The Rabbit and the Peas by Mrs. M. R. Allen

A long time ago there was a Bear that had a fine pea patch. He and his wife had to work in the field every day, so they left their little girl at home to keep house. One fine morning Br’er (which means “Brother”) Rabbit came up to the house and called the little girl: “Mary, Mary, your father and mother told me to come up here and tell you to put me in the pea patch and let me have as many peas as I want.” So Mary put him in, and he stayed there until nearly 12 o’clock, and then he begun calling: “Little girl, little girl, come and let me out; I’m full for this time!”

So she let him out, and he went home. At dinner when her father and mother came home and saw their pea patch they were angry, and said: “Who has been in these peas?” “Why, didn’t you send Br’er Rabbit to get as many as he wanted?” said Mary. “No, I didn’t; no, I didn’t;” said Mr. Bear. “And the next time that rascal comes here with that sort of tale, you just keep him in there until I come home.”

So the next morning Br’er Rabbit came back again, and called: “Mary, Mary, your father told me to tell you to put me in the pea patch, and let me have all the peas I want.” “All right,” said Mary; “come on.” So she put him in and fastened him up.

As it began to grow late, Mr. Rabbit began to call: “Little girl, little girl, come and let me out!” “All right,” said Mary, “when I put down my bread for supper.” After a while he called again: “Little girl, little girl, come let me out!” “When I milk my cow,” said Mary. When she finished milking he called again, and she said: “Wait till I turn my cow out.”

By that time Mr. Bear came home and found him in his pea patch, and asked him what he was doing in there. “Your little girl told me you said I might have some peas,” said Br’er Rabbit. “Well,” said Mr. Bear, “I’ll put you in this box until I get rested and eat my supper, then I’ll show you a trick or two.” So he locked him in the box and went to the house.

After a while Br’er Fox came along the road, and Br’er Rabbit called him, and Br’er Fox said: “What are you doing in there?” “They are going to have a ball here to-night and want me to play the fiddle for them, so they put me in here. I wouldn’t disappoint them,” said Br’er Rabbit. “But, Br’er Fox, you always could beat me playing the fiddle. Now, they offer to pay two dollars for every tune. Suppose you take my place; my wife is sick and I must go home—if I can get off.”

“All right,” said Mr. Fox. “I’m always willing to make money, and if you don’t want to stay I will take your place.”

 

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 “who are you, i say?” he asked in a louder voice

 

“Well, look on top of the box and get the key.  I saw Mr. Bear put it there,” said Br’er Rabbit. So Br’er Fox unlocked the door, and Br’er Rabbit hopped out and locked Br’er Fox in.

So after supper they all came out, and the little girl ran up to the box and looked in, and said: “Oh, mamma! just come and see how this Rabbit has growed!”

Mr. Fox said: “I ain’t no Rabbit!” “Well,” said Mr. Bear, “how came you in there?” “Because Br’er Rabbit asked me to take his place, and play at your ball to-night,” said Mr. Fox.

“Well, Br’er Rabbit has fooled you badly, Fox. But I will have to whip you, anyway, for letting him out. I’ll help you find Br’er Rabbit.” “I’ll hunt him till I die, to pay him back for fooling me so,” said Mr. Fox. So they all started out to find Br’er Rabbit.

And they soon came upon him, and he began to run, and all of them after him. And they got him in a tight place, and he ran up a hollow tree.

And they had to go back for their axes. So they put a Frog at the tree to watch him to keep him from getting away. After they were gone, Mr. Frog looked up and saw Br’er Rabbit.

 

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they had to go look for axes.
so they put a frog at the tree to watch

 

“What’s dat you chewing?” said Mr. Frog. “Tobacco,” said Br’er Rabbit. “Give me some,” said Mr. Frog. “Well,” said Br’er Rabbit, “look up here and open your eyes and mouth wide.” So he filled the Frog’s eyes full of trash. And while Mr. Frog was rubbing his eyes trying to get the trash out so he could see, Br’er Rabbit ran out and got away.

When Mr. Bear and Mr. Fox got back with their axes, they asked Mr. Frog: “Whar’s Mr. Rabbit?” He said: “He’s in dar.” They cut down the tree and didn’t find him. Then they asked Mr. Frog again: “Whar’s Mr. Rabbit?” “He’s in dar,” said Mr. Frog. So they split the tree open, and still didn’t find him. And they asked Mr. Frog again, “Whar’s Mr. Rabbit, I say?” “He’s in dar,” said Mr. Frog.

“Now, Mr. Frog,” they said, “you have let Mr. Rabbit get away, and we are going to kill you in his place.”

So Mr. Frog said: “Wait till I go to my praying ground, and say my prayers.” So they told him he might have five minutes.

And there was a pond near by, and a log on the edge of it. So when Frog got on the log he bowed his head and said: “Ta-hoo! ta-hoo! ta-h-o-o!” Splash! and he was gone! And the Bear and Fox were outwitted again.