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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

Joel Chandler Harris (1848–1908)

Mr. Rabbit Grossly Deceives Mr. Fox

From “Uncle Remus, His Songs and His Sayings”

ONE evening, when the little boy—whose nights with Uncle Remus were 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 had heard the child coming, and, when the rosy-cheeked chap put his head in at the door, was engaged in a monologue, the burden of which seemed to be:
  • “Ole Molly Har’,
  • Wat you doin’ dar,
  • Settin’ 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 pursuit 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 gracious, honey, dat he didn’t. Who? Him? You dunno nothin’ ’tall ’bout Brer Rabbit ef dat’s de way you puttin’ ’im down. W’at he gwine ’way fer? He moughter stayed sorter close twel de pitch rub off’n his ha’r, but tweren’t menny days ’fo’ he wuz lopin’ up en down de naberhood same ez ever, en I dunno ef he weren’t mo’ sassier 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 monst’us gigglement. Brer Rabbit he sot up des ez cool ez a cowcumber, he did, en let ’em run on.”

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

    “Don’t ax me, honey. She wuz in de tale, Miss Meadows en de gals wuz, en de tale I give you like hit wer’ gun ter me. Brer Rabbit he sot dar, he did, sorter lam’like, en den bimeby he cross his legs, he did, and wink his eye slow, en up and 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 ’spects, 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 laugh ’bout Brer Rabbit, Miss Meadows en de gals dey ups en tells ’im ’bout w’at Brer Rabbit say. Den Brer Fox grit his tushes 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 Rabbit chaw up his words en spit um out right yere whar you kin see ’im,’ sezee, en wid dat off Brer Fox put.

    “En w’en he got in de big road he shuck de dew offen his tail, en made a straight shoot fer Brer Rabbit’s house. W’en he got dar, Brer Rabbit 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 ag’in—blam! blam! Den Brer Rabbit 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 gittin’ ’way wid me. Do, please, Brer Fox, run quick,’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.

    “‘I come atter you, Brer Rabbit,’ sez Brer Fox, sezee. ‘Dar’s gwineter be a party up at Miss Meadows’s,’ sezee. ‘All de gals ’ll be dere, en I promus dat I’d fetch you. De gals, dey ’lowed dat hit wouldn’t be no party ’ceppin’ I fotch 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 Rabbit say he can’t walk. Brer Fox say he tote ’im. Brer Rabbit say how? Brer Fox say in his arms. Brer Rabbit say he drap ’im. Brer Fox ’low he won’t. Bimeby Brer Rabbit say he go ef Brer Fox tote ’im on his back. Brer Fox say he would. Brer Rabbit say he can’t ride widout a saddle. Brer Fox say he git de saddle. Brer Rabbit say he can’t set in saddle ’less he have bridle fer to hol’ by. Brer Fox say he git de bridle. Brer Rabbit 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 Rabbit say he go. Den Brer Fox say he ride Brer Rabbit mos’ up ter Miss Meadows’s, en den he could git down en walk de balance er de way. Brer Rabbit ’greed, en den Brer Fox lipt up out atter de saddle en de bridle.

    “Co’se Brer Rabbit 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, yere come Brer Fox, saddle en bridle on, en lookin’ ez peart ez a circus pony. He trot up ter de do’ en stan’ dar pawin’ de ground en chompin’ de bit same like sho’ ’nuff hoss, en Brer Rabbit he mount, he did, en dey amble off. Brer Fox can’t see behime wid de bline bridle on, but bimeby he feel Brer Rabbit raise one er his foots.

    “‘W’at you doin’ now, Brer Rabbit?’ sezee.

    “‘Short’nin’ de lef stir’p, Brer Fox,’ sezee.

    “Bimeby Brer Rabbit raise up de udder foot.

    “‘W’at 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 Meadows’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’s flanks, en you better b’leeve he got over groun’. W’en 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’ich he hitch Brer Fox at, en den he santer inter de house, he did, en shake han’s wid de gals, en set dar, smokin’ his seegyar same ez a town man. Bimeby he draw in a 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 ’spect 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.

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