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on; "he tuck'n' sot hisse'f up fer ter be de boss er all de yuther creeturs, en he feel so biggity dat he go ro'in' en rampin' 'roun' de neighborhoods wuss'n dat ar speckle bull w'at you see down at yo' Unk' Jeems Abercrombie place las' year. He went ro'in' 'roun', he did, en eve'ywhar he go he year talk er Mr. Man. Right in de middle er his braggin', some un 'ud up'n' tell 'im 'bout w'at Mr. Man done done. Mr. Lion, he say he done dis, en den he year 'bout how Mr. Man done dat. Hit went on dis way twel bimeby Mr. Lion shake his mane, he did, en he up'n' say dat he gwineter s'arch 'roun' en 'roun', en high en low, fer ter see ef he can't fine Mr. Man, en he 'low, Mr. Lion did, dat w'en he do fine 'im, he gwineter tu'n in en gin Mr. Man sech n'er larrupin' w'at nobody aint never had yit. Dem yuther creeturs, dey tuck'n' tell Mr. Lion dat he better let Mr. Man 'lone, but Mr. Lion say he gwineter hunt 'im down spite er all dey kin do.
"Sho' nuff, atter he done tuck some res', Mr. Lion, he put out down de big road. Sun, she rise up en shine hot, but Mr. Lion, he keep on; win', hit come up en blow, en fill de elements full er dust; rain, hit drif' up en drizzle down; but Mr. Lion, he keep Bimeby, w'iles he gwine on dis away, wid his tongue hangin' out, he come up wid Mr. Steer, grazin' 'long on de side er de road. Mr. Lion, he up'n' ax 'im howdy, he did, monst'us perlite, en Mr. Steer likewise he bow en scrape en show his manners. Den Mr. Lion, he do like he wanter have some confab wid im, en he up'n' say, sezee :
"Is dey anybody 'roun' in deze parts name Mr. Man?' sezee.
"Tooby sho' dey is,' sez Mr. Steer, sezee; 'anybody kin tell you dat. I knows 'im mighty well,' sezee.
'Well, den, he de ve'y chap I'm atter,'
"W'at mout be yo' bizness wid Mr. Man?' sez Mr. Steer, sezee.
"I done come dis long ways fer ter gin 'im a larrupin,' sez Mr. Lion, sezee. 'I'm gwineter show 'im who de boss er deze neighborhoods,' sezee, en wid dat Mr. Lion, he shake his mane, en switch his tail, en strut up en down wuss'n wunner deze yer town niggers.
"Well, den, ef dat w'at you come atter,' sez Mr. Steer, sezee, 'you des better slew yo'se'f 'roun' en pint yo' nose todes home, kaze you fixin' fer ter git in sho' 'nuff trouble,'
"I'm gwineter larrup dat same Mr. Man,'
sez Mr. Lion, sezee; 'I done come fer dat, en dat w'at I'm gwine ter do,' sezee.
"Mr. Steer, he draw long breff, he did, en chaw his cud slow, en atter w'ile he say,
"You see me stannin' yer front er yo' eyes, en how big I is, en w'at long, sharp hawns I got. Well, big ez my heft is, en sharp dough my hawns be, yit Mr. Man, he come out yer en he ketch me, en he put me und' a yoke, en he hitch me up in a kyart, en he make me haul his wood, en he drive me anywhar he min' ter. He do dat. Better let Mr. Man 'lone,' sezee. Ef you fool 'long wid 'im, watch out dat he don't hitch you up en have you prancin' 'roun' yer pullin' his kyart,' sezee.
"Mr. Lion, he fotch a ro', en put out down de road, en 'twa'n't so mighty long fo' he come up wid Mr. Hoss, w'ich he wuz a-nibblin' en a-croppin' de grass. Mr. Lion make hisse'f know'd, en den he tuck'n' ax Mr. Hoss do he know Mr. Man.
Mighty well,' sez Mr. Hoss, sezee, ' en mo'n dat, I bin a-knowin' 'im a long time. W'at you want wid Mr. Man?' sezee.
"I'm a-huntin' 'im up fer ter larrup 'im,' sez Mr. Lion, sezee. 'Dey tells me he mighty stuck up,' sezee, 'en I gwine take 'im down a peg,' sezee.
