Gateway to the Classics: Nights with Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris
Nights with Uncle Remus by  Joel Chandler Harris

Brer Rabbit Takes a Walk

Eve'y time I run over in my min' 'bout the pranks er Brer Rabbit," Uncle Remus continued, without giving the little boy time to ask any more embarrassing questions about Mr. Man and his wagon full of money, "hit make me laugh mo' en mo'. He mos' allers come out on top, yit dey wuz times w'en he hatter be mighty spry."

"When was that, Uncle Remus?" inquired the little boy.

"I min' me er one time w'en de t'er creeturs all git de laugh on 'im," responded the old man, "en dey make 'im feel sorter 'shame'. Hit seem lak dat dey 'uz some kinder bodderment 'mungs' de creeturs en wud went out dat dey all got ter meet terge'er some'rs en ontangle de tanglements.

"W'en de time come, dey wuz all un um dar, en dey hilt der confab right 'long. All un um got sump'n' ter say, en dey talk dar, dey did, des lak dey 'uz paid fer talkin'. Dey all had der plans, en dey jabbered des lak folks does w'en dey call deyse'f terge'er. Hit come 'bout dat Mr. Dog git a seat right close by Brer Rabbit, en w'en he open he mouf fer ter say sump'n', he toofs look so long en so strong, en dey shine so w'ite, dat it feel mighty kuse.

"Mr. Dog, he'd say sump'n', Brer Rabbit, he'd jump en dodge. Mr. Dog, he'd laugh, Brer Rabbit, he'd dodge en jump. Hit keep on dis a-way, twel eve'y time Brer Rabbit'd dodge en jump, de t'er creeturs dey'd slap der han's terge'er en break out in a laugh. Mr. Dog, he tuck'n tuck a notion dat dey 'uz laughin' at him, en dis make 'im so mad dat he 'gun ter growl en snap right smartually, en it come ter dat pass dat w'en Brer Rabbit'd see Mr. Dog make a motion fer ter say a speech, he'd des drap down en git und' de cheer.

"Co'se dis make um laugh wuss en wuss, en de mo' dey laugh de madder it make Mr. Dog, twel bimeby he git so mad he fa'rly howl, en Brer Rabbit he sot dar, he did, en shuck lak he got er ager.

"Atter w'ile Brer Rabbit git sorter on t'er side, en he make a speech en say dey oughter be a law fer ter make all de creeturs w'at got tushes ketch en eat der vittles wid der claws. All un um 'gree ter dis 'cep' hit's Mr. Dog, Brer Wolf, en Brer Fox.

"In dem days," continued Uncle Remus, "ef all de creeturs ain't 'gree, dey put it off twel de nex' meetin' en talk it over some mo', en dat's de way dey done wid Brer Rabbit projick. Dey put it off twel de nex' time.

"Brer Rabbit got a kinder sneakin' notion dat de creeturs ain't gwine do lak he want um ter do, en he 'low ter Brer Wolf dat he 'speck de bes' way fer ter do is ter git all de creeturs ter 'gree fer ter have Mr. Dog mouf sew'd up, 'kaze he toofs look so venomous; en Brer Wolf say dey ull all go in fer dat.

"Sho' 'nuff, w'en de day done come, Brer Rabbit he git up en say dat de bes' way ter do is have Mr. Dog mouf sew'd up so he toofs won't look so venomous. Dey all 'gree, en den Mr. Lion, settin' up in de arm-cheer, he ax who gwine do de sewin'.

"Den dey all up'n 'low dat de man w'at want de sewin' done, he de man fer ter do it, 'kaze den he ull know it done bin done right. Brer Rabbit, he sorter study, en den he 'low:—

" 'I ain't got no needle.'

"Brer B'ar, he sorter feel in de flap er he coat collar, en he 'low:—

" 'Yer, Brer Rabbit; yer a great big one!'

"Brer Rabbit, he sorter study 'g'in, en den he 'low:—

" 'I ain't got no th'ead.'

"Brer B'ar, he tuck'n pull a rav'lin' fum de bottom er he wescut, en he 'low:—

" 'Yer, Brer Rabbit; yer a great long one!'

"Ef it had er bin anybody in de roun' worl' he'd er 'gun ter feel sorter ticklish," Uncle Remus went on. "But ole Brer Rabbit, he des tuck'n lay he finger 'cross he nose, en 'low:—

" 'Des hol' um dar fer me, Brer B'ar, en I'll be much 'blige ter you. Hit's des 'bout my time er day fer ter take a walk!'"

Uncle Remus laughed as heartily as the child, and added:—

"Some folks say de creeturs had de grins on Brer Rabbit 'bout dat time; but I tell you right pine-blank dey ain't grin much w'en dey year Brer Rabbit say dat."

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