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Age Rating 8 Plus.
By JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS
Start of Story
From The Book of Stories for the Storyteller by Fanny E. Coe.
One evening Uncle Remus was telling the little boy a mighty tale of
how Brer Rabbit got the better of ole Brer Lion. He ended in this way:
"All de creeturs hear 'bout it, en dey go 'roun' en say dat Brer
Rabbit sholy is got deze 'ere things up here." Uncle Remus tapped his
forehead, and the little boy laughed.
"I don't think Brother Lion had much sense," remarked the little boy.
"Yes, he had some," said Uncle Remus. "He bleedz ter had some, but he
ain't got much ez Brer Rabbit. Dem what got strenk ain't got so mighty
"After Brer Rabbit done make way wid ole Brer Lion, all de yuther
creeturs say he sholy is a mighty man, en dey treat 'im good. Dis make
'im feel so proud dat he bleedz ter show it, en so he strut 'roun'
like a boy when he git his fust pa'r er boots.
"'Bout dat time, Brer Wolf tuck a notion dat ef Brer Rabbit kin outdo
ole Brer Lion, he can't outdo him. So he pick his chance one day
whiles ole Miss Rabbit en de little Rabs is out pickin' sallid for
dinner. He went in de house, he did, en wait fer Brer Rabbit ter come
home. Brer Rabbit had his hours, en dis was one un um, en 't wan't
long 'fo' here he come. He got a mighty quick eye, mon, en he tuck
notice dat ev'ything mighty still. When he got a little nigher, he
tuck notice dat de front door wuz on de crack, en dis make 'im feel
funny, kaze he know dat when his ole 'oman en de chillun out, dey
allers pulls de door shet en ketch de latch. So he went up a little
nigher, en he step thin ez a batter-cake. He peep here, en he peep
dar, yit he ain't see nothin'. He lissen in de chimbley cornder, en he
lissen und' de winder, yit he ain't hear nothin'.
"Den he sorter wipe his mustach en study. He 'low ter hisse'f, 'De pot
rack know what gwine up de chimbley, de rafters know who's in de loft,
de bed-cord know who und' de bed. I ain't no pot-rack, I ain't no
rafter, en I ain't no bed-cord, but, please gracious! I'm gwine ter
fin' who's in dat house, en I ain't gwine in dar nudder. Dey mo' ways
ter fin' out who fell in de mill-pond widout fallin' in yo'se'f.'
"Some folks," Uncle Remus went on, "would 'a' rushed in dar, en ef dey
had, dey wouldn't 'a' rushed out no mo', kaze dey wouldn't 'a' been
nothin' 'tall lef' un um but a little scrap er hide en a han'ful er
"Brer Rabbit got better sense dan dat. All he ax anybody is ter des
gi' 'im han'-roomance, en den what kin ketch 'im is mo' dan welly-come
ter take 'im. Dat 'zackly de kinder man what Brer Rabbit is. He went
off a little ways fum de house en clum a 'simmon stump en got up dar
en 'gun ter holler.
"He 'low, 'Heyo, house!'
"De house ain't make no answer, en Brer Wolf, in dar behime de door,
open his eyes wide. He ain't know what ter make er dat kinder doin's.
"Brer Rabbit holler, 'Heyo, house! Why n't you heyo?'
"House ain't make no answer, en Brer Wolf in dar behime de door sorter
move roun' like he gittin' restless in de min'.
"Brer Rabbit out dar on de 'simmon stump holler mo' louder dan befo',
'Heyo, house! Heyo!'
"House stan' still, en Brer Wolf in dar behime de door 'gun ter feel
col' chills streakin' up and down his back. In all his born days he
ain't never hear no gwines on like dat. He peep thoo de crack er de
door, but he can't see nothin'.
"Brer Rabbit holler louder, 'Heyo, house! Ain't you gwine ter heyo? Is
you done los' what little manners you had?'
"Brer Wolf move 'bout wuss'n befo'. He feel like sum un done hit 'im
on de funny-bone.
"Brer Rabbit holler hard ez he kin, but still he ain't git no answer,
en den he 'low, 'Sholy sump'n nudder is de matter wid dat house, kaze
all de times befo' dis, it been holler'n back at me, "Heyo, yo'se'f!"'
"Den Brer Rabbit wait little bit, en bimeby he holler one mo' time,
"Ole Brer Wolf try ter talk like he speck a house 'ud talk, en he
holler back, 'Heyo, yo'se'f!'
"Brer Rabbit wunk at hisse'f. He 'low, 'Heyo, house! why n't you talk
hoarse like you got a bad col'?'
"Den Brer Wolf holler back, hoarse ez he kin, 'Heyo, yo'se'f!'
"Dis make Brer Rabbit laugh twel a little mo' en he'd a drapt off'n
dat ar 'simmon stump en hurt hisse'f.
"He 'low, 'Eh-eh, Brer Wolf! dat ain't nigh gwine ter do. You'll
hatter stan' out in de rain a mighty long time 'fo' you kin talk
hoarse ez dat house!'
"I let you know," continued Uncle Remus, laying his hand gently on the
little boy's shoulder, "I let you know, Brer Wolf come a-slinkin'
out, en made a break fer home. Atter dat, Brer Rabbit live a long time
wid'out any er de yuther creeturs a-pesterin' un 'im!"