XVI. OLD MR. RABBIT, HE'S A GOOD FISHERMAN
"BRER RABBIT en Brer Fox wuz like some chilluns w'at I knows
un," said Uncle Remus, regarding the little boy, who had come to
hear another story, with an affectation of great solemnity. "Bofe un
um wuz allers atter wunner nudder, a prankin' en a pester n 'roun',
but Brer Rabbit did had some peace, kaze Brer Fox done got
skittish 'bout puttin' de clamps on Brer Rabbit.
"One day, w'en Brer Rabbit, en Brer Fox, en Brer Coon, en Brer
B'ar, en a whole lot un um wuz clearin' up a new groun' fer ter
plant a roas'n'year patch, de sun gun ter git sorter hot, en Brer
Rabbit he got tired; but he didn't let on, kaze he 'fear'd de balance
un um'd call 'im lazy, en he keep on totin' off trash en pilin' up
bresh, twel bimeby he holler out dat he gotter brier in his han', en
den he take'n slip off, en hunt fer cool place fer ter res'. Atter w'ile
he come crosst a well wid a bucket hangin' in it.
"'Dat look cool,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, 'en cool I speck she is I'll
des 'bout git in dar en take a nap,' en wid dat in he jump, he did, en
he ain't no sooner fix hisse'f dan de bucket 'gun ter go down."
"Wasn't the Rabbit scared, Uncle Remus?" asked the little boy.
"Honey, dey ain't been no wusser skeer'd beas' sence de worril
begin dan dish yer same Brer Rabbit. He fa'rly had a ager. He
know whar he cum fum, but he dunner whar he gwine. Dreckly he
feel de bucket hit de water, en dar she sot, but Brer Rabbit he keep
mighty still, kaze he dunner w'at minnit gwineter be de nex'. He
des lay dar en shuck en shiver.
"Brer Fox allers got one eye on Brer Rabbit, en w'en he slip off
fum de new groun', Brer Fox he sneak atter 'im. He know Brer
Rabbit wuz atter some projick er nudder, en he tuck'n crope off, he
did, en watch 'im. Brer Fox see Brer Rabbit come to de well en
stop, en den he see 'im jump in de bucket, en den, lo en beholes, he
see 'im go down outer sight. Brer Fox wuz de mos' 'stonish Fox dat
you ever laid eyes on. He sot off dar in de bushes en study en
study, but he don't make no head ner tails ter dis kinder bizness.
Den he say ter hisse'f, sezee:
"'Well, ef dis don't bang my times,' sezee, 'den Joe's dead en Sal's a
widder. Right down dar in dat well Brer Rabbit keep his money
hid, en ef 'tain't dat den he done gone en 'skiver'd a gole-mine, en
ef 'tain't dat, den I'm a gwineter see w'at's in dar,' sezee.
"Brer Fox crope up little nigher, he did, en lissen, but he don't year
no fuss, en he keep on gittin' nigher, en yit he don't year nuthin'.
Bimeby he git up close en peep down, but he don't see nuthin' en
he don't year nuthin'. All dis time Brer Rabbit mighty nigh skeer'd
outen his skin, en he fear'd fer ter move kaze de bucket might keel
over en spill him out in de water. W'ile he sayin' his pra'rs over like
a train er kyars runnin, ole Brer Fox holler out:
"'Heyo, Brer Rabbit! Who you vizzitin' down dar?' sezee.
"'Who? Me? Oh, I'm des a fishin', Brer Fox,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.
'I des say ter myse'f dat I'd sorter sprize you all wid a mess er fishes
fer dinner, en so here I is, en dar's de fishes. I'm a fishin' fer
suckers, Brer Fox,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.
"'Is dey many un um down dar, Brer Rabbit?' sez Brer Fox, sezee.
"'Lots un um, Brer Fox; scoze en scoze un um. De water is natally
live wid um. Come down en he'p me haul um in, Brer Fox,' sez
Brer Rabbit, sezee.
"'How I gwinter git down, Brer Rabbit?'
"'Jump inter de bucket, Brer Fox. Hit'll fetch you down all safe en
"Brer Rabbit talk so happy en talk so sweet dat Brer Fox he jump
in de bucket, he did, en, ez he went down, co'se his weight pull
Brer Rabbit up.
"'W'en dey pass one nudder on de half-way growl', Brer Rabbit he
"'Good-by, Brer Fox, take keer yo' doze,
Fer dis-is de way de worril goes;
Some goes up en some goes down,
You'll git ter de bottom all safe en soun'.' *1
"W'en Brer Rabbit got out, he gallop off en tole de fokes w'at de
well blong ter dat Brer Fox wuz down in dar muddyin' up de
drinkin' water, en den he gallop back ter de well, en holler down
ter Brer Fox:
"'Yer come a man wid a great big gun-W'en he haul you up, you
jump en run."
"What then, Uncle Remus?" asked the litfie boy, as the old man
"In des 'bout half n'our, honey, bofe un um wuz back in de new
groun' wukidri des like dey never heer'd er no well, ceppin' dat
eve'y now'n den Brer Rabbit'd bust out in er laff, en old Brer Fox,
he'd git a spell er de dry grins."
*1 As a Northern friend suggests that this story may be some-what
obscure, it may be as well to state--a tile well is supposed to be
supplied with a rope over a wheel, or pulley, with a bucket at each