THE WONDERFUL TAR BABY STORY
"Didn't the fox never catch the rabbit, Uncle Remus?" asked the little boy
the next evening.
"He come mighty nigh it, honey, sho's you born--Brer Fox did. One day atter
Brer Rabbit fool 'im wid dat calamus root, Brer Fox went ter wuk en got 'im
some tar, en mix it wid some turkentime, en fix up a contrapshun w'at he
call a Tar-Baby, en he tuck dish yer Tar-Baby en he sot 'er in de big road,
en den he lay off in de bushes fer to see what de news wuz gwine ter be. En
he didn't hatter wait long, nudder, kaze bimeby here come Brer Rabbit pacin'
down de road--lippity-clippity, clippity -lippity--dez ez sassy ez a
jay-bird. Brer Fox, he lay low. Brer Rabbit come prancin' 'long twel he spy
de Tar-Baby, en den he fotch up on his behime legs like he wuz 'stonished.
De Tar Baby, she sot dar, she did, en Brer Fox, he lay low.
"`Mawnin'!' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee - `nice wedder dis mawnin',' sezee.
"Tar-Baby ain't sayin' nuthin', en Brer Fox he lay low.
"`How duz yo' sym'tums seem ter segashuate?' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.
"Brer Fox, he wink his eye slow, en lay low, en de Tar-Baby, she ain't
"'How you come on, den? Is you deaf?' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. 'Kaze if you
is, I kin holler louder,' sezee.
"Tar-Baby stay still, en Brer Fox, he lay low.
"'You er stuck up, dat's w'at you is,' says Brer Rabbit, sezee, 'en I;m
gwine ter kyore you, dat's w'at I'm a gwine ter do,' sezee.
"Brer Fox, he sorter chuckle in his stummick, he did, but Tar-Baby ain't
"'I'm gwine ter larn you how ter talk ter 'spectubble folks ef hit's de las'
ack,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. 'Ef you don't take off dat hat en tell me
howdy, I'm gwine ter bus' you wide open,' sezee.
"Tar-Baby stay still, en Brer Fox, he lay low.
"Brer Rabbit keep on axin' 'im, en de Tar-Baby, she keep on sayin' nothin',
twel present'y Brer Rabbit draw back wid his fis', he did, en blip he tuck
'er side er de head. Right dar's whar he broke his merlasses jug. His fis'
stuck, en he can't pull loose. De tar hilt 'im. But Tar-Baby, she stay
still, en Brer Fox, he lay low.
"`Ef you don't lemme loose, I'll knock you agin,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, en
wid dat he fotch 'er a wipe wid de udder han', en dat stuck. Tar-Baby, she
ain'y sayin' nuthin', en Brer Fox, he lay low.
"`Tu'n me loose, fo' I kick de natal stuffin' outen you,' sez Brer Rabbit,
sezee, but de Tar-Baby, she ain't sayin' nuthin'. She des hilt on, en de
Brer Rabbit lose de use er his feet in de same way. Brer Fox, he lay low.
Den Brer Rabbit squall out dat ef de Tar-Baby don't tu'n 'im loose he butt
'er cranksided. En den he butted, en his head got stuck. Den Brer Fox, he
sa'ntered fort', lookin' dez ez innercent ez wunner yo' mammy's
"`Howdy, Brer Rabbit,' sez Brer Fox, sezee. `You look sorter stuck up dis
mawnin',' sezee, en den he rolled on de groun', en laft en laft twel he
couldn't laff no mo'. `I speck you'll take dinner wid me dis time, Brer
Rabbit. I done laid in some calamus root, en I ain't gwineter take no
skuse,' sez Brer Fox, sezee."
Here Uncle Remus paused, and drew a two-pound yam out of the ashes.
"Did the fox eat the rabbit?" asked the little boy to whom the story had
"Dat's all de fur de tale goes," replied the old man. "He mout, an den agin
he moutent. Some say Judge B'ar come 'long en loosed 'im - some say he
didn't. I hear Miss Sally callin'. You better run 'long."
