55 Works of Joel Chandler Harris
One evening recently, the lady whom Uncle Remus calls “Miss Sally” missed her little seven-year-old. Making search for him through the house and through the yard, she heard the sound of voices in the old man’s cabin, and looking through the window, saw the child sitting by Uncle Remus. His head rested against the old [...]
“Didn’t the fox never catch the rabbit, Uncle Remus?” asked the little boy the next evening.
“He come mighty nigh it, honey, sho’s you born–Brer Fox did. One day atter Brer Rabbit fool ‘im wid dat calamus root, Brer Fox went ter wuk en got ‘im some tar, en mix it wid some turkentime, en fix [...]
One evening recently, the lady whom Uncle Remus calls “Miss Sally” missed her little seven-year-old. Making search for him through the house and through the yard, she heard the sound of voices in the old man’s cabin, and, looking through the window, saw the child sitting by Uncle Remus. His head rested against the old [...]
“I LAY yo’ ma got comp’ny,” said Uncle Remus, as the little boy entered the old man’s door with a huge piece of mince-pie in his hand, ‘en ef she ain’t got comp’ny, den she done gone en drap de cubberd key som’ers whar you done run up wid it.”
“Well, I saw the pie lying [...]
“MISS SALLY’S” little boy again occupying the anxious position of auditor, Uncle Remus took the shovel and “put de noses er de chunks tergedder,” as he expressed it, and then began:
“One day, atter Sis Cow done run pas’ ‘er own shadder tryin’ fer ter ketch ‘im. Brer Rabbit tuck’n ‘low dat he wuz gwineter drap [...]
“EF I don’t run inter no mistakes,” remarked Uncle Remus, as the little boy came tripping in to see him after supper, “Mr. Tukkey Buzzard wuz gyardin’ de holler whar Brer Rabbit went in at, en w’ich he come out un.”
The silence of the little boy verified the old man’s recollection.
“Well, Mr. Buzzard, he feel [...]
“UNCLE REMUS,” said the little boy, “what became of the Rabbit after he fooled the Buzzard, and got out of the hollow tree?”
“Who? Brer Rabbit? Bless yo’ soul, honey, Brer Rabbit went skippin’ long home, he did, des ez sassy ez a jay-bird at a sparrer’s nes’. He went gallopin’ ‘long, he did, but he [...]
“ONE time,” said Uncle Remus–adjusting his spectacles so as to be able to see how to thread a large darning-needle with which he was patching his coat–”one time, way back yander, ‘fo’ you wuz bomed, honey, en ‘fo’ Mars John er Miss Sally wuz bomed–way back yander ‘fo’ enny un us wuz bomed, de animils [...]
ONE evening when the little boy, whose nights with Uncle Remus were as entertaining as those Arabian ones of blessed memory, had finished supper and hurried out to sit with his venerable patron, he found the old man in great glee. Indeed, Uncle Remus was talking and laughing to himself at such a rate that [...]
WHEN “Miss Sally’s” little boy went to Uncle Remus the next night to hear the conclusion of the adventure in which the Rabbit made a riding-horse of the Fox to the great enjoyment and gratification of Miss Meadows and the girls, he found the old man in a bad humor.
“I ain’t tellin’ no tales ter [...]
“ONE night,” said Uncle Remus–taking Miss Sally’s little boy on his knee, and stroking the child’s hair thoughtfully and caressingly–”one night Brer Possum call by fer Brer Coon, ‘cordin’ ter ‘greement, en atter gobblin’ up a dish er fried greens en smokin’ a seegyar, dey rambled fort’ fer ter see how de ballance er de [...]
“You’ll tromple on dat bark twel hit won’t be fitten fer ter fling ‘way, let ‘lone make hoss-collars out’n,” said Uncle Remus, as the little boy came running into his cabin out of the rain. All over the floor long strips of “wahoo” bark were spread, and these the old man was weaving into horse-collars.
‘”DE animils en de creeturs,” said Uncle Remus, shaking his coffee around in the bottom of his tin-cup, in order to gather up all the sugar, ‘dey kep’ on gittin’ mo’ en mo’ familious wid wunner nudder, twel bimeby, ‘twan’t long ‘fo’ Brer Rabbit, en Brer Fox, en Brer Possum got ter sorter bunchin’ der [...]
“HIT look like ter me dat I let on de udder night dat in dem days w’en de creeturs wuz santer’n ‘roun’ same like fokes, none un um wuz brash nuff fer ter ketch up wid Brer Rabbit,” remarked Uncle Remus, reflectively.
