Monday, December 10, 2018

C008. Mr. Fox and Mr. Buzzard

8. Mr. Fox Is Outdone by Mr. Buzzard. Text Source: Uncle Remus, His Songs and His Sayings by Joel Chandler Harris. Online at Project Gutenberg. I have removed the frame material. I have removed the frame material and standardized the spelling; click here for the original spelling plus all notes to the story.


Mr. Turkey Buzzard was guarding the hollow where Brer Rabbit went in at, and which he come out of. Well, Mr. Buzzard, he feel mighty lonesome, he did, but he done promised Brer Fox that he'd stay, and he determined for to sort of hang around and join in the joke.

And he ain't had to wait long, neither, 'cause by and by here come Brer Fox galloping through the woods with his axe on his shoulder. "How you 'spect Brer Rabbit gettin' on, Brer Buzzard?" says Brer Fox, says he.

"Oh, he in there," says Brer Buzzard, says he. "He mighty still, though. I 'spect he takin' a nap," says he.

"Then I'm just in time for to wake 'im up," says Brer Fox, says he. And with that he fling off his coat, and spit in his hands, and grab the axe. Then he draw back and come down on the tree—pow!

And every time he come down with the axe—pow!—Mr. Buzzard, he step high, he did, and holler out, "Oh, he in there, Brer Fox. He in there, sure."

And every time a chip'd fly off, Mr. Buzzard, he'd jump, and dodge, and hold his head sideways, he would, and holler, "He in there, Brer Fox. I done heared 'im. He in there, sure."

And Brer Fox, he lammed away at that hollow tree, he did, like a man mauling rails, till by and by, after he done got the tree most cut through, he stop for to catch his breath, and he seed Mr. Buzzard laughing behind his back, he did, and right then and there, without going any further, Brer Fox, he smelt a rat.

But Mr. Buzzard, he keep on hollering, "He in there, Brer Fox. He in there, sure. I done seed 'im."

Then Brer Fox, he make like he peeping up the hollow, and he say, says he, "Run here, Brer Buzzard, an' look if this ain't Brer Rabbit's foot hangin' down here."

And Mr. Buzzard, he come stepping up, he did, same as if he were treading on cockle-burrs, and he stick his head in the hole; and no sooner did he done that than Brer Fox grab him. Mr. Buzzard flap his wings, and scramble 'round right smartually, he did, but it weren't no use. Brer Fox had the advantage of the grip, he did, and he held him right down to the ground.

Then Mr. Buzzard squall out, says he, "Let me alone, Brer Fox. Turn me loose," says he; "Brer Rabbit'll get out. You are gettin' close at 'im,' says he, "an' eleven more licks'll fetch 'im," says he.

"I'm nigher to you, Brer Buzzard," says Brer Fox, says he, "than I'll be to Brer Rabbit this day," says he. "What you fool me for?" says he.

"Let me alone, Brer Fox," says Mr. Buzzard, says he; "my ol' woman waitin' for me. Brer Rabbit in there," says he.

"There's a bunch of his fur on that black-berry bush," says Brer Fox, says he, "and that ain't the way he come," says he.

Then Mr. Buzzard up and tell Brer Fox how it was, and he allowed, Mr. Buzzard did, that Brer Rabbit was the lowdownest whatshisname what he ever run up with.

Then Brer Fox say, says he, "That's neither here nor there, Brer Buzzard," says he. "I left you here for to watch this here hole, an' I left Brer Rabbit in there. I comes back an' I finds you at the hole and Brer Rabbit ain't in there," says he. "I'm goin' to make you pay for it. I done been tampered with till plumb down to the sap sucker'll sit on a log and sassy me. I'm goin' to fling you in a brush-heap and burn you up," says he.

"If you fling me on the fire, Brer Fox, I'll fly away," says Mr. Buzzard, says he.

"Well, then, I'll settle your hash right now," says Brer Fox, says he, and with that he grab Mr. Buzzard by the tail, he did, and make for to dash him against the ground, but just about that time the tail feathers come out, and Mr. Buzzard sail off like one of these here balloons; and as he riz, he holler back, "You give me good start, Brer Fox," says he, and Brer Fox sat there and watch him fly out of sight.

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