"Mr. Hoss look at Mr. Lion like he sorry, en bimeby he up'n' say, sezee:
"I 'speck you better let Mr. Man 'lone,' sezee. "You see how big I is, en how much strenk w'at I got, en how tough my foots is,' sezee; 'well, dish yer Mr. Man, he kin take'n' take me en hitch me up in his buggy, en make me haul 'im all 'roun', en den he kin take'n' fassen me ter de plow en make me break up all his new groun',' sezee. 'You better go 'long back home. Fus' news you know, Mr. Man'll have you breakin' up his new groun','
stay, w'ich Mr. Jack Sparrer say dat he do. Mr. Lion ax wharbouts is Mr. Man, en Mr. Jack Sparrer say he right over dar in de new groun', en he up'n' ax Mr. Lion w'at he want wid 'im, w'ich Mr. Lion 'spon' dat he gwine larrup Mr. Man, en wid dat, Mr. Jack Sparrer, he up'n' say, sezee :
"You better let Mr. Man 'lone. You see how little I is, en likewise how high I kin fly; yit, spite er dat, Mr. Man, he kin fetch me down w'en he git good en ready,' sezee. 'You better tuck yo' tail en put out home,' sez Mr. Jack Sparrer, sezee, 'kaze bimeby Mr. Man'll fetch you down,' sezee.
"But Mr. Lion des vow he gwine atter Mr. Man, en go he would, en go he did. He aint never see Mr. Man, Mr. Lion aint, en he dunner w'at he look like, but he go on todes de new groun'. Sho''nuff, dar wuz Mr. Man, out dar maulin' rails fer ter make 'im a fence. He 'uz rippin' up de butt cut, Mr. Man wuz, en he druv in his wedge en den he stuck in de glut. He 'uz splittin' 'way, w'en bimeby he year rustlin' out dar in de bushes, en he look up, en dar wuz Mr. Lion. Mr. Lion ax 'im do he know Mr. Man, en Mr. Man 'low dat he know 'im mo' samer dan ef he wer' his twin brer. Den Mr. Lion 'low dat he wanter see 'im, en den Mr. Man say, sezee, dat ef Mr. Lion will come stick his paw in de split fer ter hol' de log open twel he git back, he go fetch Mr. Man. Mr. Lion he march up en slap his paw in de place, en den Mr. Man, he tuck'n' knock de glut out, en de split close up, en dar Mr. Lion wuz. Mr. Man, he stan' off en say, sezee:
“Ef you'd 'a' bin a steer er hoss, you mout er run, en ef you'd 'a' bin a sparrer, you mout er flew, but yer you is, en you kotch yo'se'f,' sezee.
"Wid dat, Mr. Man s'unter out in de bushes en cut 'im a hickory, en he let in on Mr. Lion, en he frail en frail 'im twel frailin' un 'im wuz a sin. En down ter dis day," continued Uncle Remus, in a tone calculated to destroy all doubt, "you can't git no Lion ter come up whar dey's a Man a-maulin' rails en put his paw in de split. Dat you can't!"
THE STORY OF THE PIGS.
UNCLE REMUS relapsed into silence again, and the little boy, with nothing better to do, turned his attention to the bench upon which the old man kept his shoe-maker's
| tools. Prosecuting his investigations in this direction, the youngster finally suggested that the supply of bristles was about exhausted.
"I dunner w'at Miss Sally wanter be sendin' un you down yer fer, ef you gwineter be stirr'n' en bodderin' 'longer dem ar things," exclaimed Uncle Remus, indignantly. "Now don't you scatter dem hogbristle! De time wuz w'en folks had a mighty slim chance fer ter git bristle, en dey aint no tellin' w'en dat time gwine come ag'in. Let 'lone dat, de time wuz w'en de breed er hogs wuz done run down ter one po' little pig, en it look like mighty sorry chance fer dem w'at was 'bleeged ter have bristle."
By this time, Uncle Remus's indignation had vanished, disappearing as suddenly and as unexpectedly as it came. The little boy was curious to know when and where and how the bristle famine occurred.
