Monday, December 10, 2018

C012. Brer Fox and Brer Turtle

12. Mr. Fox Tackles Old Man Tarrypin. 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.


BRER FOX AND BRER TURTLE

One day Brer Fox strike up with Brer Terrapin right in the middle of the big road. Brer Terrapin done heared him coming, and he allow to hisself that he'd sort of keep one eye open; but Brer Fox was monstrous polite, and he open up the confab, he did, like he ain't see Brer Terrapin since the last freshet.

"Heyo, Brer Terrapin, where you been this long-come-short?" says Brer Fox, says he.


"Loungin' 'round, Brer Fox, loungin' 'round," says Brer Terrapin.

"You don' look sprucy like you did, Brer Terrapin," says Brer Fox, says he.

"Loungin' 'round an' sufferin'," says Brer Terrapin, says he.


Then the talk sort of run on like this:

"What ail you, Brer Terrapin? Yo' eye look mighty red," says Brer Fox, says he.

"Lord, Brer Fox, you don' know what trouble is. You ain't been loungin' 'round and sufferin'," says Brer Terrapin, says he.


"Both eyes red, and you look like you mighty weak, Brer Terrapin," says Brer Fox, says he.

"Lord, Brer Fox, you don' know what trouble is," says Brer Terrapin, says he.

"What ail you now, Brer Terrapin?" says Brer Fox, says he.

"Took a walk the other day, and man come long and set the field a-fire. Lord, Brer Fox, you don' know what trouble is," says Brer Terrapin, says he.

"How you get out the fire, Brer Terrapin?" says Brer Fox, says he.

"Sat an' took it, Brer Fox," says Brer Terrapin, says he. "Sat an' took it, an' the smoke sift in my eye, an' the fire scorch my back," says Brer Terrapin, says he.

"Likewise it burn yo' tail off," says Brer Fox, says he.

"Oh, no, there's the tail, Brer Fox," says Brer Terrapin, says he, and with that he uncurl his tail from under the shell, and no sooner did he do that than Brer Fox grab it, and holler out, "Oh, yes, Brer Terrapin! Oh, yes! An' so you are the man what lam me on the head at Miss Meadows's is you? You are in with Brer Rabbit, is you? Well, I'm goin' to out you."

Brer Terrapin beg and beg, but it weren't no use. Brer Fox done been fool so much that he look like he determined for to have Brer Terrapin haslet. Then Brer Terrapin beg Brer Fox not for to drown him, but Brer Fox ain't making no promise, and then he beg Brer Fox for to burn him, 'cause he done used to fire, but Brer Fox don't say nothing.

By and by Brer Fox drag Brer Terrapin off little ways below the spring-house, and souse him under the water. Then Brer Terrapin begin for to holler, "Turn loose that stump root an' catch hold of me—turn loose that stump root n' catch hold of me."

Brer Fox he holler back, "I ain't got hold of no stump root, an' I is got hold of you."

Brer Terrapin he keep on hollering, "Catch hold of me—I'm a-drownin'—I'm a-drownin'—turn loose the stump root an' catch hold of me."


Sure enough, Brer Fox turn loose the tail, and Brer Terrapin, he went down to the bottom—kerblunkity-blink!


Old man Terrapin was at home I tell you. Kerblinkity-blunk!

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