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des a born blessin' dat you wa’n't brung home on a litter wid bofe eyeballs hangin' out en one year clean gone ; dat's w'at 'tis ! Hit's des a born blessin'. Hit hope me up might'ly de udder day w'en I hear Miss Sally layin' down de law 'bout you en dem Favers chillun, yit, lo en beholes, de fus news I knows yer you is han'-in-glove wid um. Hit's nuff fer ter fetch ole Miss right up out'n dat berryin'-groun' fum down dar in Putmon County, en w'at yo' gran'ma wouldn't er stood me en yo' ma ain't gwineter stan' nudder, en de nex' time I hear 'bout sech a come off az dis, right den en dar I'm boun' ter lay de case 'fo' Miss Sally. Dem Favers's wa'n't no 'count 'fo' de war, en dey wa’n't no 'count endurin' er de war, en dey ain't no 'count atterwards, en w'iles my head's hot you ain't gwineter go mixin' up yo'se'f wid de riff-raff er creashun.”
The little boy made no further attempt to justify his conduct. He was a very wise little boy, and he knew that, in Uncle Remus's eyes, he had been guilty of a flagrant violation of the family code.
Therefore, instead of attempting to justify himself, he pleaded guilty, and
promised that he would never do so any more. After this there was a long period of silence, broken only by the vigorous style in which Uncle Remus puffed away at his pipe. This was the invariable result. Whenever the old man had occasion to reprimand the little boyand the occasions were frequent—he would relapse into a dignified but stubborn silence. Presently the youngster drew forth from his pocket a long piece of candle. The sharp eyes of the old man saw it at once.
“Don't you come a tellin' me dat Miss Sally gun you dat,” he exclaimed, “kaze she didn't. En I lay you hatter be monstus sly 'fo' you got a chance fer ter snatch up dat piece er cannle.”
Well, Uncle Remus,” the little boy explained, “it was lying there all by itself, and I just thought I'd fetch it out to you.”
“Dat's so, honey,” said Uncle Remus, greatly mollified ; " dat's so, kaze by now some er dem yuther niggers ’ud er done had her light up. Dey er mighty biggity, dem house niggers is, but I notices dat dey don't let nuthin' pass. Dey goes 'long wid der han's en der mouf open, en w'at one don't ketch de tother one do."
There was another pause, and finally the little boy said :
“Uncle Remus, you know you promised to day to tell me why the 'Possum has no hair on his tail."
“ Law, honey! ain't you done gone en fergot dat off'n yo' mine yit ? Hit look like ter me, ” continued the old man, leisurely refilling his pipe, " dat she sorter run like dis : One time ole Brer Possum, he git so hongry, he did, dat he bleedzd fer ter have a mess er 'simmons. He monstus lazy man, ole Brer Possum wuz, but bimeby his stummuck 'gun ter growl en holler at 'im so dat he des hatter rack 'roun' en hunt up sump’n; en w'iles he wuz rackin' 'roun', who sh’d he run up wid but Brer Rabbit, en dey wuz hail-fellers, kaze. Brer Possum, he ain't bin bodder'n Brer Rabbit like dem yuther beas's. Dey sot down by de side er de big road, en dar dey jabber en confab 'mong wunner nudder, twel bimeby ole Brer Possum, he take'n tell Brer Rabbit dat he mos' pe’sh out, en Brer Rabbit, he lip up in de a'r, he did, en smack his han's tergedder, en say dat he know right whar Brer Possum kin git a bait er 'simmons. Den Brer Possum, he say whar, en Brer Rabbit, he say w'ich 'twuz over at Brer B’ar's 'simmon orchard.”
Did the Bear have a 'simmon orchard, Uncle Remus ? ” the little boy asked.
Co’se, honey, kase in dem days Brer B’ar wuz a bee-hunter. He make his livin' findin' bee-trees, en de way he find um he plant 'im some 'simmon-trees, w'ich de bees dey'd come ter suck de 'simmons en den ole Brer B'ar he'd watch um whar dey'd go, en den he'd be mighty ap' fer ter come up wid um. No matter 'bout dat, de 'simmon patch ’uz dar des like I tell you, , en ole Brer Possum mouf 'gun ter water soon's he year
talk un um, en mos' 'fo' Brer Rabbit done tellin' 'im de news, Brer Possum, he put out, he did, en 'twa’nt long 'fo' he wuż perch up in de highes' tree in Brer Ba'r 'simmon patch. But Brer Rabbit, he done 'termin' fer ter see some fun, en w’iles all dis 'uz gwine on, he run 'roun' ter Brer B’ar house, en holler en tell 'im w’ich dey wuz somebody'stroyin' un his'simmons, en Brer B’ar, he hustle off fer ter ketch 'im.
“Eve’y now en den Brer Possum think he year Brer B'ar comin', but he keep on sayin', sezee :
“ I'll des git one mo' 'simmon en den I'll go ; one 'simmon 'mo en den I'll go.'
“ Las' he year Brer B’ar comin' sho nuff, but 'twuz de same ole chune-One 'simmon mo'en den I'll go'-en des 'bout dat time Brer B’ar busted inter de patch, en gin de tree a shake, en Brer Possum, he drapt out longer de yuther ripe 'simmons, but time he totch de groun' he got his foots tergedder, en he lit out fer de fence same ez a race-hoss, en 'cross dat patch him en Brer B’ar had it, en Brer B’ar gain' every jump, twel time Brer Possum make de fence Brer Bar grab 'im by. de tail, en Brer Possum, he went out 'tween de rails and gin a powerful juk en pull his tail out 'twix Brer B’ar tushes ; en, lo en beholes, Brer B'ar hole so tight en Brer Possum pull so hard dat all de h’ar come off in Brer B’ar's mouf, w’ich, ef Brer Rabbit hadn't er happen up wid a go'd er water, Brer B’ar'd er got strankle.
“Fum dat day ter dis,” said Uncle Remus, knocking the ashes carefully out of his pipe, “ Brer Possum ain't had no h'ar on his tail, en needer do his chilluns."