XXIV. MR. BEAR CATCHES OLD MR. BULL-FROG
"WELL, Uncle Remus," said the little boy, counting to see if he
hadn't lost a marble somewhere, "the Bear didn't catch the Rabbit
after all, did he?"
"Now 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 kotch 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, w'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 bodder'n yo' ma fer ter borry a cup
full er 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 yer
"How did the Bear get into more trouble, Uncle Remus?" asked
the little boy.
"Natchul, honey. Brer B'ar, he tuck a notion dat ole Brer
Bull-frog wuz de man w'at fool 'im, en he say dat he'd come up wid
'im ef 'twuz a year atterwuds. But 'twan't no year, 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-muddle fas' 'sleep! Brer B'ar drap his axe, he did,
en crope up, en retch out wid his paw, en scoop 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. W'en Brer B'ar
got his dampers on 'im good, he sot down en talk at 'im.
"'Howdy, Brer Bull-frog, howdy! En how yo fambly? 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 keep runnin' on:
"'Youer de man w'at tuck en fool me 'bout Brer Rabbit t'er day.
You had yo' fun, Brer Bull-frog, en now I'll git mine.'
"Den Brer Bull-frog, he gin ter git skeerd, he did, en he up'n say:
"'W'at I bin doin', Brer B'ar? How I bin foolin' you?'
"Den Brer B'ar laff, en make like he dunno, but he 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 Rabbit done gone on by. Oh, no! you
ain't de man. I bonn' you ain't. 'Bout dat time, you wuz at home
with 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
"Co'se, Brer Bull-frog dunner w'at Brer B'ar drivin' at, but he know
sump'n hatter be done, en dat mighty soon, kaze Brer B'ar 'gun to
snap his jaws tergedder en foam at de mouf, en Brer Bull-frog
"'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 de 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 ole Brer B'ar say he gwineter make way wid 'im, en den he sot
en study, ole Brer B'ar did, how he gwineter squench Brer
Bull-frog. He know he can't drown 'im, en he ain't got no fier fer
ter bu'n 'im, en he git mighty pestered. 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
atter I see um, den you kin take you axe en sqush 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
shouder, en off he put fer de big flat rock. When he git dar he lay
Brer Bullfrog 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 han's en draw back en come
down on de rock-pow!"
"'Did he kill the Frog, Uncle Remus?" asked the little boy, as the
old man paused to scoop up a thimbleful of glowing embers in his
"'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
lift up en dove down in de mill-pon', kerblink-kerblunk! En w'en
he riz way out in de pon' he riz a singin', en dish yer's de song w'at
"'Ingle-go-jang, my joy, my joy-
Ingle-go-jang, my joy!
I'm right at home, my joy, my joy-
Ingle-go-jang, my 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 'twouldn't be funny now ef folks know'd much 'bout de
Bull-frog langwidge ez dey useter. Dat's w'at."