"I done tole you 'bout dat too 'long 'go ter talk 'bout," the old man declared, but the little boy insisted that he had never heard about it before, and he was so persistent that at last Uncle Remus, in selfdefense, consented to tell the story of the Pigs.
"One time, 'way back yander, de ole Sow en 'er chilluns wuz all livin' longer de yuther creeturs. Hit seem like ter me dat de ole Sow wuz a widder 'oman, en ef I don't run inter no mistakes, hit look like ter me dat she got five chilluns. Lemme see," continued Uncle Remus, with the air of one determined to justify his memory by a reference to the record, and enumerating with great deliberation,—“ dar wuz Big Pig, en dar wuz Little Pig, en dar wuz Speckle Pig, en dar wuz Blunt, en, las' en lonesomes', dar wuz Runt.
"One day, dese yer Pig ma she know she gwine kick de bucket, en she tuck'n' call up all 'er chilluns en tell um dat de time done come w'en dey gotter look out for deyse'f, en den she up'n' tell um good ez she kin, dough 'er breff mighty short, 'bout w'at a bad man is ole Brer Wolf. She say, sez she, dat ef dey kin make der 'scape from ole Brer Wolf, dey'll be doin' monst'us well. Big Pig 'low he aint skeer'd, Little Pig low she aint skeer'd, Speckle Pig 'low she aint skeer'd, Blunt, he say he mos' big a man ez Brer Wolf hisse'f, en Runt, she des tuck'n' root 'roun' in de straw en grunt. But ole Widder Sow, she lay dar, she did, en keep on tellin' un um dat dey better keep der eye on Brer Wolf, kaze he mighty mean en | 'seetful man.
"Not long atter dat, sho' 'nuff ole Miss
Sow lay down en die, en all dem ar chilluns er hern wuz flung back on deyse'f, en dey whul in, dey did, en dey buil' um all a house fer ter live in. Big Pig, he tuck'n' buil' 'im a house outer bresh; Little Pig, she tuck'n' buil' a stick house; Speckle Pig, she tuck'n' buil' a mud house; Blunt, he tuck'n' buil' a plank house; en Runt, she don't make no great ter-do, en no great brags, but she went ter wuk, she did, en buil' a rock house.
Bimeby, w'en dey done got all fix, en marters wuz sorter settle, soon one mawnin' yer come ole Brer Wolf, a-lickin' un his chops en a-shakin' un his tail. Fus' house he come ter wuz Big Pig house. ter de do', he did, en he knock sorter saf'.
Brer Wolf walk up blim-blim-blim! Nobody aint answer. Den
he knock loud-blam! blam! blam! wake up Big Pig, en he come ter de do', he ax who dat. Brer Wolf 'low it's a fr'en', en den he sing out:
"Ef you'll open de do' en let me in, I'll wom my han's en go home ag'in.'
"Still Big Pig ax who dat, en den Brer Wolf, he up'n' say, sezee:
'How yo' ma?' sezee.
"My ma done dead,' sez Big Pig, sezee, ' en 'fo' she die she tell me fer ter keep my eye on Brer Wolf. I sees you thoo de crack er de do', en you look mighty like Brer Wolf,' sezee.
"Den ole Brer Wolf, he draw long breff like he feel mighty bad, en he up'n' say, sezee:
"I dunner w'at change yo' ma so bad, less'n she 'uz out'n 'er head. I year tell dat ole Miss Sow wuz sick, en I say ter myse'f dat I'd kinder drap 'roun' un see how de old lady is, en fetch 'er dish yer bag er roas'n'-years. Mighty well does I know dat ef yo' ma wuz yer right now, en in 'er min', she'd take de roas'n'-years en be glad ter git um, en mo'n dat, she'd take'n' ax me in by de fire for ter wom my han's,' sez ole Brer Wolf, sezee.
"De talk 'bout de roas'n'-years make Big Pig mouf water, en bimeby, atter some mo' palaver, he open de do' en let Brer Wolf in, en bless yo' soul, honey! dat uz de las' er Big Pig. He aint had time fer ter squeal en needer fer ter grunt 'fo' Brer Wolf gobble 'im up.
