 'fo' 
de winder, en de fus' news you know she'll be spectin' un 
you." 



MR. RABBIT AXD MR. BEAR. 

"Dar wuz one season," said Uncle Remus, pulling 
thoughtfully at his whiskers, " w'en Brer Fox say to hisse'f 
dat he speck he better whirl in en plant a goober-patch, en 
in dem days, mon, hit wuz tech en go. De wud wern't 
mo'n out'n his niouf 'fo' de groun' 'uz brok'd up en de 
goobers 'uz planted. Ole Brer Rabbit, he sot off en watch 
de motions, he did, en he sorter shet one eye en sing to his 
chilluns : 

"'Ti-yi! Tungalee ! 

I eat \\m i)ea, I pick urn pea. 

Hit gron' in de groun', liit grow so free; 

Ti-yi! clem goober pea.' 

"Sho' 'nuff w'en de goobers 'gun tcr ripen up, eve'y 
time Brer Fox go down ter his patch, he fine whar some- 
body bin grabblin' 'mongst de vines, en he git mighty mad. 
He sorter speck who de somebody is, but ole Brer Rabbit 
he cover his tracks so cute dat Brer Fox dunner how ter 
ketch 'im. Bimeby, one day Brer Fox take a walk all 



MR. RABBIT AND MR. BEAR. 



101 



roun' de groiin'-pea patch, en 'twan't long 'fo' he fine a 
crack in de fence whar de rail done bin rub right smoove, 
en right dar he sot Mm a trap. lie tnck'n ben' down a 




hick'ry saplin', growin' in de 

fence-cornder, en tie one een' un 

a plow-line on de top, en in de 

udder een' he fix a loop- knot, en 

dat he fasten wid a trigger right 

in de crack. Nex' mawnin' w'en 

ole Brer Rabbit come slippin' 

'long en crope thoo de crack, de 

loop-knot kotch 'im behime de 

fo' legs, en de saplin' flew'd up, en dar he wuz 'twix' de 

heavens en de yeth. Dar he swung, en he fear'd he gwine- 

ter fall, en he fear'd he wer'n't gwineter fall. Wile he 



102 LEGENDS OF THE OLD TLANTATIOX. 

wuz a lixin' up a tale for Brer Fox, he hear a lumberin' 
down de road, en present'y yer cum ole Brer B'ar amblin' 
'long fum whar he bin takin' a bee-tree. Brer Rabbit, he 
liail 'im : 

" ' Howdy, Brer B'ar ! ' 

" Brer B'ar, he look 'roun en bimeby he see Brer IJabbit 
swingin' fum de sai^lin', en he holler out : 

" 'Heyo, Brer Iiabbit ! How you come on dis mawn- 



m 



?' 



" ' Much oblije, I'm middlin', Brer B'ar,' scz Brer Bab- 
bit, sezee. 

"Den Brer B'ar, he ax Brer Babbit w'at he doin' up 
dar in de elements, en Brer Babbit, he up'n say he makin' 
dollar minnit. Brer B'ar, he say how. Brer Babbit say 
he keepin' crows oufn Brer Fox's groun'-pea patch, en 
den he ax Brer B'ar ef he don't wanter make dollar 
minnit, kaze he got big fambly er chilluns fer ter take 
keer un, en den he make sech nice skeer-crow. Brer B'ar 
'low dat he take de job, en den Brer Rabbit show 'im how 
ter ben' down de saplin', en twan't long 'fo' Brer B'ar 
wuz swingin' up dar in Brer Rabbit place. Den Brer 
Rabbit, he put out fer Brer Fox house, en w'en he got 
dar he sing out : 

"'Brer Fox! Oh, Brer Fox! Come out yer. Brer 
Fox, en I'll show you de man w'at bin stealin' yo' goo- 
I )crs. ' 

" Brer Fox, he grab up his walkin'-stick, en bofe un 
um Avent runnin' back down ter der goober-patch, en w'en 
dev got dar, sho 'nulf, dar wuz ole Brer B'ar. 



MR. RABBIT AND MR. BEAR. 103 

" ' Oh, yes ! youcr kotcli, is you ?' sez Brer Fox, eu 'fo' 
Brer B'ar could 'splaiii, Brer Rabbit he jump up en down, 
en holler out : 

" ' Hit 'ini in do mouf. Brer Fox ; hit 'im in do mouf ' ; 
en Brer Fox, he draw back wid de walkin'-cane, eu blip 
he tuck 'im, en eve'y time Brer B'ar'd try ter 'siilam, Brer 
Fox'd shower down on him. 

" Wiles all dis 'uz gwine on. Brer Eabbit, he slip off en 
git m a mud-hole en des lef his eyes stickin' out, kaze he 
know'd dat Brer B'ar'd be a comin' atter 'im. She 'nuff, 
bimeby here come Brer B'ar down de road, en w'en he git 
ter de mud-hole, he say : 

" ' Ilowdy, Brer Frog ; is you seed Brer Rabbit go by 
yer ? ' 

" ' He des gone by,' sez Brer Rabbit, en ole man B'ar 
tuck off down de road like a skeer'd mule, en Brer Rabbit, 
he come out en dry hisse'f in do sun, en go home ter his 
fambly same ez enny udder man." 

"The Bear didn't catch the Rabbit, then?" inquired 
the little boy, sleepily. 

"Jump up fum dar, honey !" exclaimed Uncle Remus, 
by way of reply. " I ain't got no time fer ter be settin' 
yer proppin' yo' eyeleds open. " 



104 LEGENDS OF TUE OLD PLAMATIOX. 



MR. BEAR CATCHES OLD MR. BULL-FROG. 

" Well, Uncle liemus," said the little boy, counting to 
see if he hadn't lost a marble somewhere, " the Bear didn't 
catch the Eabbit after all, did he ? " 

"Xow you talkin', honey," replied the old man, his 
earnest face breaking up into little eddies of smiles — "now 
you talkin' sho. 'Tain't bin proned inter no Brer B'ar fer 
ter kotcli Brer Rabbit. Hit sorter like settin' a mule fer 
ter trap a hummin'-bird. But Brer B'ar, he tuck'n got 
hisse'f inter some mo' trubble, Av'ich it look like it mighty 
easy. Ef folks could make der livin' longer gittin' inter 
trubble," continued the old man, looking curiously at the 
little boy, "ole Miss Favers wouldn't be boddern yo' ma 
fer ter borry a cup full cr sugar eve'y now en den ; en it 
look like ter me dat I knows a nigger dat wouldn't be 
squattin' 'roun' yer makin' dese 3'er fish-baskits." 

" How did the Bear get into more trouble, Uncle Re- 
mus ? " asked the little boy. 

" Xatchul, honey. Brer B'ar, he tuck a notion dat ole 
Brer Bull-frog wuz de man wa't fool 'im, en he say dat he'd 
come up wid 'im ef 'twuz a year atterwuds. But 'twan't 
no 5'ear, an 'twan't no mont', en mo'n dat, hit wan't skasely 
a week, w'en bimeby one day Brer B'ar wuz gwine home 
fum de takin' un a bee-tree, en lo en beholes, who should 
he see but ole Brer Bull-frog settin' out on de aidge er de 
mud-puddle fas' 'sleep ! Brer B'ar drap his axe, he did, en 



MR. BEAR CATCDES OLD MR. BULL-FROG. 105 

crope up, en retch out wid his paw, en scooj? ole Brer Bull- 
frog in des dis away." Here the old man used his hand 
ladle-fashion, by way of illustration. ''He scoop 'im in, 
en dar he wuz. Wen Brer B'ar got his clampers on 'im 
good, he sot down en talk at 'im. 

" ' Howdy, Brer Bull- frog, howdy ! En how yo' fam- 
bly ? I hope deyer well. Brer Bull-frog, kaze dis day you 
got some bizness wid me w'at'll las' you a mighty long- 
time.' 

" Brer Bull-frog, he dunner w'at ter say. He dunner 
wat's up, en he don't say nuthin'. Ole Brer B'ar he keej) 
runnin' on : 

" ' Youer de man w'at tuck en fool me 'bout Brer Kab- 
bit t"er day. You had yo' fun, Brer Bull-frog, en now Til 
git mine.' 

"Den Brer Bull-frog, he gin ter git skecrd, he did, en 
he up'n say : 

" ' Wat I bin doin' Brer B'ar ? How I bin foolin' you ? ' 

" Den Brer B'ar lalT, en make like he dunno, but lie 
keep on talkin'. 

" ' Oh, no, Brer Bull-frog ! You ain't de man w'at stick 
yo' head up out'n de water en tell me Brer Babbit done 
gone on by. Oh, no ! you ain't de man. I boun' you ain't. 
'Bout dat time, you wuz at home wid yo' fambly, whar you 
allers is. I dunner whar you wuz, but I knows whar you 
is. Brer Bull-frog, en hit's you en me fer it. Atter de sun 
goes down dis day you don't fool no mo' folks gwine 'long 
dis road.' 

" Co'se, Brer Bull-frog dunner w'at Brer B'ar drivin' at. 



106 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

but he know sump'n hatter be done, en chit miglity soon, 
kazc Brer B'ar 'gun to snap his Jaws tergedder en foam at 
dc monf, en Brer Bull-frog holler out : 

" ' Oh, pray, Brer B'ar ! Lemme off dis time, en I 
won't never do so no mo'. Oh, pray, Brer B'ar ! do lemme 
off dis time, en I'll show you de fattes' bee-tree in de woods.' 

''Ole Brer B'ar, he chomp his toofies en foam at dc 
mouf. Brer Bull-frog he des up'n squall : 

" ' Oh, pray. Brer B'ar ! I won't never do so no mo' ! 
Oh, pray. Brer B'ar ! lemme off dis time ! ' 

" But olc Brer B'ar say he gwineter make way wid 'im, 
en den he sot en study, ole Brer B'ar did, how he gwineter 
sijuench Brer Bull-frog. lie know he can't drown 'im, en 
he ain't got no fier fer ter bu'n 'im, en he git mighty pes- 
tered. Bimeby ole Brer Bull-frog, he sorter stop his cryin' 
en his boo-hooin', en he up'n say : 

" ' Ef you gwineter kill me, Brer B'ar, kyar me ter dat 
big flat rock out dar on de aidge er de mill-pon', whar I kin 
see my fambly, en attcr I see um, den you kin take you axe 
en S({usli me.' 

" Dis look so fa'r and squar' dat Brer B'ar he 'gree, en 
he take ole Brer Bull-frog by wunner his behime legs, en 
sling his axe on his shoulder, en off he put fer de big flat 
rock. When he git dar he lay Brer Bull-frog down on de 
rock, en Brer Bull-frog make like he lookin' 'roun' fer his 
folks. Den Brer B'ar, he draw long breff en pick up his 
axe. Den he spit in his ban's en draw back en come down 
on de rock — pow ! " 

" Did he kill the Frog, Uncle Remus ? " asked the little 



MR. BEAR CATCHES OLD MR. BULL-FROG. 



107 



boy, as tlie old man paused to scoop up a tliimbleful of 
glowing embers in his pipe. 




" 'Deed, en dat he didn't, honey. 'Twix' de time w'en 
Brer B'ar raise up wid his axe en w'en he come down wid 
it, ole Brer Bull-frog he lipt up en dove down in de mill- 
pon', kerblink-kerbluuk ! En Av'en he riz way out in de 
pon' he riz a singin', en dish yer's de song w'at he sing : 

" ' Ingle-go-jang, my joy, my joy — 
Ingle-go-jang, my joy ! 
I'm right at home, my joy, my joy — 
Ingle-go-jatig, ray joy!'" 

*' That's a mighty funny song," said the little boy. 

" Funny now, I speck," said the old man, "but 'twern't 
funny in dem days, en 'twould n't be funny now ef folks 
know'd much 'bout de Bull-frog langwidge ez dey useter. 
Dat's w'at." 



108 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATIOX. 

XXV. 

HOW MR. BABBIT LOST HIS FINE BUSHY TAIL. 

"OxE time," said Uncle Eemus, sighing heavily and 
settling himself back in his scat with an air of melancholy 
resignation — "one time Brer Rabbit wuz gwine 'long down 
de road shakin' his big bushy tail, en feclin' des ez scrump- 
shus ez a bee-martin wid a fresh bug." Here the old man 
paused and glanced at the little boy, but it was evident 
that the youngster had become so accustomed to the mar- 
velous developments of Uncle Remus's stories, that the ex- 
traordinary statement made no unusual impression upon 
him. Therefore the old man began again, and this time 
in a louder and more insinuating tone : 

"One time ole man Rabbit, he wuz gwine 'long down 
de road shakin' his long, bushy tail, en feelin' mighty big- 
gity." 

This was effective. 

" Great goodness. Uncle Remus I " exclaimed the little 
boy in open-eyed wonder, "everybody knoAvs that rabbits 
haven't got long, bushy tails.' 

The old man shifted his position in his chair and al- 
lowed his venerable head to drop forward until his whole 
appearance was suggestiA'e of the deepest dejection ; and 
this was intensified by a groan that seemed to be the result 
of great mental agony. Finally he spoke, but not as ad- 
dressing himself to the little boy. 

" I notices dat dem fokes w'at makes a great 'miration 



HOW MR. RABBIT LOST HIS FINE BUSHY TAIL. 109 



'bout w'at dey knows is 
des de folks w'ich you 
can't put no 'pennunce 
in w'en de 'cashun come 
up. Yer one un urn 
now, en he done come 
en excuse me er 'lowin' 
dat rabbits is got long, 
bushy tails, w'ich good- 
ness knows ef I'd a 
dremp' it, I'd a whirl in 
en ondremp it." 

'' Well, butUncle Re- 
mus, you said rabbits had 
long,bushytails,"replied 
the little boy. "Now 
you know you did." 

''Ef I ain't fergit 
it off'n niy mine, I say 
dat ole Brer Rabbit wuz 
gwine down de big road 
shakin' his long, bushy 
tail. Dat w'at I say, en 
dat I Stan's by." 

The little boy looked 
puzzled, but he didn't 
say anything. After a 
while the old man con- 
tinued : 




110 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

"Now, den, ef diit's 'greed ter, I'm gwiiie on, eu cf 
tain't 'greed ter, den I'm gwineter pick up my cane en look 
atter my own intrust. I got wuk lyin' roun' yer dat's des 
natally gittin' moldy." 

The little boy still remained quiet, and Uncle Eemus 
liroceeded : 

" One day Brer Eabbit wuz gwinc down de road sliakin' 
his long, bushy tail, w'en who should he strike up wid but 
ole Brer Fox gwinc amblin' long wid a big string or fish ! 
Wen dcy pass de time er day wid wunner nudder, Brer 
Iiabbit, he open up do confab, he did, en he ax Brer Fox 
whar he git dat nice string er fish, en Brer Fox, he up'n 
'spon' dat he kotch um, en Brer Eabbit, he say whar'bouts, 
en Brer Fox, he say down at de babtizin' creek, en Brer 
Eabbit he ax how, kaze in dem days dey wuz monstus fon' 
cr minners, en Brer Fox, he sot down on a log, he did, en 
he up'n tell Brer Eabbit dat all he gotter do fer ter git er 
big mess er minners is ter go ter de creek atter sun down, 
en drap his tail in de water en set dar twel daylight, en den 
draw up a whole armful er fishes, en dem w'at he don't 
want, he kin fling back. Eight dar's whar Brer Eabbit 
drap his watermillion, kaze he tuck'n sot out dat night en 
went a fishin'. De wedder wuz sorter cole, en Brer Eabbit, 
he got 'im a bottle er dram en put out fer de creek, en w'en 
he git dar he pick out a good place, en he sorter squot 
down, he did, en let his tail hang in de water. He sot 
dar, en he sot dar, en he drunk his dram, en he think 
he gwineter freeze, but bimeby day come, en dar he wuz. 
He make a pull, en he feel like he comin' in two, en ho 



MR. TERUAPIX SHOWS HIS STRENGTH. HI 

fetch nudder jerk, en lo en belioles, Avliar wnz his 
tail?" 

There was a long pause. 

*'Didit come off, Uncle Eemns ?" asked the little boy, 
presently. 

*'She did dat ! " replied the old man with unction. 
" She did dat, and dat w'at make all deze yer bob-tail rab- 
bits w'at you see hoppin' en skaddliu thoo de woods." 

"Are they all that way just because the old Rabbit lost 
his tail in the creek ? " asked the little boy. 

"Dat's it, honey," replied the old man. " Dat's w'at 
dey tells me. Look like dey er blecdzd tcr take atter der 
pa." 



MR. TFBRAPm SHOWS HIS STREN-QTH. 

"Brer Tarrypin wuz de out'nes' man," said Uncle 
Remus, rubbing his hands together contemplatively, and 
chuckling to himself in a very significant manner; "he 
wuz de out'nes' man er de whole gang. He wuz dat." 

The little boy sat perfectly quiet, betraying no impa- 
tience when Uncle Remus paused to hunt, first in one 
pocket and then in another, for enough crumbs of tobacco 
to replenish his pipe. Presently the old man proceeded : 

" One night Miss Meadows en de gals dey gun a candy- 
pullin', en so many er de nabers come in 'sponse ter de in- 



112 LEGENDS OF THE OLD TLAXTATIOX. 

vite dat dey hatter put de "lasses iu de wash pot en b'il' de 
fier in de yard. Brer B'ar, he hope * Miss Meadows bring de 
Avood, Brer Fox, he men' de fier, Brer Wolf, he kep' de 
dogs off. Brer Eabbit, he grease de bottom er dc plates fer 
ter keep de candy fum stickin', en Brer Tarrypin, lie klum 
up in a cheer, en say he'd watch en see dat de 'lasses didn't 
bile over. Dey wuz all dere, en dey wern't cuttin' uj) no 
didos, nudder, kase Miss Meadows, she done put her foot 
down, she did, en say dat w'en dey come ter her place dey 
hatter hang up a flag er truce at de front gate en 'bide 
by it. 

" Well, den, w'iles dey wuz all a settin' dar en de 'lasses 
wuz a bilin' en a blubberin', dey got ter runnin' on talkin' 
mighty biggit}'. Brer Eabbit, he say he de swiffes' ; but 
Brer Tarrypin, he rock 'long in de cheer en watch de 'lasses. 
Brer Fox, he say he de sharpes', but Brer Tarrypin he rock 
'long. Brer Wolf, he say he de mos' suvvigus, but Brer 
Tarrypin, he rock en he rock 'long. Brer B'ar, he say he 
de mos' stronges', but Brer Tarrypin he rock, en he keep 
on rockin'. Bimeby he sorter shet one eye, en say, sezee : 

" 'Hit look like 'periently dat de ole hardshell ain't no- 
whars 'longside er dis crowd, yit yer I is, en I'm de same 
man w"at show Brer Eabbit dat he ain't de swiffes' ; en 
I'm de same man w'at kin show Brer B'ar dat he ain't de 
stronges',' sezee. 

"Den dey all laff en holler, kaze it look like Brer B'ar 
mo' stronger dan a steer. Bimeby, Miss Meadows, she up'n 
ax, she did, how he gwine do it. 

* Uolp ; heli)cd. ' 



MR. TERRAPIX SHOWS HIS STREXGTII. II3 

" ' Gimme a good strong rope,' sez Brer Tarr3'2^in, sezee, 
* en lemme git in er puddle er water, en den let Brer B'ar 
see ef he kin pull me out,' sezee. 

''Den dey all laff g'in, en Brer B'ar, he uj^s en sez, 
sezee : ' We ain't got no rope,' sezee. 

" ']S'o,' sez Brer Tarrypin, sezee, 'en nceder is you got 
de strenk,' sezee, en den Brer Tarrypin, he rock en rock 
'long, en watch de 'lasses a bilin' en a blubberin'. 

" Atter w'ile Miss Meadows, she np en say, she did, dat 
she'd take'n loan de young men her bed-cord, en w'iles de 
candy wuz a coolin' in de plates, doy could all go tor de 
branch en see Brer Tarrypin kyar out his projick. Brer 
Tarrypin," continued Uncle Remus, in a tone at once con- 
fidential and argumentative, " wcrn't much bigger'n de pa'm 
cr my han', en it look mighty funny fcr ter year 'im brag- 
gin' 'bout how he kin outpull Brer B'ar. But dey got de 
bed-cord atter w'ile, en den dey all put out ter de branch. 
Wen Brer Tarrypin fine de place he wanter, he tuck one 
een' er de bed-cord, en gun de yuther een' to Brer B'ar. 

" 'Now den, ladies en gents,' sez Brer Tarrypin, sezee, 
' you all go wid Brer B'ar up dar in de woods en I'll stay 
3'er, en w'en you year me holler, den's de time fer Brer B'ar 
fer ter see ef he kin haul in de slack er de rope. You all 
take keer er dat ar een',' sezee, 'en I'll take keer er dish 
yer een',' sezee. 

"Den dey all put out en lef Brer Tarrypin at de branch, 
en w'en dey got good en gone, he dove down inter de water, 
he did, en tie de bedcord hard en fas' tor wunnei' deze yer 
big clay-roots, en den he riz up en gin a whoop. 



ll-t LEGENDS OF THE OLD TLAXTATION. 

"Brer B'ar he wrop de bed-cord roun' liis han', en wink 
at do gals, cu wid dat he gin a big juk, but Brer Tarrypin 
ain't budge. Den he take bofe ban's en gin a big pull, but, 
all de same, Brer Tarrypin ain't budge. Den he tu'n 'roun,' 
he did, en put de rope cross his shoulders en try ter walk 
off wid Brer Tarrypin, but Brer Tarrj^oin look like he don't 
feel like walkin'. Den Brer Wolf, he put in en hope Brer 
B'ar pull, but dez like he didn't, en den dey all hope 'im, 
en, bless grashus ! w'iles dey wuz all a pullin', Brer Tarry- 
pin, he holler, en ax urn w'y dey don't take up de slack. 
Den w'en Brer Tarrypin feel um quit pullin', he dove down, 
he did, en ontie de rope, en by de time dey got ter de branch, 
Brer Tarrypin, he avuz settin' in de aidge er de water des ez 
natchul ez de nex' un, en he up'n say, sezee : 

" ' Dat las' pull er yone wuz a mighty stiff un, en a 
leetle mo"n you'd er had me,' sezee. 'Youer monstus 
stout. Brer B'ar,' sezee, 'en you pulls like a yoke er steers, 
but I sorter had de purchis on you,' sezee. 

"Den Brer B'ar, bein's his mouf 'gun ter water atter 
de sweetnin', he up'n say he speck de candy's ripe, en off 
dey put atter it ! " 

"It's a wonder," said the little boy, after a while, " that 
the rope didn't break." 

" Break who ? " exclaimed Uncle Remus, with a touch 
of indignation in his tone— "break who? In dem days, 
Miss Moadows's bed-cord would a hilt a mule." 

This in\t an end to whatever doubts the child might 
have entertained. 



WHY MR. rOSSUM HAS NO HAIR OX HIS TAIL. 115 



WHY MR. POSSUM UAS NO HAIR ON HIS TAIL. 

