Wednesday, December 12, 2018

C061. Brer Wolf Says Grace

27. Brother Wolf Says Grace. 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 done come 'cross my remembrance that there was one time when Brer Wolf caught Brer Rabbit. In them days, the critters was constant going a-courting. If it weren't Miss Meadows and the gals they was flying 'round, it was Miss Motts. They was constant a-courting. And it weren't none of this here "Howdy-do-ma'am-I-'spect-I-better-be-going" neither. It was go after breakfast and stay till after supper.

Brer Rabbit, he got took with a liking for Miss Motts, and soon one morning, he took and slick hisself up, he did, and put out to call on her. When Brer Rabbit get to where Miss Motts live, she done gone off somewheres.

Some folks'd've sat down and wait till Miss Motts come back, and then again some folks'd've took their foot in their hand and went back; but old Brer Rabbit, he ain't the man for to be outdone, and he just took and go in the kitchen and light he cigar, and then he put out for to pay a call on Miss Meadows and the gals.

When he get there, lo and beholds, he find Miss Motts there, and he tipped in, old Brer Rabbit did, and he galanted 'round amongst 'em, same like one of these here town chaps, what you see come out to Harmony Grove meeting-house. They talk and they laugh; they laugh and they giggle. By and by, 'long towards night, Brer Rabbit allow he better be going. The women folks there all ask him for to stay till after supper, 'cause he such lively company, but Brer Rabbit feared some of the other critters be hiding out for him; so he took and pay his respects, he did, and start for home.

He ain't get far till he come up with a great big basket sitting down by the side of the big road. He look up the road; he ain't see nobody. He look down the road; he ain't see nobody. He look before, he look behind, he look all 'round; he ain't see nobody. He listen, and listen; he ain't hear nothing. He wait, and he wait; nobody ain't come.

Then, by and by Brer Rabbit go and peep in the basket, and it seem like it half full of green truck. He reach he hand in, he did, and get some and put it in he mouth. Then he shut he eye and do like he studying about something. After while, he allow to hisself, "It look like sparrow-grass, it feel like sparrow-grass, it taste like sparrow-grass, an' I be bless if it ain't sparrow-grass.'

With that Brer Rabbit jump up, he did, and crack he heel together, and he fetch one leap and land in the basket, right spang in amongst the sparrow-grass. There where he miss he footing, 'cause when he jump in amongst the sparrow-grass, right then and there he jump in amongst old Brer Wolf, which he were curl up at the bottom.

Time Brer Wolf grab him, Brer Rabbit knowed he was a gone case; yet he sing out, he did, "I just tryin' to scare you, Brer Wolf; I just tryin' to scare you. I knowed you was in there, Brer Wolf, I knowed you by the smell!" says Brer Rabbit, says he.

Ole Brer Wolf grin, he did, and lick he chops, and up and say, "Mighty glad you knowed me, Brer Rabbit, 'cause I knowed you just time you dropped in on me. I took an' tell Brer Fox yesterday that I was gonna take a nap 'longside of the road, an' I bound you'd come 'long an' wake me up, an' sure enough, here you come an' here you is," says Brer Wolf, says he.

When Brer Rabbit hear this, he begun to get mighty scared, and he whirl in and beg Brer Wolf for to please turn him loose; but this make Brer Wolf grin worser, and he tooth look so long and shine so white, and he gum look so red, that Brer Rabbit hush up and stay still. He so scared that he breath come quick, and he heart go like flutter-mill. He tune up like he going cry, "Where you gonna carry me, Brer Wolf?"

"Down by the branch, Brer Rabbit."

"What you goin' down there for, Brer Wolf?"

"So I can get some water to clean you with after I done skinned you, Brer Rabbit."

"Please, sir, lemme go, Brer Wolf."

"You talk so young you make me laugh, Brer Rabbit."

"That sparrow-grass done make me sick, Brer Wolf."

"You'll be sicker than that 'fore I get done with you, Brer Rabbit."

"Where I come from nobody dare to eat sick folks, Brer Wolf."

"Where I come from they ain't dare to eat no other kind, Brer Rabbit."

They went on this a-way, plumb till there get to the branch. Brer Rabbit, he beg and cry, and cry and beg, and Brer Wolf, he refuse and grin, and grin and refuse. When they come to the branch, Brer Wolf lay Brer Rabbit down on the ground and held him there, and then he study how he going make way with him. He study and he study, and whiles he studying Brer Rabbit, he took and study some on he own hook. Then when it seem like Brer Wolf done fix all the arrangerments, Brer Rabbit, he make like he crying worser and worser; he just fairly blubber.

"Ber—ber—Brer Wooly—ooly—oolf! Is you going—is you going to sacrifice me right now—ow—ow?"

"That I is, Brer Rabbit; that I is."

"Well, if I puh-pleased to be killed, Brer Wooly—ooly—oolf, I wants to be killed right, an' if I puh-pleased to be et, I wants to be et ri—ight, too, now!"

"How that, Brer Rabbit?"

"I want you to show yo' politeness, Brer Wooly—ooly—oolf!"

"How I gonna do that, Brer Rabbit?"

"I want you to say grace, Brer Wolf, an' say it quick, 'cause I getting mighty weak."

"How I gonna say grace, Brer Rabbit?"

"Fold yo' hands under yo' chin, Brer Wolf, an' shut yo' eyes, an' say: Bless us an' bind us, an' put us in crack where the Old Boy can't find us. Say it quick, Brer Wolf, 'cause I failing mighty fast."

Brer Wolf, he put up he hands, he did, and shut he eyes, and allow, "Bless us an' bind us;" but he ain't get no further, 'cause just time he take up he hands, Brer Rabbit fetch a wiggle, he did, and lit on he foots, and he just naturally left a blue streak behind him.

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