"Nex' day, ole Brer Wolf put up de same game on Little Pig; he go en he sing his song, en Little Pig, she tuck'n' let 'im in, en den Brer Wolf he tuck'n' 'turn de compelerments en let Little Pig in."
Here Uncle Remus laughed long and loud at his conceit, and he took occasion to repeat it several times.
"Little Pig, she let Brer Wolf in, en Brer Wolf, he let Little Pig in, en w'at mo' kin yo' ax dan dat? Nex' time Brer Wolf pay a call, he drop in on Speckle Pig, en rap at de do' en sing his song:
"Ef you'll open de do' en let me in, I'll wom my han's en go home ag'in."
"But Speckle Pig, she kinder 'spicion Yit sump'n', en she 'fuse ter open de do'. mighty saf' en he talk mighty sweet. Brer Wolf mighty 'seetful man, en he talk Bimeby, he git his nose in de crack er de do' en he say ter Speckle Pig, sezee, fer ter des let 'im git one paw in, en den he wont go no fudder. He git de paw in, en den he beg fer ter git de yuther paw in, en den w'en he git dat in, den he beg fer ter git his head in, en den w'en he git his head in, en his paws in, co'se all he got ter do is ter shove de do' open en walk right in; en w'en marters stan' dat away, 'twa'n't long 'fo' he done make fresh meat er Speckle Pig.
"Nex' day, he make 'way wid Blunt, en de day atter, he 'low dat he make a pass at Runt. Now, den, right dar whar ole Brer Wolf slip up at. He like some folks w'at I knows. He'd 'a' bin mighty smart, ef he hadn't er bin too smart. Runt was de littles' one er de whole gang, yit all de same news done got out dat she 'uz pestered wid sense like grown folks.
"Brer Wolf, he crope up ter Runt house, en he got un'need de winder, he did, en he sing out:
"Ef you'll open de do' en let me in, I'll wom my han's en go home ag’in.'
"But all de same, Brer Wolf can't coax Runt fer ter open de do', en needer kin he break in, kaze de house done made outer rock. Bimeby Brer Wolf make out he done gone off, en den atter while he come back en knock at de do'—blam, blam, blam!
"Runt, she sot by de fier, she did, en sorter scratch 'er year, en holler out:
"Who dat?' sez she.
"Hit's Speckle Pig,' sez ole Brer Wolf, sezee, 'twix' a snort en a grunt. 'I fotch some peas fer yo' dinner!'
"Runt, she tuck'n' laugh, she did, en holler back:
"Sis' Speckle Pig aint never talk thoo dat many toofies.'
"Brer Wolf go off 'g'in, en bimeby he
"Big Pig,' sez Brer Wolf. 'I fotch some sweet-co'n fer yo' supper.'
Runt, she look thoo de crack un'need de do', en laugh en say, sez she:
"Brer Big Pig aint had no ha'r on his huff.' "Den ole Brer Wolf, he git mad, he did, en say he gwine come down de chimbley, en Runt, she say, sez she, dat de onliest way w'at he kin git in; en den, w'en she year Brer Wolf climbin' up on de outside er de chimbley, she tuck'n' pile up a whole lot er broom-sage front er de h'a'th, en w'en she year 'im climbin' down on de inside, she tuck de tongs en shove de straw on de fier, en de smoke make Brer Wolf head swim, en he drap down, en 'fo' he know it, he 'uz done bu'nt ter a cracklin'; en dat wuz de las' er ole Brer Wolf. Leas'ways," added Uncle Remus, putting in a cautious proviso to fall back upon in case of an emergency, "leas'ways, hit 'uz de las' er dat Brer Wolf."
MR. BENJAMIN RAM AND HIS WONDERFUL FIDDLE.
"I 'SPECK you done year tell er ole man Benjermun Ram," said Uncle Remus, with a great affectation of indifference, after a pause.
"Old man who?" asked the little boy. "Old man Benjermun Ram. I 'speck you done year tell er him too long 'go ter talk 'bout."
"Why, no, I haven't, Uncle Remus!" claimed the little boy, protesting and laughing. "He must have been a mighty funny old man."