" Hit look like ter me," said Uncle Remus, frowning, 
as the little boy came hopping and skipping into the old 
man's cabin, "dat I see a young un 'bout yo' size playin' 
en makin' free wid dem ar chilluns er ole Miss Favers's 
yistiddy, en w'en I seed dat, I drap my axe, en I come in yer 
en sot flat down right whar youer settin' now, en I say ter 
myse'f dat it's 'bout time fer ole Remus fer ter hang up en 
quit. Dat's des zackly w'at I say." 

"Well, Uncle Remus, they called me," said the little 
boy, in a penitent tone. " They come and called me, and 
said they had a pistol and some powder over there." 

"Dar now!" exclaimed the old man, indignantly. 
*' Dar now ! w'at I bin sayin' ? Hit's des a born blessin' 
dat you wa'n't brung home on a litter wid bofe eyeballs 
har.gin' out en one year clean gone ; dat's w'at 'tis ! Hit's 
des a born blessin'. Hit hope me up might'ly de udder 
day w'en I hear IMiss Sally layin' down de law 'bout you en 
dem Favers chillun, yit, lo en beholes, de fus news I knows 
yer you is han'-in-glove wid um. Hit's nuff fer ter fetch 
ole Miss right up out'n dat berryin'-groun' fum down dar 
in Putmon County, en w'at yo' gran'ma wouldn't er stood 
me en yo' ma ain't gwineter stan' nudder, en de nex' time 
I hear 'bout sech a come off az dis, right den en dar I'm 
boun' ter lay de case 'fo' Miss Sally. Dem Favers's wa'n't 
no 'count 'fo' de war, en dey wa'n't no 'count endurin' er 
de war, en dey ain't no 'count atterAvards, en Av'iles my 



116 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATIOX.. 

head's hot you ain't gwineter go mixiii' up yo'.<e'f wicl de 
riff-raff er creashun." 

The little boy made no further attempt to justify his 
conduct. He was a very wise little boy, and he knew that, 
in Uncle Remus's eyes, he had been guilty of a flagrant viola- 
tion of the family code. Therefore, instead of attempting 
to justify himself, he pleaded guilty, and promised that he 
would never do so any more. After this there was a long 
period of silence, broken only by the vigorous style in 
Avhich Uncle Remus puffed away at his pipe. This was 
the invariable result. AVhenever the old man had occasion 
to reprimand the little boy — and the occasions were fre- 
quent — he would relapse into a dignified but stubborn 
silence. Presently the youngster drew forth from his 
pocket a long piece of candle. The sharp eyes of the old 
man saw it at once. 

"Don't you come a tellin' me dat Miss Sally gun you 
dat," he exclaimed, '"kaze she didn't. En I lay you 
hatter be monstus sly 'fo' you gottcr chance fer tcr snatch 
up dat piece er cannle." 

"Well, Uncle Remus," the little boy explained, "it Avas 
lying there all by itself, and I just thought I'd fetch it out 
to you." 

"Dat's so, honey," said Uncle Remus, greatly molli- 
fied ; "dat's so, kaze by now some er dem yuther niggers 
'ud er done had her light up. Dey er mighty biggity, dem 
house niggers is, but I notices dat dey don't let nuthin' 
pass. Dey goes 'long wid der ban's en der mouf open, en 
w'at one don't ketch de tother one do." 



WHY MR. POSSUM HAS NO HAIR ON HIS TAIL. 117 

There was anotlier pause, and finally the little boy 
said : 

"Uncle Remus, you know you promised to-day to tell 
me why the 'Possum has no hair on his tail." 

"Law, honey ! ain't you done gone en f ergot dat off'n 
yo' mine yit ? Hit look like ter me," continued the old 
man, leisurely refilling his pipe, "dat she sorter run like 
dis : One time ole Brer Po3Sum, he git so hongry, he did, 
dat he bleedzd fer ter have a mess er 'simmons. He monstus 
lazy man, ole Brer Possum wuz, but bimeby his stummuck 
'gun ter growl en holler at 'im so dat he des hatter rack 
'roun' en hunt up sump'n ; en w'iles he wuz rackin' 'roun', 
who sh'd he run up wid but Brer Rabbit, en dey wuz hail- 
fellers, kaze Brer Possum, he ain't bin bodder'n Brer 
Rabbit like dem yuther beas's. Dey sot down by de side 
er de big road, en dar dey jabber en confab 'mong wunner 
nudder, twel bimeby old Brer Possum, he take 'n tell Brer 
Rabbit dat he mos' pe'sh out, en Brer Rabbit, he lip up 
in de a'r, he did, en smack his ban's tergedder, en say dat 
he know right whar Brer Possum kin git a bait er 'sim- 
mons. Den Brer Possum, he say whar, en Brer Rabbit, 
he say w'ich 'twuz over at Brer B'ar's 'simmon orchard." 

" Did the Bear have a 'simmon orchard. Uncle Remus ? " 
the little boy asked. 

"Co'se, honey, kase in dem days Brer B'ar wuz a bee- 
hunter. He make his livin' findin' bee trees, en de way he 
fine um he plant 'im some 'simmon-trees, w'ich de bees 
dey'd come ter suck de 'simmons en den ole Brer B'ar he'd 
watch um whar dey'd go, en den he'd be mighty ap' fer ter 



118 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

come lip wid urn, No matter 'bout dat, de 'simmon patch 
'uz dar des like I tell you, en ole Brer Possum mouf 'gun 
ter water soon's he year talk un um, en mos' 'fo' Brer Bab- 
bit done tellin' 'im de news, Brer Possum, he put out, he 
did, en 'twa'n't long 'fo' he wuz perch up in de highcs' tr.e 
in Brer B'ar 'simmon patch. But Brer Rabbit, he done 
'termin' fer ter see some fun, en w'iles all dis 'uz gwine on, 
he run 'roun' ter Brer B'ar house, en holler en tell 'im 
w'ich dey wuz somebody 'stroyin' un his 'simmons, en Brer 
B'ar, he hustle off fer ter ketch 'im. 

" Eve'y now en den Brer Possum think he year Brer 
B'ar comin', but he keep on sayin', sezee : 

'' 'I'll des git one mo' 'simmon en den I'll go ; one 'sim- 
mon 'mo en den I'll go.' 

"Las' he year Brer B'ar comin' slio nuff, but 'twuz de 
same ole chune — ' One 'simmon mo' en den I'll go ' — en des 
'bout dat time Brer B'ar busted inter de patch, en gin do 
tree a shake, en Brer Possum, he drapt out longer de yuther 
ripe 'simmons, but time he totch de groun' he got his foots 
tcrgedder, en he lit out fer de fence same ez a race-hoss, 
en 'cross dat patch him en Brer B'ar had it, en Brer B'ar 
gain' eve'y Jnmp, twcl time Brer Possum make de fence 
Brer B'ar grab 'im by de tail, en Brer Possum, he went out 
'tween de rails en gin a powerful juk en pull his tail out 
'twix Brer B'ar tushes ; en, lo en beholes. Brer B'ar hole so 
tight en Brer Possum pull so hard dat all de ha'r come off 
in Brer B'ar's mouf, w'ich, ef Brer Rabbit hadn't er happen 
np wid a go'd er water. Brer B'ar'd er got strankle. 

"Fum dat day ter dis," said Uncle Remus, knocking 



THE END OF MR. BEAR. 119 

the aslies carefully out of his pipe, " Brer Possum ain't had 
no li'ar on his tail, en needer do his chilluns." 



THE END OF ME. BEAR. 

The next time the little boy sought Uncle Remus out, 
he found the old man unusually cheerful and good-humored. 
His rheumatism had ceased to trouble him, and he was even 
disposed to be boisterous. He was singing when the little 
boy got near the cabin, and the child paused on the outside 
to listen to the vigorous but mellow voice of the old man, as 
it rose and fell with the burden of the curiously plaintive 
song — a senseless affair so far as the words were concerned, 
but sung to a melody almost thrilling in its sweetness : 

" Ilan' me down my walkin'-cane 

(Hey my Lily ! go down de road !), 
Yd' true lover gone down de lane 
(Hey my Lily! go down de road!)." 

The quick ear of Uncle Remus, however, had detected 
the presence of the little boy, and he allowed his song to 
run into a recitation of nonsense, of which the following, 
if it be rapidly spoken, will give a faint idea : 

'* Ole M'er Jackson, fines' confraction, fell down sta'rs 
fer to git satisfaction ; big Bill Fray, he rule de day, eve'y- 



120 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

tiling lie call fer come one, two by three. Gwine 'long one 
day, met Johnny Huby, ax him grine nine yards er steel 
fer me, tole me w'ich he couldn't ; den I hist 'im over Hick- 
erson Dickerson's barn-doors ; knock 'im ninety-nine miles 
under water, w'cn he rise, he rise in Pike straddle iin a 
hanspike, en I lef ' 'im dar smokin' er de hornpipe, Juba 
reda seda breda. Aunt Kate at de gate ; I Avant to eat, she- 
fry de meat en gimme skin, w'ich I fling it back agin. 
Juba!" 

All this, rattled off at a rapid rate and with apparent se- 
riousness, was calculated to puzzle the little boy, and he 
slipped into his accustomed seat with an expression of awed 
bewilderment upon his face. 

"Hit's all des dat away, honey," continued the old 
man, with the air of one who had just given an important 
piece of information. '• En w'en you bin cas'n shadders 
-long ez de ole nigger, den you'll fine out who's w'ich, en 
w'ich's who." 

The little boy made no response. He was in thorough 
sympathy with all the whims and humors of the old man, 
and his capacity for enjoying them was large enough to 
include even those he could not understand. Uncle Eemus 
was finishing an axe-handle, and ujjon these occasions it was 
liis custom to allow the child to hold one end while he ap- 
plied sand-paper to the other. These relations were pretty 
soon established, to the mutual satisfaction of the parties 
most interested, and the old man continued his remarks, 
but this time not at random : 

"Wen I see deze yor swell-head folks like dat 'oman 



THE END OF MR. BEAR. 121 

w'cat come en tell yo' ma 'bout you cliunkin' at her cliilluns, 
w'ich yo' ma make Mars John strop you, hit make my 
mine run back to ole Brer B'ar. Ole Brer B'ar, he got de 
swell-headedness hisse'f, en ef der wuz enny swinkin', hit 
swunk too late fer ter he'p ole Brer B'ar. Leas'ways dat's 
w'at dey tells me, en I ain't never yearn it 'sputed." 

"Was the Bear's head sure enough swelled, Uncle 
Eemus ? " 

"Now you talkin', honey ! " exclaimed the old man. 

" Goodness ! what made it swell ? " 

This was Uncle Eemus's cue. Applying the sand-paper 
to the axe-helve with gentle vigor, he began : 

" One time Avhen Brer Eabbit wuz gwine lopin' home 
fum a frolic w'at dey bin havin' up at Miss Meadows's, 
who should he happin up wid but ole Brer B'ar. Co'se, 
atter w'at done pass 'twix um dey wa'n't no good feelin's 
'tween Brer Rabbit en ole Brer B'ar, but Brer Rabbit, he 
wanter save his manners, en so he holler out : 

" Heyo, Brer B'ar ! how you come on ? I aint seed 
you in a coon's age. How all down at yo' house ? How 
Miss Brune en Miss Brindle ? ' " 

"AVho was that. Uncle Remus?" the little boy inter- 
rupted. 

" Miss Brune en Miss Brindle ? Miss Brune wuz Brer 
B'ar's ole 'oman, en Miss Brindle wuz his gal. Dat w'at 
dey call um in dem days. So den Brer Rabbit, he ax 
him howdy, he did, en Brer B'ar, he 'spon' dat he wuz 
mighty po'ly, en dey amble 'long, dey did, sorter familious 
like, but Brer Rabbit, he keep one eye on Brer B'ar, en 
6 



122 LEGENDS OF THE OLD rLANTATIOX. 

Brer B'ar, lie study Low he gwine nab Brer Eabbit. Las' 
Brer Rabbit, he np'n say, sezee : 

" 'Brer B'ar, I speek I got somebizness cut out fer you/ 
sezee. 

" ' AYat dat, Brer Eabbit ? ' sez Brer B'ar, sezee. 

" 'Wiles I wuz cleaniu' up my new-gromi' day 'fo' yis- 
tiddy,' sez Brer Eabbit, sezee, ' I come 'cross wuuner deze 
yer ole time bee-trees. Hit start holler at de bottom, en 
stay holler plum ter de top, en de honey's des natally oozin' 
out, en ef you'll drap yo' 'gagements en go 'longer me,' sez 
Brer Eabbit, sezee, ' you'll git a bait dat'll las' you en yo' 
fambly twel de middle er nex' mont',' sezee. 

"Brer B'ar say he much oblije en he b'leeve he'll go 
'long, en wid dat dey put out fer Brer Eabbit's new-groun', 
w'ich twa'n't so mighty fur. Leas'ways, dey got dar atter 
Av'ile. Ole Brer B'ar, he 'low dat he kin smell de honey. 
Brer Eabbit, he 'low dat he kin see de honey-koam. Brer 
B'ar, he 'low dat he kin hear de bees a zoonin'. Dey stan' 
'roun' en talk biggity, dey did, twel bimeby Brer Kabbit, he 
up'n say, sezee : 

" 'You do de clim'in'. Brer B'ar, en I'll do de rushin' 
'roun' ; you clime up ter de hole, en I'll take dis yer pine 
pole en shove de honey vp whar you kin git 'er,' sezee. 

"Ole Brer B'ar, he spit on his han's en skint up de 
tree, en jam his head in de hole, en sho nuff, Brer Eabbit, 
he grab de pine pole, en de way he stir up dem bees wuz 
sinful — dat's w'at it wuz. Hit wuz sinful. En de bees dey 
swawm'd on Brer B'ar's head, twel 'fo' he could take it 
out'u de hole hit wuz done swell up bigger dan dat dinner- 



MR. FOX GETS INTO SERIOUS BUSINESS. 123 

pot, en dar he swung, en ole Brer Rabbit, he dance 'roun' 
en sing : 

" ' Tree stan' high, but honey mighty sweet — 
Watch dem bees wid stingers on der feet.' 

"But dar ole Brer B'ar hung, en ef his head ain't 
swunk, I speck he hangin' dar yit — dat -w'at I speck." 



XXIX. 

MR. FOX GETS INTO SERIOUS BUSINESS 

"Hit turn out one time," said Uncle Remus, grinding 
some crumbs of tobacco between the palms of his hands, 
preparatory to enjoying his usual smoke after sui)per — "hit 
turn out one time dat Brer Rabbit make so free wid de 
man's collard-patch dat do man he tuck'n sot a trap fer ole 
Brer Rabbit." 

"Which man was that. Uncle Remus ?" asked the little 
boy. 

"Des a man, honey. Dat's all. Dat's all I knows — 
des wunner dese yer mans w'at you see trollopin 'roun' 
eve'y day. Nobody ain't never year w'at his name is, en ef 
dey did dey kep' de news mighty close fum me. Ef dish 3"er 
man is bleedzd fer ter have a name, den I'm done, kaze 
you'll hatter go fudder dan me. Ef you bleedzd ter know 
mo' dan w'at I duz, den you'll hatter hunt up some er deze 
yer niggers w'at's sprung up sence I commence fer ter shed 
my ha'r." 



124 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

'•'Well, I just thought, Uncle Eemus/' said the little 
boy, in a tone remarkable for self-depreciation, ''that the 
man had a name." 

"Tooby sho," replied the old man, with unction, puff- 
ing away at his pipe. " Co'se. Dat w'at make I say w'at 
I duz. Dish yer man mout a had a name, en den ag'in he 
moutn't. He mout er bin name Slip-shot Sam, en he mouter 
bin name ole One-eye Eiley, w'ich ef 'twuz hit ain't bin 
handed roun' ter me. But dis yer man, he in de tale, en 
w'at we gwine do wid 'im ? Dat's de p'int, kase w'en I 
git ter huntin' 'roun' 'mong my 'membunce atter dish 
yer Mister Watyoumaycollum's name, she ain't dar. Xow 
den, less des call 'im Mr. Man en let 'im go at dat." 

The silence of the little boy gave consent. 

" One time," said Uncle Eemus, carefully taking up the 
thread of the story where it had been dropped, " hit turn 
out dat Brer Eabbit bin makin' so free wid !Mr. Man's 
greens en truck dat Mr. Man, he tuck'n sot a trap fer 
Brer Eabbit, en Brer Eabbit he so greedy dat he tuck'n 
walk right spang in it 'fo' he know hisse'f. Well, 'twa'n't 
long 'fo' yer come Mr. Man, broozin' 'roun', en he ain't no 
sooner see ole Brer Eabbit dan he smack his ban's tergedder 
en holler out : 

*' ' Youer nice feller, you is ! Yer you bin gobblin' up 
my green truck, en now you tryin' ter tote off my trap. 
Youer mighty nice chap — dat's w'at you is I But now dat 
I got you, I'll des 'bout settle wid you fer de ole en de new.' 

"En wid dat, Mr. Man, he go off, he did, down in de 
bushes atter han'ful er switches. Ole Brer Eabbit he ain't 



MR. FOX GETS INTO SERIOUS BUSINESS. 125 

sayin' nutliin', but he feelin' mighty lonesome, en he sot 
dar lookin' like eve'y minnit wuz gwineter be de nex'. En 
w'iles Mr. Man wuz off prepa'r'n his bresh-broom, who should 
come p'radin' 'long but Brer Fox ? Brer Fox make a great 
'miration, he did, 'bout de fix w'at he fine Brer Kabbit in, 
but Brer Eabbit he make like he fit ter kill hisse'f lafiin', 
en he up'n tell Brer Fox, he did, dat Miss Meadows's fokes 
want 'im ter go down ter der house in 'tennunce on a wed- 
din', en he 'low w'icli he couldn't, en dey 'low how he could', 
en den bimeby dey take'n tie 'im dar w'iles dey go atter de 
preacher, so he be dar w'en dey come back. En mo'n dat, 
Brer Kabbit up'n tell Brer Fox dat his chillun's mighty 
low wid de fever, en he bleedzd ter go atter some pills 
fer'm, en he ax Brer Fox fer ter take his place en go down 
ter Miss Meadows's en have nice time wid de gals. Brer 
Fox, he in fer dem kinder pranks, en 'twa'n't no time 'fo' 
Brer Kabbit had ole Brer Fox harness up dar in his place, 
en den he make like he got ter make 'as'e en git de pills fer 
dem sick chilluns. Brer Kabbit wa'n't mo'n out er sight 
'fo' yer come Mr. Man wid a han'ful er hick'ries, but w'en 
he see Brer Fox tied up dar, he look like he 'stonished. 

'"Heyo !' sez Mr. Man, sezee, 'you done change color, 
en you done got bigger, en yo' tail done grow out. Wat 
kin'er w'atzyname is you, ennyhow ? ' sezee. 

" Brer Fox, he stay still, en Mr. Man, he talk on : 

"'Hit's mighty big luck,' sezee, 'ef w'en I ketch de 

chap w'at nibble my greens, likewise I ketch de feller w'at 

gnyaw my goose,' sezee, en wid dat he let inter Brer Fox 

wid de hick'ries, en de way he play rap-jacket wuz a can- 



12G LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

tion ter de naberliood. Brer Fox, he juk en he Jump, en 
he squeal en he squall, but Mr. Man, he shower down on 
'im, he did, like fightin' a red was'-nes'." 

The little boy laughed, and Uncle Eemus supplemented 
this endorsement of his descriptive powers with a most in- 
fectious chuckle. 

"Bimeby," continued the old man, "de switches, dey 
got frazzle out, en Mr. Man, he put out atter mo', en w'en 
he done got fa'rly outer yearin', Brer Kabbit, he show'd up, 
he did, kaze he des bin hidin' out in de bushes lis'nin' at 
de racket, en he 'low hit mighty funny dat Miss Meadows 
ain't come 'long, kaze he done bin down ter de doctor house, 
en dat's fudder dan de preacher, yit. Brer Rabbit make 
like he hurr'in' on home, but Brer Fox, he open up, he did, 
en he say : 

"'I thank you fer tor tu'n me loose, Brer Eabbit, en 
I'll be 'blijo,' sezee, ' kaze you done tie me up so tight dat 
it make my head swim, en I don't spock I'd las' fer ter git 
ter Miss Meadows's,' sezee. 

"Brer Eabbit, he sot down sorter keerless Ike, en begin 
fer ter scratch one year like a man studyin' 'bout sump'n, 

" 'Dat's so. Brer Fox,' sezee, 'you duz look sorter stove 
up. Look like sump'n bin onkoamin' yo' ha'rs,' sezee. 

"Brer Fox ain't sayin' notliin', but Brer Eabbit, he 
keep on talkin' : 

"'Dey ain't no bad feelin's 'twix' us, is dey. Brer Fox ? 
Kaze ef dey is, I ain't got no time fer ter be tarryin' 'roun' 
yer.' 

" Brer Fox sav w'ich he don't have no onfrennelness, en 



HOW MR. RABBIT SUCCEEDED IN RAISING A DUST. 127 

wid dat Brer Rabbit cut Brer Fox loose des in time fer ter 
hear Mr. Man w'isserlin up his dogs, en one went one way 
en de udder went nudder." 



nOM MR. RABBIT SUCCEEDED IN RAISING A DUST. 

"In dem times," said Uncle Eemus, gazing admiringly 
at himself in a fragment of looking-glass, "Brer Eabbit, 
en Brer Fox, en Brer Coon, en dem yuther beas's go co'tin' 
en sparklin' 'roun' de naberhood mo' samer dan folks. 
'Twan't no ' Lemme a boss,' ner ' Fetch me my buggy,' but 
dcy des np'n lit out en tote deyse'f. Dar's ole Brer Fox, 
he des wheel 'roun' en fetch his flank one swipe wid 'is 
tongue en he'd be koam up ; en Brer Eabbit, he des spit 
on his ban' en twis' it 'roun' 'mongst de roots un his years 
en his ha'r'd be roach, Dey wuz dat flirtashus," continued 
the old man, closing one eye at his image in the glass, 
"dat Miss Meadows en de gals don't see no peace fum one 
week een' ter de udder. Chuseday wuz same as Sunday, 
en Friday wuz same as Chuseday, en hit come down ter 
dat pass dat w'en Miss Meadows 'ud have chicken-fixins 
fer dinner, in 'ud drap Brer Fox en Brer Possum, en w'en 
she'd have fried greens in 'ud pop ole Brer Eabbit, twel 'las' 
Miss Meadows, she tuck'n tell de gals dat she be dad-blame 
ef she gwineter keep no tavvun. So dey fix it up 'mong 



12S LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

(leyse'f. Miss Meadows en de gals did, dat dc nex' time de 
gents call dey'd gin um a game. De gents, dcy wuz a 




co'tin, but Miss Meadows, she don't wanter marry none un 
nm, en needer duz de gals, en likewise dey don't wanter 



HOW MR. RABBIT SUCCEEDED IN RAISING A DUST. 129 

have urn pester'n 'roun'. Las', one Chuseday, Miss Mead- 
ows, slie tele um dat ef dey come down ter her house de 
nex' Sat'day evenin', de whole caboodle un nm 'ud go 
down de road a piece, whar der wuz a big flint rock, en 
de man w'at could take a sludge-hammer en knock de dus' 
out'n dat rock, he wuz de man w'at 'ud git de pick er de 
gals. Dey all say dey gwine do it, but ole Brer Rabbit, he 
crope off whar der wuz a cool place under some jimson 
weeds, en dar he sot wukkin his mind how he gwineter git 
dus' out'n dat rock. Bimeby, w'ile he wuz a settin' dar, 
up he jump en crack his heels tergedder en sing out : 

" ' Make a bow ter de Buzzard en den ter de Crow, 
Takes a limber-toe gemraun fei- ter jump Jim Crow,' 

en wid dat he put out for Brer Coon house en borrer his 
slippers. Wen Sat'day evenin' come, dey wuz all dere. 
Miss Meadows en de gals, dey wuz dere ; en Brer Coon, en 
Brer Fox, en Brer Possum, en Brer Tarrypin, dey wuz 
dere. " 

" Where was the Rabbit ? " the little boy asked. 

