Wednesday, December 12, 2018

C042. The Pigs and the Wolf

8. The Story of the Pigs. 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, 'way back yonder, the old Sow and her chilluns was all living along of the other critters. It seem like to me that the old Sow was a widow woman, and if I don't run into no mistakes, it look like to me that she got five chilluns. There was Big Pig, and there was Little Pig, and there was Speckle Pig, and there was Blunt, and last and lonesomest there was Runt.

One day, these here Pig ma she know she gonna kick the bucket, and she took and call up all her chilluns and tell 'em that the time done come when they got to look out for theyself, and then she up and tell 'em good as she can, though her breath mighty scant, about what a bad man is old Brer Wolf. She say, says she, that if they can make their escape from old Brer Wolf, tjey'll be doing monstrous well. Big Pig allow she ain't scared, Speckle Pig allow she ain't scared, Blunt, he say he most big a man as Brer Wolf hisself, and Runt, she just took and root 'round in the straw and grunt. But old Widow Sow, she lay there, she did, and keep on telling 'em that they better keep their eye on Brer Wolf, 'cause he mighty mean and deceitful man.

Not long after that, sure enough old Miss Sow lay down and die, and all them there chilluns of hers was flung back on theyself, and they whirl in, they did, and they build 'em all a house to live in. Big Pig, she took and build her a house out of brush; Little Pig, she took and build a stick house; Speckle Pig, she took and build a mud house; Blunt, he took and build a plank house; and Runt, she don't make no great to-do, and no great brags, but she went to work, she did, and build a rock house.

By and by, when they done got all fix, and matters was sort of settle, soon one morning here come old Brer Wolf, a-licking on his chops and a-shaking on his tail. First house he come to was Big Pig house. Brer Wolf walk to the door, he did, and he knock sort of soft—blim! blim! blim! Nobody ain't answer. Then he knock loud—blam! blam! blam! This wake up Big Pig, and she come to the door, and she ask who that. Brer Wolf allow it's a friend, and then he sing out:
If you'll open the door and let me in,
I'll warm m hands and go home again.

Still Big Pig ask who that, and then Brer Wolf, he up and say, says he, "How yo' ma?" says he.

"My ma done dead," says Big Pig, says he, "an' 'fore she die she tell me for to keep my eye on Brer Wolf. I sees you through the crack of the door, and you look mighty like Brer Wolf," says he.

Then old Brer Wolf, he draw a long breath like he feel mighty bad, and he up and say, says he, "I don't know what change yo' ma so bad, 'less she was out of her head. I hear tell that old Miss Sow was sick, an' I say to myself that I'd kind of drop 'round an' see how the old lady is, an' fetch her this here bag of roastin'-ears. Mighty well does I know that if yo' ma was here right now, an' in her mind, she'd take the roastin'-ears and be glad for to get 'em, an' more than that, she'd take and ask me in by the fire for to worm my hands," says old Brer Wolf, says he.

The talk about the roasting-ears make Big Pig mouth water, and by and by, after some more palaver, she open the door and let Brer Wolf in, and bless your soul, that was the last of Big Pig. She ain't had time for to squeal and neither for to grunt before Brer Wolf gobble her up.

Next day, old Brer Wolf put up the same game on Little Pig; he go and he sing he song, and Little Pig, she took and let him in, and then Brer Wolf he took and return the compliment and let Little Pig in. Little Pig, she let Brer Wolf in, and Brer Wolf, he let Little Pig in, and what more can you ask than dat? 

Next time Brer Wolf pay a call, he drop in on Speckle Pig, and rap at the door and sing his song:
If you'll open the door and let me in,
I'll warm my hands and go home again.

But Speckle Pig, she kind of suspicion something, and she refuse to open the door. Yet Brer Wolf mighty deceitful man, and he talk mighty soft and he talk mighty sweet. By and by, he get he nose in the crack of the door and he say to Speckle Pig, says he, for to just let him get one paw in, and then he won't go no further. He get the paw in, and then he beg for to get the other paw in, and then when he get that in he beg for to get he head in, and then when he get he head in, and he paws in, course all he got to do is to shove the door open and walk right in; and when matters stand that way, it weren't long before he done make fresh meat of Speckle Pig.

Next day, he make away with Blunt, and the day after, he allow that he make a pass at Runt. 

Now, then, right there where old Brer Wolf slip up at. He like some folks what I knows. He'd've been mighty smart, if he hadn't've been too smart. Runt was the littlest one of the whole gang, uet all the same news done got out that she was pestered with sense like grown folks.

Brer Wolf, he crept up to Runt house, and he got underneath the window, he did, and he sing out:
If you'll open the door and let me in,
I'll warm my hands and go home again.

But all the same, Brer Wolf can't coax Runt for to open the door, and neither can he break in, 'cause the house done made out of rock. By and by Brer Wolf make out he done gone off, and then after while he come back and knock at the door—blam, blam, blam!

Runt she sat by the fire, she did, and sort of scratch her ear, and holler out, "Who dat?" says she.

"It's Speckle Pig," says old Brer Wolf, says he, 'twixt a snort and a grunt. "I fetched here some peas for yo' dinner!"

Runt, she took and laugh, she did, and holler back, "Sis Speckle Pig ain't never talk through that many toothies."

Brer Wolf go off again, and by and by he come back and knock. Runt she sat and rock, and holler out, "Who dat?"

"Big Pig," says Brer Wolf. "I fetched some sweet-corn for yo' supper."

Runt, she look through the crack underneath the door, and laugh and say, says she, "Sis Big Pig ain't had no hair on her hoof."

Then old Brer Wolf, he get mad, he did, and say he gonna come down the chimney, and Runt, she say, says she, that the onliest way what he can get in; and then, when she hear Brer Wolf climbing up on the outside of the chimney, she took and pile up a whole lot of broom sage front of the hearth, and when she hear him climbing down on the inside, she took the tongs and shove the straw on the fire, and the smoke make Brer Wolf head swim, and he drop down, and before he know it he was done burnt to a crackling; and that was the last of old Brer Wolf.

Leastways, it was the last of that Brer Wolf.

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