VI. MR. RABBIT CROSSLY DECEIVES MR. FOX
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
"Ole Molly Har',
W'at you doin' dar,
Settin' in de coruder
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
nuthin' '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 neighborhood 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 'irn 'bout it, en de gals got up a monstus
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 hi't 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 '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 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 yer 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 offn 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 agin-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 et 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 'llbe
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 ter 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 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, yer 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 into Brer Fox 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 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
"Dat ain't all, honey, but 'twon't do fer ter give out too much doff
fer ter cut one pa'r pants," replied the old man sententiously.