" Youk'n put yo' 'pennunce in ole Brer Rabbit," the old 
man replied, with a chuckle. "He wuz dere, but he 
shuffle up kinder late, kaze w'en Miss Meadows en de bal- 
lunce un um done gone down ter de place. Brer Rabbit, he 
crope 'roun' ter de ash-hopper, en fill Brer Coon slippers 
full er ashes, en den he tuck'n put um on en march off. 
He got dar atter 'w'ile, en soon's Miss Meadows en do gals 
seed 'im, dey up'n giggle, en make a great 'miration kaze 
Brer Rabbit got on slippers. Brer Fox, he so smarts he 



130 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION 

holler out, he did, en say he lay Brer Eabbit got de grouii'- 
eatch, but Brer Eabbit, he sorter shet one eye, he did, en 
say, sezee : 

" 'I bin so useter ridin' hoss-back, ez deze ladies knows, 
dat I'm gittin' sorter tender-footed ; ' en dey don't hear much 
mo' f um Brer Fox dat day, kaze he 'member how Brer Eab- 
bit done bin en rid him ; en hit 'uz des 'bout much ez 
Miss MeadoA^'s en de gals could do fer ter keep der snickers 
fum gittin' up a 'sturbance 'mong de congergashun. But, 
never mine dat, old Brer Eabbit, he wuz dar, en he so 
brash dat leetle mo' en he'd er grab up de sludge-hammer 
en cr open up de racket 'fo' ennybody gun de word ; but 
Brer Fox, he shove Brer Eabbit out'n de way en jiick u}) 
de sludge hisse'f. Xow den," continued the old man, with 
pretty much the air of one Avho had been the master of 
similar ceremonies, "de progance wuz dish yer : Eve'y 
gent wer ter have th'ee licks at de rock, en de gent w'at 
fetch de dus' he wer de one w'at gwineter take de pick er 
de gals. Ole Brer Fox, he grab de sludge-hammer, he did, 
en he come down on de rock — hlim ! No dus' ain't come. 
Den he draw back en down he come ag'in — hlam ! K'o dus' 
ain't come. Den he spit in his han's, en give 'er a big 
swing en down she come — Iccr-Uap ! En yit no dus' ain't 
flew'd. Den Brer Possum he make triul, en Brer Coon, en 
all de ballunce un um 'cep' Brer Tarrypin, en he 'low dat 
he got a crick in his neck. Den Brer Eabbit, he grab holt 
er de sludge, en he lipt up in de a'r en come down on de 
rock all at de same time — poio ! — en de ashes, dey flew'd up 
so, dey did, dat Brer Fox, he tuck'n had a sneczin' spell, 



A PLANTATION WITCH. 131 

en Miss Meadows en de gals dey iip'n koff. Th'ee times 
Brer Eabbit jump up en crack his heels tergedder en come 
down wid de sludge-hammer — kcr-Uam ! — en eve'y time 
he jump up, he holler out : 

" ' Stan' fudder, ladies ! Yer come de dus' ! ' en sho 
nuff, de dus' come. 

"Leas'ways," continued Uncle Remus, "Brer Babbit 
got one er de gals, en dey had a weddin' en a big infa'r." 

"Which of the girls did the Babbit marry ?" asked the 
little boy, dubiously. 

"I did year tell un 'er name," replied the old man, 
with a great affectation of interest, "but look like I done 
gone en fergit it off'n my mine. Ef I don't disremember," 
he continued, "hit wuz Miss Molly Cottontail, en I speck 
we better let it go at dat. " 



A PLANTATION- WITCH. 

The next time the little boy got permission to call upon 
Uncle Bemus, the old man was sitting in his door, with his 
elbows on his knees and his face buried in his hands, and 
he appeared to be in great trouble. 

"What's the matter. Uncle Bemus?" the youngster 
asked. 

" Nuff de matter, honey— md' dan dey's enny kyo fer. 



132 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

Ef dey ain't some quare gwines on 'roun' dis place I ain't 
name Remus." 

The serious tone of the old man caused the little boy 
to open his eyes. The moon, just at its full, cast long, 
vague, wavering shadows in front of the cabin. A colony 
of tree-frogs somewhere in the distance were treating their 
neighbors to a serenade, but to the little boy it sounded 
like a chorus of lost and long-forgotten whistlers. The 
sound was wherever the imagination chose to locate it — to 
tlie right, to the left, in the air, on the ground, far away 
or near at hand, but always dim and always indistinct. 
Something in Uncle Eemus's tone exactly fitted all these 
surroundings, and the child nestled closer to the old man. 

"Yasser," continued Uncle Remus, with an ominous 
sigh and a mysterious shake of the head, " ef dey ain't some 
quare gwines on in dish yer naberhood, den I'm de ball- 
headest creetur 'twix' dis en nex' Jinawerry wus a year 'go, 
w'ich I knows I ain't. Dat's what." 

"What is it. Uncle Remus ?" 

"I know Mars John bin drivin' Cholly sorter hard tcr- 
day, en I say ter myse'f dat I'd drap 'roun' 'bout dus' en 
fling nudder year er corn in de troff en kinder gin 'im a 
techin' u]) wid de kurrier-koam ; en bless grashus ! I ain't 
bin in de lot mo'n a minnit 'fo' I seed sump'n wuz wrong 
wid de boss, and sho' nuff dar wuz his mane full er witch- 
stirrups." 

"Full of what. Uncle Remus ?" 

" Full er witch-stirrups, honey. Ain't you seed no witch- 
stirrups ? Well, w'en you see two stran' er ha'r tied 



A PLANTATION WITCH. 133 

tergedder in a lioss' mane, dar you see a witch-stirrup, eu, 
mo'n dat, dat boss done bin rid by um." 

''Do you reckon tbey have been riding Charley ?" in- 
quired the little boy. 

"Co'se, honey. Tooby sho dey is. AV'at else dey bin 
doin'?" 

"Did you ever see a witch, Uncle Remus ?" 

"Dat ain't needer yer ner dar. Wen I see coon track 
in de branch, I know de coon bin 'long dar." 

The argument seemed unanswerable, and the little boy 
asked, in a confidential tone : 

"Uncle Remus, what are witches like ?" 

" Dey comes difEunt," responded the cautious old darkey. 
" Dey comes en dey cunjus fokes. Squinch-owl holler 
eve'y time he see a witch, en w'en you hear de dog howlin' 
in de middle er de night, one un um's mighty ap' ter be 
prowlin' 'roun'. Cunjun fokes kin tell a witch de minnit 
dey lays der eyes on it, but dem w'at ain't cunjun, hit's 
mighty hard ter tell w'en dey see one, kase dey might come 
in de 'pearunce un a cow en all kinder beas's. I ain't bin 
useter no cunjun myse'f, but I bin livin' long nuff fer ter 
know w'en you meets up wid a big black cat in de middle 
er de road, wid yaller eyeballs, dars yo' witch fresh fum de 
Ole Boy. En, fuddermo', I know dat 'tain't proned inter 
no dogs fer ter ketch de rabbit w'at use in a berryin'-groun'. 
Dey er de mos' ongodlies' creeturs w'at you ever laid eyes 
on," continued Uncle Remus, with unction. "Down dar 
in Putmon County yo' Unk Jeems, he make like he 
gwineter ketch wunner dem dar graveyard rabbits. Sho 



134 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION, 

nuff, out he goes, en de dogs ain't no mo'n got ter de place 
fo' U13 jumj) de ole rabbit right 'xnong um, en atter run- 
nin' 'roun' a time or two, she skip right up ter Mars Jeems, 
en Mars Jeems, he des put de gun-bairl right on 'er en 
lammed aloose. Hit tored up de groun' all 'roun', en de 
dogs, dey rush up, but dey wan't no rabbit dar ; but bimeby 
Mars Jeems, he seed de dogs tuckin' der tails 'tween der 
legs, en he look up, en dar wuz de rabbit caperin' 'roun' on 
a toomstone, en wid dat Mars Jeems say he sorter feel like 
de time done come w'en yo' gran'ma was 'specktin' un him 
home, en he call off de dogs en put out. But dem wuz 
ha'nts. Witches is deze yer kinder fokes wat kin drap der 
body en change inter a cat en a wolf en all kinder creeturs." 

"Papa says there ain't any witches," the little boy inter- 
rupted. 

" Mars John ain't live long ez I is," said Uncle Eemus, 
by way of comment, "He ain't bin broozin' 'roun' all 
hours er de night en day. I know'd a nigger w'ich his brer 
Avuz a witch, kaze he up'n tole me how he tuck'n kyo'd 
'im ; en he kyo'd 'im good, mon," 

"How was that ?" inquired the little boy, 

"Hit seem like," continued Uncle Remus, "dat witch 
fokes is got a slit in de back er de neck, en w'en dey wanter 
change derse'f, dey des pull de hide over der head same ez 
if 'twuz a shut, en dar dey is," 

"Do they get out of their skins ?" asked the little boy, 
in an awed tone. 

" Tooby sho, honey. You see yo' pa pull his shut off ? 
Well, dat des 'zackly de way dey duz. But dish ycre nig- 



A PLANTATIOX WITCH. 135 

ger w'at I'm tellin' you 'bout, lie kyo'd his brer de ve'y fus 
pass he made at him. Hit got so dat fokes in de settle- 
ment didn't have no peace. De chilluns 'ud wake up iu 
de mawnins wid der ha'r tangle up, en wid scratches on 
um like dey bin thoo a brier-patch, twel bimeby one day 
de nigger he 'low dat he'd set up dat night en keep one 
eye on his brer ; en sho' nuif dat night, des ez de chickens 
wuz crowin' fer twelve, up Jump de brer an pull off his 
skin en sail out'n de house iu de shape un a bat, en w'at 
duz de nigger do but grab up de hide, en turn it wrongsud- 
out'ards en sprinkle it wid salt. Den he lay down en watch 
for ter see w'at de news wuz gwineter be. Des 'fo' day yer 
come a big black cat in de do', en de nigger git up, he did, 
en druv her away. Bimeby, yer come a big black dog snuf- 
fin' roun', en de nigger up wid a chunk en lammed 'im side 
er de head. Den a squinch-owl lit on de koam er de house, 
en de nigger jam de shovel in de fier en make 'im flew 
away. Las', yer come a great big black wolf wid his eyes 
shinin' like fier coals, en he grab de hide and rush out. 
'Twa'n't long 'fo' de nigger year his brer holler'n en squall- 
in', en he tuck a light, he did, en went out, en dar wuz his 
brer des a waller'n on de groun' en squirmin' 'roun', kaze 
de salt on de skin \n\z stingin' wuss'n ef he had his britches 
lineded wid yaller-jackets. By nex' mawnin' he got so he 
could sorter shuffle 'long, but he gun up cunjun, en ef dere 
wuz enny mo' witches in dat settlement dey kep' mighty 
close, en dat nigger he ain't skunt hisse'f no mo' not en- 
durin' er my 'membunce." 

The result of this wa3 that Uncle Remus had to take 



136 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

the little boy by the hand and go with him to the " big 
house," Avliich the old man was not loath to do; and, when 
the child went to bed, he lay awake a long time expecting 
an unseemly visitation from some mysterious source. It 
soothed him, however, to hear the strong, musical voice of 
his sable patron, not very far away, tenderly contending 
with a lusty tune ; and to this accompaniment the little boy 
dropped asleep : 

" Hit's cifrhteen Iiunder'd, forty-cn-eiglit, 
Christ done made dat crooked way straight — 

En I don't wanter stay here no longer ; 
Hit's eighteen hunder'd, forty-en-nine, 
Christ done turn dat water inter wine — 

En I don't wanter stay here no longer." 



XXXII. 

" J A CKY-M Y-LAKTERN:' * 

Upon his next visit to Uncle Remus, the little boy was 
exceedingly anxious to know more about witches, but the 
old man prudently refrained from exciting the youngster's 

* This story is popular on the coast and among the rice-plantations, and, 
since the publication of some of the animal-myths in the newspapers, I have 
received a version of it from a planter in southwest Georgia ; but it seems 
to me to be an intruder among the genuine myth-stories of the negroes. It 
is a trifle too elaborate. Nevertheless, it is told upon the plantations with 
great gusto, and there are several versions in circulation. 



"JACKY-MY-LANTERN." 137 

imagination any further in that direction. Uncle Remus 
had a board across his lap, and, armed with a mallet and a 
shoe-knife, Avas engaged in making shoe-pegs. 

"Wiles I wuz crossin' de branch des now," he said, en- 
deavoring to change the subject, "I come up wid a Jacky- 
my-lantern, en she wuz bu'nin' wuss'n a bunch er lightnin'- 
bugs, mon. I know'd she wuz a fixin' fer ter lead me inter 
dat quogmire down in de swamp, en I steer'd cle'r un 'er. 
Yasser. I did dat. You ain't never seed no Jacky-my- 
lantuns, is you, honey ? " 

The little boy never had, but he had heard of them, and 
he wanted to know what they were, and thereupon Uncle 
Eemus proceeded to tell him. 

" One time," said the old darkey, transferring his spec- 
tacles from his nose to the top of his head and leaning his 
elbows upon his peg-board, " dere wuz a blacksmif man, 
en dish yer blacksmif man, he tuck'n stuck closer by his 
dram dan he did by his bellus. Monday mawnin' he'd git 
on a spree, en all dat week he'd be on a spree, en de nex' 
Monday mawnin' he'd take a fresh start. Bimeby, one day, 
atter de blacksmif bin spreein' 'roun' en cussin' might'ly, 
he hear a sorter rustlin' fuss at de do', en in walk de Bad 
Man." 

" Who, Uncle Eemus ? " the little boy asked. 

" De Bad Man, honey ; de Ole Boy hisse'f right fresh 
from de ridjun w'at you year Miss Sally readin' 'bout. He 
done hide his hawns, en his tail, en his hoof, en he come 
dress up like w'ite fokes. He tuck off his hat en he bow, 
en den he tell de blacksmif who he is, en dat he done come 



138 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

atter 'im. Den de blacksmif, he gun ter cry en beg, en be 
beg so bard en be cry so loud dat de Bad Man say be 
make a trade wid 'im. At de een' er one year de sperit er 
de blacksmif wuz to be bis'n, en endurin' er dat time de 
blacksmif mus' put in bis bottes' licks in de intruss er de 
Bad Man, en den he put a spell on de cheer de blacksmif 
was settin' in, en on his sludge-hammer. De man w'at sot 
in de cheer couldn't git up less'n de blacksmif let 'im, en 
de man w'at pick up de sludge 'ud hatter keep on knockiu' 
wid it twel de blacksmif say quit ; en den he gun 'im money 
plenty, en off be put. 

''De blacksmif, he sail in fer ter have his fun, en he 
have so much dat he done clean forgot 'bout bis contrack, 
but bimeby, one day be look down de road, en dar be see 
de Bad Man comin', en den he know'd de year wuz out. 
Wen de Bad Man got in de do', de blacksmif wuz poundin' 
'way at a boss-shoe, but be wa'n't so bizzy dat be didn't ax 
'im in. De Bad Man sorter do like he ain't got no time fer 
ter tarry, but de blacksmif say he got some little jobs dat 
he bleedzd ter finish up, en den he ax de Bad Man fer ter 
set down a minnit ; en de Bad Man, he tuck'n sot down, 
en be sot in dat cheer w'at he done conju'd, en, co'se, dar he 
wuz. Den de blacksmif, he 'gun ter poke fun at de Bad 
Man, en he ax him don't he want a dram, en won't he hitch 
bis cheer up little nigher de fier, en de Bad Man, lie beg en 
he beg, but 'twan't doin' no good, kase de blacksmif 'low 
dat he gwiucter keep 'im dar twel he promus dat he let 'im 
off one year mo', en, sho nuff, de Bad Man promus dat ef de 
blacksmif let 'im up be give 'im a n'er showin'. So den de 



" JACKY-MY-LANTERN." 139 

blacksmif gun de wud, en de Bad Man sa'nter off down de 
big road, settiu' traps en layin' his progance fer ter ketch 
mo' sinners. 

" De nex' year hit pass same like t'er one. At de 'p'int- 
ed time yer come de Ole Boy atter de bkcksmif, but still 
de blacksmif had some jobs dat he bleedzd ter finish up, en 
he ax de Bad Man fer ter take holt er de sludge en he'p 
'im out ; en de Bad Man, he 'low dat r'er'n be disperlite, he 
don't keer ef he do hit 'er a biff er two ; en wid dat he 
grab up de sludge, en dar he wuz 'gin, kase he done conju'd 
de sludge so dat whosomedever tuck 'er up can't put 'er 
down less'n de blacksmif say de wud. Dey perlaver'd dar, 
dey did, twel bimeby de Bad Man he up'n let 'im off n'er 
year. 

"Well, den, dat year pass same ez t'er one. Mont' in 
en mont' out dat man wuz rollin' in dram, en bimeby yer 
come de Bad Man. De blacksmif cry en he holler, en he 
rip 'roun' en far his ha'r, but hit des like he didn't, kase 
de Bad Man grab 'im up en cram 'im in a bag en tote 'im 
off. Wiles dey wuz gwine 'long dey come up wid a passel 
er fokes w'at wuz havin' wunner deze yer fote er July bobby- 
cues, en de Ole Boy, he 'low dat maybe he kin git some mo' 
game, en w'at do he do but jine in wid um. lie jines in 
en he talk politics same like t'er fokes, twel bimeby dinner- 
time come 'roun', en dey ax 'im up, w'ich 'greed wid his 
stummuck, en he pozzit his bag underneed de table 'long- 
side de udder bags w'at de hongry fokes'd brung. 

" No sooner did de blacksmif git back on de groun' dan 
he 'gun tor wuk his way outer do bag. He crope out, he 



140 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

did, en den he tuck'n change de bag. lie tuck'n tuck a 
n'er bag en lay it down whar dish yer bag wuz, en den lie 
crope outer de crowd en lay low in de underbresh. 

" Las', w'en de time come fer ter go, de Ole Boy up wid 
his bag en slung her on his shoulder, en off he put fer de 
Bad Place. "W'en he got dar he tuck'n drap de bag oflE'n 
his back en call up de imps, en dey des come a squallin' en 
a caperin', w'ich I sj^eck dey mus' a bin hongry. Leas'ways 
dey des swawm'd 'roun', hollerin out : 

" ' Daddy, w'at you brung — dadd}', w'at you brung ? ' 

"So den dey open de bag, en lo en beholes, out jump 
a big bull-dog, en de Avay he shuck dem little imps wuz a 
caution, en he kep' on gnyawin' un um twel de Ole Boy 
open de gate en tu'n 'im out." 

** And what became of the blacksmith ?" the little boy 
asked, as Uncle Remus paused to snuff the candle with his 
fingers. 

" I'm driviu' on 'roun', honey. Atter 'long time, de 
blacksmif he tuck'n die, en w'en he go ter de Good Place 
de man at de gate dunner who he is, en he can't squeeze in. 
Den he go down ter de Bad Place, en knock. De Ole Boy, 
he look out, he did, en he know'd de blacksmif de minnit 
he laid eyes on 'im ; but he shake his head en say, sezee : 

" ' You'll hatter skuze me. Brer Blacksmif, kase I dun 
had 'speunce 'longer you. You'll hatter go some'rs else ef 
you wanter raise enny racket,' sezee, en wid dat he shet de 
do'. 

" En dey do say," continued Uncle Eemus, with unc- 
tion, " dat sence dat day de blacksmif bin sorter huv'rin' 



WHY THE NEGRO IS BLACK. 141 

'rouii' 'twix' de heavens en de ye'th, en dark nights he shine 
out so fokes call 'im Jacky-my-lantun. Cat's w'at dey tells 
me. Hit may be wrong er't may be right, but dat's w'at I 
years." 



WRY THE NEORO IS BLACK. 

On'e night, while the little boy was watching Uncle 
Remus twisting and waxing some shoe-thread, he made 
what appeared to him to be a very curious discovery. He 
discovered that the palms of the old man's hands were 
as white as his own, and the fact was such a source of 
wonder that he at last made it the subject of remark. The 
response of Uncle Eemus led to the earnest recital of a 
piece of unwritten history that must prove interesting to 
ethnologists. 

"Tooby sho de pa'm er my ban's w'ite, honey," he 
quietly remarked ; "en, w'en it come ter dat, dey wuz a 
time w'en all de w'ite folks 'uz black — blacker dan me, kaze 
I done bin yer so long dat I bin sorter bleach out. " 

The little boy laughed. He thought Uncle Remus was 
making him the victim of one of his jokes ; but the young- 
ster was never more mistaken. The old man was serious. 
Nevertheless, he failed to rebuke the ill-timed mirth of the 
child, appearing to be altogether engrossed in his work. 
After a while he resumed : 



142 LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLAXTATIOX. 

"Yasser. Fokes dunner w"at bin yit, let 'lone w"at 
gwinter be. Kiggers is niggers now, but de time wuz Av'en 
we 'uz all niggers tergedder." 

' ' When Avas that, Uncle Remus ? " 

" Way back yander. In dem times we 'uz all un us 
black ; we 'uz all niggers tergedder, en 'eordin' ter all de 
'counts w'at I years fokes 'uz gittin 'long 'bout ez well in 
dem days ez dey is now. But atter 'w'ile de news come 
dat dere wuz a pon' er water some'rs in de naberhood, w'ich 
ef dey'd git inter dey'd be wash off nice en w'ite, en den 
one un um, he fine de place en make er splunge inter de 
pon', en come out w'ite ez a town gal. En den, bless grashus ! 
w'en de fokes seed it, dey make a break fer de pon', en 
dem w'at wuz de soopless, dey got in fus' en dey come out 
w'ite ; en dem w'at wuz de nex' soopless, dey got in nex', en 
dey come out merlatters ; en dey wuz sech a crowd un um 
dat dey mighty nigh use de water up, w'ich w'en dem 
yuthers come 'long, de morest dey could do wuz ter paddle 
about wid der foots en dabble in it wid der ban's. Dem wuz 
de niggers, en down ter dis day dey ain't no w'ite 'bout a 
nigger 'ceppin de pa'ms er der han's en de soles er der foot." 

