Brer Rabbit: Mr. Wolf Makes a Failure

In addition to collecting folktales, Harris collected proverbs, too, and you can see Brer Rabbit using a proverb here when Brer Wolf comes knocking at his door, claiming to be a friend: Too menny fr'en's spiles de dinner. When Brer Wolf says he is bringing bad news, Brer Rabbit also replies with a proverb: Bad news is soon tole. You'll find a collection of proverbs on the last past of this unit.

[Notes by LKG]

This story is part of the Brer Rabbit unit. Story source: Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings by Joel Chandler Harris (1881).

Mr. Wolf Makes a Failure

Brer Fox feel so bad, en he git so mad 'bout Brer Rabbit, dat he dunner w'at ter do, en he look mighty down-hearted.

Bimeby, one day wiles he wuz gwine 'long de road, old Brer Wolf come up wid 'im. W'en dey done howdyin' en axin' atter one nudder's fambly connexshun, Brer Wolf, he 'low, he did, dat der wuz sump'n wrong wid Brer Fox, en Brer Fox, he 'low'd der wern't, en he went on en laugh en make great terdo kaze Brer Wolf look like he spishun sump'n.

But Brer Wolf, he got mighty long head, en he sorter broach 'bout Brer Rabbit's kyar'ns on, kaze de way dat Brer Rabbit 'ceive Brer Fox done got ter be de talk er de naberhood.

Den Brer Fox en Brer Wolf dey sorter palavered on, dey did, twel bimeby Brer Wolf he up'n say dat he done got plan fix fer ter trap Brer Rabbit.

Den Brer Fox say how.

Den Brer Wolf up'n tell 'im dat de way fer ter git de drap on Brer Rabbit wuz ter git 'im in Brer Fox house.

Brer Fox dun know Brer Rabbit uv ole, en he know dat sorter game done wo' ter a frazzle, but Brer Wolf, he talk mighty 'swadin'.

"How you gwine git 'im dar?" sez Brer Fox, sezee.

"Fool 'im dar," sez Brer Wolf, sezee.

"Who gwine do de foolin'?" sez Brer Fox, sezee.

"I'll do de foolin'," sez Brer Wolf, sezee, "ef you'll do de gamin'," sezee.

"How you gwine do it?" sez Brer Fox, sezee.

"You run 'long home, en git on de bed, en make like you dead, en don't you say nothin' twel Brer Rabbit come en put his han's onter you," sez Brer Wolf, sezee, "en ef we don't git 'im fer supper, Joe's dead en Sal's a widder," sezee.

Dis look like mighty nice game, en Brer Fox 'greed.

So den he amble off home, en Brer Wolf, he march off ter Brer Rabbit house. W'en he got dar, hit look like nobody at home, but Brer Wolf he walk up en knock on de do'—blam! blam! Nobody come. Den he lam aloose en knock 'gin—blim! blim!

"Who dar?" sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.

'Fr'en'," sez Brer Wolf.

"Too menny fr'en's spiles de dinner," sez Brer Rabbit, sezee; "w'ich un's dis?" sezee.

"I fetch bad news, Brer Rabbit," sez Brer Wolf, sezee.

"Bad news is soon tole," sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.

By dis time Brer Rabbit done come ter de do', wid his head tied up in a red hankcher.

"Brer Fox died dis mornin'," sez Brer Wolf, sezee.

"Whar yo' mo'nin' gown, Brer Wolf?" sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.

"Gwine atter it now," sez Brer Wolf, sezee. "I des call by fer ter bring de news. I went down ter Brer Fox house little bit 'go, en dar I foun' 'im stiff," sezee.

Den Brer Wolf lope off.

Brer Rabbit sot down en scratch his head, he did, en bimeby he say ter hisse'f dat he b'leeve he sorter drap 'roun' by Brer Fox house fer ter see how de lan' lay. No sooner said'n done. Up he jump, en out he went.

W'en Brer Rabbit got close ter Brer Fox house, all look lonesome. Den he went up nigher. Nobody stirrin'. Den he look in, en dar lay Brer Fox stretch out on de bed des es big ez life. Den Brer Rabbit make like he talkin' to hisse'f.

"Nobody 'roun' fer ter look atter Brer Fox—not even Brer Tukkey Buzzard ain't come ter de funer'l," sezee. "I hope Brer Fox ain't dead, but I speck he is," sezee. "Even down ter Brer Wolf done gone en lef' 'im. Hit's de busy season wid me, but I'll set up wid 'im. He seem like he dead, yit he mayn't be," sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. "W'en a man go ter see dead fokes, dead fokes allers raises up der behime leg en hollers, wahoo!" sezee.

Brer Fox he stay still. Den Brer Rabbit he talk little louder: "Mighty funny. Brer Fox look like he dead, yit he don't do like he dead. Dead fokes hists der behime leg en hollers wahoo! w'en a man come ter see um," sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.

Sho' nuff, Brer Fox lif' up his foot en holler wahoo! en Brer Rabbit he tear out de house like de dogs wuz atter 'im.

Brer Wolf mighty smart, but nex' time you hear fum 'im, honey, he'll be in trouble. You des hol' yo' breff'n wait."

(800 words)

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