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, yet the stories are also difficult to work with. Harris invented a storyteller whom he called "Uncle Remus," and he presents Uncle Remus telling the stories to a little white boy. I have removed the Uncle Remus frame from the stories, and I have also standardized the spelling, removing what is called the "eye-dialect," but I have not standardized the grammar or vocabulary; the stories are told in the English spoken by African Americans in the southern U.S., specifically in Georgia, which is where Harris collected the stories, mostly during the 1870s and 1880s.

Language. You will probably find the stories much easier to read if you read them to yourself out loud. There are also recordings available from LibriVox, although they have the Uncle Remus frame material, so they do not match up exactly, especially at the beginning and the end of the stories.

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