Myth-Folklore Unit: Brer Rabbit

Overview. Joel Chandler Harris's series of books of Brer Rabbit tales (almost two hundred stories in total) is one of the most important resources we have for African-American folklore study. Harris tells the stories in dialect, so make sure you read the stories out loud (or listen to the free audio version from LibriVox) to get the full effect. I've left out the Uncle Remus framing of the stories to focus on Brer Rabbit himself, along with the other "creeturs" who appear in Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings: you will meet Brer Fox (who famously tricked Brer Rabbit with a tar-baby), Brer Possum, Brer Coon, Brer Buzzard, Brer Wolf, Brer Bear, and Brer Tarrypin. In addition to collecting stories, Harris also collected proverbs and songs, and this unit also contains some of that proverbial wisdom. For example: "Watch out w'en you'er gittin all you want; fattenin' hogs ain't in luck," or "Jay-bird don't rob his own nes'."

Language. Because these stories are told in dialect, you need to read them out loud and/or listen to the very nice LibriVox recordings. The recordings are easy to use, with a separate audio file for each story.

Story Length. These are all single-page stories.

Navigation. You will find the table of contents below, and you can also use this link to see the story posts displayed on two pages total: Brer Rabbit I. Click "Older Posts" at the bottom of that page to see the second page.

  1. Brer Rabbit and the Calamus Root
  2. The Wonderful Tar-Baby Story
  3. Why Mr. Possum Loves Peace
  4. How Mr. Rabbit Was Too Sharp for Mr. Fox
  5. Mr. Fox is "Outdone" by Mr. Buzzard
  6. Mr. Wolf Makes a Failure
  7. Mr. Fox Tackles Old Man Tarrypin
  8. The Awful Fate of Mr. Wolf
  1. Mr. Fox and the Deceitful Frogs
  2. Old Mr. Rabbit, He's a Good Fisherman
  3. Mr. Rabbit Meets His Match Again
  4. A Story about the Little Rabbits
  5. Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Bear
  6. Mr. Terrapin Shows His Strength
  7. The Story of the Deluge
  8. Plantation Proverbs

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