The little boy seemed to be very much interested in this 
new account of the origin of races, and he made some 
further inquiries, which elicited from Uncle Remus the 
following additional particulars : 

" De Injun en de Chinee got ter be 'counted 'long er de 
merlatter. I ain't seed no Chinee dat I knows un, but dey 
tells me dey er sorter 'twix' a brown en a brindle. Dey er 
all merlatters." 



THE SAD FATE OF MR. FOX. 14,3 

" But mamma says the Chinese have straight hair," the 
little boy suggested. 

"Co'se, honey," the old man unhesitatingly responded, 
" dem w'at git ter de pon' time miff fer ter git der head in 
de water, de water hit onkink der ha'r. Hit bleedzd ter be 
dat away." 



THE SAD FATE OF MR. FOX. 

"Now, den," said Uncle Eemus, with unusual gravity, 
as soon as the little boy, by taking his seat, announced that 
he was ready for the evening's entertainment to begin ; 
" now, den, dish yer tale w'at I'm agwine ter gin you is de 
las' row er stumps, sho. Dish yer's whar olo Brer Fox los' 
his breff, en he ain't fine it no mo' down ter dis day." 

''Did he kill himself, Uncle Eemus?" the little boy 
asked, with a curious air of concern. 

"Hole on dai', honey ! " the old man exclaimed, with a 
great affectation of alarm ; " hole on dar ! Wait ! Gimme 
room ! I don't wanter tell you no story, en ef you keep 
shovin' me forrerd, I mout git some er de facks mix up 
'mong deyse'f. You gotter gimme room en you gotter gim- 
me time." 

The little boy had no other premature questions to ask, 
and, after a pause. Uncle Eemus resumed : 

" Well, den, one day Brer Eabbit go ter Brer Fox house, 



144: LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANT ATIOX. 

lie did, eu he put up mighty po' mouf. He say his olo 
'oman sick, en his chilhins cole, en de fier done gone out. 
Brer Fox, he feel bad 'bout dis, en he tuck'n s'ply Brer 
Rabbit widder chunk er fier. Brer Babbit see Brer Fox 
cookin' some nice beef, en his mouf gun ter water, but he 
take de fier, he did, en he put out to'rds home ; but pres- 
ent'y yer he come back, en he say de fier done gone out. 
Brer Fox 'low dat he want er invite ter dinner, but he don't 
say nuthin', en bimeby Brer Rabbit he up'n say, sezee : 

" ' Brer Fox, whar you git so much nice beef ?' sezee, 
en den Brer Fox he up'n 'spon', sezee : 

'• ' You come ter my house ter-morrer ef yo' fokes ain't 
too sick, en I kin show you whar you kin git plenty beef 
mo' nicer dan dish yer,' sezee : 

" Well, sho nuff, de, nex' day fotch Brer Rabbit, en Brer 
Fox say, sezee : 

"'D:r's a man down yander by Miss Meadows's w'at 
got heap er fine cattle, en he gotter cow name Bookay,' sezee, 
' en you des go en say Bookay, en she'll open her mouf, en 
you kin jump in en git des as much meat ez you kin tote,' 
sez Brer Fox, sezee. 

'"Well, I'll go 'long,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, 'en you 
kin jump fus' en den I'll come follerin' atter,' sezee. 

" Wid dat dey put out, en dey went promcrnadin' 'rouu' 
'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 w'en dey got dar. Brer Fox, he say, 
sezee : 



THE SAD FATE OF MR. FOX. I45 

" ' You kin cut mos' ennywlieres, Brer Eabbit, but don't 
cut 'roun' do liaslett/ sezee. 

"Den Brer Eabbit, be boiler back, be did : 'I'm a git- 
ten me out a roas'u-piece ; ' sezee. 

'"Eoas'n, er bakin', er fryin',' sez Brer Fox, sezee, 
'don't git too nigh de baslett,' sezee. 

"Dey cut en dey kyarved, en dey kyarved en dey cut, 
en w'iles dey wuz cuttin' en. kyarvin', en slasbin' 'way, Brer 
Eabbit, lie tuck'n backed inter de baslett, en wid dat down 
fell de cow dead. 

" 'Now, den,' sez Brer Fox, 'we er gone, sho,' sezee. 

" ' Wat we gwine do ?' sez Brer Eabbit, sezee. 

" ' I'll git in de maul,' sez Brer Fox, 'en you'll jump in 
de gall,' sezee. 

" Nex' mawnin' yer cum de man w"at de cow b'long ter, 
an be ax who kill Bookay. Nobody don't say nuthin'. Den 
de man say be'll cut 'er open en see, en den he whirl in, en 
twan't no time 'fo' he had 'er intruls spread out. Brer 
Eabbit, he crope out'n de gall, en say, sezee : 

" ' Mister Man ! Oh, Mister Man ! I'll tell you who 
kill yo' cow. You look in de maul, en dar you'll 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 
Eabbit see Brer Fox wuz laid out fer good, he make like ho 
mighty sorry, en he up'n ax de man fer Brer Fox head. 
Man say he ain't keerin', en den Brer Eabbit tuck'n brung 
it ter Brer Fox house. Dar he see ole Miss Fox, en he 
tell 'er dat he done fotch her some nice beef w'at 'er ole 
7 



140 LEGENDS OF THE OLD TLAXTATION. 

man sont 'er, but she ain't 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 w'iles his mammy cook de nice beef 
w'at his daddy sont 'im. Tobe he wuz mighty hongry, en 
he look in de pot he did w'iles 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 w'en 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, w'ile she goes en git de ax, 
en w'en she gone. Brer Rabbit, he tole Tobe ef he go ter 
de branch en git 'im a drink er water dat he'll 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 iip wid 
Brer Rabbit, en sot down fer to tell 'im how 'twuz, en w'iles 
dey wuz a settin' dar, yer come ole Miss Fox a slij)piu' up en 
grab um bofe. Den she tell um w'at she gwine do. Brer 
Rabbit she gwineter kill, en Tobe she gwineter lam ef its 
dc las' ack. Den Brer Rabbit sez, sezee : 

'" Ef you please, ma'am. Miss Fox, lay me on de grind- 
stone en gi'oun' off my nose so I can't smell no mo' w'en I'm 
dead.' 



THE SAD FATE OF MR. FOX. 147 

" Miss Fox, she tuck dis ter be a good idee, en she fotch 
bofe un um ter de grindestone, 'en set nm up on it so dat 
she could groun' off Brer Eabbit nose. Den Brer Rabbit, 
he up'n say, sezee : 

" ' Ef you please, ma'am. Miss Fox, Tobe he kin turn de' 
handle w'iles you goes attcr some water fer ter wet de grine- 
stone,' sezee. 

" Co'se, soon'z 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 Re- 
mus ? " the little boy asked, with something like a sigh. 

"Don't push me too close, honey," responded the old 
man ; "don't shove me up in no corndcr. I don't wanter 
tell you no stories. Some say dat Brer Rabbit's ole 'oman 
died fum eatin' some pizen-weed, en dat Brer Rabbit mar- 
ried ole Miss Fox, on some say not. Some tells one tale en 
some tells nudder ; some say dat fum dat time forrerd do 
Rabbits en de Foxes make frien's en stay so ; some say dey kep 
on quollin'. Hit look like it mixt. Let dem tell you w'at 
knows. Dat w'at I years you gits it straight like I yeard it." 

There was a long pause, which was finally broken by the 
old man : 

"Hit's 'gin de rules fer you ter be noddin' yer, honey. 
Bimeby you'll drap off en I'll hatter tote you up ter de big 
'ouse. I hear dat baby cryin', en bimeby Miss Sally'll fly 
up en be a holler'n atter you." 

"Oh, I wasn't asleep," the little boy replied. "I was 
just thinking." 



148 



LEGENDS OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 



"Well, dat's diffunt," said the old man. "Ef you'll 
clime up on my back," he continued, speaking softly, " I 
speck I ain't too ole fer ter be yo' boss fum yer ter de house. 
Many en many's de time dat I toted yo' Unk Jeems dat 
away, en Mars Jeems wuz heavier sot dan w'at you is." 




PLAFTATIOX PROVERBS. 



Big 'possum clime little tree. 

Dem w'at eats kin say grace. 

Ole man Know- All died las' year. 

Better de gravy dan no grease 'tall. 

Dram ain't good twel you git it. 

Lazy fokes' stummucks don't git tired. 

Eheumatiz don't he'p at de log-rollin'. 

Mole don't see w'at his naber doin'. 

Save de pacin' mar' fer Sunday. 

Don't rain eve'y time de pig squeal. 

Crow en corn can't grow in de same fiel'. 

Tattlin' 'oman can't make de bread rise. 

Eails split 'fo' bre'kfus' '11 season de dinner. 

Dem w'at knows too much sleeps under de ash-hopper. 

Ef you wanter see yo' own sins, clean up a new groun'. 

Hog dunner w'icli part un 'im'll season de turnip salad. 

Hit's a blessin' de w'ito sow don't shake de plum-tree. 

Winter grape sour, whedder you kin reach 'im or not. 

Mighty po' bee dat don't make mo' honey dan he want. 

Kwishins on mule's foots done ffone out er fashun. 



150 PLANTATION PROVERBS. 

Pigs dunno w'at a pen's fer. 

Possum's tail good as a paw. 

Dogs don't bite at de front gate. 

Colt in de barley-patch kick high. 

Jay-bird don't rob his own nes'. 

Pnllet can't roost too high for de owl. 

Meat fried 'fo' day wont las' twel night. 

Stump water won't kyo de gripes. 

De howlin' dog know w'at he sees. 

Bline hoss don't fall w'en he f oilers de bit 

Ilongry nigger won't w'ar his maul out. 

Don't fling away de empty wallet. 

Black-snake know de way ter de hin nes'. 

Looks Avon't do ter split rails wid. 

Settin' hens don't hanker arter fresh aigs. 

Tater-vinc growin' w'ile you sleej:). 

Hit take two birds fer to make a nes'. 

Ef you bleedzd ter eat dirt, eat clean dirt. 

Tarrj^iin walk fast 'nufE fer to go visitin'. 

Empty smoke-house makes de pullet holler. 

W'en coon take water he fixin' fer ter fight. 

Corn makes mo' at de mill dan it does in de crib. 

Good luck say : " Op'n yo' mouf en shet yo' eyes." 

Nigger dat gets hurt wukkin oughter show de skyars. 

Fiddlin' nigger say hit's long ways ter de dance. 

Eooster makes mo' racket dan de hin w'at lay de aig. 

Meller mush-million hollers at you fum over de fence. 

Nigger wid a pocket-han'kcher better be looked atter. 

Rain-crow don't sing no cliune, but youk'n 'pen' on 'im. 



PLANTATION PROVERBS. 151 

One-eyed mule can't be lianclled on de bline side. 

Moon may shine, but a lightered knot's mighty handy. 

Licker talks mighty loud w'en it git loose fum de jug. 

De proudness un a man don't count w'en his head's cold. 

Hongry rooster don't cackle w'en he fine a wum. 

Some niggers mighty smart, but dey can't drive de 
pidgins ter roos'. 

You may know de way, but better keep yo' eyes on de 
seven stairs. 

All de buzzards in de settlement '11 come to do gray 
mule's funer'l. 

Youk'n hide de fier, but w'at you gwine do wid de 
smoke ? 

Tcr-morrow may be de carridge-drivcr's day for plough- 
in'. 

Hit's a mighty deaf nigger dat don't year de dinner- 
ho'n. 

Hit takes a bee fer ter git de SAVcetness out'n de hoar- 
houn' blossom. 

Ila'nts don't bodder longer hones' folks, but you better 
go 'roun' de grave-yard. 

De pig dat runs off wid de year er corn gits little mo' 
dan de cob. 

Sleepin' in de fence-cornder don't fetch Chrismus in de 
kitchen. 

De spring-house may freeze, but de niggers '11 keep de 
shuck-pen warm. 

'Twix' de bug en de bee-martin 'tain't hard ter tell w'ich 
gwineter git kotch. 



152 PLANTATION PROVERBS. 

Don't 'spute wid de squincli-owl. Jam de shovel in de 
fier. 

You'd see mo' er de mink ef lie know'd wliar de yard 
dog sleeps. 

Troubles is seasonin.' 'Simmons ain't good twel dey 'er 
fros'-bit. 

Watch out w'en you'er gittin all you want. Fattenin' 
hogs ain't in luck. 



HIS SONGS. 



REVIVAL UYMK 

Oh, wliar sliill we go w'eu de great day comes, 

Wid de blowin' er de trnmpits en de bangin' er de druiiis ? 

How many po' sinners'll be kotclied out late 

En fine no latcli ter de golden gate ? 

Xo use fer ter wait twel ter-morrer ! 

De sun musn't set on yo' sorrer. 

Sin's ez sharp ez a bamboo-brier — 

Oh, Lord ! fetch de mo'ners up higher ! 

Wen de nashuns er de earf is a stan'in all aroun', 
Who's a gwineter be choosen fer ter w'ar de glory-crown ? 
Who's a gwine fer ter stan' stiff-kneed en bol', 
En answer to der name at de callin' er de roll ? 

You better come now ef you comin' — 

Ole Satun is loose en a bummin' — 

De wheels er distruckshun is a hummin' — 

Oh, come 'long, sinner, of you comin ' ! 

De song er salvashun is a mighty sweet song, 
En de Pairidise win' blow fur en blow strong, 



156 UIS SONGS. 

Ea Aberham's bosom, hit's saft en hit's wide, 

En right dar's de place Avhar de sinners oughtcr hide ! 

Oh, you nee'nter be a stoppin' en a loolvin' ; 

Ef you fool wid ole Satun you'll git took in ; 

You'll hang on de aidge en get shook in, 

Ef you keep on a stoppin' en a lookin'. 

De time is riglit now, en dish yer's de place — 
Let de sun er salvashun shine squar' in yo' face ; 
Fight de battles er de Lord, fight soon en fight late. 
En you'll allers fine a latch ter de golden gate. 

No use fer ter wait twel ter-morrer, 

De sun musn't set on yo' sorrer — 

Sin's ez sharp ez a bamboo-brier, 

Ax de Lord fer ter fetch you up higher ! 



II. 

CAMP-MEETIXG SONG* 

On, de worril is roun' en do worril is wide — 

Lord ! 'member deze chillun in de mornin' — 
Hit's a mighty long ways up de mountain side. 
En dey ain't no place fer dem sinners fer ter hide, 

* In the days of slaverj-, the religious services held by the negroes who 
accompanied their owners to the camp-ineetings were marvels of earnest- 
ness and devotion. 



CAMP-MEETING SONG. I57 

En dey ain't no place wliar sin kin abide, 
Wen de Lord shill come in de mornin' ! 
Look up en look aroun', 
Fling yo' burden on de groun'. 
Hit's a gittin' mighty close on ter mornin' ! 
Smoove away sin's frown — 
Retch up en git de crown, 
Wat de Lord will fetch in de mornin' ! 

De han' er ridem'shun, hit's hilt out ter you — 
Lord ! 'member dem sinners in de mornin' ! 
Hit's a mighty pashent han', but de days is but few. 
Wen Satun, he'll come a demandin' un his due. 
En de stiff-neck sinners '11 be smotin' all fru — 
Oh, you better git ready fer de mornin' ! 
Look up en set yo' face 
Todes de green hills er grace 
To' de sun rises up in de mornin' — 
Oh, you better change yo' base. 
Hit's yo' soul's las' race 
Fer de glory dat's a comin' in de mornin' ! 

De farmer gits ready w'en de lan's all plowed 

Fer ter sow dem seeds in de mornin' — 
De sperrit may be puny en de flesh may be proud. 
But you better cut loose fum de scoffin' crowd, 
En jine dese Christuns w'at's a cryin' out loud 
Fer de Lord fer ter come in de mornin' ! 
Shout loud en shout long, 
Let de ekkocs ans'er strong. 



158 UIS SONGS. 

Wen de suii rises up in de morniii' ! 

Oh, you allers will be wrong 

Twel you choose ter belong 
Ter de Marster w'ut's a comin' in de mornin' ! 



III. 

COEX-SHUCKmO SONO. 

On, de fus news you know de day'll be a break in' — 

(Hey ! Hi ! Up'n down de Bango ! *) 
An' de fier be a burnin' en' de ash-cake a bakin', 

(Hey ! Hi ! Up'n down de Bango !) 
An' de hen'll be a hollerin' en de boss'll be a Avakin' — 

(Hey ! Hi ! Up'n down de Bango !) 
Better git up, nigger, en give yo'se'f a shakin' — 

(Hi 0, Miss Sindy Ann !) 

Oh, honey ! w'en you see dem ripe stars a fallin' — 

(Hey ! Hi ! Up'n down de Bango !) 
Oh, honey ! w'en you year de rain-crow a callin' — 

(Hey 1 Hi ! Up'n down de Bango !) 
Oh, honey ! w'en you year dat red calf a bawlin' — 

(Hey ! Hi ! Up'n down de Bango !) 
Den de day time's comin', a creepin' en a crawlin' — 

(Hi 0, Miss Sindy Ann !) 

* So far as I know, " Bango " is a meaningless term, introduced on 
aecouut of its sonorous ruggcduess. 



CORN-SUUCKING SONG. 159 

For de los' ell eu yard * is a hnntiu' for de moruiu', 

(Hi ! git 'long ! go way !) 
Ell she'll kctcli up widdus 'fo' we ever git dis com iii — 

(Oh, go 'way Sindy Anii !) 

Oh, honey ! w'en you year dat tin-horn a tootiii' — 

(Iley ! Hi ! Up'n down de Bango !) 
Oh, honey, w'en you year de squinch-owl a hootiu' — 

(Hey ! Hi ! Up'n down de Bango !) 
Oh, honey ! w'en you year dem little pigs a rootiu' — 

(Hey ! Hi ! Up'n down de Bango !) 
Right den she's a comin' a skippin' en a scootin' — 

(Hi 0, Miss Sindy Ann !) 

Oh, honey, w'en you year dat roan mule whicker — 

(Hey ! Hi ! Up'n down de Bango !) 
W'en you see Mister Moon turniii' pale en gittin' sicker — 

(Hey ! Hi ! Up'n down de Bango !) 
Den hit's time fer ter handle dat corn a little quicker — 

(Hey ! Hi ! Up'n down de Bango !) ' 
Ef you wanter git a smell er old Marster's jug er licker — 

(Hi 0, Miss Sindy Ann !) 

For de los' ell en yard is a huntin' fer de mornin, 

(Hi ! git 'long ! go 'way !) 
En she'll ketch up widdus 'fo' we ever git dis corn in — 

(Oh, go 'way, Sindy Ann !) 

* The sword aud belt iu the constellation of Orion. 



160 UIS SONGS. 

You niggers 'cross dar ! you better stop your diiuciii'-r- 

(Hey ! Hi ! Up'n down de Bango !) 
No use fer ter come a flingin' un yo' " sha'n'ts " in — 

(Hey ! Hi ! Up'n down de Bango !) 
No use for ter come a flingin' un yo' '' can'ts " in — 

(Hey ! Hi ! Up'n down de Bango !) 
Kaze dey ain't no time fer yo' pattin' ner yo' pranein' ! 

(Hi 0, Miss Sindy Ann !) 



Mr. Eabbit see de Fox, en be sass um en jaws um — 

(Hey ! Hi ! Up'n down de Bango !) 
Mr. Fox ketcb de Eabbit, en be scratch um en lie claws um- 

(Hey ! Hi ! Up'n down de Bango !) 
En be tar off de bide, en be cliaws um en be gnyaws um- 

(Hey ! Hi ! Up'n down de Bango !) 
Same like gal cbawin' sweet gum en rozzum — 

(Hi 0, IMiss Sindy Ann !) 

Fer de los' ell en yard is a buntin' for dc moniin' 

(Hi ! git 'long ! go 'way !) 
En sbe'll ketcb up widdus 'fo' we ever git dis corn in — - 

(Ob, go 'way, Sindy Ann !) 



Oh, work on, boys ! give deze shucks a mighty wringin'- 
(Hey ! Hi ! Up'n down de Bango !) 

'Fo' de boss come aroun' a dangin' en a dingin' — 
(Hey ! Hi ! Up'n down dc Bango !) 



THE PLOUGH-HANDS' SONG. 161 

Git up en move arouii' ! set dem big hurt's ter swingiii' — 
(Hey ! Hi ! Up'n down de Bango !) 

Git up'n shout loud ! let de w'ite folks year you singin' ! 
(Hi 0, Miss Sindy Ann !) 

Fer de los' ell fen yard is a huntin' fer de mornin' 

(Hi ! git 'long ! go 'way !) 
En she'll ketch up widdus 'fo' we ever git dis corn in. 

(Oh, go 'Avay, Sindy Ann !) 



THE PLOUGH-UANDS' SONG. 
(Jasper County— 1860.) 

Nigger mighty happy w'en he layin' by co'n — 

Dat sun's a slantin' ; 
Nigger mighty happy w'en he year de dinner-h'on — 

Dat sun's a slantin' ; 
En he mo' happy still we'n dc night draws on — 

Dat sun's a slantin' ; 
Dat sun's a slantin' des ez sho's you bo'n ! 

En it's rise up, Primus ! fetch anudder yell : 
Dat ole dun cow's des a shakin' up 'er bell. 
En de frogs chunin' up 'fo' de jew done fell : 
Good-night, Mr. Killdee! I wish you mighty well! 
— Mr. Killdee ! I wish you mighty tvell ! 
— / tvish you mighty well ! 



1G2 nis soxGS. 

De co'ii '11 be ready 'g'inst dumpliu day — 

Dat sun's a slantin' ; 
But nigger gotter watch, en stick, en stay — 

Dat sun's a slantin ' ; 
Same ez de bee-martin watcliiu' un do jay — 

Dat sun's a slantin' ; 
Dat sun's a slantin' en a slippin' away ! 

Den it's rise up, Primus ! en gin it t'um strong : 
De cow's gwine home wid der ding-dang-dong — 
Sling in anudder tetch er de ole-time song : 
Good-niyht, 3fr. WhijiperwiU ! don'' i stay long ! 
— J/r. Wiippenoill! donH stay long I 
— DonH stay long ! 



V. 

CHRISTMAS FLA Y-SONG. 

(Myrick Place, Putnam County- 1858.) 

Hi my rinktum ! Black gal sweet, 

Same like goodies w'at de w'ite folks eat ; 

Ho my Riley ! don't you take'n tell 'er name, 

En den ef sumpin' happen you won't ketch de blame 

Hi my rinktum ! better take'n hide yo' plum ; 

Joree don't holler eve'y time he fine a wum. 

Den it's hi my rinktum ! 
Don't git no udder man ; 

En it's ho my Riley ! 

Fetch out Miss Dilscy Ann ! 



CHRISTMAS TLAY-SOXG. 163 

Ho my Eiley ! Yaller gal fine ; 

She may be yone but she oughter be mine ! 