"Dat's ez may be," responded Uncle Remus, sententiously. "Fun deze days wouldn't er counted fer fun in dem days; en many's de time w'at I see folks laughin',' continued the old man, with such withering sarcasm that the little boy immediately became serious," many's de time w'at I sees um laughin' en laughin', w'en I lay dey aint kin tell w'at deyer laughin' at deyse'f. En 'taint der laughin' w'at pesters me, nudder," -relenting a little,-"hit's dish yer ev'lastin' snickle en giggle, giggle en snickle."
Having thus mapped out, in a dim and uncertain way, what older people than the little boy might have been excused for accepting as a sort of moral basis, Uncle Remus proceeded :
"Dish yer Mr. Benjermun Ram, w'ich he done come up inter my min', wuz wunner deze yer ole-timers. Dey tells me dat he 'uz a fiddler fum away back yander-wunner dem ar kinder fiddlers w'at can't git de chune down fine 'less dey pats der foot. He stay all by his own-alone se'f 'way out in de middle un a big new-groun', en he sech a handy man fer ter have at a frolic dat de yuther creeturs like 'im mighty well, en w'en dey tuck a notion fer ter shake der foot, w'ich de notion tuck'n' struck um eve'y once in a w'ile, nuthin' 'ud do but dey mus' sen' fer ole man Benjermun Ram en his fiddle; en dey do say," continued Uncle Remus, closing his eyes in a sort of ecstasy, "dat w'en he squar' hisse'f back in a cheer, en git in a weavin' way, he kin des snatch dem ole-time chunes fum who lay de rail.* En den, w'en de frolic wuz. done, dey'd all fling in, dem yuther creeturs would, en fill up a bag er peas fer ole Mr.. Benjermun Ram fer ter kyar home wid 'im.
"One time, des 'bout Christmas, Miss Meadows en de gals, dey up'n' say dat dey'd sorter gin a blow-out, en dey got wud ter ole man Benjermun Ram w'ich dey 'speckted 'im fer ter be on han'. W'en de time done come fer Mr. Benjermun Ram fer ter start, de win' blow cole en de cloud 'gun ter spread out 'cross de elements-but no marter fer dat; ole man Benjermun Ram tuck down his walkin'-cane, he did, en tie up his fiddle in a bag, en sot out fer Miss Meadows. He thunk he know de way, but hit keep on gittin' col'er en col'er, en mo❞ cloudy, twel bimeby, fus' news you know, ole Mr. Benjermun Ram done lose de way. Ef he'd er kep' on down de big road fum de start, it mouter bin diffunt, but he tuck a nigh-cut, en he aint git fur 'fo' he done los' sho' 'nuff. He go dis away, en he go dat away, en he go de yuther way, yit all de same he wuz done los'. Some folks would er sot right flat down whar dey wuz en study out de way, but ole man Benjermun Ram aint got wrinkle on his hawn fer nothin', kaze he done got de name er ole Billy Hardhead long 'fo' dat. Den a'g'in, some folks would er stop right still in der tracks en holler en bawl fer ter see ef dey can't rouse up some er de neighbors, but ole Mr. Benjermun Ram, he des stick his jowl in de win', he did, en he march right on des 'zackly like he know he aint gwine de wrong way. He keep on, but 'twa'n't long 'fo' he 'gun ter feel right lonesome, mo' speshually
put yo' walkin'-cane in de cornder over dar, en set yo' bag down on de flo', en make yo'se'f at home,' sezee. 'We aint got much,' sezee, but w'at we is got is yone w'iles you stays, en I boun' we'll take good keer un you,' sezee; en wid dat Brer Wolf laugh en show his toofies so bad dat ole man Benjermun Ram come mighty nigh havin' 'n'er ager.
w'en hit come up in his min' how Miss Meadows en de gals en all de comp'ny be 'bleeged fer ter do de bes' dey kin widout any fiddlin'; en hit kinder make his marrer git cole w'en he study 'bout how he gotter sleep out dar in de woods by hisse'f.
Yit, all de same, he keep on twel de dark 'gun ter drap down, en den he keep on still, en bimeby he come ter a little rise whar dey wuz a clay-gall. W'en he git dar he stop en look 'roun', he did, en 'way off down in de holler, dar he see a light shinin', en w'en he see dis, ole man Benjermun Ram tuck his foot in his han', en make his way todes it des like it de ve'y place w'at he bin huntin'. 'Twa'n't long 'fo' he come ter de house whar de light is, en, bless you soul, he don't make no bones er knockin'. Den somebody holler out:
"Who dat ?'
