Tuesday, December 11, 2018

C096. Brer Wolf and his Horns

62. Brother Wolf and the Horned Cattle. 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.


It come about one time that all the critters what got horns took a notion that they got to meet together and have a confab for to see how they going take care theyself, 'cause them the other critters what got  tooth and claw, they was just a-snatching 'em from 'round every corner.

They sent out word, the horn critters did, and they took and meet together 'way off in the woods. Man — sir! — they was a big gang of 'em, and the muster they had out there it weren't bear telling scarcely. Mr. Bull, he was there, and Mr. Steer, and Miss Cow, and Mr. Benjamin Ram, with his fiddle, and Mr. Billy Goat, and Mr. Unicorn, and old man Rhinossyhoss, yes, and lots more what I ain't know the names of. Man — sir! — they had a mighty muster out there. 

Old Brer Wolf, he took and hear about the muster, and he such a smarty that nothing ain't gonna do but he must go and see what they doing. He study about it long time, and then he went out in the timber and cut him two crooked sticks, and tie 'em on his head, and start off to where the horn critters meet at. 

When he get there Mr. Bull ask him who is he, what he want, where he come from, and where he going. Brer Wolf, he allow, "Ba-a-a! I'm name little Sook Calf!"

Mr. Bull look at Brer Wolf mighty hard over his specs, but after a while he go off somewheres else, and Brer Wolf take his place in the muster.

Well, then, by and by, directly, they got to talking and telling their experience just like the white folks does at class-meeting. Whiles they was going on this a-way, a great big horse-fly come sailing 'round, and Brer Wolf took and forget hisself, and snap at him.

All this time Brer Rabbit been hiding out in the bushes watching Brer Wolf, and when he see this he took and break out in a laugh. Brer Bull, he took and holler out, he did, "Who that laughing and showing their manners?"

Nobody ain't make no answer, and directly Brer Rabbit holler out, 
"Oh kittle-cattle, kittle-cattle, where your eyes?
Who ever see a Sook Calf snapping at flies?"

De horn critters they all look 'round and wonder what that mean, but by and by they go on with they confab. it weren't long 'fore a flea took and bite Brer Wolf 'way up on the back of the neck, and 'fore he know what he doing, he took and squat right down and scratch hisself with his behind foot."

Brer Rabbit, he took and broke out in another big laugh and disturb 'em all, and then he holler out, 
"Scritchum-scratchum, Lawdy-my-laws!
Look at that Sook Calf scratching with claws!"

Brer Wolf get mighty scared, but none of the horn critters ain't take no notice of him, and it weren't long 'fore Brer Rabbit holler out again, 
"Rinktum-tinktum, ride him on a rail!
That Sook Calf got a long bushy tail!"

De horn critters, they go on with their confab, but Brer Wolf get scaredder and scaredder, 'cause he notice that Mr. Bull got his eye on him. 

Brer Rabbit, he ain't give him no rest. He holler out, 
"One and one never can make six,
Sticks ain't horns, and horns ain't sticks!"

With that Brer Wolf make as if he going away from there, and he weren't none too soon, neither, 'cause old Mr. Bull splunge at him, and little more and he'd've naturally tore him in two.

Brer Wolf just scooted away from there, and he got so mad with Brer Rabbit, that he took and play dead, and word went 'round that they want all the critters for to go sit up with him. Brer Rabbit, he went down there for to look at him, and time he see him, he ask, "Is he grin yet?"

All the critters they up and say he ain't grin, not as they knows of. Then Brer Rabbit, he allow, he did, "Well, then, gentlemens all, if he ain't grin, then he ain't dead good. In all my experience, folks ain't get dead good till they grins."

When Brer Wolf hear Brer Rabbit talk that a-way, he took and grin from ear to ear, and Brer Rabbit, he picked up his hat and walking-cane and put out for home, and when he got 'way off in the woods he sat down and laugh fit to kill hisself.

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