Hi my rinktum ! Lemme git by, 

En see w'at she mean by de cut er dat eye ! 

Ho my Riley ! better shet dat do' — 

De w'ite folks '11 b'leeve we er t'arin up de flo'. 

Den it's ho my Eiley ! 
Come a siftin' up ter me ! 

En it's hi my rinktum ! 
Dis de way ter twis' yo' knee ! 



Hi my rinktum ! Aint de eas' gittin' red ? 

De squinch owl shiver like he wanter go ter bed ; 

Ho my Kiley ! but de gals en de boys, 

Des now gittin' so dey kin sorter make a noise. 

Hi my rinktum ! let de yaller gal 'lone ; 

Niggers don't hanker arter sody in de pone. 

Den it's hi my rinktum ! 
Better try anudder plan ; 

An' it's ho my Eiley ! 

Trot out Miss Dilsey Ann ! 

Ho my Eiley ! In de happy Chrismus' time 
De niggers shake der cloze a huntin' fer a dime. 
Hi my rinktum ! En den dey shake der feet, 
En greaze derse'f wid de good ham meat. 
Ho my Eiley ! dey eat en dey cram, 
En bimeby ole Miss '11 be a sendin' out de dram. 



16-i HIS SONGS. 



Den it's ho my Eiley ! 

You hear dat, Sam ! 
En it's hi my rinktum ! 

Be a sendin' out de dram ! 



VI. 

PL A N'T A TIOX PL A Y-SOXG. 

(Putnam Couxtt— 1856.) 

Hit's a gittin' mighty late, w'en de Guinny-hins squall. 
En you better dance now, of you gwineter dance a tall, 
Fer by dis time ter-morrer night you can't hardly crawl, 
Kaze you'll hatter take de hoe ag'in en likewise de maul — 
Don't you hear dat bay colt a kickin' in his stall ? 
Stop yo' humpin' up yo' sho'lders — 

Dat'll never do ! 
Hop light ladies, 

Oh, Miss Loo ! 
Hit takes a heap er scrougin' 

Fer ter git you thoo — 
Hop light, ladies, 
Oh, Miss Loo ! 

Ef you niggers don't watch, you'll sing anudder chune, 
Fer de sun'll rise'n ketch you ef you don't be mighty soon 
En de stars is gittin' paler, en de ole gray coon 
Is a settin' in do grape-vine a watchin' fer de moon. 



PLANTATION PLAY-SONG. 1G5 

Wen a feller comes a knockin' 

Des holler — Oh, shoo ! 
Hop light, ladies, 

Oh, Miss Loo ! 
Oh, swing dat yaller gal ! 

Do, boys, do ! 
Hop light, ladies. 

Oh, Miss Loo ! 

Oh, tu'n me loose ! Lemme 'lone ! Go way, now ! 
Wat you speck I come a dancin' fer ef I dunno how ? 
Deze de ve'y kinder footses w'at kicks up a row ; 
Can't you jump inter de middle en make yo' gal a bow ? 
Look at dat merlatter man 

A follerin' up Sue ; 
Hop light, ladies, 

Oh, Miss Loo ! 
De boys ain't a gwine 

Wen you cry hoo hoc — 
Hop light, ladies, 
Oh, Miss Loo ! 



IGG niS SONGS. 



TRANSCRIPTIONS* 
1. A Plantation Chant. 



Hit's eigliteeii liunder'd forty-en-fo', 
Christ done open dat Ile'v'mly do' — 

An' I don't wanter stay yer no longer ; 
Hit's eighteen hunder'd forty-en-five, 
Christ done made dat dead man alive — 
An' I don't wanter stay yer no longer. 
You ax me ter run home, 

Little childun — 
Kun home, dat sun done roll — 

An' I don't wanter stay yer no longer. 

Hit's eighteen hunder'd forty-en-six, 
Christ is got us a place done fix — 

An' I don't wanter stay yer no longer ; 
Hit's eighteen hunder'd forty-en-sev'm 
Christ done sot a table in Hev'm — 

An' I don't wanter stay yer no longer. 
You ax me ter run home, 

Little childun — 
Run home, dat sun done roll — 
An' I don't wanter stay yer no longer. 

* If these are adaptations from songs the ne;:;roes have cauf^ht from the 
white?, their origin is very remote. I have transcribed them literally, and 
I regard them as in the hijrhest defri'ce characteristic. 



TRANSCRIPTIONS. 167 

Hit's eighteen hunder'd forty-en-cight, 
Christ done make dat crooked way straight — 

An' I don't wanter stay yer no longer ; 
Hit's eighteen hunder'd forty-en-nine, 
Christ done tn'n dat water inter wine — 
An' I don't wanter stay yer no longer. 
Yon ax me ter run home, 

Little childun — 
Run home, dat sun done roll — 
An' I don't wanter stay yer no longer. 

Hit's eighteen hunder'd forty-en-ten, 
Christ is de mo'ner's onliest fren' — 

An' I don't Avanter stay yer no longer ; 
Hit's eighteen hunder'd forty-en-'lev'm, 
Christ'll be at do do' w'cn we all git ter Ilev'm — 
An' I don't wanter stay yer no longer. 
You ax me ter run home. 

Little childun — 
Run home, dat sun done roll — 

An' I don't Avanter stay yer no longer. 



2. A Plantation Serenade. 

De ole bee make de honey-comb, 
De young bee make de honey, 

De niggers make de cotton en co'n, 
En de w'ite folks gits de money. 



168 HIS SONGS. 

De raccoon he's a eu'us man, 

He never walk twel dark, 
En nuthin' never 'sturbs his mine, 

Twel he hear ole Bringer hark. 

De raccoon totes a bushy tail, 

De 'possum totes no ha'r, 
Mr. Rabbit, he come skippin' by, 

lie ain't got none ter spar'. 

Monday moruin' break er day, 

AV'ite folks got me gwiue. 
But Sat'dy night, w'en de sun goes down, 

Dat yaller gal's in my mine. 

Fifteen poun' er meat a Aveek, 

W'isky fer ter sell. 
Oh, how can a young man stay at home, 

Deni gals dey look so well ? 

Met a 'possum in de road — 

Brer ^Possum, whar you givine? 

I thank my stars, I Mess my life, 
Pm a Imntin^ fer de muscadine. 



THE BIG BETHEL CIIUKCH. 160 

VIII. 
THE BIG BETHEL CHURCH. 

De big Bethel clm'cli ! de Big Bethel chn'cli ! 

Done put ole Satun behine um ; 
Ef a sinner git loose fnm enny udder chu'ch, 

De Big Bethel chu'ch will fine um ! 

Hit's good ter be dere, en it's sweet ter be dere, 

Wid de sisterin' all aroun' you — 
A shakin' deni shackles er mussy en' love 

Wharwid de Lord is boun' you. 

Hit's sweet ter be dere en lissen ter de hymes. 

En hear dem mo'ners a shoutin' — 
Dey done reach de place whar der ain't no room 

Fer enny mo' weei:)in' en doubtin'. 

Hit's good ter be dere w'en de sinners all jine 

Wid de brudderin in dere singin', 
En it look like Gaberl gwine ter rack up en blow 

En set dem heav'm bells ter ringin' ! 

Oh, de Big Bethel chu'ch ! de Big Bethel chu'ch, 

Done put ole Satun behine um ; 
Ef a sinner git loose fum enny udder chu'ch 

De Big Bethel chu'ch will fine um ! 



170 HIS SONGS. 



TIME GOES BY TEEN'S. 

Bar's a pow'ful rassle 'twix de Good en de Bad, 
En de Bad's got de ail-under holt ; 

En w'en de wuss come, she come i'on-clad. 
En yon hatter hole 3-o' bref fer de jolt. 

But des todes de las' Good gits de knee-lock, 
En dey draps ter de groun' — kerfloj)! 

Good had de inturn, en he stan' like a rock. 
En he blcedzd fer ter be on top. 

De dry wedder breaks wid a big thunder-clap, 
Fer dey aint no drout' w'at kin las'. 

But de seasons wa't whoops up de cotton crap. 
Likewise dey freshens up de grass. 

De rain fall so saf ' in de long dark night, 
Twel you hatter hole yo' han' fer a sign. 

But de drizzle wa't sets de tater-slips right 
Is de makin' er de May-pop vine. 

In de mellerest groun' de clay root'll ketch 

En hole ter de tongue er de plow, 
En a pine-pole gate at de gyardin-patch 

Never'll kec]) out de olc brindle cow. 



TIME GOES BY TURNS. 171 

One en alL on us knows who's a pullin' at de bits 
Like de lead-mule dat g'ides by de rein, 

En yit, somehow er nudder, de bestest un us gits 
Mighty sick er de tuggin' at de chain. 

Hump yo'se'f ter de load en fergit de distress. 

En dem w'at stan's by ter scoff, 
Fer de harder de pullin', de longer de res'. 

En de bigger de feed in de troff. 



A STORY OF THE WAR. 



A STORY OF THE WAR. 



When Miss Theodosia Huntingdon, of Burlington, Ver- 
mont, concluded to come South in 1870, she was moved by 
three considerations. In the first place, her brother, John 
Huntingdon, had become a citizen of Georgia — having as- 
tonished his acquaintances by marrying a young lady, the 
male members of whose family had achieved considerable 
distinction in the Confederate army ; in the second place, 
she was anxious to explore a region which she almost un- 
consciously pictured to herself as remote and semi-barbar- 
ous ; and, in the third place, her friends had persuaded her 
that to some extent she was an invalid. It was in vain 
that she argued with herself as to the propriety of under- 
taking the journey alone and unprotected, and she finally 
put an end to inward and outward doubts by informing 
herself and her friends, including John Huntingdon, her 
brother, who was practicing law in Atlanta, that she had 
decided to visit the South. 

When, therefore, on the 13th of October, 1870— the 
date is duly recorded in one of Miss Theodosia's letters— she 
alighted from the cars in Atlanta, in the midst of a great 
crowd, she fully expected to find her brother waiting to 



176 A STORY OF THE WAR. 



a number of trains were moving in and out, and the porters 
and baggage-men were screaming and bawling to such an 
extent that for several moments Miss Huntingdon was con- 
siderably confused ; so much so that she paused in the hope 
that her brother would suddenly appear and rescue her from 
the smoke, and dust, and din. At that moment some one 
touched her on the arm, and she heard a strong, half-con- 
fident, half-apologetic voice exclaim : 

'^ Ain't dish yer Miss Doshy ?" 

Turning, Miss Theodosia saw at her side a tall, gray- 
haired negro. Elaborating the incident afterward to her 
friends, she was pleased to say that the appearance of the 
old man was somewhat picturesque. He stood towering 
above her, his hat in one hand, a carriage-whip in the 
other, and an expectant smile lighting up his rugged face. 
She remembered a name her brother had often used in his 
letters, and, with a woman's tact, she held out her hund, 
and said : 

"Is this Uncle Eemus?" 

*' Law, Miss Doshy ! how you know de ole nigger ? I 
know'd you by de faver ; but how you know me ? '' And 
then, without waiting for a reply : " Miss Sally, she sick in 
bed, en Mars John, he bleedzd ter go in de country, en dey 
tuck'n sont me. I know'd you de minnit I laid eyes on 
you. Time I seed you, I say ter myse'f, 'I lay dar's Miss 
Doshy,' en, sho nufl, dar you wuz. You ain't gun up yo' 
checks, is you ? Kazo I'll git de trunk sont up by de 'spress 
waffdn." 



A STORY OF THE WAR. 177 

The next moment Uncle Remus was elbowing liis way 
unceremoniously through the crowd, and in a very short 
time, seated in the carriage driven by the old man. Miss 
Huntington was whirling through the streets of Atlanta in 
the direction of her brother's home. She took advantage 
of the opportunity to study the old negro's face closely, her 
natural curiosity considerably sharpened by a knowledge of 
the fact that Uncle Remus had played an important part 
in her brother's history. The result of her observation 
must have been satisfactory, for presently she laughed, and 
said : 

"Uncle Remus, you haven't told me how you knew me 
in that great crowd." 

The old man chuckled, and gave the horses a gentle 
rap with the whip. 

" Who ? Me ! I know'd you by de faver. Dat boy er 
Mars John's is de ve'y spit en immij un you. I'd a know'd 
you in New 'Leens, let 'lone down dar in de kyar-shed." 

This was Miss Theodosia's introduction to Uncle Re- 
mus. One Sunday afternoon, a few weeks after her arri- 
val, the family were assembled in the piazza enjoying the 
mild weather. Mr. Huntingdon was reading a newspaper ; 
his wife was crooning softly as she rocked the baby to sleep ; 
and the little boy was endeavoring to show his Aunt Dosia 
the outlines of Kennesaw Mountain through the purple 
haze that hung like a wonderfully fashioned curtain in the 
sky and almost obliterated the horizon. While they were 
thus engaged. Uncle Remus came around the corner of the 
house, talking to himself. 



1Y8 A STORY OF THE WAR. 

"Dey cr too lazy tor wak," ho wa? saying, "en dey 
specks hones' fokes fer ter stan' up en s'port um. I'm 
gwine down ter Piitmon County whar Mars Jeems is — dat's 
w'at I'm agwine ter do." 

" What's the matter now, Uncle Remus ? " inquired Mr. 
Huntingdon, folding up his newspaper. 

" Nuthin' 'tall, Mars John, 'ceppin deze yer sunshine 
niggers. Dey begs my terbacker, en borrys my tools, en 
steals my vittles, en hit's done come ter dat pass dat I 
gotter pack up en go. I'm agwine down ter Putmon, 
dat's w'at." 

Uncle Remus was accustomed to make this threat several 
times a day, but upon tliis occasion it seemed to remind 
Mr. Huntingdon of something. 

"Very well," he said, "I'll come around and help you 
pack up, but before you go I want you to tell Sister here 
how you went to war and fought for the Union. — Remus 
was a famous warrior," he continued, turning to Miss 
Theodosia ; "he volunteered for one day, and commanded 
an army of one. You know the story, but you have never 
heard Remus's version." 

Uncle Remus shuffled around in an awkward, embar- 
rassed way, scratched his head, and looked uncomfortable. 

" Miss Doshy ain't got no time fer ter set dar an year 
de ole nigger run on." 

"' Oh, yes, I have, Uncle Remus ! " exclaimed the young 
lady; "plenty of time." 

The upshot of it was that, after many ridiculous protests, 
Uncle Remus sat down on the steps, and proceeded to tell 



A STORY OF THE WAR. 179 

his story of the war. Miss Theoclosia listened with great 
interest, but throughout it all she observed — and she was 
painfully conscious of the fact, as she afterward admitted — 
that Uncle Eemus spoke from the standpoint of a South- 
erner, and with the air of one who expected his hearers to 
thoroughly sympathize with him. 

" Co'se," said Uncle Remus, addressing himself to Miss 
Theodosia, " you ain't bin to Putmon, en you dunner whar 
de Brad Slaughter place en Harmony Grove is, but Mars 
John en Miss Sally, dcy bin dar a time er two, en dey knows 
how de Ian' lays. Well, den, it 'uz right 'long in dere whar 
Mars Jeems lived, en whar he live now. When de war 
come 'long he wuz livin' dere longer Ole Miss en Miss Sally. 
Ole Miss 'uz his ma, en Miss Sally dar 'uz his sister. De war 
come des like I tell you, en marters sorter rock along same 
like dey allers did. Hit didn't strike me dat dey wuz enny 
war gwine on, en ef I hadn't sorter miss de nabers, en seed 
fokes gwine outer de way fer ter ax de news, I'd a 'lowed 
ter myse'f dat de war wuz 'way off 'mong some yuther coun- 
try. But all dis time de fuss wuz gwine on, en Mars 
Jeems, he wuz des eatchin' fer ter put in. Ole Miss en Miss 
Sally, dey tuck on so he didn't git off de fus' year, but 
bimeby news come down dat times wuz gittin putty hot, en 
Mars Jeems he got up, he did, en say he gotter go, en go he 
did. He got a overseer fer ter look atter de place, en he 
went en jined de army. En he 'uz a fighter, too, mon, 
Mars Jeems wuz. Many's en many's de time," continued 
the old man, reflectively, "dat I hatter take'n bresh dat 
boy on accounter his 'buzin' en beatin' dem yuther boys. 



180 A STORY OF THE WAR. 

He went off dar fer ter fight, en lie fit. Ole Miss useter 
call me up Sunday en read w'at de papers say 'bout Mars 
Jeems, en it hope 'er up might'ly. I kin see 'er des like it 
'uz yistiddy. 

" 'Eemus,' sez she, 'dish yer's w'at de papers say 'bout 
my baby,' en den she'd read out twel she couldn't read fer 
cryin'. Hit went on dis way year in en year out, en dem 
wuz lonesome times, sho's you bawn. Miss Doshy — lonesome 
times, sho. Hit got hotter en hotter in de war, en lone- 
somer en mo' lonesomer at home, en bimeby 'long come de 
conscrip' man, en he des CA'erlas'nly scoop up Mars Jeems's 
overseer. Wen dis come 'bout, ole Miss, she sont atter me 
en say, sez she : 

" 'Eemus, I ain't got nobody fer ter look arter de jilace 
but you,' sez she, en den I up'n say, sez I : 

'' 'Mistiss, you kin des 'pcii' on de ole nigger.' 

" I wuz ole den. Miss Doshy — Jet 'lone w'at I is now ; 
en you better b'leeve I bossed dem ban's. I had dem 
niggers up en in de fiel' long 'fo' day, en de way dey did 
wuk wuz a caution. Ef dey didn't earnt der vittles dat 
season den I ain't name Eemus. But dey wuz tuk keer 
un. Dey had plenty er cloze en plenty er grub, en dey 
wuz de fattes' niggers in de settlement. 

" Bimeby one day, Ole Miss, she call me up en say de 
Yankees done gone en tuck Atlanty — dish yer A'e'y town ; 
den present'y I hear dey wuz a marchin' on down todes 
Putmon, en, lo en beholes ! one day, de f us news I know'd, 
Mars Jeems he rid up wid a whole gang er men. He des 
stop long nufE fer ter change bosses en snatch a mouffle er 



A STORY OF THE WAR. 181 

sump'n' ter eat, but 'fo' he rid off, he call me up en say, 
sez he : 

"'Daddy' — all Ole Miss's chilluns call me daddy — 
'Daddy,' he say, "pears like dere's gwineter be mighty 
rough times 'rouii' yer. De Yankees, dey er done got ter 
Madison en Mounticellar, en 'twon't be many days 'fo' dey 
er down yer. 'Tain't likely dey'll pester mother ner sister ; 
but, daddy, ef de wus come ter de wus, I speck you ter 
take keer un um,' sezee. 

" Den I say, sez I : ' IIow long you bin knowin' me. 
Mars Jeems ? ' sez I. 

" ' Sence I wuz a baby,' sezee. 

"'Well, den. Mars Jeem?,' sez I, 'you know'd t'wa'nt 
no use fer ter ax me ter take keer Ole Miss en Miss Sally.' 

" Den he tuck'n squoze my han' en Jump on de filly I 
bin savin' fer 'im, en rid off. One time he tu'n 'roun' en 
look like he wanter say sump'n', but he des waf his han' — 
so — en gallop on. I know'd den dat trouble wuz brewin'. 
Nigger dat knows he's gAvineter git thumped kin sorter fix 
hisse'f, en I tuck'n fix up like de war wuz gwineter come 
right in at de front gate. I tuck'n got all de cattle en 
bosses tergedder en driv' um to de fo'-mile place, en I 
tuck all de corn en fodder en w'eat, en put um in a crib 
out dar in de woods ; en I bilt me a pen in de swamp, en 
dar I put de hogs. Den, w'en I fix all dis, I put on my 
Sunday cloze en groun' my axe. Two whole days I groun' 
dat axe. De grinestone wuz in sight er de gate en close ter 
de big 'ouse, en dar I tuck my stan'. 

" Bimeby one day, yer come de Yankees. Two un um 



1S2 A STORY OF THE WAR. 

come fus, en den de whole face er de yeath swawm'd wid 
um. De fus glimpse I kotcli un um, I tuck my axe en 
march inter Ole Miss settin'-room. She done had de side- 
bode move in dar, en I wish I may drap ef twuzn't fa'rly 
blazin' wid silver — silver cups en silver sassers, silver plates 
en silver dishes, silver mugs en silver pitchers. Look like 
ter me dey wuz fixin' fer a weddin'. Dar sot Ole Miss 
des ez prim en ez proud ez ef she own de whole county. 
Dis kinder hope me up, kaze I done seed Ole Miss look dat 
away once befo' w'en de overseer struck me in de face wid 
a Av'ip. I sot down by de tier wid my axe 'tween my knees. 
Dar we sot w'iles de Yankees ransack de jilace. Miss Sally, 
dar, she got sorter restless, but Ole Miss didn't skasely bat 
'er eyes. Bimeby, we hear steps on de peazzer, en yer 
come a couple er young fellers wid strops on der shoulders, 
en der sodes a draggin' on de flo'. en der spurrers a rattlin'. 
I won't say I wuz skeer'd," said Uncle Eemus, as though 
endeavoring to recall something he failed to remember, ''I 
wont say I wuz skeer'd, kaze I wuzent ; but I wuz took'n 
wid a mighty funny feelin' in de naberhood er de gizzard. 
Dey wuz mighty perlite, dem young chaps wuz ; but Ole 
Miss, she never tu'n 'er head, en Miss Sally, she look 
straight at de tier. Bimeby one un um see me, en he say, 
sezee : 

" ' Hello, ole man, w'at you doin' in yer ?' sezee. 

" ' Well, boss,' sez I, * I bin cuttin' some wood fer Ole 
Miss, en I des stop fer ter wom my ban's a little,' scz I. 

'^ ' Hit is cole, dat's a fack,' sezee. 

"Wid dat I got up en tuck my stan' behime Ole Miss 




"SEEM LIKE I AIN'T NEVER SEE NO RAW DAY 
LIKE DAT." 



A STORY OF THE WAR. 183 

en Miss Sally, en de man w'at speak, he went up en worn 
his han's. Fus thing you know, he raise up sudden, en 
say, sezee : 

"'W'atdatonyo'axe?' 

" 'Dat's de fier shinin' on it,' sez I. 

" 'Hit look like blood,' sezee, en den he laft. 

''But, bless yo' soul, dat man wouldn't never laft dat 
day ef he'd know'd de wukkins er Eemus's mine. But dey 
didn't bodder nobody ner tech nuthin', en bimeby dey put 
out. Well, de Yankees, dey kep' passin' all de mawnin' en 
it look like ter me dey wuz a string un um ten mile long. 
Den dey commence gittin' thinner en thinner, en den atter 
w'ile we hear skummishin' in de naberhood er Armer's fe'y, 
en Ole Miss 'low how dat wuz Wheeler's men makin' j^er- 
soot. Mars Jeems wuz wid dem Wheeler fellers, en I 
know'd ef dey wuz dat close I wa'n't doin' no good settin' 
'roun' de house toas'n my shins at de fier, so I des tuck 
Mars Jeems's rifle fum behime de do' en put out ter look 
atter my stock. 

