Tuesday, December 18, 2018

C133. Brer Goat Eats the Rock

14: Brother Billy Goat Eats His Dinner. Text Source: Uncle Remus and His Friends by Joel Chandler Harris. Online at Hathi Trust. I have removed the frame material and standardized the spelling; click here for notes to the story.


There was one time when Brer Wolf was going loping 'round the settlement feeling mighty hungry. He want some vittles for hisself, and he want some for his family, yet it seem like he can't find none nowheres. He talk with Brar Bear, and he hear tell that shote meat mighty good, but he can't find no shote; he hear tell that goat meat mighty good, but he can't find no goat.

But by and by, one day whiles he going 'long the road, he seed a big rock laying in a field, and on top of this here rock was Brer Billy Goat. It weren't none of these here little bit of rocks; it was mighty nigh as big as this here house, and old Brer Billy Goat was a-standing up there kind of ruminating about old times. 

Brer Wolf loped up, he did, and made ready for to see what kind of taste goat meat got. Yet he took notice that Brer Billy Goat was chewing away like he eating something. Brer Wolf sort of wait awhile, but Brer Billy Goat was constant a-chewing and a-chewing. Brer Wolf look and he look, but Brer Billy Goat keep on a-chewing and a-chewing. 

Brer Wolf look close. He ain't see no green grass, he ain't see no shucks, he ain't see no straw, he ain't see no leaf. Brer Billy Goat keep on a-chewing and a-chewing. Brer Wolf study, but he don't know what the name of goodness Brer Billy Goat can be eating up there. So by and by he hail 'im. 

He allow, says he, "Howdy, Brer Billy Goat, howdy. I hope you are middling pert these hard times?" 

Brer Billy Goat shake his long beard and keep on a-chewing. 

Brer Wolf allow, says he, "What you eatin', Brer Billy Goat? Look like it taste mighty good." 

Brer Billy Goat allow, 'I'm a-eatin' this here rock; that what I'm a-eatin'." 

Brer Wolf make answer, 'I'm mighty hungry myself — but I don't expect I can do that." 

Brer Billy Goat allow, "Come up where I is, and I'll break you off a hunk with my horns." 

Brer Wolf say, says he, that he mighty much obliged, but he expect he had to be getting along, and he allow to hisself, "If Brer Billy Goat can eat rock like that, I expect I better go along and let 'im alone." 

Brer Billy Goat holler at 'im and say, says he, "If you can't climb up, Brer Wolf, I can come down there and help you up. The rock where I is is more fresher than that down there. It's some harder, but it's lots more fresher." 

But Brer Wolf ain't stop to make answer. He just kept a-going. He took it in his head that if Brer Billy Goat can eat rock that away, it won't do to fool along with 'im, 'cause if a critter can eat rock, he can eat whatsoever they put 'fore 'im.

Course Brer Billy Goat was just chewing his cud and talking big, and I done seed lots of folks do that a-way — black folks well as white folks.

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