BRER RABBIT and the BUTTER
The animals and the critters, they kept on getting more and more familious with one another, till by and by, it weren't long before Brer Rabbit, and Brer Fox, and Brer Possum got to sort of bunching their provisions together in the same shanty. After while the roof sort of begun to leak, and one day Brer Rabbit, and Brer Fox, and Brer Possum, assemble for to see if they can't kind of patch her up.
They had a big day's work in front of 'em, and they fetch their dinner with 'em. They lump the vittles up in one pile, and the butter what Brer Fox brung, they goes and puts in the spring-house for to keep cool, and then they went to work, and it weren't long before Brer Rabbit's stomach begun to sort of growl and pester him. That butter of Brer Fox sat heavy on his mind, and his mouth water every time he remember about it.
"I hear my chilluns callin' me," says Brer Rabbit, says he, "an' I have to go see what they want. My old woman done gone and took mighty sick," says he.
They work on till by and by the butter taste so good that old Brer Rabbit want some more. Then he raise up his head, he did, and holler out, "Heyo! Hold on! I'm a comin'!" and off he put.
This time he stay right smart while, and when he get back Brer Fox ask him where he been.
"I been to see my old woman, and she's a-sinkin'," says he.
Directly Brer Rabbit hear 'em calling him again and off he goes, and this time, bless your soul, he gets the butter out so clean that he can see hisself in the bottom of the bucket.
He scrape it clean and lick it dry, and then he go back to work looking more samer than a black man what the patter-rollers been had hold of.
"How's yo' old woman this time?" says Brer Fox, says he.
"I'm obliged to you, Brer Fox," says Brer Rabbit, says he, "but I'm feared she's done gone by now," and that sort of make Brer Fox and Brer Possum feel in mourning with Brer Rabbit.
By and by, when dinner-time come, they all got out their vittles, but Brer Rabbit keep on looking lonesome, and Brer Fox and Brer Possum they sort of rustle round for to see if they can't make Brer Rabbit feel sort of splimmy, sort of splimmy-splammy — sort of like he in a crowd — sort of like his old woman ain't dead as she might be. You know how folks does when they gets where people's a-moaning.
"Where she gone?" says Brer Fox, says he.
"Look like she dry up," says Brer Possum, says he.
Then Brer Rabbit, he look sort of solemn, he did, and he up and say, says he, "I 'spect that butter melt in somebody mouth," says he.
Brer Possum see that they got him jammed up in a corner, and then he up and say that the way for to catch the man what stole the butter is to build a big brush-heap and set her afire, and all hands try to jump over, and the one what fall in, then he the chap what stole the butter.
Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox they is both agree, they did, and they whirl in and build the brush-heap, and they build her high and they build her wide, and then they touch her off.
Ain't you never see no fox? Well, next time you see one of 'em, you look right close and see if the end of his tail ain't white. It's just like I tell you. They bears the scar of that brush-heap down to this day. They are marked—that's what they is—they are marked.
Old Brer Possum, he took a running start, he did, and he come lumbering along, and he lit—kerblam!—right in the middle of the fire, and that was the last of old Brer Possum.
That what make I say what I does: in this world, lots of folks is got to suffer for other folkses sins. Look like it's mighty wrong; but it's just that away. Tribulation seem like she's a-waiting round the corner for to catch one and all of us.