XXIX. MR. FOX GETS INTO SERIOUS BUSINESS
"Hit turn out one time," said Uncle Remus, grinding some crumbs
of tobacco between the palms of his hands, preparatory to enjoying
his usual smoke after supper-"hit turn out one time dat Brer Rabbit
make so free wid de man's collard-patch dat de man he tuck'n sot a
trap fer ole Brer Rabbit."
"Which man was that, Uncle Remus?" asked the little boy.
"Des a man, honey. Dat's all. Dat's all I knows -des wunner dese
yer mans w'at you see trollopin 'roun' eve'y day. Nobody ain't never
year w'at his name is, en ef dey did dey kep' de news mighty close
fum me. Ef dish yer man is bleedzd fer ter have a name, den I'm
done, kaze you'll hatter go fudder dan me. Ef you bleedzd ter
know mo' dan w'at I duz, den you'll hatter hunt up some er deze
yer niggers w'at's sprung up sence I commence fer ter shed my
"Well, I just thought, Uncle Remus," said the little boy, in a tone
remarkable for self-depreciation, "that the man had a name."
"Tooby sho," replied the old man, with unction, puffing away at
his pipe. "Co'se. Dat w'at make I say w'at I duz. Dish yer man mout
a had a name, en den ag'in he moutn't. He mout er bin name
Slip-shot Sam, en he mouter bin name ole One-eye Riley, w'ich ef
'twuz hit ain't bin handed roun' ter me. But dish yer man, he in de
tale, en w'at we gwine do wid 'im? Dats de p'int, kase w'en I git ter
huntin' 'roun' 'mong my 'membunce atter dish yer Mister
W'atyoumaycollum's name, she ain't dar. Now den, less des call 'im
Mr. Man en let 'im go at dat."
The silence of the little boy gave consent.
"One time," said Uncle Remus, carefully taking up the thread of
the story where it had been dropped, "hit turn out dat Brer Rabbit
bin makin' so free wid Mr. Man's greens en truck dat Mr. Man, he
tuck'n sot a trap for Brer Rabbit, en Brer Rabbit he so greedy dat
he tuck'n walk right spang in it, 'fo' he know hisse'f. Well, 'twa'n't
long 'fo' yer come Mr. Man, broozin' 'roun', en he ain't no sooner
see ole Brer Rabbit dan he smack his han's tergedder en holler out:
"'Youer nice feller, you is! Yer you bin gobblin' up my green truck,
en now you tryin' ter tote off my trap. Youer mighty nice chap-dat's
w'at you is! But now dat I got you, I'll des 'bout settle wid you fer
de ole en de new.'
"En wid dat, Mr. Man, he go off, he did, down in de bushes atter
han'ful er switches. Ole Brer Rabbit, he ain't sayin' nuthin', but he
feelin' mighty lonesome, en he sot dar lookin' like eve'y minnit wuz
gwineter be de nex'. En w'iles Mr. Man wuz off prepa'r'n his
bresh-broom, who should come p'radin' long but Brer Fox. Brer
Fox make a great 'miration, he did, 'bout de fix w'at he fine Brer
Rabbit in, but Brer Rabbit he make like he fit ter kill hisse'f laffin',
en he up'n tell Brer Fox, he did, dat Miss Meadows's fokes want
'im ter go down ter der house in 'tennunce on a weddin', en he low
w'ich he couldn't, en dey low how he could, en den bimeby dey
take'n tie 'im dar w'iles dey go atter de preacher, so he be dar' w'en
dey come back. En mo'n dat, Brer Rabbit up'n tell Brer Fox dat his
chillun's mighty low wid de fever, en he bleedzd ter go atter some
pills fer'm, en he ax Brer Fox fer ter take his place en go down ter
Miss Meadows's en have nice time wid de gals. Brer Fox, he in fer
dem kinder pranks, en 'twa'n't no time 'fo' Brer Rabbit had ole Brer
Fox harness up dar in his place, en den he make like he got ter
make 'as'e en git de pills fer dem sick chilluns. Brer Rabbit wa'n't
mo'n out er sight 'fo' yer come Mr. Man wid a han'ful er hick'ries,
but w'en he see Brer Fox tied up dar, he look like he 'stonished.
"'Heyo!' sez Mr. Man, sezee, 'you done change color, en you done
got bigger, en yo' tail done grow out. W'at kin'er w'atzyname is
you, ennyhow?' sezee.
"Brer Fox, he stay still, en Mr. Man, he talk on:
"'Hit's mighty big luck,' sezee, 'ef w'en I ketch de chap w'at nibble
my greens, likewise I ketch de feller w'at gnyaw my goose,' sezee,
en wid dat he let inter Brex Fox wid de hick'ries, en de way he play
rap-jacket wuz a caution ter de naberhood. Brer Fox, he juk en he
jump, en he squeal en he squall, but Mr. Man, he shower down on
'im, he did, like fightin' a red was'nes'."
The little boy laughed, and Uncle Remus supplemented this
indorsement of his descriptive powers with a most infectious
"'Bimeby," continued the old man, "de switches, dey got frazzle
out, en Mr. Man, he put out atter mo', en w'en he done got fa'rly
outer yearin', Brer Rabbit, he show'd up, he did, kaze he des bin
hidin' out in de bushes lis'nin' at de racket, en he low hit mighty
funny dat Miss Meadows ain't come 'long, kaze he done bin down
ter de doctor house, en dat's fudder dan de preacher, yit. Brer
Rabbit make like he hurr'in' on home, but Brer Fox, he open up, he
did, en he say:
"'I thank you fer ter tu'n me loose, Brer Rabbit, en I'll be 'blije,'
sezee, kaze you done tie me up so tight dat it make my head swim,
en I don't speck I'd las' fer ter git ter Miss Meadows's,' sezee.
"Brer Rabbit, he sot down sorter keerless like, en begin fer ter
scratch one year like a man studyin' 'bout sump'n.
"'Dat's so, Brer Fox,' sezee, 'you duz look sorter stove up. Look like
sump'n bin onkoamin' yo' ha'rs,' sezee.
"Brer Fox ain't sayin' nothin', but Brer Rabbit, he keep on talkin':
"'Dey ain't no bad feelin's 'twix' us, is dey, Brer Fox? Kaze ef dey is,
I ain't got no time fer ter be tarryin' 'roun' yer.'
"Brer Fox say w'ich he don't have no onfrennelness, en wid dat
Brer Rabbit cut Brer Fox loose des in time fer ter hear Mr. Man
w'isserlin up his dogs, en one went one way en de udder went