" Seem like I ain't never sec no raw day like dat, necder 
befo' ner sence. Dey wa'n't no rain, but de wet des sifted 
down ; mighty raw day. De leaves on de groun' 'uz so wet 
dey don't make no fuss, en I got in de woods, en w'enever 
I year de Yankees gwine by, I des stop in my tracks Cn let 
um pass. I wuz stan'in' dat away in de aidge er de woods 
lookin' out 'cross a clearin', w'en — piff ! — out come a little 
bunch er blue smoke fum de top er wunner dem big lone- 
some-lookin' pines, en den — poiv ! 

" Sez I ter myse'f, sez I : ' Honey, youcr right on my 



18J: A STORY OF THE WAR. 

route, en I'll des see w'at kinder bird you got roostin' in 
you/ en w'iles I wuz a lookin' out bus' de smoke — piff ! en 
den — hang ! Wid dat I des drapt back inter de woods, en 
sorted skeerted 'roun' so's ter git de tree 'twix' me en de 
road. I slid up putty close, en wadder you speck I see ? 
Des ez slio's youer settin' dar lissenin' dey wuz a live Yankee 
up dar in dat tree, en he wuz a loadin' en a sliootin' at de 
boys des ez cool es a cowcumber in de jew, en he had his 
hoss hitch out in de bushes, kaze I year de creetur tromp- 
lin' 'roun'. He had a spy-glass up dar, en w'iles I wuz a 
watchin' un 'im, he raise 'er up en look thoo 'er, en den he 
lay 'er down en fix his gun fer ter shoot. I had good eyes 
in dem days, ef I ain't got um now, en 'way uji de big road 
I see ^Mars Jeems a comin'. Hit wuz too fur fer ter see his 
face, but I knoAv'd 'im by de filly w'at I raise fer 'im, en 
she wuz a prancin' like a school-gal. I know'd dat man 
wuz gwineter shoot Mars Jeems ef he could, en dat wuz 
mo'n I could stan'. Manys en manys de time dat I nuss 
dat boy, en hilt 'im in dese arms, en toted 'im on dis back, 
en w'en I see dat Yankee lay dat gun 'cross a lim' en take 
aim at Mars Jeems I up wid my ole rifle, en shct my eyes 
en let de man have all she had." 

''Do you mean to say," exclaimed Miss Theodosia, in- 
dignantly, "that you shot the Union soldier, when you 
knew he was fighting for your freedom ? " 

"Co'se, I know all about dat," responded Uncle Remus, 
"en it sorter made cole chills run up my back ; but w'en I 
see dat man take aim, en Mars Jeems gwine home ter Ole 
Miss en Miss Sally, I des disremembered all 'bout freedom 



A STORY OF THE WAR. ] S5 

en lammed aloose. En den atter dat, me en Miss Sally tuck 
en nuss de man right straight along. He los' one arm in 
dat tree bizness, but me en Miss Sally we nuss 'im en Ave 
nuss 'im twel he done got well. Des 'bout dat time I quit 
nuss'n 'im, but Miss Sally she kep' on. She kep' on," 
continued Uncle Remus, pointing to Mr. Huntingdon, ''en 
now dar he is." 

" But you cost him an arm," exclaimed Miss Theodosia. 

"I gin 'im dem," said Uncle Remus, pointing to Mrs. 
Huntingdon, "en I gin 'im deze" — holding up his own 
brawny arms. "En ef dem ain't nulf fer cnny man den I 
done los' de way." 



HIS SAYINGS. 



JEEMS EOBER SON'S LAST ILLNESS. 

A JoNESBORO negro, while Avaiting for the train to go 
out, met up with Uncle Remus. After the usual "time 
of day " had been passed between the two, the former in- 
quired about an acquaintance. 

" How's Jeems Eober'son ? " he asked, 

"Ain't you year 'bout Jim ?" asked Uncle Remus. 

" Dat I ain't," responded the other ; "I ain't hear talk 
er Jem sence he cut loose fum de chain-gang. Dat w'at 
make I ax. He ain't down wid de biliousness, is he ? " 

" Not dat I knows un," responded Uncle Remus, grave- 
ly. "He ain't sick, an' he ain't bin sick. He des tuck'n 
say he wuz gwineter ride dat ar roan mule er Mars John's 
de udder Sunday, an' de mule, she up'n do like she got 
nudder ingagement. I done bin fool wid dat mule befo', 
an' I tuck'n tole Jim dat he better not git tangle up wid 
'er ; but Jim, he up'n 'low dat he wuz a hoss-doctor, an' 
wid dat he ax me fer a chaw terbarker, en den he got de 
bridle, en tuck'n kotch de mule en got on her — Well," con- 
tinued Uncle Remus, looking uneasily around, "I speck 



190 HIS SAYINGS. 

you better go git yo' ticket. Dey tells me dish yer train 
goes a callyliootin'." 

'•' Hole on dar, Uncle Eemus ; you ain't tell me 'bout 
Jim," exclaimed the Jonesboro negro. 

"I done tell you all I knows, chile. Jim, he tuck'n 
light on de mule, an' de mule she up'n hump 'erse'f, an den 
dey wuz a skuflle, an' w'en de dus' blow 'way, dar lay de 
nigger on de groun', an' de mule she stood eatin' at de troff 
wid wunner Jim's gallusses wrop 'roun' her behime-leg. 
Den atterwuds, de ker'ner, he come 'roun', an' he tuck'n 
gin it out dat Jim died sorter accidental like. Hit's des 
like I tell you : de nigger wern't sick a minnit. So long ! 
Bimeby you won't ketch yo' train. I got ter be knockin' 
lon<?." 



UNCLE EEMUS'S CHURCH EXPERIENCE. 

The deacon of a colored church met Uncle Remus re- 
cently, and, after some uninteresting remarks about the 
weather, asked : 

"How dis you don't come down ter chu'ch no mo', 
Brer Remus ? "We er bin cr bavin' some mighty 'freshen' 
times lately." 

''Hit's bin a long time sence I bin down dar, Brer Ras- 
tus, an' hit'll be longer. I done got my dose." 

"You ain't done gone an' unjined, is you, Brer Remus ? " 



UNCLE REMUS'S CHURCn EXPERIEXCE. 191 

"Not zackly, Brer Eastus. I des tuck'n draw'd out. 
Do members 'uz a blame sight too mutiiel fer ter suit my 
doctrines." 

"How wuz dat, Brer Remus ?" 

"Well, I tell you, Brer Eastus. Wen I went ter dat 
chu'cli, I went des ez umbill ez de nex' one. I went dar 
fer ter sing, an' fer ter pray, an' fer ter wushup, an' I mos' 
giner'lly allers bad a stray sbinplarster w'icli de ole 'oman 
say she want sont out dar ter dem cullud fokes 'cross de 
water. Hit went on dis way twel bimeby, one day, de fus 
news I know'd der was a row got up in de amen cornder. 
Brer Dick, he 'nounced dat dey wern't nuff money in de 
box ; an' Brer Sim said if dey wern't he speck Brer Dick 
know'd whar it disappeared ter ; an' den Brer Dick 'low'd 
dat he won't stan' no 'probusness, an' wid dat he haul off 
an' tuck Brer Sim under de jaw — Jeer Map!— an' den dey 
clinched an' drapped on de flo' an' font under de benches 
an' 'mong de wimmen. 

" 'Bout dat time Sis Tempy, she lipt up in de a'r, an' 
sing out dat she done gone an' tromple on de Ole Boy, an' 
she kep' on lippin' up an' slingin' out 'er ban's twel bimeby 
— ilip! — she tuck Sis Becky in de mouf, an' den Sis' 
Becky riz an' fetch a grab at Sis Tempy, an' I 'clar' tor 
grashus ef didn't 'pear ter me like she got a poun' er wool. 
Atter dat de revivin' sorter het up like. Bofe un um had 
kin 'mong de mo'ners, an' ef you ever see skufflin' an' 
scramblin' hit wuz den an' dar. Brer Jeems Henry, he 
mounted Brer Plato an' rid 'im over de railin', an' den do 
preacher he start down fum de pulpit, an' des ez he wuz 



192 HIS SAYINGS. 

skippin' outer de flatform a hyme-book kotcli 'im in de bur 
er de year, an' I be bless ef it didn't soun' like a bungshell'd 
busted. Des den, Brer Jesse, he riz up in his seat, sorter 
keerless like, an' went down inter his britches atter his razer, 
an' right den I know'd sho' nuff trubble wuz begun. Sis 
Dilsey, she seed it herse'f, an' she tuck'n let off wunner 
dem hallyluyah hollers, an' den I disremember w'at come 
ter pass. 

" I'm gittin' sorter ole, Brer Eastus, an' it seem like de 
dus' sorter shet out de pannyrammer. Fuddermo', my lim's 
got ter akin, mo' speshully w'en I year Brer Sim an' Brer 
Dick a snortin' and a skufflin' under de benches like ez dey 
Avuz sorter makin' der way ter my pew. So I kinder hump 
myse'f an' scramble out, and de fus man wa't I seed was 
a p'leeceman, an' he had a nigger 'rested, an' de fergiven 
name er dat nigger wuz Kemus." 

"He didn't 'res' you, did he. Brer Remus ?" 

" Hit's des like I tell you. Brer Eastus, an' I hatter git 
Mars John fer to go inter my bon's fer me. Hit ain't no 
use fer ter sing out chu'ch ter me. Brer Eastus. I done 
bin an' got my dose, W'en I goes ter war, I wanter know 
w'at I'm a doin'. I don't wanter git hemmed up 'mong 
no wimnien and preachers. I wants elbow-room, an' I'm 
bleedzd ter have it. Des gimme elboAV-room ." 

"But Brer Eemus, you ain't — " 

"I mout drap in, Brer Eastus, an' den agin I moutn't, 
but w'en you duz see me santer in de do', wid my specs 
on, youk'n des say to de congergashun, sorter familious like, 
' Yer come ole man Eemus wid his hoss-pistol, an' ef dar's 



UNCLE EEMUS AND THE SAVANNAH DARKEY. 193 

much UY a skuffle 'roun' yer dis evenin' youer gwineter year 
fum "im,' Dat's me, an' dat's what you kin tell um. So 
long ! 'Member me to Sis Abby." 



UNCLE REMUS AND THE SAVANNAH DARKEY. 

The notable difference existing between the negroes in 
the interior of the cotton States and those on the seaboard 
— a difference that extends to habits and opinions as well 
as to dialect — has giYen rise to certain ineradicable preju- 
dices which are quick to display themselYes whenever an 
opportunity offers. These prejudices were forcibly, as well 
as ludicrously, illustrated in Atlanta recently. A gentle- 
man from Savannah had been spending the summer in the 
mountains of north Georgia, and found it convenient to 
take along a body-servant. This body-servant was a very 
fine specimen of the average coast negro — sleek, well-condi- 
tioned, and consequential — disposed to regard with undis- 
guised contempt everything and everybody not indige- 
nous to the rice-growing region — and he paraded around 
the streets with quite a curious and critical air. Espying 
Uncle Ecmus languidly sunning himself on a corner, the 
Savannah darkey approached. 

"Mornin', sah." 

"I'm sorter up an' about," responded Uncle Remus, 
carelessly and calmly. " How is you stannin' it ? " 
9 



19 J: niS SAYINGS. 

" Taukj you, my helt mos' so-so. He mo' hot dun in 
de mountain. Seem so lak man mus' git need * de sliade. 
I enty fer see no rice-bud in dis pa'ts." 

" In dis wi'ch ? " inquired Uncle Eemus, with a sudden 
affectation of interest. 

"In dis pa'ts. In dis country. Da plenty in Sa- 
wanny." 

" Plenty whar ? " 

"Da plenty in Sawanny. I enty fer see no crab an' 
no oscher ; en swimp, he no stay 'roun.' I lak some rice- 
bud now." 

" Youer talkiu' 'bout deze yer sparrers, w'ich dey cr all 
head, en 'lev'm un makes one moufl9e,t I speck," suggested 
Uncle Remus. "Well, dey er yer," he continued, "but 
dis ain't no climate whar de rice-birds flies inter yo' pock- 
ets en gits out de money an' makes de change derse'f ; an' 
de isters don't shuck off der shells en run over you on de 
street, an' no mo' duz de s'imp hull derse'f an' drap in yo' 
mouf. But dey er yer, dough. De scads '11 fetch um." 

"Him po' country fer true," commented the Savannah 
negro ; " he no like Sawanny. Down da, we set need de 
shade an' eaty de rice-bud, an' de crab, an' de swimp tree 
time de day ; an' de buckra man drinky him wine, an' 
smoky him seegyar all troo de night. Plenty fer eat an' 
not much fer wuk." 

"Hit's mighty nice, I speck," responded Uncle Eemus, 
gravely. ' ' De nigger dat ain't hope up 'longer high feedin' 
ain't got no grip. But up yer whar f okes is gotter scram- 
* Underneath. + Mouthful. 



UNCLE REMUS AND THE SAVANNAH DARKEY. 195 

ble 'roun' an' make der own livin', de vittles wat's kumer- 
lated widout enny sweatin' mos' allers gener'lly b'longs ter 
some yutlier man by rights. One hoe-cake an' a rasher er 
middlin' meat las's me fum Sunday ter Sunday, an' I'm 
in a mighty big streak er hick w'en I gits dat." 

The Savannah negro here gave utterance to a loud, con- 
temptuous laugh, and began to fumble somewhat ostenta- 
tiously with a big brass watch-chain. 

" But I speck I struck up wid a payin' job las' Chuse- 
day,*' continued Uncle Eemus, in a hopeful tone. 

" Wey you gwan do ? " 

'" Oh, I'm a waitin' on a culled gemmun fum Savannah 
— wunner deze yer high livers you bin tellin' 'bout. " 

"How dat?" 

"I loant 'im two dollars," responded Uncle Eemus, 
grimly, "an' I'm a waitin' on 'im fer de money. Hit's 
wunner deze yer jobs w'at las's a long time." 

The Savannah negro went off after his rice-birds, while 
Uncle Eemus leaned up against the wall and laughed until 
he was in imminent danger of falling down from sheer ex- 
haustion. 



196 HIS SAYINGS. 



TURNIP SALAD AS A TEXT. 

As Uncle Eemus was going down the street recently lie 
was accosted by several acquaintances. 

"Heyol" said one, "here comes Uncle Eemus. He 
look like he gwine fer ter set up a bo'din-house." 

Several others bantered the old man, but lie appeared 
to be in a good humor. He was carrying a huge basket of 
vegetables. 

'• How many er you boys," said he, as he put his basket 
down, "is done a ban's turn dis day? En yit de Aveek's 
done commence. I year talk er niggers dat's got money in 
de bank, but I lay hit ain't none er you fellers. "Whar you 
speck you gwineter git yo' dinner, en how you speck you 
gwineter git 'long ? " 

" Oh, we sorter knocks 'roun' an' picks up a livin'," re- 
sponded one. 

" Dat's w'at make I say w'at I duz," said Uncle Eemus. 
"Folks go 'bout in de day-time an' makes a livin', an' you 
come 'long w'en dey er res'in' der bones an' picks it up. I 
ain't no han' at figgers, but I lay I k 'n count up right yer 
in de san' en number up how menny days hit'll be *fo' you'er 
cuppled on ter de chain-gang." 

"De ole man's holler'n now sho'," said one of the lis- 
teners, gazing with admiration on the venerable old darkey. 

"I ain't takin' no chances 'bout vittles. Hit's proned 
inter me fum de fus dat I got ter eat, en I knows dat I ffot 



A CONFESSIOX. 19 7 

fer ter gvub for w'at I gits. Hit's agin dc morl law fer 
niggers fer ter eat w'en dey don't wuk, an' w'en you see um 
'pariently fattenin' on a'r, you k'n des bet dat ruinasliun's 
gwine on some'rs. I got mustard, en poke salid, en lam's 
quarter in dat baskit, en me en my ole 'oman gwineter 
sample it. Ef enny you boys git a invite you come, but cf 
you don't you better stay 'way. I gotter muskit out dar 
wa't's used ter persidin' 'roun' wliar dey's a cripple nigger. 
Don't you fergit dat off'n yo' mine." 



A -CONFESSIOK 



"Wat's dis yer I see, great big niggers gwine 'lopin' 
'roun' town wid cakes 'n pies fer ter sell ? " asked Uncle 
Eemus recently, in his most scornful tone. 

" That's what they are doing," responded a young man ; 
"that's the way they make a living." 

"Dat w'at make I say w'at I duz — dat w'at keep me 
grum'lin' w'en I goes in cullud fokes s'ciety. Some nig- 
gers ain't gwine ter wuk nohow, an' hit's flingin' 'way 
time fer ter set enny chain-gang traps fer ter ketch um," 

"Well, now, here !" exclaimed the young man, in a 
dramatic tone, "what are you giving us now? Isn't it 
Just as honest and just as regular to sell pies as it is to do 
any other kind of work ? " 



198 niS SAYINGS. 

"Taiii't dat, boss," said the old man, seeing that he 
was about to be cornered ; "'tain't dat. Hit's de nas'ncss 
un it w'at gits me." 

" Oh, get out ! " 

"Dat's me, boss, up an' down. Ef dcre's ruinashun 
ennywhar in de known Avurril, she goes in de comp'ny uv a 
hongry nigger w'at's a totin' pies 'roun'. Sometimes w'en I 
git kotch wid emptiness in de pit er de stummuck, an' git 
ter fairly honin' arter sumji'n' w'at got substance in it, den 
hit look like unto me dat I kin stan' flat-footed an' make 
more cle'r money eatin' pies dan I could if I wuz ter sell de 
las' one twix't dis an' Chrismus. An' de nigger w'at k'n 
trapes 'round wid pies and not git in no alley-way an' 
sample um, den I'm bleedzd ter say dat nigger outniggcrs 
me an' my fambly. So dar now ! " 



VI. 

US CLE REMUS WITH THE TOOTH A CHE. 

Whex Uncle Eemus put in an appearance one morning 
recently, his friends knew he had been in trouble. He had 
a red cotton handkerchief tied under his chin, and the 
genial humor that usually makes his aged face its dwelling- 
place had given way to an expression of grim melancholy. 
The young men about the office were inclined to chaff him, 
but his look of sullen resignation remained unchanged. 



UNCLE REMUS WITH THE TOOTHACUE. I99 

''What revival did you attend last night?" inquired 
one. 

" What was the color of the mule that did the hammer- 
ing ? " asked another. 

"I always told the old man that a suburban chicken- 
coop would fall on him," remarked some one. 

''A strange pig has been squealing in his ear," suggest- 
ed some one else. 

But Uncle Kemus remained impassive. He seemed to 
have lost all interest in what was going on around him, and 
he sighed heavily as he seated himself on the edge of the 
trash-box in front of the office. Finally some one asked, in. 
a sympathetic tone : 

" What is the matter, old man ? You look like you'd 
been through the mill." 

"Now you'er knockin' at de back do' sho'. Ef I ain't 
bin tlioo de mill sence day 'fo' yistiddy, den dey ain't no 
mills in de Ian'. Ef wunner deze yer scurshun trains had 
runned over me I couldn't er bin wuss off. I bin trompin' 
'roun' in de low-groun's now gwine on seventy-fi' year, but 
I ain't see no sich times ez dat w'at I done spe'unst now. 
Boss, is enny er you all ever rastled wid de toofache ? " 

" Oh, hundreds of times ! The toothache isn't any- 
thing." 

"Den you des played 'roun' de aidges. You ain't had 
de kine w'at kotch me on de underjaw. You mout a had a 
g-um-bile, but you ain't bin boddered wid de toofache. I 
Avuz settin' up talkin' wid my ole 'oman, kinder puzzlin' 
'roun' fer ter see whar de nex' meal's vittles wuz a gwine- 



200 niS SAYINGS. 

ter cum fum, an' I feel a little ache sorter crawlin' long on 
my jaw-bone, kinder feelin' his way. But de ache don't 
stay long. He sorter hankered 'roun' like, en den crojie 
back whar he come fum. Bimeby I feel 'im comin' agin, 
an' dis time hit look like he come up closer — kinder skum- 
mishin' 'roun' fer ter see how de Ian' lay. Den he went off. 
Present'y I feel 'im comin', an' dis time hit look like he kyar'd 
de news unto Mary, fer hit feel like der wuz anudder wun 
wid 'im. Dey crei)' uj) an' crep '-roun', an' den dey crope off. 
Bimeby dey come back, an' dis time dey come like dey 
wuzen't 'fear'd er de s'roundin's, fer dey trot right up unto 
de toof, sorter zamine it like, an' den trot all roun' it, like 
deze yer circuous bosses. I sot dar mighty ca'm, but I 
spected dat sump'n' wuz gwine ter happ'n." 

"And it happened, did it?" asked some one in the 
group surrounding the old man. 

"Boss, don't you fergit it," responded Uncle Eemus, 
fervidly. "Wen dcm aches gallop back dey galloped fer 
ter stay, an' dey wuz so mixed up dat I couldn't tell one 
fum de udder. All night long dey racked an' dey galloped, 
an' w'en dey got tired er rack in' an' gallopin', dey all cloze 
in on de ole toof an' thumped it an' gouged at it twel it 
'peared unto me dat dey had got de jaw-bone loosened up, 
an' wuz tryin' fer ter fetch it up thoo de top er my head 
an' out at der back er my neck. An' dey got wuss nex' day. 
Mars John, he seed I wuz 'stracted, an' he tole me fer ter 
go roun' yere an' git sump'n' put on it, an' de drug man he 
'loAved dat I better hare 'er draw'd, an' his wuds wuzent 
more'n cole 'fo' wunner deze yer watchyoumaycollums — 



THE niONOGRAPH. 201 

wunncr deze dentis' mens — had retched fer it wid a -pah- or 
tongs w'at den't tu'n loose w'en dey ketches a holt. Leas'- 
ways dey didn't wid me. You oiighter seed dat toof, boss. 
Hit wuz wunner deze yer fo'-prong fellers. Ef she'd a 
grow'd wrong eend out'ard, I'd a bin a bad nigger long 
arter I jin'd de chu'cli. You year'd my ho'n ! " 



VII. 

TEE p^o^^OGRAP^. 



"Unc Eemus," asked a tall, awkward-looking negro, 
who was one of a crowd surrounding the old man, *''wat's 
dish 'ere w'at dey calls de fonygraf — dish yer inst'ument 
w'at kin holler 'roun' like little chillun in de back yard ? " 

"I ain't seed um," said Uncle Remus, feeling in his 
pocket for a fresh chew of tobacco. " I ain't seed um, but 
I year talk un um. Miss Sally wuz a readin' in de papers 
las' Chuseday, an' she say dat's it's a mighty big watchyou- 
maj^collum." 

"A mighty big w'ich ?" asked one of the crowd. 

