XIV. MR. FOX AND THE DECEITFUL FROGS
WHEN the little boy ran in to see Uncle Remus the night after he
had told him of the awful fate of Brer Wolf, the only response to
his greeting was:
No 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 peculiar
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. The
little boy was astonished.
"What did you Say, Uncle Remus?"
"I-doom-er-ker-kum-mer-ker! I-doom-er-ker-kum mer-ker!"
"What is that?"
"Dat's Tarrypin talk, dat is. Bless yo' soul, honey," continued the
old man, brightening up, "w'en you 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 'llbe
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 old rat dunno ain't down in de spellin' book. Des
now, w'en you run in and broke me up, I wuz fetchin'into my mine
w'at Brer Tarrypin say ter Brer Fox w'en he turn 'im loose in de
"What 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 holler back:
"Den n'er Frog holler out:
"Den ole Brer Bull-Frog, he holler back:
"Den de bubbles come up fum Brer Tarrypin:
"Den n'er Frog sing out:
"'Wade in! Wade in!'
"Den ole Brer Bull-Frog talk thoo his ho'seness:
"Sho nuff, Brer Fox look over de bank, he did, en dar wuz n'er Fox
lookin' at 'im outen de water. Den he retch out fer ter shake han's,
en in he went, heels over head, en Brer Tarrypin bubble out:
"Was the Fox drowned, Uncle Remus?" asked the little boy.
"He weren't zackly drowndid, honey," replied the old man, With 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'."