Monday, December 10, 2018

C020. Rabbit, Wolf, and the Tail of the Cow

20. How Mr. Rabbit Saved His Meat. Text Source: Uncle Remus, His Songs and His Sayings 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 Wolf was coming long home from a fishing frolic. He saunter long the road, he did, with his string of fish across his shoulder, when first news you know old Miss Partridge, she hop out of the bushes and flutter long right at Brer Wolf nose.


Brer Wolf he say to hisself that old Miss Partridge trying for to toll him away from her nest, and with that he lay his fish down and put out into the bushes where old Miss Partridge come from, and about that time Brer Rabbit, he happen long.

There was the fishes, and there was Brer Rabbit, and when that the case what you expect a sort of impertinent man like Brer Rabbit gonna do? I can tell you this, that them fishes ain't stay where Brer Wolf put 'em at, and when Brer Wolf come back they was gone.


Brer Wolf, he sat down and scratch his head, he did, and study and study, and then it sort of rush into his mind that Brer Rabbit been along there, and then Brer Wolf, he put out for Brer Rabbit house, and when he get there he hail him.

Brer Rabbit, he don't know nothing at all about no fishes.

Brer Wolf he up and say he pleased to believe Brer Rabbit got them fishes.

Brer Rabbit deny it up and down, but Brer Wolf stand to it that Brer Rabbit got them fishes. Brer Rabbit, he say that if Brer Wolf believe he got the fishes, then he give Brer Wolf leave for to kill the best cow he got.

Brer Wolf, he took Brer Rabbit at his word, and go off to the pasture and drive up the cattle and kill Brer Rabbit best cow.

Brer Rabbit, he hate mighty bad for to lose his cow, but he lay his plans, and he tell his chilluns that he going to have that beef yet.


Brer Wolf, he been took up by the patter-rollers before now, and he mighty scared of 'em, and first news you know, here come Brer Rabbit hollering and telling Brer Wolf that the patter-rollers coming. "You run an' hide, Brer Wolf," says Brer Rabbit, says he, "an' I'll stay here an' take care of the cow till you gets back," says he.

Soon's Brer Wolf hear talk of the patter-rollers, he scramble off into the underbrush like he been shot out of a gun.


And he weren't more than gone before Brer Rabbit, he whirl in and skinned the cow and salt the hide down, and then he took and cut up the carcass and stow it away in the smoke-house, and then he took and stick the end of the cow-tail in the ground.

After he gone and done all this, then Brer Rabbit he squall out for Brer Wolf, "Run here, Brer Wolf! Run here! Yo' cow goin' in the groun'! Run here!"


When old Brer Wolf got there, which he come a-scooting, there was Brer Rabbit holding on to the cow-tail, for to keep it from going in the ground. Brer Wolf, he catch hold, and they give a pull or two, and up come the tail.


Then Brer Rabbit, he wink his off eye and say, says he, "There! The tail done pull out and the cow gone," says he.

But Brer Wolf he weren't the man for to give it up that away, and he got him a spade, and a pick-axe, and a shovel, and he dig and dig for that cow till digging was past all endurance, and old Brer Rabbit he sat up there in his front porch and smoke his cigar.

Every time old Brer Wolf stuck the pick-axe in the clay, Brer Rabbit, he giggle to his chilluns, "He diggy, diggy, diggy, but no meat there! He diggy, diggy, diggy, but no meat there!"


'Cause all the time the cow was laying pile up in his smoke-house, and him and his chilluns was eating fried beef an onions every time they mouth water.

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