HOW MR. RABBIT WAS TOO SHARP FOR MR. FOX
"Uncle Remus, " said the little boy one evening, when he had found the old
man with little or nothing to do, "did the fox kill and eat the rabbit when
he caught him with the Tar-Baby?"
"Law, honey, ain't I tell you 'bout dat?" replied the old darkey, chuckling
slyly. "I 'clar ter grashus I ought er tole you dat, but ole man Nod wuz
ridin' on my eyelids twel a leetle mo'n I'd a dis'member'd my own name, en
den on to dat here come yo' mammy hollerin' atter you.
"W'at I tell you w'en I fus' begin? I tole you Brer Rabbit wuz a monstus
soon beas'; leas'ways dat's w'at I laid out fer ter tell you. Well, den,
honey, don't you go en make no udder kalkalashuns, kaze in dem days Brer
Rabbit en his fambly wuz at de head er de gang w'en enny racket wuz en han',
en dar dey stayed. 'Fo' you begins fer ter wipe yo' eyes 'bout Brer Rabbit,
you wait en see wha'bouts Brer Rabbit gwineter fetch up at. But dat's needer
yer ner dar.
"W'en Brer Fox fine Brer Rabbit mixt up wid de Tar-baby, he feel mighty
good, en he roll on de groun' en laff. Bimeby he up'n say, sezee:
"'Well, I speck I got you did time, Brer Rabbit,' sezee; 'maybe I ain't but
I speck I is. You been runnin' 'roun' here sassin' atter me a mighty long
time, but I speck you done come ter de cen' er de row. You bin currin' up
yo' capers en bouncin' 'roun' in dis naberhood ontwel you come ter b'leeve
yo'se'f de boss er de whole gang. En der youer allers some'rs whar you got
no bixness,' ses Brer Fox, sezee. 'Who ax you fer ter come en strike up a
'quaintence wid dish yer Tar-Baby? En who stuck you up dar whar you iz?
Nobody in de 'roun' worril. You des tuck en jam yo'se'f on dat Tar-Baby
widout waintin' fer enny invite,' sez Brer Fox, sezee, 'en dar you is, en
dar you'll stay twel I fixes up a bresh-pile and fires her up, kaze I'm
gwinteter bobbycue you dis day, sho,' sez Brer Fox, sezee.
"Den Brer Rabbit talk mighty 'umble,
"'I don't keer w'at you do wid me, Brer Fox,' sezee, 'so you don't fling me
in dat brier-patch. Roas' me, Brer Fox,' sezee, 'but don't fling me in dat
"'I ain't got no string,' sez Brer Fox, sezee, 'en now I speck I'll hatter
drwon you,' sezee.
"'Drown me des ez deep es you please, Brer Fox," sez Brer Rabbit, sezee,
'but do don't fling me in dat brier-patch, ' sezee.
"'Dey ain't no water nigh,' sez Brer Fox, sezee, 'en now I speck I'll hatter
skin you,' sezee.
"'Skin me, Brer Fox,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, 'snatch out my eyeballs, t'ar
out my yeras by de roots, en cut off my legs,' sezee, 'but do please, Brer
Fox, don't fling me in dat brier-patch,' sezee.
"Co'se Brer Fox wnater hurt Brer Rabbit bad ez he kin, so he cotch 'im by de
behime legs en slung 'im right in de middle er de brierpatch. dar wuz a
considerbul flutter whar Brer Rabbit struck de bushes, en Brer Fox sorter
hang 'roun' fer ter see w'at wuz gwinter happen. Bimeby he hear somebody
call im, en way up de hill he see Brer Rabbit settin' crosslegged on a
chinkapin log koamin' de pitch outen his har wid a chip. Den Brer Fox know
dat he bin swop off mighty bad. Brer Rabbit wuz bleedzed fer ter fling back
some er his sass, en he holler out:
"'Bred en bawn in a brier-patch, Brer Fox--bred en bawn in a brier-patch!'
en wid dat he skip out des ez lively as a cricket in de embers."