" A mighty big w'atzisname," answered Uncle Remus, 
cautiously. " I wuzent up dar close to whar Miss Sarah 
wuz a readin', but I kinder geddered in dat it wuz one er 
deze 'ere w'atzisnames w'at you hollers inter one year an' 
it comes out er de udder. Hit's mighty funny unter me 
how dese folks kin go an' prognosticate der eckoes inter one 
er deze yer i'on boxes, an' dar hit'll stay on twel de man 



202 HIS SAYINGS. 

comes 'long ;ui' tu'ns cle handle an' let's de fuss come jiilin' 
out. Bimeby dey'll git ter makin' slio' null fokes, an' 
den dere'll be a racket 'roun' here. Dey tells me dat it 
goes off like one er deze yer torpedoes." 

" You year dat, don't you ? " said one or two of the 
younger negroes. 

''Dat'rf w'at dey tells me," continued Uncle Eemus. 
"Dat's w'at dey sez. Hit's one er deze yer kinder w'atzis- 
names w'at sasses back w'en you hollers at it." 

"Wat dey fix um wp fer, den ? " asked one of the prac- 
tical negroes. 

"Dat'sw'at I wanter know," said Uncle Eemus, con- 
templatively. " But dat's w'at Miss Sally wuz a readin' in 
de paper. All you gotter do is ter holler at de box, an' dar's 
yo' remarks. Dey goes in, an' dar dey er tooken and dar 
dey hangs on twel you shakes de box, an' den dey draps out 
des ez fresh ez deze yer fishes w'at 3'ou git fum SaAMunah., 
an' you ain't got time fer ter look at dere gills, nudder." 



YIII. 
JRA CE IMPR YEMENI. 

"Dere's a kind er limberness 'bout niggers dese days 
dat's mighty cu'us," remarked Uncle Eemus yesterday, as 
ho deposited a pitcher of fresh water upon the exchange 
table. "I notisses it in de alley-ways an' on de street- 
cornders. Dey er rackin' up, mon, deze yer cullud fokes is." 



RACE IMPKOVEMEXT. 203 

"What are you trying to give us now ?" inquired one 
of the young men, in a bilious tone. 

"The old man's mind is wandering," said the society 
editor, smoothing the wrinkles out of his lavender kids. 
. Uncle Remus laughed. " I speck I is a gittin' mo frail- 
er dan I wuz fo' de fahmin days wuz over, but I sees wid 
my eyes an' I years wid my year, same ez enny er dese yer 
young bucks w'at goes a gallopin' 'roun' liuntin' up devil- 
ment, an' w'en I sees de limberness er dese yer cullud peo- 
ple, an' w'en I sees how dey er dancin' up, den I gits sorter 
hoj)eful. Dey er kinder ketchin' up wid me." 

"How is that?" 

" Oh, dey er movin'," responded Uncle Eemus. " Dey 
er sorter comin' 'roun'. Dey er gittin' so dey b'leeve dat 
dey ain't no better dan de w'ite fokes. Wen freedom come 
out de niggers sorter got dere humps up, an' dey staid dat 
way, twel bimeby dey begun fer ter git hongry, an' den 
dey begun fer ter drap inter line right smartually ; an' 
now," continued the old man, emphatically, "dey er des ez 
palaverous ez dey wuz befo' de war. Dey er gittin' on 
solid groun', mon." 

" You think they are improving, then ? " 

" Youer chawin' guv'nment now, boss. You slap de 
law outer a nigger a time er two, an' larn 'im dat he's got 
fer to look atter his own rashuns an' keep out'n udder 
fokes's chick'n-coops, an' sorter coax 'im inter de idee dat 
he's got ter feed 'is own chilluns, an' I be blessed ef you 
ain't got 'im on risin' groun'. An', mo'n dat, w'en he 
gits holt er de fack dat a nigger k'n have yaller fever same 



204 UIS SAYINGS. 

ez w'ite folks, you done got 'im on dc mo'ners' bench, an' 
den ef you come down strong on de p'int dat lie oughter 
stan' fas' by de folks w'at hope him w'en he wuz in trouble 
de Job's done. W'en you does dat, ef you ain't got yo' 
ban's on a new-made nigger, den my name ain't Ilemus, 
an' ef dat name's bin chano^ed I ain't seen her abbertized." 



ly THE ROLE OF A TARTAR. 

A CnAKLESTON negro who was in Atlanta on the Fourth 
of July made a mistake. He saw Uncle Eemus edging his 
way through the crowd, and thought he knew him. 

"Howdy, Daddy Ben? "'the stranger exclaimed. "I 
tiuk I nubber see you no mo'. AVey you gwan ? He hot 
fer true, ain't he ? " 

"Daddy who?" asked Uncle Eemus, straightening 
himself up with dignity. " W'ich ? " 

" I know you in Charl'son, an' den in Sewanny. I 
spec I dun grow way frum 'membrance." 

"You knowed me in Charlstun, and den in Savanny ?" 

"He been long time, ain't he. Daddy Ben ?" 

"Dat's w'at's a pestcrin' un me. How much you 
reckon you know'd me ? " 

"He good Avhile pas'; when I wer' pickaninny. He 
long time ago. Wey you gwan, Daddy Ben ? " 

"Wat does you season your recollection wid fer ter 
make it hole on so ? " inquired the old man. 



IX TDE ROLE OF A TARTAR. 205 

"I dunno. He stick liese'f. I see you eomin' 'loug 'n 
I say 'Dey Daddy Ben.' I tink I see you no mo', an' I 
shaky you by de han'. Wey you g-^au ? Dey no jDlace yer 
wey we git wine ? " 

Uncle Eemus stared at the strange darkey curiously for 
a moment, and then he seized him by the arm. 

" Come yer, son, whar dey ain't no folks an' lemme 
drap some Jawjy 'intment in dem years er yone. Youer 
mighty fur ways fum home, an' you wanter be a lookin' 
out fer yo'se'f. Fus and fo'mus, youer thumpin' de wrong 
watermillion. Youer w'isslin' up de wrong chube. I 
ain't tromj^ed roun' de country much. I ain't bin to Charl- 
stun an' needer is I tuck in Savanny ; but you couldn't 
rig up no game on me dat I wouldn't tumble on to it de 
minit I laid my eyeballs on you. Wen hit come ter dat 
I'm ole man Tumbler, fum Tumblersville — I is dat. Hit 
takes one er deze yer full-blgoded w'ite men fur ter trap 
my jedgment. But w'en a nigger comes a jabberin' 'roun' 
like he got a mouf full er rice straw, he ain't got no mo' 
chance 'long side er me dan a sick sparrer wid a squinch- 
owl. You gotter travel wid a circus 'fo' you gits away wid 
me. You better go 'long an' git yo' kyarpet-sack and skip 
de town. Youer de freshest nigger w'at I seen yit. " 

The Charleston negro passed on just as a policeman 
came up. 

" Boss, you see dat smart Ellick ? " 

" Yes ; what's the matter with him ? " 

''He's one er deze yer scurshun niggers from Charl- 
stun. I seed you a stannin' over agin de cornder yander, 



206 HIS SAYINGS. 

an' ef dat nigger'd a drawd his monty kyards on me, I wuz 
a gwineter holler fer you. Would youer come, boss ? " 

"Why, certainly, Uncle Eemus." 

"Dat's w'at I 'lowd. Little more'n he'd a bin aboard 
er de wrong waggiu. Dat's wat he'd a bin." 



A CASE OF MEASLES. 

"You've been looking like you were rather under the 
weather for the past Aveek or two, Uncle Kemus," said a 
gentleman to the old man. 

"You'd be sorter jmny, too, boss, if you'der bin whar I 
bin." 

" Where have you been ? " 

" 'Pear ter me like CA-'cybody done year 'bout dat. 
Dcy ain't no ole nigger my age an' size dat's had no rattlin- 
cr time dan I is." 

" A kind of picnic ? " 

" Go 'long, boss ! w'at you speck I be doin' sailin 
'roun' ter dese yer cullud picnics ? Much mo' an' I 
wouldn't make bread by wukkin fer't, let 'lone follerin' up 
a passel er boys an' gals all over keration. Boss, ain't you 
year 'bout it, sho' 'nuff ? " 

" I haven't, really. What was the matter ? " 

" I got strucken wid a sickness, an' she hit de ole nigger 
a joe-darter 'fo' she tu'n 'im loose." 

" What kind of sickness ? " 



A CASE OF MEASLES. 207 

" Hit look sorter cu'ous, boss, but ole an' steddy ez I is, 
I tuck'n kotcli de meezles." 

" Oh, get out ! You are trying to get up a sensation." 

" Hit's a natal fack, boss, I declar' ter grashus ef 'tain't. 
Dey sorter come on wid a cole, like — leas'ways dat's how I 
commence fer ter suffer, an' den er koff got straddle er 
de cole— one deze yer koffs wa't look like hit goes ter de 
foundash'n. I kep' on linger'n' 'roun' sorter keepin' one 
eye on de rheumatiz an' de udder on de distemper, twel, 
bimeby, I begin fer ter feel de trestle-wuk give way, an' 
den I des know'd dat I wuz gwineter gitter racket. I slipt 
inter bed one Chuseday night, an' I never slip out no mo' 
;;fer mighty nigh er mont'. 

" Nex' mornin' de meezles 'd done kivered me, an' den 
ef I didn't git dosted by de ole 'oman I'm a Chinee. Slie 
gimme back rashuns er sassafac tea. I des natally hankered 
an' got hongry atter water, an' ev'y time I sing out fer 
water I got b'ilin' hot sassafac tea. Hit got so dat w'en I 
wake up in de mornin' de ole 'oman 'd des come 'long wid 
a kittle er tea an' fill me up. Dey tells me 'roun' town dat 
chilluns don't git hurted wid de meezles, w'ich ef dey don't 
I wanter be a baby de nex' time dey hits dis place. All dis 
yer meezles bizness is bran'-new ter me. In ole times, 'fo' 
de wah, I ain't heer tell er no seventy-fi'-year-ole nigger 
grapplin' wid no meezles. Dey ain't ketchin' no mo', is 
dey, boss ? " 

'^ Oh, no — I suppose not." 

" 'Kaze ef dey is, youk'n des put my name down wid de 
migrashun niggers." 



HIS SAYINGS. 



THE EMIGRANTS. 



WiiEX Uncle Remus went down to the passenger depot 
one morning recently, the first sight that caught his eye 
was an old negro man, a woman, and two childre:i sitting 
in tlie shade near the door of the baggage-room. One of 
the children was Tcry young, and the quartet Avas alto- 
gether ragged and forlorn-looking. The sympathies of 
Uncle Eemus were immediately aroused. He approached 
the group by forced marches, and finally unburdened his 
curiosity : i, 

" Whar is you m'anderin' unter, pard ?" 

The old negro, who seemed to be rather suspicious, 
looked at Uncle Remus coolly, and appeared to be consider- 
ing whether he should make any reply. Finally, however, 
he stretched himself and said : 

''We er gwine down in de naberhoods cr Tallypoosy, 
an' we ain't makin' no fuss 'bout it, nudder." 

"I disremembcr," said Uncle Remu?, thouglitfulh% 
*'whar Tallypoosy is." 

'' Oh, hit's out 3'an," replied the old man, motioning 
his head as if it was just beyond the iron gates of the depot. 
" Hit's down in Alabam. "When we git dar, maybe we'll 
go on twel we gits ter Massasip." 

"Is you got enny folks out dar ?" inquired Uncle Re- 
mus. 

" None dat I knows un." 



THE EMIGRANTS. 209 

'^An'youer takin' dis 'oman au' deze chillun out dar 
whar dey dunno nobody ? Whar's yo' perwisions ? " eyiug 
a chest with a rope around it. 

" Deni's our bed-cloze," the old negro explained, noticing 
the glance of Uncle Eemus. "All de vittles what we got 
we e't 'fo' we started." 

"An' you speck ter retch dar safe an' soun' ? Whar's 
yo' ticket 'i " 

"Ain't got none. De man say ez how dey'd pass us 
thoo. I gin a man a fi'-dollar bill 'fo' I lef Jonesboro, an' 
he scd dat settled it." 

"Lemme tell you dis," said Uncle Eemus, straighten- 
ing up indignantly : "you go an' rob somebody an' git on 
de chain-gang, an' let de 'oman scratch 'roun' yer an' 
make 'er liyin' ; but don't you git on dem kyars — don't you 
do it. Yo' bes' holt is de chain-gang. You kin make yo' 
livin' dar w'en you can't make it noAvhars else. But don't 
you git on dem kyars. Ef you do, youer gone nigger. Ef 
you ain't got no money fer ter walk back wid, you better 
des b'il' yo' nes' right here. I'm a-talkin' wid de bark on. 
I done seed deze yer Arkinsaw emmygrants come lopein' 
back, an' some un 'em didn't have rags nuff on 'em fer ter 
hide dere nakidness. You leave dat box right whar she is, 
an' let de 'oman take wun young un an' you take de udder 
wun, an' den you git in de middle er de big road an' pull 
out fer de place whar you come fujn. I'm preachin' now." 

Those who watched say the quartet didn't take the cars. 



210 niS SAYINGS. 

XII. 
AS A MURDERER. 

UxcLE Remus met a police officer recently. 

"You ain't hear talk er no dead nigger nowliar dis 
mawnin', is you, boss ? " asked the old man, earnestly. 

''Xo," replied the policeman, reflectively. "Xo, I be- 
lieve not. Have you heard of any ?" 

"Pears unter me dat I come mighty nigh gittin' some 
news 'bout dat size, and dats w'at I'm a huntin' fer. Bekaze 
ef dey er foun' a stray nigger layin' 'roun' loose, wid 'is bref 
gone, den I wanter go home an' git my brekfus, an' put on 
some clean cloze, an' 'liver myse'f up ter wunner deze yer 
jestesses er de peace, an' git a far trial." 

" Why, have you killed anybody ? " 

"Dat's wat's I'm a 'quirin' inter now, but I wouldn't 
be sustonished ef I ain't laid a nigger out some'rs on de 
subbubs. Hit's done got so it's agin de law fer ter bus' 
loose an' kill a nigger, ain't it, boss ? " 

" Well, I should say so. You don't mean to tell me that 
you have killed a colored man, do you ? " 

" I speck I is, boss. I speck I done gone an' done it dis 
time, sho'. Hit's bin sorter growin' on me, an' it come ter a 
head dis mawnin', less my name ain't Eemus, an' dat's w'at 
dey bin er callin' me sence I wuz ole er 'nuff fer ter scratch 
myse'f wid my lef han'." 

"Well, if you've killed a man, you'll have some fun, 
sure enough. How was it?" 



AS A MURDERER. 211 

" Hit wuz dis way, boss : I wuz layin' in my bed dis 
mawniu' sorter ruminatin 'roun', when de fus news I know'd 
1 year a fus 'mong de chickens, an' den my brissels riz. I 
done had lots er trubble wid dem chickens, an' w'en I years 
wun un um squall my A'e'y shoes comes ontied. So I des 
sorter riz up an' retch fer my ole muskit, and den I crope 
out er de back do', an' w'atter you reckin I seed ? " 

"I couldn't say." 

" I seed de biggest, blackest nigger dat you ever laid 
eyes on. He shined like de paint on 'im was fresh. He 
hed done grabbed fo'er my forwardes' pullets. I crope up 
nigh de do', an' hollered an' axed 'im how he wuz a gittin' 
on, an' den he broke, an' ez he broke I jammed de gun in 
de small er his back and banged aloose. He let a yell like 
forty yaller cats a courtin', an' den he broke. You ain't 
seed no nigger hump hisse'f like dat nigger. He tore down 
de well shelter and fo' pannils er fence, an' de groun' look 
like wunner deze yer harrycanes had lit dar and fanned up 
de yeath." 

"Why, I thought you killed him ?" 

"Hebleedzed ter be dead, boss. Ain't I put de gun 
right on im ? Seem like I feel 'im give way w'en she 
went off." 

" Was the gun loaded ? " 

"Dat's w'at my ole 'oman say. She had de powder in 
dar, sho', but I disremcmber wedder I put de buckshot in, er 
wedder I lef um out. Leas'ways, I'm gwineter call on 
wunner deze yer jestesses. So long, boss." 



212 HIS SAYINGS. 



HIS PRACTICAL VIEW OF TffiyOS. 

" Bker Eemus, is you lieern tell er deze cloin's out yer 
in de udder eend er town ? " asked a colored deacon of the 
church the other day. 

" Wat doin's is dat, Brer Ab ? " 

" Deze yer signs au' wunders whar dat cullud lady died 
day 'fo' yistiddy. Mighty quare goin's on out dar, Brer 
Eemus, sho's you bawn." 

*' Sperrits : " inquired Uncle Eemus, scntentiously. 

"Wuss'n dat, Brer Eemus. Some say dat jedgment- 
day ain't fur off, an' de folks is flockin' 'roun' de house a 
hollcrin' an' a shoutin' des like dey wuz in er reviyal. In 
de winder glass dar you kin see de flags a flyin', an' Jacob's 
lather is dar, an' dar's writin' on de pane w'at no man can't 
read — leas'wise dey ain't none read it yit. " 

" Wat kinder racket is dis youer giviu' un me now, 
Brer Ab ? " 

*'I done bin dar, Brer Eemus; I done seed um wid 
bofe my eyes. Cullud lady what wuz intranced done 
woke up an' say dey ain't much time fer ter tarry. She 
say she meet er angel in de road, an' he p'inted straight for 
de mornin' star, an' tell her fer ter prepar'. Hit look 
mighty cu'us, Brer Eemus." 

"Cum down ter dat, Brer Ab," said Uncle Eemus, 
wiping his spectacles carefully, and readjusting them — 
"cum down ter dat, an' dey ain't nutliin' dat ain't cu'us. 
I ain't no spishus nigger myse'f, but I 'spizes fer ter year 



niS PRACTICAL VIEW OF THINGS. 213 

dogs a howlin' an' squiucli-owls haviii' de ager out in de 
woods, an' w'en a bull goes a bellerin' by de bouse den my 
bones git cole an' my flesh commences fer ter creep ; but 
■w'en it comes ter deze yer sines in de a'r an' deze yer sper- 
rits in de woods, den I'm out — den I'm done. I is, fer a 
fack. I bin livin' yer more'n seventy year, an' I year talk 
er niggers seein' ghos'es all times er night an' all times er 
day, but I ain't never seed none yit ; an' deze yer flags an' 
Jacob's lathers, I ain't seed dem, nudder." 

"Dey er dar. Brer Eemus." 

" Hit's des like I tell you, Brer Ab. I ain't 'sputin 
'bout it, but I ain't seed um, an' I don't take no chances 
deze days on dat w'at I don't see, an' dat w'at I sees I got 
ter 'zamine mighty close. Lemme tell you dis. Brer Ab : 
don't you let deze sines onsettle you. Wen old man Ga- 
brile toot his ho'n, he ain't gwinter hang no sine oitt in de 
winder-panes, an' when ole Fadder Jacob lets down dat 
lather er his'n you'll be mighty ap' fer ter hear do racket. 
An' don't you bodder wid jedgment-day. Jedgment-day 
is lierbul fer ter take keer un itse'f . " 

"Dat's so. Brer Eemus." 

" Hit's bleedzed ter be so. Brer Ab. Hit don't bodder 
me. Hit's done got so now dat w'en I gotter pone er 
bread, an' a rasher er bacon, an' nuff grease fer ter make 
gravy, I ain't keerin' much w'edder fokes sees ghos'es er 
no." 



214 HIS SAYINGS. 

XIV. 
TEAT DECEITFUL JUO. 

Uncle Eemus 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 Eemus's bag was made the occasion for sev- 
eral suggestive jokes at his expense by the members of the 
staff, but the old man's good humor was proof against all 
insinuations. 

" Dat ar jug's bin ter wah, mon. Hit's wunner deze yer 
ole timers. I got dat jug down dar in Putmon County 
w'en Mars 'Lisha Ferryman wuz a young man, an' now 
he's done growed up, an' got ole an' died, an' his chilluns 
is growed up an' dey kin count dere gran'chilluns, an' yit 
dar's dat jug des ez lively an' ez lierbul fer ter kick up dev- 
ilment ez w'at she avus w'en she come fum de foundry." 

"That's the trouble," said one of the young men. 
" That's the reason we'd like to know what's in it now.'* 

" !N"ow youer gittin' on ma' shy groun'," replied Uncle 
Remus. " Dat's de p'int. Dat's w'at make me say w'at I 
duz. I bin knowin' dat jug now gwine on sixtj'-fi' year, 
an' de jug w'at's more seetful dan dat jug ain't on de top- 
side er de worrul. Dar she sets," continued the old man, 
gazing at it reflectively, " dar she sets dez ez natchul ez er 
ambertypc, an' yit whar's de man w'at kin tell w'at kinder 



THAT DECEITFUL JUG. 215 

confab she's a gwineter carry on w'en dat corn-cob is 
snatched outen 'er mouf ? Dat jug is mighty seetful, 
mon." 

"Well, it don't deceive any of us up here," remarked 
the agricultural editor, dryly. "We've seen jugs before." 

" I boun' you is, boss ; I boun' you is. But you ain't 
seed no seetful jug like dat. Dar she sets a bellyin out an' 
lookin' mighty fat an' full, an' yit she'd set dar a bellyin' 
out ef dere wuzent nuthin' but win' under dat stopper. 
You knows dat she ain't got no aigs in her, ner no bacon, 
ner no grits, ner no termartusses, ner no shellotes, an' dat's 
'bout all you duz know. Dog my cats ef de seetfulncss er 
dat jug don't git away wid me," continued Uncle Remus, 
with a chuckle. " I wuz comin' '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 Eemus, ain't it gittin' late for watermil- 
lions ?' 

"Hit wuz de seetfulness er dat jug. If Brer John 
Henry know'd de color er dat Avatermillion, I speck he'd 
snatch me up 'fo' de confunce. I 'clar' ter grashus ef dat 
jug ain't a caution ! " 

"I suppose it's full of molasses now," remarked one of 
the young men, sarcastically. 

" Hear dat ! " exclaimed Uncle Eemus, triumphantly 
— " hear dat ! W'at I tell you ? I sed dat jug wuz seet- 
ful, an' I sticks to it. I bin knowin' dat — " 

"What has it got in it ?" broke in some one ; "mo- 
lasses, kerosene, or train-oil ? " 



216 niS SAYIXG3. 

"Well, I lay she's loaded, boss. I ain't sliuk her up 
sence I drapt in, but I lay she's loaded." 

''Yes," said the agricultural editor, "and it's the 
meanest bug-juice in town — regular sorghum skimmings." 

" Dat's needer yer ner dar," responded Uncle Eemus. 
"Po' fokes better be fixin' up for Chrismus now w'ile ra- 
shuns is cheap. Dat's me. AV'en I year Miss Sally gwine 
'bout de house w'isslin' ' Wen I k'n Eead my Titles Cler,' 
— an' w"en I see de martins swawmin' atter sundown — an' 
w'en I year de peckerwoods confabbin' tergedder dese moon- 
shiny nights in my een' er town — den I knows de hot 
Avedder's a breakin' up, an' I knows it's 'bout time fer po' 
fokes fer ter be ra^tlin' 'roun' and huntin' up dere rashuns. 
Dat's 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' w'at's mo'," continued the old man, scorning to 
notice the insinuation, "dough I year Miss Sally w'isslin', 
an' de peckerwoods a chatterin', I ain't 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 don't ketch none 
er deze yer town niggers. You year me, dey ain't 
gwine." 

