Tuesday, December 11, 2018

C084. Brer Rabbit Pretends to Be Poisoned

50. Brother Rabbit Pretends to Be Poisoned. 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.


One time Brer Rabbit and Brer Wolf took and gone off somewheres and killed a cow, and when they come for to divide out the carcass, Brer Wolf allow that beings he the biggest he ought to have the most, and he light in, he did, and do like he going to take it all. Brer Rabbit do like he don't care much, but he care so bad hit make 'im right sick. He took and walk all 'round the carcass, he did, and sniff the air, and directly he say, "Brer Wolf!—O Brer Wolf!—Is this meat smell exactly right to you?"

Brer Wolf, he cutting and he carving and he ain't saying nothing. Brer Rabbit, he walk all 'round and 'round the carcass. He feel it and he kick it. Directly he say, "Brer Wolf!—O Brer Wolf!—This meat feel mighty flabby to me; how it feel to you?"

Brer Wolf, he hear all that's said, but he keep on a-cutting and a-carving. Brer Rabbit say, "You can talk or not talk, Brer Wolf, just as you are mind to, yet if I ain't mistooken in the sign, you'll do some tall talking 'fore you are done with this beef. Now you mark what I tell you!"

Brer Rabbit put out from there, and it weren't long 'fore here he come back with a chunk of fire, and a dish of salt. When Brer Wolf see this, he say, "'What you going do with all that, Brer Rabbit?"

Brer Rabbit laugh like he know more than he gonna tell, and he say, "Bless your soul, Brer Wolf! I ain't going to carry a pound of this meat home till I find out what the matter with it. No I ain't—so there now!"

Then Brer Rabbit built 'im a fire and cut 'im off a slice of steak and broil it good and done, and then he et little of it. First he'd taste and then he'd nibble; then he'd nibble and then he'd taste. He keep on till he et right smart piece. Then he went and sat off little ways like he waiting for something.

Brer Wolf, he carve and he cut, but he keep one eye on Brer Rabbit. Brer Rabbit sat up there same as judge on the bench. Brer Wolf, he watch his motions. Directly Brer Rabbit fling both hands up to he head and fetch a groan. Brer Wolf cut and carve and watch Brer Rabbit motions. Brer Rabbit sort of sway backwards and forwards and fetch another groan. Then he sway from side to side and holler, "O Lordy!"

Brer Wolf, he sort of begun to get scared and he ask Brer Rabbit what the matter. Brer Rabbit, he roll on the ground and holler, "O Lordy, Lordy! I'm poisoned, I'm poisoned! O Lordy! I'm poisoned! Run here, somebody, run here! The meat done got poison on it. Oh, do run here!"

Brer Wolf get so scared that he put out from there, and he weren't out of sight scarcely 'fore Brer Rabbit jump up from there and cut the pigeon-wing, and it weren't so mighty long after that 'fore Brer Rabbit done put all of that beef in his smoke-house.

Brer Wolf went after the doctor, and when he come back Brer Rabbit and the beef done gone; and, bless goodness,if it hadn't've been for the sign where Brer Rabbit built the fire, Brer Wolf would've been mightily pestered for to find the place where the cow been killed.

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