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Then there was a pause, the old man patting the little child's hand caressingly.
“You ain't vexed, is you, honey?” Uncle Remus asked finally, “kaze ef you is, I'm gwine out yere en butt my head gin de do'jam'.”
But the little boy wasn't vexed. Uncle Remus had conquered him and he had conquered Uncle Remus in much the same way before. But it was some time before Uncle Remus would go on with the story. He had to be coaxed. At last, however, he settled himself back in the chair and began :
“Co'se, honey, hit mout er bin ole Brer Wolf, er hit mout er bin er n'er Brer Wolf; it mout er bin 'fo' he got kotch up wid, er it mout er bin atterwards. Ez de tale wer gun to me des dat away I gin it unter you. One time Brer Wolf wuz comin' 'long home fum a fishin' frolic. He sa’nter 'long de road, he did, wid his string er fish 'cross his shoulder, when fus' news you know ole Miss Pa'tridge, she hop outer de bushes en flutter 'long right at Brer Wolf nose. Brer Wolf he say ter hisse'f dat ole Miss Pa'tridge tryin' fer ter toll 'im 'way fum her nes', en wid dat he lay his fish down en
put out inter de bushes whar ole Miss Patridge come fum, en 'bout dat time Brer Rabbit, he happen 'long. Dar wuz de fishes, en dar wuz Brer Rabbit, en w'en dat de case w'at you speck a sorter innerpen’ent man like Brer Rabbit gwine do? I kin tell you dis, dat dem fishes ain't stay whar Brer Wolf put um at, en w'en Brer Wolf come back dey wuz gone.
Brer Wolf, he sot down en scratch his head, he did, en study en study, en den hit sorter rush inter his mine dat Brer Rabbit bin 'long dar, en den Brer Wolf, he put out fer Brer Rabbit house, en w'en he git dar he hail 'im. Brer Rabbit, he dunno nuthin' tall 'bout no fishes. Brer Wolf he up'n say he bleedzd ter b'leeve Brer Rabbit got dem fishes. Brer Rabbit ’ny it up en down, but Brer Wolf stan' too it dat Brer Rabbit got dem fishes. Brer Rabbit, he say dat if Brer Wolf b'leeve he got de fishes, den he give Brer Wolf lief fer ter kill de bes' cow he got. Brer Wolf, he tuck Brer Rabbit at his word, en go off to de pastur' en drive up de cattle en kill Brer Rabbit bes' cow.
Brer Rabbit, he hate mighty bad fer ter lose his cow, but he lay his plans, en he tell his chilluns dat he gwineter have dat beef yit. Brer Wolf, he bin tuck up by de patterrollers 'fo' now, en he mighty skeerd un um, en fus news you know, yer come Brer Rabbit hollerin' en tellin' Brer Wolf dat de patterrollers comin'.
"You run en hide, Brer Wolf,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, ‘en I'll stay yer en take keer er de cow twel you gits back,' sezee.
Soon's Brer Wolf hear talk er de patterrollers, he scramble off inter de underbresh like he bin shot out'n a gun. En he want mo'n gone 'fo' Brer Rabbit, he whirl in en skunt de cow en salt de hide down, en den he tuck'n cut up de kyarkiss en stow it 'way in de smoke’ouse, en den he tuck’n stick de een' er de cowtail in de groun. Atter he gone en done all dis, den Brer Rabbit he squall out fer Brer Wolf:
“Run yer, Brer Wolf! Run yer! Yo' cow gwine in de groun'! Run yer !'
“W'en ole Brer Wolf got dar, w'ich he come er scootin', dar wuz Brer Rabbit hol'in' on ter de cow-tail, fer ter keep it fum gwine in de groun'. Brer Wolf, he kotch holt, en dey 'gin
a pull er two en up come de tail. Den Brer Rabbit, he wink his off eye en say, sezee :
“Dar! de tail done pull out en de cow gone, sezee.
But Brer Wolf he wer'n't de man fer ter give it up dat away, en he got 'im a spade, en a pickaxe, en a shovel, en he dig en dig fer dat cow twel diggin' wuz pas' all endu’unce, en ole Brer Rabbit he sot up dar in his front po'ch en smoke his seegyar. Eve'y time ole Brer Wolf stuck de pickaxe in de clay, Brer Rabbit, he giggle ter his chilluns :
“He diggy, diggy, diggy, but no meat dar! He diggy, diggy, diggy, but no meat dar!
“Kaze all de time de cow wuz layin' pile up in his smoke-'ouse, en him en his chilluns wuz eatin' fried beef en inguns eve'y time dey mouf water.
“ Now den, honey, you take dis yer w’ip,” continued the old man, twining the leather thong around the little boy's neck, “ en scamper up ter de big ’ouse en tell Miss Sally fer ter gin you some un it de nex’ time she fine yo' tracks in de sugar-bairl."
MR. RABBIT MEETS HIS MATCH AGAIN.
ERE wuz nudder man dat sorter play D it sharp on Brer Rabbit,” said Uncle Remus, as, by some mysterious process, he twisted a hog's bristle into the end of a piece of thread-an operation which the little boy watched with great interest. “In dem days," continued the old man, “de beastesses kyar'd on marters same ez fokes. Dey went inter fahmin', en I speck ef de troof wuz ter come out, dey kep' sto', en had der camp-meetin' times en der bobbycues w'en de wedder wuz 'greeble.”
Uncle Remus evidently thought that the little boy wouldn't like to hear of any further discomfiture of Brer Rabbit, who had come to be a sort of hero, and he was not mistaken.