Wednesday, December 12, 2018

C072. The Pimmerly Plum

38. The Pimmerly Plum. 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 when the sun shine down mighty hot, old Brer Terrapin was going 'long down the road. He was going 'long down, and he feel mighty tired; he puff, and he blow, and he pant. He breath come like he got the asthma 'way down in he wind-pipe; but, nevermind! He the same old Creep-'em-crawl-'em Have-some-fun-'em. He was going 'long down the big road, old Brer Terrapin was, and by and by he come to the branch. He took and crawl in, he did, and got him a drink of water, and then he crawl out on the other side and set down under the shade of a tree. After he sort of catch he wind, he look up at the sun for to see what time of day is it, and, lo and beholds! He took and discover that he sitting in the shade of the sycamore tree. No sooner is he discover this than he sing the old song:
Good luck to them what come and go,
What sit in the shade of the sycamore.

Brer Terrapin he feel so good and the shade so cool, that it weren't long 'fore he got to nodding, and by and by he dropped off and went sound asleep. Course, Brer Terrapin carry he house with him everywhere he go, and when he fix for to go to sleep, he just shut the door and pull to the window-shutters, and there he is just as snug as the old black cat under the barn.

Brer Terrapin lay there, he did, and sleep, and sleep. He don't know how long he sleep, but by and by he feel somebody fooling 'long with him. He keep the door shut, and he lay there and listen. He feel somebody turning he house 'round and 'round. This sort of scare Brer Terrapin, 'cause he know that if they turn he house upside down he'll have all sorts of times getting back. With that, he open the door little ways, and he see Brer Fox projecting with him. He open the door little further, he did, and he break out in a great big horse-laugh, and holler, "Well! Well, Well! Who'd've thunk it! Old Brer Fox, cuter than the common run, is done come and caught me. And he come at such a time, too! I feels that full till I can't see straight scarcely. If there was any jealousness proned into me, I'd just lay here and pout 'cause Brer Fox done find out where I gets my Pimmerly Plum."

In them days, the Pimmerly Plum was monstrous scarce. Leaving out Brer Rabbit and Brer Terrapin there weren't none of the other critters that ever got a glimpse of it, let 'lone a taste. So then when Brer Fox hear talk of the Pimmerly Plum, bless gracious! He hoist up he head and let Brer Terrapin 'lone. Brer Terrapin keep on laughing and Brer Fox allow, "Hush, Brer Terrapin! You makes my mouth water! Where'bouts the Pimmerly Plum?"

Brer Terrapin, he sort of clear up the hoarseness in he throat, and sing, 
Pound of sugar, and a pint of rum,
Ain't nigh so sweet as the Pimmerly Plum!

Brer Fox, he lift up he hands, he did, and holler, "Oh, hush, Brer Terrapin! You makes me dribble! Where'bouts that Pimmerly Plum?"

'You standing right under the tree, Brer Fox!"

"Brer Terrapin, surely not!"

"Yet there you stands, Brer Fox!"

Brer Fox look up in the tree there, and he was astonished.

Well, then, when old Brer Terrapin vouch that them there sycamore balls was the genuine Pimmerly Plum, old Brer Fox, he feel mighty good, yet he don't know how he going get at 'em. Push him close, and maybe he might beat Brer Terrapin climbing a tree, but this here sycamore tree was too big for Brer Fox for to get he arms 'round. Then he up and allow, "I sees 'em hangin' there, Brer Terrapin, but how I gonna get 'em?"

Brer Terrapin open he door little ways and holler out, "Ah-yi! There where old Slickum Slow-come got the advantage! You are mighty pert, Brer Fox, yet somehow or other you ain't been a-keepin' up with old Slickum Slow-come."

"Brer Terrapin, how the name of goodness does you get 'em?"

"Don't do no good for to tell you, Brer Fox. Nimble heel make restless mind. You ain't got time for to wait and get 'em, Brer Fox."

"Brer Terrapin, I got all the week before me."

"If I tells you, you'll go an' tell all the the other critters, an' then that'll be the last of the Pimmerly Plum, Brer Fox."

"Brer Terrapin, that I won't. Just try me one time an' see."

Brer Terrapin shut he eye like he studying, and then he allow, "I tell you how I does, Brer Fox. When I wants a bite of the Pimmerly Plum right bad, I just takes my foot in my hand an' comes down here to this here tree. I comes an' I takes my stand. I gets right under the tree, an' I rears my head back an' opens my mouth. I opens my mouth, an' when the Pimmerly Plum drops, I bound you she drops right spang in there. All you got to do is to sit an' wait, Brer Fox."

Brer Fox ain't saying nothing. He just sat down under the tree, he did, and reared he head back, and open he mouth, and I wish to goodness you might've been had a chance for to see him setting there. He look scandalous, that's the long and the short of it; he just look scandalous.

He sat there with he mouth wide open, and every time Brer Terrapin look at him, much as he can do for to keep from busting aloose and laughing.

But by and by he make he way towards home, Brer Terrapin did, chuckling and laughing, and it weren't long 'fore he meet Brer Rabbit tipping 'long down the road.

Brer Rabbit, he hail him. "What amuse you so mighty well, Brer Terrapin?"

Brer Terrapin catch he breath after so long a time, and he allow, "Brer Rabbit, I'm that tickled till I can't shuffle 'long, scarcely, an' I'm feared if I up an' tell you the occasion of it, I'll be took with one of my spells where folks have to set up with me 'cause I laugh so loud an' laugh so long."

Yet after so long a time, Brer Terrapin up and tell Brer Rabbit, and they sat there and chawed tobacco and carried on just like sure enough folks. That they did!

No comments:

Post a Comment