Tuesday, December 11, 2018

C081. Fox, Rabbit, and the Supply of Beef

47. Brother Rabbit Lays in His Beef Supply. Text Source: Nights with Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris. Online at Project Gutenberg. I have removed the frame material and standardized the spelling; click here for the original spelling plus all notes to the story.


There was a time when Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox joined in with one another and killed a cow. In spite of they falling out, they took and go into cahoots and killed a cow, and it weren't they own cow.

And after they done skinned 'er, Brer Rabbit, he up and allow, he did, that if Brer Fox want to get the good of the game, he better run home and fetch a tray of something for put the giblets in. That's what we-all calls the liver, the lights, the heart, and the melt. Some calls 'em giblets and some calls 'em hasletts, but if you'll lemme take 'em and carry 'em home, you can just up and call 'em most by any name what creep into your mind. 

They killed the cow, they did, and Brer Rabbit tell Brer Fox about the giblets, and whiles Brer Fox going on home after the bucket for to put 'em in, he say to hisself that Brer Rabbit ain't bad as he cracked up to be. 

But no sooner is Brer Fox out of sight than Brer Rabbit cut out the giblets, he did, and carried 'em off and hide 'em. Then he come back and took a piece of the meat and drop blood 'way off the other way.

By and by here come Brer Fox with he bucket, and when he get there Brer Rabbit was sitting down crying. Man, he was just a-boohoo-ing. Brer Fox, he allow, "Name of goodness, Brer Rabbit! What the matter?"

"Enough the matter — enough the matter. I wish you'd've stayed here whiles you was here — that I does, Brer Fox!"

"How come, Brer Rabbit, — how come?"

"Man come, Brer Fox, and stole all yo' nice giblets. I been a-running after 'im, Brer Fox, but he outrun me."

"Which a-way he go, Brer Rabbit?"

"Here the way he went, Brer Fox; here where he drop the blood. If you be right pert, Brer Fox, you'll catch 'im."

Brer Fox he dropped the bucket, he did, and put out after the man what took the giblets, and he weren't out of sight good, 'fore old Brer Rabbit sail in and cut out all the fat and tallow, and carry it off and hide it. 

After while, here come Brer Fox back just a-puffing and a-panting. He ain't see no man. Brer Rabbit, he hail 'im, "You ain't come a minute too soon, Brer Fox, that you ain't. Whiles you been gone another man come 'long and carried off all the tallow and fat. He went right off that a-way, Brer Fox, and if you'll be right pert, you'll catch 'im."

Brer Fox, he took and put out, he did, and run, and run, yet he ain't see no man. Whiles he done gone Brer Rabbit carry off one of the behind quarters. Brer Fox come back; he ain't see no man. Brer Rabbit holler and tell 'im that another man done come and got a behind quarter and runned off with it.

Brer Fox sort of study 'bout this, 'cause it look like nobody ever see the like of mens folks passing by that one lonesome cow. He make out he going to run after the man what steal the behind quarter, but he ain't get far 'fore he took and turn 'round and crept back, and he was just in time for to see Brer Rabbit making off with the other behind quarter. Brer Fox mighty tired with running hither and yon, and backwards and forwards, but he get so mad when he see Brer Rabbit going off that a-way that he dash up and ask 'im where is he going with that there beef.

Brer Rabbit lay the beef down, he did, and look like he feelings hurted. He look at Brer Fox like he feel mighty sorry for folks what can ask foolish questions like that. He shake he head, he did, and allow, "Well, well, well! Who'd've thunk that Brer Fox would've come asking me 'bout this here beef, which anybody would've knowed I was a-carryin' off for to save for 'im, so nobody couldn't get it?"

But this here kinder talk don't suit Brer Fox, and he took and make a motion as if to catch Brer Rabbit, but Brer Rabbit he give 'im leg bail, and there they had it through the woods till Brer Rabbit come upon a hollow tree, and into that he went, just like one of these streaked lizards goes into a hole in the sand.

Old Brer Buzzard was there, and Brer Fox ask 'im for to watch the hole, but he ain't been there long 'fore Brer Rabbit sing out, "I got the advantage of you, that's what, Brer Buzzard, I surely is."

"How that, Brer Rabbit?"

"'Cause I can see you, and you can't see me."

With that Brer Buzzard stuck he head in the hole, and look up; and no sooner is he do this than Brer Rabbit fill he eyes full of sand, and whiles he gone to the branch for to wash it out, Brer Rabbit he come down out of the hollow and went back to where the cow was; and more than that, Brer Rabbit got the balance of the beef.

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