“Yes,” replied the little boy, “that’s what you said.”
“Well, den,” continued the old man [...]
WHEN the little boy ran in to see Uncle Remus the night after he had told him of the awful fate of Brer Wolf, the only response to his greeting was:
No explanation could convey an adequate idea of the intonation and pronunciation which Uncle Remus brought to bear upon this wonderful word. Those who can [...]
“ATTER Brer Fox hear ’bout how Brer Rabbit done Brer Wolf,” said Uncle Remus, scratching his head with the point of his awl, ‘he ‘low, he did, dat he better not be so brash, en he sorter let Brer Rabbit ‘lone. Dey wuz all time seein’ one nudder, en ‘bunnunce er times Brer Fox could [...]
“BRER RABBIT en Brer Fox wuz like some chilluns w’at I knows un,” said Uncle Remus, regarding the little boy, who had come to hear another story, with an affectation of great solemnity. “Bofe un um wuz allers atter wunner nudder, a prankin’ en a pesterin’ ‘roun’, but Brer Rabbit did had some peace, kaze [...]
UNCLE REMUS was half-soling one of his shoes, and his Miss Sally’s little boy had been handling his awls, his hammers, and his knives to such an extent that the old man was compelled to assume a threatening attitude; but peace reigned again, and the little boy perched himself on a chair, watching Uncle Remus [...]
“HIT look like ter me,” said Uncle Remus, frowning, as the little boy came hopping and skipping into the old man’s cabin, “dat I see a young un ’bout yo’ size playin’ en makin’ free wid dem ar chilluns er ole Miss Favers’s yistiddy, en w’en I seed dat, I drap my axe, en I [...]
“ONE time,” said Uncle Remus, sighing heavily and settling himself back in his seat with an air of melancholy resignation– “one time Brer Rabbit wuz gwine ‘long down de road shakin’ his big bushy tail, en feelin’ des ez scrumpshus ez a bee-martin wid a fresh bug.” Here the old man paused and glanced at [...]
“BRER TARRYPIN wuz de out’nes’ man,” said Uncle Remus, rubbing his hands together contemplatively, and chuckling to himself in a very significant manner; “he wuz de out’nes’ man er de whole gang. He wuz dat.”
The little boy sat perfectly quiet, betraying no impatience when Uncle Remus paused to hunt, first in one pocket and then [...]
“DAR wuz one season” said Uncle Remus, pulling thoughtfully at his whiskers, “w’en Brer Fox say to hisse’f dat he speck he better whirl in en plant a goober-patch, en in dem days, mon, hit wuz tech en go. De wud wern’t mo’n out’n his mouf ‘fo’ de groun’ ‘uz brok’d up en de goobers [...]
“WELL, Uncle Remus,” said the little boy, counting to see if he hadn’t lost a marble somewhere, “the Bear didn’t catch the Rabbit after all, did he?”
“Now you talkin’, honey,” replied the old man, his earnest face breaking up into little eddies of smiles–”now you talkin’ sho. ‘Tain’t bin proned inter no Brer B’ar fer [...]
“DERE wuz nudder man dat sorter play it sharp on Brer Rabbit,” said Uncle Remus, as, by some mysterious process, he twisted a hog’s bristle into the end of a piece of thread–an operation which the little boy watched with great interest. “In dem days,” continued the old man, “de creeturs kyar’d on marters same [...]
“FIN’ um whar you will en w’en you may,” remarked Uncle Remus with emphasis, “good chilluns allers gits tuck keer on. Dar wuz Brer Rabbit’s chilluns; dey minded der daddy en mammy fum day’s een’ ter day’s een’. W’en ole man Rabbit say scoot,’ dey scooted, en w’en ole Miss Rabbit say ’scat,’ dey scatted. [...]
“ONE time,” said Uncle Remus, whetting his knife slowly and thoughtfully on the palm of his hand, and gazing reflectively in the fire–”one time Brer Wolf–”
“Why, Uncle Remus!” the little boy broke in, “I thought you said the Rabbit scalded the Wolf to death a long time ago.”
The old man was fairly caught and he [...]
“Now, den,” said Uncle Remus, with unusual gravity, as soon as the little boy, by taking his seat, announced that he was ready for the evening’s entertainment to begin; “now, den, dish yer tale w’at I’m agwine ter gin you is de las’ row er stumps, sho. Dish yer’s whar ole Brer Fox los’ his [...]