"Stand him up on the table,'' said the sporting editor ; 
"give him room." 

"Better go down yer ter de calaboose, an' git some 



THAT DECEITFUL JUG. 217 

news fer tcr print," said Uncle Eemus, with a tonch 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 ain't ! I done seed an' I knows." 

" Well, how do you know ? " 

"How you tell w'en crow gwineter light ? Niggers bin 
prom'nadin' by my house all dis summer, holdin' dcre 
heads high up an' de w'ites er dere eyeballs shinin' in 
de sun. Dey wuz too bigitty fer ter look over de gyar- 
din' palin's. 'Long 'bout den de wedder wuz fetchin' de 
nat'al sperrits er turkentime outen de pine-trees an' de 
groun' wuz fa'rly smokin' wid de hotness. Now dat it's 
gittin' sorter airish in de mornin's, dey don't 'pear like de 
same niggers. Dey done got so dey'll look over in de yard, 
an' nex' news you know dey'll be tryin' fer ter scrape up 
'quaintence wid de dog. Wen dey passes now dey looks 
at de chicken-coop an' at de 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,' seezee, 'I wuz des lookin' at dere p'ints.' 

" ' Well, dey ain't pintin' yo' way,' sez I, ' an, fuddermo,' 
ef you don't bodder 'longer dem hogs dey ain't gwineter 
clime outer dat pen an' 'tack you, nudder,' sez I. 
10 



218 



niS SAYINGS. 



"An' I bounV' continued Uncle Remus, driving the 
corn-cob stopper a little tighter in his deceitful jug and 
gathering up his bag — "an' I boun' dat my ole muskit'll 
go off 'tween me an' dat same nigger yit, an' he'll be at de 
bad een', an' dis seetful jug'll 'fuse ter go ter de funer'l." 



THE FLORIDA WATERMELON. 



"Look yer, boy," said Uncle Remus yesterday, stopping 
near the railroad crossing on Whitehall Street, and gazing 
ferociously at a small colored youth ; " look yer, boy, I'll 
lay you out flat ef you come 
flingin' yo' watermillion rimes 
under my foot — you watch ef I 
don't. You k'n play yo' pranks 
on deze yer w'ite fokes, but w'en 
you come a cuttin' up yo' capers 
roun' me you'll Ian' right in de 
middle uv er spell er sickness — 
now you mine w'at I tell you. 
An' I ain't gwino fer ter put up 
wid none er yo' sassness nudder 
— let 'lone flingin' watermillion rimes whar I kin git mixt 
up wid um. I done had nuff watermillions yistiddy an' de 
day bef o'. " 




I 



THE FLORIDA WATERMELON. 219 

"How was that, Uncle Eemus?" asked a gentleman 
standing near. 

" Hit wuz sorter like dis, boss. Las' Cliuseday, Mars 
John he fotch home two er deze yer Flurridy water- 
millions, an him an' Miss Sally sot down fer ter eat um. 
Mars John an' Miss Sally ain't got nuthin' dat's too good 
fer me, an' de fus news I know'd Miss Sally wuz a hol- 
lerin fer Remus, I done smelt de watermillion on de a'r, 
an' I ain't got no better sense dan fer ter go w'en I years 
w'ite fokes a hollerin — I larnt dat w'en I wa'n't so high. 
Leas'ways I galloped up ter de back po'ch, an' dar sot de 
watermillions des ez natchul ez ef dey'd er bin raised on de 
ole Spivey place in Putmon County. Den Miss Sally, she 
cut me off er slishe — wunner deze yer ongodly slishes, big 
ez yo' hat, an' I sot down on de steps an' wrop myse'f roun' 
de whole blessid chunk, 'cepiu' de rime." Uncle Remus 
paused and laid his hand upon his stomach as if feeling for 
something. 

" Well, old man, what then ?" 

" Dat's w'at I'm a gittin' at, boss," said Uncle Remus, 
smiling a feeble smile. "'I santercd roun' 'bout er half 
nour, an' den I begin fer ter feel sorter squeamish — sorter 
like I done bin an' swoller'd 'bout fo' poun's off'n de ruff 
een' uv er scantlin'. Look like ter me dat I wuz gwineter 
be sick, an' den hit look like I wuzent. Bimeby a little 
pain showed 'is head an' sorter m'andered roun' like he 
wuz a lookin' fer a good place fer ter ketch holt, an' den a 
great big pain jump up an' take atter de little one an' 
chase 'im 'roun' an' roun, an' he mus' er kotch 'im, kaze 



220 HIS SAYINGS. 

bimeby de big pain retch down an' grab dis yer lef leg — so 
— an' haul 'im up, an' den he retch down an' grab de udder 
one an' pull him up, an' den de wah begun, sho nuff. Per 
mighty nigh fo' hours dey kep' up dat racket, an' des ez 
soon ez a little pain 'ud jump up de big un 'ud light outer it 
an' gobble it up, an' den de big un 'ud go sailin' roun' 
huntin' fer mo'. Some fokes is mighty cu'us, dough. 
Nex' mornin' I hear Miss Sally a laughin', an' singin' an' a 
w'isslin' des like dey want no watermillions raise in Flur- 
ridy. But somebody better pen dis yer nigger boy up w'en 
I'm on de town — I kin tell you dat." 



XVI. 
UNCLE EEMUS PREACHES TO A CONVERT. 

"Dey tells me 3'ou done jine de chu'ch," said Uncle 
Remus to Pegleg Charley. 

"Yes, sir," responded Charley, gravely, "dat's so." 

"Well, I'm mighty glad er dat," remarked Uncle Ee- 
mus, with unction. "It's 'bout time dat I wuz spectin' fer 
ter hear un you in de chain-gang, an', stidder dat, hit's de 
chu'ch. TTell, dey ain't no tellin' deze days whar a nigger's 
gwineter Ian'." 

"Yes," responded Charley, straightening himself up 
and speaking in a dignified tone, "yes, I'm fixin' to do 
better. I'm preparin' fer to shake worldliness. I'm done 
quit so'shatin' wid deze w'ite town boys. Dey've been a 



UNCLE REMUS PREACDES TO A CONVERT. 221 

goin' back on me too rapidly liere lately, an' now I'm a go- 
in' back on dem." 

" Well, ef you done had de speunce un it, I'm mighty 
glad. Ef you got 'lijjun, you better hole on to it 'twell de 
las' day in de mornin'. Hit's mighty good fer ter kyar' 
'roun' wid you in de day time an' likewise in de night time. 
Hit'll pay you mo' dan politics, an' ef you stan's up like 
you oughter, hit'll las' longer dan a bone-fellum. But you 
wanter have one er deze yer ole-time grips', an' you des got- 
ter shet yo' eyes an' swing on like wunner deze yer bull-tar- 
rier dogs." 

"■ Oh, I'm goin' to stick, Uncle Eemus. You kin put 
your money on dat. Deze town boys can't play no more 
uv dcre games on me. I'm fixed. Can't you lend me a 
dime. Uncle Eemus, to buy me a pie ? I'm dat hongry dat 
my stomach is gittin' ready to go in mo'nin'." 

Uncle Eemus eyed Charley curiously a moment, while 
the latter looked quietly at his timber toe. Finally, the 
old man sighed and spoke : 

" How long is you bin in de chu'ch, son ? " 

*' Mighty near a week," replied Charley. 

" Well, lemme tell you dis, now, 'fo' you go enny fud- 
der. You ain't bin in dar long nuff fer ter go 'roun' takin 
up conterbutions. Wait ontwell you gits sorter seasoned 
like, an' den I'll hunt 'roun' in my cloze an' see ef I can't 
run out a thrip er two fer you. But don't you levy taxes 
too early." 

Charley laughed, and said he would let the old man off 
if he would treat to a watermelon. 



222 



niS SAYINGS. 



XVII. 
AS TO FLU CAT/OX. 



As Uncle Eemus came up Whitehall Street recentl}', he 
met a little colored boy cai'rying a slate and a number of 




books. Some words passed between them, but their exact 
purport will probably never be known. They were unplea- 
sant, for the attention of a wandering policeman was called 
to the matter by hearing the old man bawl out : 

"Don't you come foolin' longer me, nigger. Youer 
flippin' yo' sass at de wrong color. You k'n go roun' yer 
an' sass deze w'ite people, an' maybe dey'll stan' it, but 
w'en you come a slingin' yo' jaw at a man w'at wuz gi-ay 
w'en de fahmin' days. gin out, you better go an' git yo' hide 
greased. " 

""What's the matter, old man?" asked a s^-mpathizing 
policeman. 

"Nothin', boss, 'cejipin I ain't gwiueter hav' no nigger 



AS TO EDUCATION. 



223 



chillun a lioopin' an' a liolleriu' at me w'en I'm gwine 'long 
de streets." 

*'0h, well, school-cliildren — you know Low they are." 
" Dat's w'at make I say w'at I duz. Dey better be home 
piekin' up chips. Wat a nigger gwineter I'arn outen books ? 
I kin take a bar'l stave an' fling mo' sense inter a nigger in 
one minnit dan all de school-houses betwixt dis en de State 
er Midgigin. Don't talk, honey ! Wid one bar'l stave I 
kin fa'rly lif de vail er ignunce." 

" Then you don't believe in education ? " 
'' Hits de ruination er dis country. Look at my gal. 
De ole 'oman sont 'er ter school las' year, an' now we dassent 
hardly ax 'er fer ter kyar de washin' home. She done got 
beyant 'er bizncss. I 'aint larnt nuthin' in books, 'en yit I 
kin count all de money I gits. Ko use talkin', boss. Put 
a spellin'-book in a nigger's ban's, en right den en dar' you 
loozes a plow-hand. I done had de spe'unce un it." 




224 HIS SAYINGS. 



A TEMPERANCE REFORMER. 

" Yer come Uncle Eenius," said a Avell-dressecl negro, 
who was standing on the sidewalk near James's bank re- 
cently, talking to a crowd of barbers. " Yer come Uncle 
Remus. I boun' he'll sign it." 

"You'll fling jo' money away ef you bet on it," re- 
sponded Uncle Eemus. ''I ain't turnin' no thin' loose on 
chu'ch 'scriptions. I wants money right now fer ter git a 
pint er meal." 

" 'Tain't dat." 

" An' I ain't heppin fer ter berry nobody. Much's I 
kin do ter keep do bref in my own body." 

'"Tain't dat, nudder." 

''An' I ain't puttin' my han' ter no reckommends. 
I'm fear'd fer ter say a perlite wud 'bout myse'f, an' I des 
know I ain't gwiue 'roun flatter'n up deze udder niggers. " 

"An' 'tain't dat," responded the darkey, who held a 
paper in his hand. " We er gittin up a Good Tcmpeler's 
lodge, an' we like ter git yo' name." 

"Eh-eh, honey ! I done see too much er dis nigger 
tempunce. Dey stan' up mighty squar' ontwell dere dues 
commence ter cramp um, an' dey don't stan' de racket wuf 
a durn. No longer'n yistiddy I seed one er de head men er 
one er dese Tempeler's s'cieties totin' water fer a bar-room. 
He had de water in a bucket, but dey ain't no tellin' how 
much red licker he avuz a totin'. G'long, chile — jine yo' 



AS A WEATHER PROPHET. 225 

s'ciety an' be good ter yo'se'f. I'm a gittin' too ole. Gimme 
tli'ee er fo' drams endurin er de day, an' I'm mighty nigh 
ez good a temimnce man ez de next un. I got ter scuffle 
fer sump'n feat." 



AS A WEATHER PROPHET. 

Uncle Eemus Avas enlightening a crowd of negroes at 
tlie car-shed yesterday. 

" Dar ain't nuthin'," said the old man, shaking his head 
pensively, " dat ain't got no change wrote on it. Dar ain't 
nothin' dat ain't spotted bcfo' hit begins fer ter commence. 
We all speunces dat p'overdence w'at lifts us up f um one 
place an' sets us down in de udder. Hit's continerly a 
movin' an a movin'." 

" Cat's so ! " " Youer talkin' now ! " came from several 
of his hearers. 

"I year Miss Sally readin' dis mawnin," continued the 
old man, "dat a man wuz comin' down yer fer ter take 
keer er de wedder — wunner deze yer Euro mens w'at goes 
'roun' a puttin' up an' pullin' down." 

" Wat he gwine do 'roun' yer ? " asked one. 

" He's a gwineter regelate de wedder," replied Uncle 
Remus, sententiously. " He's a gwineter fix hit up so dat 
dere won't be so much worriment 'mong de w'ite fokes 'bout 
de kinder wedder w'at falls to dere lot." 



226 HIS SAYINGS. 

"He gwine dish em up," suggested one of the older 
ones, "like man dish out siigar." 

"Xo," answered Uncle Eemus, mopping his benign fea- 
tures with a very large and very red bandana. "lie's a 
gwineter fix um better'n dat. He's a gwineter fix um up 
so you kin have any kinder wedder w'at you want widout 
to tin' her home." 

'' How's dat ?" asked some one. 

" Hit's dis way," said the old man, thoughtfully. "In 
co'se you knows w'at kinder wedder you wants. Well, den, 
w'en de man comes 'long, w'ich Miss Sally say he will, you 
des gotter go up dar, pick out yo' wedder, an' dere'll be a 
clock sot fer ter suit yo' case, an' w'en you git home, dere'll 
be yo' wedder a settin' out in de yard waitin' fer you. I 
wish he wuz yer now," the old man continued. "I'd take 
a p'ar er frosts in mine, cf I kotched cold fer it. Dat's 
me !" 

There were various exclamations of assent, and the old 
man went on his way singing, " Don't you Grieve Atter 
Me." 



XX. 

THE OLD MAX'S TROUBLES. 

"What makes you look so lonesome, Brer Remus?" 
asked a well-dressed negro, as the old man came shuffling 
down the street by James's corner yesterday. 

" Youer mighty right, I'm lonesome, Brer John Henry. 



THE OLD MAN'S TROUBLES. 227 

Wen a ole nigger like me is gotter paddle de canoe an' do 
de fishin' at de same time, an' w'en you bleedzd ter ketch 
de fish and dassent turn de paddle loose fer ter bait de 
hook, den I tell you, Brer John, youer right whar de mink 
had de goslin'. Mars John and Miss Sally, dey done bin 
gone down unto Putmon County for ter see dere kinfolks 
mighty nigh fo' days, an' you better b'leeve I done bin had 
ter scratch roun' mighty lively fer ter make de rashuns run 
out even." 

"I wuz at yo' house las' night, Brer Eemus," remarked 
Brer John Henry, " but I couldn't roust you outer bed." 

" Hit was de unseasonableness er de hour, I speck," said 
Uncle Eemus, dryly. " 'Pears unto me dat you all cliu'ch 
deacons settin' up mighty late dezc cole nights. You'll be 
slippin' round arter hours some time er nudder, an' you'll 
slip bodaciously inter de calaboose. You mine w'at I tell 
you." 

" It's mighty cole wedder," said Brer John Henry, evi- 
dently wishing to change the subject. 

"Cole!" exclaimed Uncle Remus; "hit got pas' cole 
on de quarter stretch. You oughter come to my house 
night 'fo' las'. Den you'd a foun' me 'live an' kickin'." 

"How's dat?" 

" Well, I tell you. Brer John Henry, de cole wuz so 
cole, an' de kiver wuz so light, dat I thujik I'd make a raid 
on Mars John's shingle pile, an' out I goes an' totes in a 
whole armful. Den I gits under de kiver an' tells my ole 
'oman fer ter lay 'em onto me like she was roofin' a house. 
Bimeby she crawls in, an' de shingles w'at she put on her 



228 HIS SAYINGS. 

side fer ter kiver wid, dey all draj:) off on de flo'. Den np 
I gits an' piles 'em on agin, an' Av'en I gits in bed my shin- 
gles draps off, an' dat's de way it wuz de whole blessid night. 
Fus' it wuz me up an' den de ole 'oman, an' it kep' us 
pow'ful warm, too, dat kinder exercise. Oh, you oughter 
drapt roun' 'bout dat time. Brer John Henry. You'd a 
year'd sho' nuff eussin' ! " 

"You don't tell me. Brer Eemus !" 

" My ole 'oman say de 01c Boy wouldn't a foun' a riper 
nigger, ef he wer' ter scour de country fum Ferginny ter 
de Alabam ! " 



THE FOURTH OF JULY. 

Uncle Eemus made his appearance recently with his 
right arm in a sling and his hand bandaged to that extent 
that it looked like the stick made to accompany the Centen- 
nial bass-drum. The old man evidently expected an attack 
all around, for he was unusually quiet, and fumbled in his 
pockets in an embarrassed manner. He was not mistaken. 
The agricultural editor was the first to open fire : 

" Well, you old villain ! what have you been up to 
now?" 

"It is really singular," remarked a commencement ora- 
tor, "that not even an ordinary holiday — a holiday, it 
seems to me, that ought to arouse all the latent instincts of 



THE FOURTH OF JULY. 229 

patriotism in the bosom of American citizens — can occur 
without embroiling some of our most valuable citizens. It 
is really singular to me that such a day should be devoted 
by a certain class of our population to broils and fisticuffs." 

This fine moral sentiment, which was altogether an im- 
promptu utterance, and which was delivered with the air 
of one who addresses a vast but invisible audience of young 
ladies in white dresses and blue sashes, seemed to add to 
the embarrassment of Uncle Remus, and at the same time 
to make an explanation necessary. 

'' Dey ain't none er you young Av'ite men never had no 
'casion fer ter strike up wid one er deze Mobile niggers ? " 
asked Uncle Remus. '"Kaze ef you iz, den you knows 
wharbouts de devilment come in. Show me a Mobile nig- 
ger," continued the old man, " an' I'll show you a nigger 
dat's marked for de chain-gang. Hit may be de fote er de 
fif er July, er hit may be de twelf er Jinawerry, but w'en 
a Mobile nigger gits in my naberhood right den an' dar 
trubble sails in an' 'gages bode fer de season. I speck I'm 
ez fon' er deze Nunited States as de nex' man w'at knows 
dat de Euro is busted up ; but long ez Remus kin stan' on 
his hine legs no Mobile nigger can't flip inter dis town 
longer no Wes' P'int 'schushun an' boss 'roun' 'mong de 
cullud fokes. Dat's me, up an' down, an' I boun' dere's a 
nigger some'rs on de road dis blessid day dat's got dis put 
away in his 'membunce." 

" How did he happen to get you down and maul you in 
this startling manner ? " asked the commencement orator, 
with a tone of exaggerated sympathy in his voice. 



230 HIS SAYINGS. 

"Maul who?" exclaimed Uncle Eemus, indignantly. 
"Maul who? Boss, de nigger dat mauled me ain't born- 
ded yit, an' dey er got ter have anudder war 'fo' one is 
bornded." 

" Well, Avhat was the trouble ?" 

" Hit wuz sorter dis way, boss. I wuz stannin' down 
dere by Mars John Jeems's bank, chattin' wid Sis Tempy, 
w'ich I ain't seed 'er befo' now gwine on seven year, an' 
watchin' de folks trompin' by, w'en one er deze yer slick- 
lookin' niggers, wid a bee-gum hat an' a brass watch ez big 
ez de head uv a beer-bar'l, come 'long an' bresh up agin me 
— so. Dere wuz two un um, an' dey went 'long gigglin' 
an' laffm' like a nes'ful er yaller-hammers. Bimeby dey 
come 'long agin an' de smart Ellick brush up by me once 
mo'. Den I say to myse'f, ' I lay I fetch you ef you gimme 
anudder invite.' An', sho' 'nuff, yer he come agin, an' 
dis time he rub a piece er watermillion rime under my lef 
year." 

"What did you do?" 

" Me ? I'm a mighty long-sufferin' nigger, but he 
hadn't no mo'n totch me 'fo' I flung dese yer bones in his 
face." Here Uncle Eemus held up his damaged hand tri- 
umphantly. "I sorter sprained my han', boss, but dog my 
cats if I don't b'leeve I spattered de nigger's eyeballs on de 
groun', and w'en he riz his count'nence look fresh like 
beef-haslett. I look mighty spindlin' an' puny now, don't 
I, boss ? " inquired the old man, with great apparent ear- 
nestness. 

"Eather." 



THE FOURTH OF JULY. 



231 



''Well, you cles ougliter see me git my Affikin up. Dey 
useter call me er bad nigger long 'fo' de war, an' hit looks 
like ter me dat I gits wuss an' wuss. Brer John Henry say 
dat I oughter supdue my rashfulness, an' I_ don't 'spute it, 
but tu'n a Mobile nigger loose in dis town, fote er July or 
no fote er July, an', me er him, one is got ter Ian' in jail. 
Hit's proned inter me. " 




UNCLE REMUS 

His Songs and His Sayings. 

THE FOLK-LORE OF THE OLD PLANTATION. 

By JOEL CHANrLEE, HAEF.IS. 



" We are just discovering what admirable literary material there is at 
home, what a great mine there is to explore, and how quaint and peculiar 
is the materia! which can be dug up. Mr. Harris's book maj' be looked 
on in a double light — either as a pleasant volume recounting the stories 
told by a typical old colored man to a child, or as a valuable contribution 
to our somewhat meager folklore. ... To Northern readers the story 
of Brer (Brother — Brudder) Kabbit may be novel. To those familiar 
with plantation life, who have listened to these quaint old stories, who 
have still tender reminiscences of some good old mauma who told these 
wondrous adventures to them when they were children, Brer Rabbit, the 
Tar Baby, aud Brer Fox, come back again with all the past pleasures of 
younger days." — New York Times. 

" The volume is a most readable one, whether it be regarded as a 
humorous book merely, or as a contribution to the literature of folk- 
lore." — New York Woi-ld. 

" This is a thoroughly amusing book, and is much the best humorous 
compilation that has been put before the American public for many a 
day." — Philadelphia Tt kyraph. 

" One of the most novel books of the year. ... If the book in its 
entirety is not widely read, we shall be greatly disappointed ; and, if any 
one misses the story of the Rabbit and the Fox, he will deny himself 
much pleasant mental recreation." — Boston Courier. 

"Uncle Remus's sayings on current happenings are very shrewd and 
bright, and the plantation and revival songs are choice specimens of their 
sort." — Boiion Journed. 



Well illustrated from Drawings by F. S. Church, whose humorous ani- 
mal drawings are so well known, and J. II. Moser, of Georgia. 

1 vol., 12mo. Cloth. Price, $1.50. 



For sale by all booksellers ; or sent by mail, post-paid, on receipt of 
price. 

D. A PPL ETON &- CO., Publishers, 

1. 3, & 5 Bond Street, New Yori. 



" We can not too kighfy commend this latest scheme for presenting good 
literature in comely and convenient shape, at extremely low prices." — New 
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