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Brer Rabbit and the Gold Mine

Brer Rabbit

Joel Chandler Harris

There had been silence in the cabin for a long ten minutes, and Uncle Remus, looking up, saw a threat of sleep in the little boy’s eyes. Whereupon he plunged headlong into a story without a word of explanation. “Well, suh, one year it fell out dat de craps wuz burnt up.

A dry drouth had done de work, an’ ef you’d ’a’ struck a match anywhar in dat settlement, de whole county would ’a’ blazed up. Ol’ man Hongriness des natchally tuck of his cloze an’ went paradin’ ’bout eve’ywhar, an’ de creeturs got bony an’ skinny.

Ol’ Brer B’ar done better dan any un um, kaze all he hatter do wuz go ter sleep an’ live off’n his own fat; an’ Brer Rabbit an’ his ol’ ’oman had put some calamus root by, an’ saved up some sugar-cane dat dey fin’ lyin’ ’roun’ loose, an’ dey got ’long purty well.

But de balance er de creeturs wuz dat ga’nt dat dey ain’t got over it down ter dis day. “De creeturs had der meetin’-place, whar dey could all set ’roun’ an’ talk de kind er politics dey had, des like folks does at de cross-roads grocery. One day, whiles dey wuz all settin’ an’ squottin’ ’roun’, jowerin’ an’ confabbin’, Brer Rabbit, he up ’n’ say, sezee, dat ol’ Mammy-Bammy-Big-Money tol’ his great gran’daddy dat dar wuz a mighty big an’ fat gol’ mine in deze parts, an’ he say dat he wouldn’t be ’tall ’stonished ef ’twant some’rs close ter Brer B’ar’s house.

Brer B’ar, he growled, he did, an’ say dat de gol’ mine better not let him fin’ it, kaze atter he got done wid it, dey won’t be no gol’ mine dar. ”Some laughed, some grinned an’ some gapped, an’, atter jowerin’ some mo’, dey all put out ter whar der famblies wuz livin’ at; but I boun’ you dey ain’t fergit ’bout dat gol’ mine, kaze, fum dat time on, go whar you mought, you’d ketch some er de creeturs diggin’ an’ grabblin’ in de groun’, some in de fields, some in de woods, an’ some in de big road; an’ dey wuz so weak an’ hongry dat dey kin skacely grabble fer fallin’ down. “Well, dis went on fer de longest, but bimeby, one day, dey all ’gree dat sump’n bleeze ter be done, an’ dey say dey’ll all take one big hunt fer de gol’ mine, an’ den quit.

Dey hunted in gangs, wid de gangs not fur fum one an’er, an’ it so happen dat Brer Rabbit wuz in de gang wid Brer Wolf, an’ he know’d dat he hatter keep his eyes wide open. All de creeturs hatter dig in diffunt places, an’ whiles Brer Rabbit want much uv a grabbler, he had a way er makin’ de yuthers b’lieve dat he wuz de best er de lot. So he made a heap er motion like he wuz t’arin’ up de yeth. Dey ain’t been gwine on dis away long fo’ Brer Wolf holler out, “‘Run here, Brer Rabbit! I done foun’ it!’

Brer B’ar an’ Brer Fox wuz bofe diggin’ close by, an’ Brer Rabbit kinder wunk one eye at de elements; he say, sezee, ‘Glad I is fer yo’ sake, Brer Wolf; git yo’ gol’ an’ ’joy yo’se’f!’ Brer Wolf say, ‘Come git some, Brer Rabbit! Come git some!’ Ol’ Brer Rabbit ’spon’, ‘I’ll take de leavin’s, Brer Wolf; you take what you want, an’ den when you done got ’nough I’ll get de leetle bit I want.’ Brer Wolf say, ‘I wanter show you sump’n.’

Brer Rabbit ’low, ‘My eyes ain’t big fer nothin’.’

Brer Wolf say, ‘I got a secret I wanter tell you.’

Brer Rabbit ’low, ‘My y’ears ain’t long fer nothin’. Des stan’ dar an’ do yo’ whisperin’, Brer Wolf, an’ I’ll hear eve’y word you say.’ “Brer Wolf ain’t say nothin’, but make out he’s grabblin’, an’ den, all of a sudden, he made a dash at Brer Rabbit, but when he git whar Brer Rabbit wuz at, Brer Rabbit ain’t dar no mo’; he done gone. Weak an’ hongry ez he is, Brer Wolf know dat he can’t ketch Brer Rabbit, an’ so he holler out, ‘hat’s yo’ hurry, Brer Rabbit? Whar you gwine?’ Brer Rabbit holler back, ‘I’m gwine home atter a bag fer ter tote de gol’ you gwine leave me! So long, Brer Wolf; I wish you mighty well!’ an’ wid dat he put out fer home.”

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