XXI. MR. RABBIT MEETS HIS MATCH AGAIN
"DERE wuz nudder man dat sorter play it sharp on Brer Rabbit,"
said Uncle Remus, 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 creeturs 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 evidently thought that the little boy wouldn't like to
hear of any further discomfiture of Brer Rabbit, who had come to
be a sort of hero, and he was not mistaken.
"I thought the Terrapin was the only one that fooled the Rabbit,"
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 Rabbit hadn't er got kotch up wid, de
nabers 'ud er took 'im for a h'ant, en in dem times dey bu'nt witches
'fo' you could squinch yo' eyeballs. Dey did dat."
"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 Ra'bbit en ole Brer Buzzard 'cluded 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-mine des 'cross de river.
"'You come en go longer me, Brer Rabbit,' sez 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 job, but he study en study, he
did, how he gwinter git 'cross de water, kaze ev'y time he git his
foot wet all de fambly kotch cole. Den he up'n ax Brer Buzzard
how he gwine do, en Brer Buzzard 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 dey 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 wuz in de middle 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 ballunce on a lim', Brer Rabbit, he up'n say, sezee:
"'W'iles 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 if 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 promeus fer ter 'vide fa'r en squar. So Brer
Buzzard, he kyar 'im back, en Brer Rabbit he walk weak in de
knees a mont' atterwuds."