UPON his next visit to Uncle Remus, the little boy was exceedingly anxious to know more about witches, but the old man prudently refrained from exciting the youngster’s imagination any further in that direction. Uncle Remus had a board across his lap, and, armed with a mallet and a shoe-knife, was engaged in making [...]
ONE night, while the little boy was watching Uncle Remus twisting and waxing some shoe-thread, he made what appeared to him to be a very curious discovery. He discovered that the palms of the old man’s hands were as white as his own, and the fact was such a source of wonder that he at [...]
“IN dem times,” said Uncle Remus, gazing admiringly at himself in a fragment of looking-glass, “Brer Rabbit, en Brer Fox, en Brer Coon, en dem yuther creeturs go co’tin’ en sparklin’ ‘roun’ de naberhood mo’ samer dan folks. ‘Twan’t no ‘Lemme a hoss,’ ner ‘Fetch me my buggy,’ but dey des up’n lit out en [...]
The next time the little boy got permission to call upon Uncle Remus, the old man was sitting in his door, with his elbows on his knees and his face buried in his hands, and he appeared to be in great trouble. “What’s the matter, Uncle Remus?” the youngster asked. “Nuff de matter, honey–mo’ dan [...]
THE next time the little boy sought Uncle Remus out, he found the old man unusually cheerful and good-humoured. His rheumatism had ceased to trouble him, and he was even disposed to be boisterous. He was singing when the little boy got near the cabin, and the child paused on the outside to listen to [...]
“HIT turn out one time,” said Uncle Remus, grinding some crumbs of tobacco between the palms of his hands, preparatory to enjoying his usual smoke after supper–”hit turn out one time dat Brer Rabbit make so free wid de man’s collard-patch dat de man he tuck’n sot a trap fer ole Brer Rabbit.”
“Which man was [...]
“W’AT’S dis yer I see, great big niggers gwine ‘lopin’ ‘roun’ town wid cakes ‘n pies fer ter sell?” asked Uncle Remus recently, in his most scornful tone.
“That’s what they are doing,” responded a young man; “that’s the way they make a living.”
“Dat w’at make I say w’at I duz–dat w’at keep me grum’lin’ w’en [...]
THE notable difference existing between the negroes in the interior of the cotton States and those on the seaboard–a difference that extends to habits and opinions as well as to dialect–has given rise to certain ineradicable prejudices which are quick to display themselves whenever an opportunity offers. These prejudices were forcibly, as well as ludicrously, [...]
As Uncle Remus was going down the street recently he was accosted by several acquaintances.
“Heyo!” said one, “here comes Uncle Remus. He look like he gwine fer ter set up a bo’din-house.”
Several others bantered the old man, but he appeared to be in a good humor. He was carrying a huge basket of vegetables.
“How many [...]
A Jonesboro negro, while waiting for the train to go out, met up with Uncle Remus. After the usual “time of day” had been passed between the two, the former inquired about an acquaintance.
“How’s Jeems Rober’son?” he asked.
“Ain’t you year ’bout Jim?” asked Uncle Remus.
“Dat I ain’t,” responded the other; “I ain’t hear talk er [...]
THE deacon of a colored church met Uncle Remus recently, and, after some uninteresting remarks about the weather, asked:
“How dis you don’t come down ter chu’ch no mo’, Brer Remus? We er bin er havin’ some mighty ‘freshen’ times lately.”
“Hit’s bin a long time sence I bin down dar, Brer Rastus, an’ hit’ll be longer. [...]
BIG ‘possum clime little tree.
Dem w’at eats kin say grace.
Ole man Know-All died las’ year.
Better de gravy dan no grease ‘tall.
Dram ain’t good twel you git it.
Lazy fokes’ stummucks don’t git tired.
Rheumatiz don’t he’p at de log-rollin’.
Mole don’t see w’at his naber doin’.
Save de pacin’ mar’ fer Sunday.
Don’t rain eve’y time de pig squeal.
Crow en [...]
WHEN Miss Theodosia Huntingdon, of Burlington, Vermont, concluded to come South in 1870, she was moved by three considerations. In the first place, her brother, John Huntingdon, had become a citizen of Georgia–having astonished his acquaintances by marrying a young lady, the male members of whose family had achieved considerable distinction in the Confederate army; [...]
WHEN Uncle Remus went down to the passenger depot one morning recently, the first sight that caught his eye was an old negro man, a woman, and two children sitting in the shade near the door of the baggage-room. One of the children was very young, and the quartet was altogether ragged and forlorn-looking. The [...]
UNCLE Remus met a police officer recently.
“You ain’t hear talk er no dead nigger nowhar dis mawnin’, is you, boss?” asked the old man earnestly.
