Tuesday, December 11, 2018

C098. Brer Hawk and Brer Buzzard

64. Mr. Hawk and Brother Buzzard. 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. The first part is Daddy Jack's Gullah story about the buzzard in the rain; the next part is Uncle Remus's story about the buzzard and the hawk.


Daddy Jack:

You watch them Buzzard, he fly high, he fly low, he fly 'way 'round. Rain come, he flap he wings, he light upon dead pine. Rain fall, he hug heself with he wing, he scrooch he neck up. Rain come, wind blow, the Buzzard been look ragged. The Buzzard been wink he eye, he say, "When the wind for stop blow and the rain for stop drip, me go make me one house. Me make 'em tight for keep the rain out; me put top on strong for keep the wind out."

Then the rain dry up and the wind stop. The Buzzard, he stand upon top the dead pine. When the sun been shine, he no make 'em no house none at all. He stay upon the dead pine; he stretch he wing wide open; he been dry hisself in the sun. He have make no house since he been born. He one fool bird.

Uncle Remus:

I hear tell of one time when old Brer Buzzard weren't so mighty far out of the way with he notions. It seem like that there was one time when Mr. Hawk come sailing 'round hunting for something or other to eat, and he see Brer Buzzard setting on a dead limb, looking mighty lazy and lonesome.

Mr. Hawk, says he, "How you come on, Brer Buzzard?"

Brer Buzzard, says he, "I'm mighty poorly, Brer Hawk; poorly and hungry."

Mr. Hawk, says he, "What you waiting here for if you hungry, Brer Buzzard?"

Brer Buzzard, says he, "I'm a-waiting on the Lord."

Mr. Hawk, says he, "Better run and get your breakfast, Brer Buzzard, and then come back and wait."

Brer Buzzard, says he, "No, Brer Hawk, I'll go without my breakfast rather than be biggity about it."

Mr. Hawk, he allow, says he, "Well then, Brer Buzzard, you got your way and I got mine. You see them there chickens, down there in Mr. Man horse-lot? I'm a-going down there and get one of 'em, and then I'll come back here and wait along with you."

With that, Mr. Hawk took and sail off, and Brer Buzzard drop he wings down on the limb and look mighty lonesome. He sat there and look mighty lonesome, he did, but he keep one eye on Mr. Hawk.

Mr. Hawk, he sail 'round and 'round, and he look mighty pretty. He sail 'round and 'round above the hoss-lot — 'round and 'round — and by and by he dart down at chickens. He shut up he wings and dart down, he did, just same if he was fired out of a gun.

He dart down, he did, but instead of he hitting the chickens, he took and hit upon the sharp end of a fence-rail. He hit there, he did, and there he stuck.

There he stuck. Brer Buzzard sat and watch him. Mr. Hawk ain't move. Brer Buzzard sat and watch him some more. Mr. Hawk ain't move. He done stone dead. 

The more Brer Buzzard watch him the more hungrier he get, and by and by he gather up he wings, and sort of clean out he ear with he claw, and allow, says he, "I know'd the Lord was going to provide.'"

Brer Buzzard, he took and drop down from the dead limb, and he lit on Mr. Hawk, and had him for breakfast. Ut's a mighty 'round about way for to get chicken-pie, yet it's lots better than no way. Hawk do taste like chicken, they most surely does.

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