"I'm Mr. Benjermun Ram, en I done lose de way, en I come fer ter ax you ef you can't take me in fer de night,' sezee.
"In common," continued Uncle Remus, "ole Mr. Benjermun Ram wuz a mighty rough-en-spoken somebody, but you better b'leeve he talk monst'us perlite dis time.
"Den some un on t'er side er de do' ax Mr. Benjermun Ram fer ter walk right in, en wid dat he open de do' en walk in, en make a bow like fiddlin' folks does w'en dey goes in comp'ny; but he aint no sooner make his bow en look 'roun' twel he 'gun ter shake en shiver like he done bin strucken wid de swamp-ager, 'kaze, settin' right dar 'fo' de fier wuz ole Brer Wolf, wid his toofies showin' up all w'ite en shiny like dey wuz bran new. Ef ole Mr. Benjermun Ram aint bin so ole en stiff I boun' you he'd er broke en run, but 'mos' 'fo' he had time fer ter study 'bout gittin' 'way, ole Brer Wolf done bin jump up en shet de do' en fassen 'er wid a great big chain. Ole Mr. Benjermun Ram, he know he in fer't, en he tuck'n' put on a bol' face ez he kin, but he des nat'ally hone* fer ter be los' in de woods some mo'. Den he make 'n'er low bow, en he hope Brer Wolf en all his folks is well, en den he say, sezee, dat he des drap in fer ter wom hisse'f, en 'quire uv de way ter Miss Meadows', en ef Brer Wolf be so good ez ter set 'im in de road ag'in, he be off putty soon en be much 'blige in de bargains.
"Tooby sho', Mr. Ram,' sez Brer Wolf, sezee, w'iles he lick his chops en grin; 'des
To pine or long for anything. This is a good old English word, which has been retained in the plantation vocabulary.
"Den Brer Wolf tuck'n' flung 'n'er lighter'd-knot on de fier, en den he slip inter de back room, en, present'y, w'iles ole Mr. Benjermun Ram wuz settin' dar shakin' in his shoes, he year Brer Wolf whispun' ter his ole 'oman :
"Ole 'oman! ole 'oman! Fling 'way yo' smoke meat-fresh meat fer supper! Fling 'way yo' smoke meat-fresh supper!'
"Den ole Miss Wolf, she talk out loud, so Mr. Benjermun Ram kin year:
"Tooby sho' I'll fix 'im some supper. We er 'way off yer in de woods, so fur fum comp'ny dat goodness knows I'm mighty glad fer ter see Mr. Benjermun Ram.'
"Den Mr. Benjermun Ram year ole Miss Wolf whettin' 'er knife on a rockshirrah! shirrah! shirrah!—en eve'y time he year de knife say shirrah! he know he dat much nigher de dinner-pot. He know he can't git way, en w'iles he settin' dar studyin', hit come 'cross his min' dat he des mout ez well play one mo' chune on his fiddle 'fo' de wuss come ter de wuss. Wid dat he ontie de bag en take out de fiddle, en 'gun ter chune 'er up-plink, plank, plunk, plink! plunk, plank, plink, plunk !”
Uncle Remus's imitation of the tuning of a fiddle was marvelous enough to produce a startling effect upon a much less enthusiastic listener than the little boy. It was given in perfect good faith, but the serious expression on the old man's countenance was so irresistibly comic that the child laughed until the tears ran down his face. Uncle Remus very properly accepted this as a tribute to his wonderful resources as a story-teller, and continued, in great good humor:
"W'en ole Miss Wolf year dat kinder fuss, co'se she dunner w'at is it, en she drap 'er knife en lissen. Ole Mr. Benjermun Ram aint know dis, en he keep on chunin' up-plank, plink, plunk, plank! Den ole Miss Wolf, she tuck'n' hunch Brer Wolf wid 'er elbow, en she say, sez she:
"Hey, ole man! w'at dat?'
"Den bofe un um cock up der years en lissen, en des 'bout dat time, ole Mr. Ben