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:

"I-doom-er-ker-kum-mer-ker!"

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 branch."

"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:

"Jug-er-rum-kum-dum! Jug-er-rum-kum-dum!'

"Den n'er Frog holler out:

"'Knee-deep! Knee-deep!'

"Den ole Brer Bull-Frog, he holler back:

"'Don'-you-ber-lieve-'im! Don't-you-berliev-'im!'

"Den de bubbles come up fum Brer Tarrypin:

"'I-doom-er-ker-kum-mer-ker!'

"Den n'er Frog sing out:

"'Wade in! Wade in!'

"Den ole Brer Bull-Frog talk thoo his ho'seness:

"'Dar-you'll-fine-yo'-brudder! Dar-you'll-fine-yo'-brudder!'

"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:

"'I-doom-er-ker-kum-mer-ker!'

"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'."

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