“No,” replied the policeman, reflectively. “No, I believe not. Have you heard of any?”
“‘Pears unter me dat I come mighty nigh gittin’ some news bout dat size, an’ dat’s w’at I’m [...]
“BRER REMUS, is you heern tell er deze doin’s out yer in de udder eend er town?” asked a colored deacon of the church the other day.
“W’at doin’s is dat, Brer Ab?”
“Deze yer signs an’ wunders whar dat cullud lady died day ‘fo’ yistiddy. Mighty quare goin’s on out dar, Brer Remus, sho’s you bawn.”
A CHARLESTON negro who was in Atlanta on the Fourth of July made a mistake. He saw Uncle Remus edging his way through the crowd, and thought he knew him.
“Howdy, Daddy Ben?” the stranger exclaimed. “I tink I nubber see you no mo’. Wey you gwan? He hot fer true, ain’t he?”
“Daddy who?” asked Uncle [...]
“YOU’VE been looking like you were rather under the weather for the past week or two, Uncle Remus,” said a gentleman to the old man.
“You’d be sorter puny, too, boss, if you’d er bin whar I bin.”
“Where have you been?”
“Pear ter me like eve’ybody done year ’bout dat. Dey ain’t no ole nigger my age [...]
“UNC REMUS,” asked a tall, awkward-looking negro, who was one of a crowd surrounding the old man, “w’at’s dish ‘ere w’at dey calls de fonygraf–dish yer inst’ument w’at kin holler ‘roun’ like little chillun in de back yard?”
“I ain’t seed um,” said Uncle Remus, feeling in his pocket for a fresh chew of tobacco. “I [...]
“Dere’s a kind er limberness ’bout niggers dese days dat’s mighty cu’us,” remarked Uncle Remus yesterday, as he deposited a pitcher of fresh water upon the exchange table. “I notisses it in de alley-ways an on de street-cornders. Dey er rackin’ up, mon, deze yer cullud fokes is.”
“What are you trying to give us now?” [...]
WHEN Uncle Remus put in an appearance one morning recently, his friends knew he had been in trouble. He had a red cotton handkerchief tied under his chin, and the genial humor that usually makes his aged face its dwelling-place had given way to an expression of grim melancholy. The young men about the office [...]
UNCLE REMUS made his appearance recently with his right arm in a sling and his head bandaged to that extent that it looked like the stick made to accompany the Centennial bass-drum. The old man evidently expected an attack all around, for he was unusually quiet, and fumbled in his pockets in an embarrassed manner. [...]
UNCLE REMUS was enlightening a crowd of negroes at the car-shed yesterday.
“Dar ain’t nuthin’,” said the old man, shaking his head pensively, “dat ain’t got no change wrote on it. Dar ain’t nothin dat ain’t spotted befo’ hit begins fer ter commence. We all speunces dat p’overdence w’at lifts us up fum one place an’ [...]
“WHAT makes you look so lonesome, Brer Remus?” asked a well- dressed negro, as the old man came shuffling down the street by James’s corner yesterday.
“You er mighty right, I’m lonesome, Brer John Henry. W’en a ole nigger like me is gotter paddle de canoe an’ do de fishin’ at de same time, an’ w’en [...]
As Uncle Remus came up Whitehall Street recently, he met a little colored boy carrying a slate and a number of books. Some words passed between them, but their exact purport will probably never be known. They were unpleasant, for the attention of a wandering policeman was called to the matter by hearing the old [...]
“Yer come Uncle Remus,” said a well-dressed negro, who was standing on the sidewalk near James’s bank recently, talking to a crowd of barbers. “Yer come Uncle Remus. I boun’ he’ll sign it.”
“You’ll fling yo’ money away ef you bet on it,” responded Uncle Remus. “I ain’t turnin’ nothin’ loose on chu’ch ’scriptions. I wants [...]
UNCLE REMUS was in good humor one evening recently when he dropped casually into the editorial room of “The Constitution,” as has been his custom for the past year or two. He had a bag slung across his shoulder, and in the bag was a jug. The presence of this humble but useful vessel in [...]
“DEY tells me you done jine de chu’ch,” said Uncle Remus to Pegleg Charley.
“Yes, sir,” responded Charley, gravely, “dat’s so.”
“Well, I’m mighty glad er dat,” remarked Uncle Remus, with unction. “It’s ’bout time dat I wuz spectin’ fer ter hear un you in de chain-gang, an’, stidder dat, hit’s de chu’ch. Well, dey ain’t no [...]