Wednesday, December 12, 2018

C065. Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox in the Garden

31. In Some Lady's Garden. 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 there was a man, and this here man he had a garden and a little gal. The garden was chock full of truck, and in the mornings, when the man had to go off, he call up the little gal, he did, and tell her that she must be sure and keep old Brer Rabbit out of the garden. He tell her this every morning; but one morning he took and forget it till he get to the front gate, and then he stop and holler back, "O Janey! You Janey! Mind what I tell you about old Brer Rabbit. Don't you let him get my nice green peas."

Little gal, she holler back, "Yes, daddy."

All this time, Brer Rabbit he was sitting out there in the bushes dozing. Yet, when he hear he name call out so loud, he cock up one ear and listen, and he allow to his self that he pleased to outdo Mr. Man. By and by, Brer Rabbit, he went 'round and come down the big road just as natural as if he been trifling somewheres. He see the little gal sitting by the gate, and he up and allow, "Ain't this here Miss Janey?"

Little gal say, "My daddy call me Janey; what yo' daddy call you?"

Brer Rabbit look on the ground, and sort of study like folks does when they feels bad. Then he look up and allow, "I been lose my daddy this many long year, but when he alive he call me Billy Malone." Then he look at the little gal hard and allow, "Well, well, well! I ain't seed you since you was a little bit of baby, an' now here you is mighty nigh a grown woman. I pass yo' daddy in the road just now, an' he say I must come and tell you for to gimme a mess of sparrow-grass."

Little gal, she fling the gate wide open, and let Mr. Billy Malone get the sparrow-grass.

Man come back and see where somebody done been trampling on the garden truck, and then he call up the little gal, and up and ask her who been there since he been gone; and the little gal, she allow, she did, that Mr. Billy Malone been there. Man ask who in the name of goodness is Mr. Billy Malone. Little gal allow it's just a man what say her daddy sent him for to get some sparrow-grass on account of old acquaintance. Man got his suspicions, but he ain't say nothing.

Next day, when he start off, he holler and tell the little gal for to keep one eye on old Brer Rabbit, and don't let nobody get no more sparrow-grass. Brer Rabbit, he sitting off there in the bushes, and he hear what the man say, and he see him when he go off. By and by, he sort of run 'round, old Brer Rabbit did, and he come hopping down the road, till he get close up by the little gal at the garden gate. Brer Rabbit dropped her his biggest bow, and ask her how she come on. Then, after that, he allow, he did, "I see yo' daddy goin' 'long down the road just now, an' he gimme a rakin' down 'cause I make 'way with the sparrow-grass, yet he say that being as how I such a good friend of the family I can come and ask you for to gimme a mess of English peas."

Little gal, she took and fling the gate wide open, and old Brer Rabbit, he march in, he did, and he get the peas in a hurry. Man come back after while, and he allow, "Who been trampling down my pea-vines?"

"Mr. Billy Malone, daddy."

Man slap he hand on he forehead; he don't know what to make of all this. By and by, he allow, "What kind of lookin' man this here Mr. Billy Malone?"

"Split lip, pop eye, big ear, and bob-tail, daddy."

Man say he be bless if he ain't going to make the acquaintance of Mr. Billy Malone; and he went to work, he did, and fix him up a box-trap, and he put some goobers in there, and he tell the little gal next time Mr. Billy Malone come for invite him in. Next morning, Man get little ways from the house and took and holler back, he did, "Whatsomever you does, don't you dare to let nobody get no more sparrow-grass, and don't you let 'em get no more English peas."

Little gal holler back, "No, daddy."

Then, after that, it weren't long before here come Mr. Billy Malone, hopping 'long down the big road. He dropped a bow, he did, and allow, "Mornin', Miss Janey, mornin'! Met yo' daddy down the big road, an' he say that I can't get no more sparrow-grass an' green peas but you can gimme some goobers."

Little gal, she lead the way, and tell Mr. Billy Malone there they is in the box. Mr. Billy Malone, he lick he chops, he did, and allow, "You ought to be monstrous glad, honey, that you got such a good daddy like that."

With that, Mr. Billy Malone wunk he off eye, and jump in the box.

He jump in the box, and there he was, and if the little gal had've been a minute bigger, I lay she'd've took and done some mighty tall winking.

Man ain't gone far, and it weren't long before here he come back. When Brer Rabbit hear him coming he bounce 'round in there same as a flea in a pillow-case, but it ain't do no good. Trap done fall, and Brer Rabbit in there. Man look through the slats, and allow, "There you is—same old hoppum-skippum run and jumpum. You are the very chap I'm after. I want yo' foot for to carry in my pocket, I want yo' meat for to put in the pot, an' I want yo' hide for to wear on my head."

This make cold chill rush up and down Brer Rabbit backbone, and he get more humble than a black man from town what been caught out after nine o'clock. He holler and cry, and cry and holler, "Do pray, Mr. Man, turn me go! I done deceive you this time, but I ain't going to deceive you no more. Do pray, Mr. Man, turn me go, just this little bit of time."

Man he ain't saying nothing. He look like he studying about something or other way off yonder, and then he take the little gal by the hand and go off towards the house.

It seem like that Brer Rabbit got more luck than what you can shake a stick at, 'cause the man and the little gal ain't good and gone scarcely till here come Brer Fox a-pirooting 'round. Brer Fox hear Brer Rabbit hollering and he up and ask what the occasion of such goings on right there in the broad open daylight. Brer Rabbit squall out, "Lordy, Brer Fox! You better make haste away from here, 'cause Mr. Man'll catch you and slap you in this here box and make you eat mutton till you'll just naturally bust right wide open. Run, Brer Fox, run! He been feeding me on mutton the whole blessed morning and now he done gone after more. Run, Brer Fox, run!"

Yet, Brer Fox ain't run. He up and ask Brer Rabbit how the mutton taste.

"He taste mighty good 'long at first, but enough's enough, and too much is a plenty. Run, Brer Fox, run! He'll catch you, sure!"

Yet, Brer Fox ain't run. He up and allow that he believe he want some mutton hisself, and with that he unloose the trap and let Brer Rabbit out, and then he took and get in there. Brer Rabbit ain't wait for to see what the upshot going to be, neither—I bound you he ain't. He just took and gallop off in the woods, and he laugh and laugh till he had to hug a tree for to keep from dropping on the ground.

No comments:

Post a Comment