my first experience with Brer Rabbit was when my grandma told the story of Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby by memory. we now have a 70-year-old book of Uncle Remus tales, and when i went to get it for reference for my own Brer Rabbit story, it was so old and worn that it fell apart in my hands.
One fine summah evenin’, when de birds wuz singin’ an’ Brer Bushtail wuz fightin’ wid Sis Chipmunk ovah sum akerns, ole’ Brer Fox wuz mindin’ his own bizness—jest dis once—and goin’ about his day. All of a sudden, he did begin ter hear de most aggravatin’ cajolin’ ringin’ troo de woods. Well, he went alookin’ in da directshun of de noise, an’ ez he searched an’ searched, what did he see but Brer Rabbit, sittin’ by hisself, all fit ter kill, an’ blurtin’ out de most unintelligibble nonsense evah. Brer Fox, now, he wuzn’t havin’ none of it.
“Brer Rabbit,” sez he, “what in tarnation is you figgerin’ ter do bah sittin’ thar, schreechin’ an’ hollerin’ lika fool?”
“Why, Brer Fox,”say Brer Rabbit, all surprised like, “don’t tell me ya don’t know?”
“Course I dunno!” Brer Fox say, fit ter lose his temper, “Udderwise, what’d I be axin’ ya fer? Now, yous tell me straight up why de blazes you is makin’ sech a turrible racket.”
Well now, Brer Rabbit he sigh and he sigh agin, ez if he afeared dat Brer Fox gone an’ losed his mind.
“Brer Fox,” sez Brer Rabbit, “wid de way dat you is beehavin’, I almost gotta cum to de conclushun dat you is not ez full of wit ez you once wuz. But,” he cuntinood, when Brer Fox seemed about to git in a rage, “seein’ ez you is an ole’ friend o’ mine, I’ll look kindly on you e’en when yer past yer prime, an’ I’ll tell ya wot mah noise is awl about.”
Oh, dat got Brer Fox riled up awl right, but he wuz mighty curious ez to wot Brer Rabbit had ter say in de way of explanashun, so he acted like he ain’t go no problum wid Brer Rabbit’s words.
“Well now,” he say, “mah dear Brer Rabbit, I’d be much obleejed if ye’d tell me awl about it, yes I would.”
“It goes like dis,” Brer Rabbit begin, “if a feller is ter sit here, from dusk ontil midnight, makin’ sech noises ez you heard me amakin’, he is gonna have hisself a mighty fine suppah to take home to his fambly, an’ dat’s de truth.”
At de word “suppah”, Brer Fox wuz straight away much more ‘tentive to wot Brer Rabbit wuz sayin’. “Wot kinder suppah?” ask de hungry Brer Fox.
“I’ll tell you wot, yes suh.” Brer Rabbit lowered his voice, “A goose suppah, dat’s wot.”
“Goose suppah?!” Brer Fox yelled, but when Brer Rabbit hushed him he spoke softly, “Goose suppah? How in de world is you gonna get gooses bah sittin’ thar like that?”
“Dese are speshul gooses, Brer Fox. Iffin you do wot I said fer de hours betwixt dusk and de middle o’ de night, den right at midnight, on de dot I tell ya, a couple o’ gooses’ll plop right down in yer lap. De yodelin’ puts ‘em under some kinder trance, you see.”
Brer Fox did see, an’ he wanted ter try it fer hisself.
“Would ya mind if I join ya?” he sez.
“Oh, well,” Brer Rabbit sez, “it only works if jest one feller is doin’ it. But, seein’ ez how you ain’t got yer wits about you ez you used to an’ it’s harder fer you to be clever, I’ll just sing me some gooses anodder time. Yous go ahead an’ do it tonight. I don’t mind really.”
“Why, thankee Brer Rabbit! I shore appresheeate it,” sez Brer Fox, too ‘cited to notice the slight ‘gainst his cleverness. Ez Brer Rabbit left, Brer Fox set hisself down and begun to holler, jest like Brer Rabbit had done. Afore long, a whole bunch o’ critters ‘round Brer Fox begun to git mad. But he don’t pay no mind. He jest kept on a hollerin’ an’ yodelin’. De hours past by, an’ Brer Fox’s voice start to get weak, but he don’t stop singin’ coz he know he gonna get some gooses. Brer Fox went on an’ on singin’ ontil midnight, and singin’ e’en after midnight. But he ne’er got those gooses. He did get an aweful sore throat an’ he shore did get a turrible lot of forest critters set on getting’ revenge on him fer the ruckus he caused.
On de odder side o’ de forest, far outa reach o’ Brer Fox’s noise-makin’, Brer Rabbit lay in bed, laffin’ an’ laffin’ in his sleep.