Monday, June 7, 2010

XV. Mr. Fox Goes a-Hunting, but Mr. Rabbit Bags the Game. Uncle Remus His Songs and His Sayings, Translation

 Legends of the Old Plantation




“After Brer Fox hear about how Brer Rabbit done Brer Wolf,” said Uncle Remus, scratching his head with the point of his awl, “he allowed, he did, that he better not be so brash, and he sort of let Brer Rabbit alone. They was all the time seeing one another, and abundance of times Brer Fox could have nabbed Brer Rabbit, but every time he got the chance, his mind would sort of resume about Brer Wold, and he let Brer Rabbit alone. By and by, they begun to get kind of familiar with one another like they used to, and it got so Brer Fox’d call on Brer Rabbit, and they’d set up and smoke their pipes, they would, like no harsh feelings had ever rested betwixt them.

“At last, one day Brer Fox come alone all rigged out , and asked Brer Rabbit for to go hunting with him, but Brer Rabbit, he sort of feel lazy, and he tell Brer Fox that he got some other fish for to fry. Brer Fox feel mighty sorry, he did, but he say he believe he try his hand anyhow, and off he put. He was gone all day, and he had a monstrous streak of luck, Brer Fox did, and he bagged a sight of game. By and by, towards the shank of the evening, Brer Rabbit sort of stretched himself, he did, and allow it’s almost time for Brer Fox for to get along home. Then Brer Rabbit, he went and mounted a stump for to see if he could hear Brer Fox coming. He ain’s been there long, until sure enough, here come Brer Fox through the woods, singing like a nigger at a frolic. Brer Rabbit, he leaped down off of the stump, he did, and lay down in the road and make like he’s dead. Brer Fox he come along, he did, and see Brer Rabbit layin’ there. He turned him over, he did, and examined him, and say, says he:

“ ‘This here rabbit dead. He look like he been dead long time. He dead, but he mighty fat. He the fattest rabbit what I ever see, but he been dead too long. I feared to take him home,' says he.

“Brer Rabbit ain’t saying nothing. Brer Fox, he sort of lick his chops, but he went on and left Brer Rabbit laying in the road. Directly he was out of sight, Brer Rabbit, he jump up, he did , and run around through the woods and get before Brer Fox again. Brer Fox, he come up, and there lay Brer Rabbit, apparently cold and stiff. Brer Fox, he look at Brer Rabbit, and he sort of study. After while, he unslung his game-bag, and say go himself, says he:

“ ‘These here rabbits going to waste. I’ll just about leave my game here, and I’ll go back and get that other rabbit, and I’ll make folks believe that I’m old man Hunter from Huntsville,' says he.

“And with that he dropped his game and loped back up the road after the other rabbit, and when he got out of sight, old Brer Rabbit, he snatch up Brer Fox game and put out for home. Next time he see Brer Fox he holler out:

“ ‘What you kill the other day, Brer Fox,' says he.

“Then Brer Fox, he sort of comb his flank with his tongue, and holler back:

“ ‘I caught a handful of hard sense, Brer Rabbit,’ says he.

“Then old Brer Rabbit, he laugh, he did, and up and respond, says he:

“ ‘If I’d have known you was after that, Brer Fox, I’d have loaned you some of mine,’ says he.”