BR’ER RABBIT’S FISHING
One day, Br’er Rabbit, and Br’er Fox, and
Br’er Bear, and Br’er Coon, and all the rest of
them were clearing up a new piece of ground
to plant some corn.
The sun got sort of hot, and Br’er Rabbit he
got tired; but he didn’t say so, ’cause he ’fraid
the others’d call him lazy, so he kept on clearing
away the rubbish and piling it up, till by-and-by
he holler out that he got a thorn in his hand.
Then he took and slipped off, and hunted for a
cool place to rest in.
After a while Br’er Rabbit he see a well, with
a bucket hanging in it.
“That looks cool,” says Br’er Rabbit, says he,
“and cool I ’spects it is. I’ll just about get in
there and take a nap,” says he. And with that
in he jumped.
No sooner was Br’er Rabbit in, than the bucket
began to go down, and there was no wusser scared
beast since the world began than this here Br’er
Rabbit was then. He fairly shook with fright.
He know where he come from, but he dunno
where he going. Presently he feel the bucket hit
the water, and there it sat. Br’er Rabbit he keep
mighty still, ’cause he dunno what be going to
happen next. He just lay there, and shook and
Now, Br’er Fox he always kep’ one eye on
Br’er Rabbit and, when Br’er Rabbit slipped off
the new ground, Br’er Fox he sneaked after him.
He knew Br’er Rabbit was after something or
other, and he took and crept off to watch him.
Br’er Fox see Br’er Rabbit come to the well
and stop, and then he see him jump into the
bucket, and then, lo and behold, he see him go
down out of sight.
Br’er Fox was the most astonished fox that
ever you set eyes on. He sat off there in the
bushes, and he think and think, but he make no
heads or tails of this kind of business. Then he
says to himself, says he:
“Well, if this don’t beat my times,” says he,
“then Joe’s dead and Sal’s a widder,” says he.
“Right down there in that well Br’er Rabbit keeps
his money hid, and if it ain’t that, then he’s
been and gone and discovered a gold mine; and
if it ain’t that, then I’m a-going to see what
is there,” says he.
Br’er Fox crept up a little nigher, he did, and
he listen, but he hear nothing, and he kept on
getting nigher, and yet he hear nothing. By-and-by
he get up close. He peep down; he see nothing,
and he hear nothing.
All this while Br’er Rabbit was nearly scared
out of his skin, and he ’fraid to move, ’cause the
bucket might keel over and spill him out into
Then old Br’er Fox holler out:
“Hallo, Br’er Rabbit! Who you visiting down
there?” says he.
“Who? Me? Oh, I’m just a-fishing, Br’er
Fox,” says Br’er Rabbit, says he. “I just said
to myself that I’d sort of surprise you all with
a lot of fishes for dinner; and so here I is, and
here’s the fishes. I’m fishing, Br’er Fox,” says
Br’er Rabbit, says he.
“Is there many of ’em down there, Br’er Rabbit?”
says Br’er Fox.
“Lots of ’em, Br’er Fox. Scores and scores
of ’em. The water is just alive with ’em. Come
down, and help me haul ’em up, Br’er Fox,” says
old Br’er Rabbit, says he.
“How ’m I going to get down, Br’er Rabbit?”
“Jump into the other bucket, Br’er Fox. It’ll
fetch you down all safe and sound.”
Br’er Rabbit he talk so happy and talk so sweet,
that Br’er Fox he jump into the bucket, he did,
and as he went down, of course his weight pulled
Br’er Rabbit up. When they passed one another
half-way down, Br’er Rabbit he sing out:
“Good-by, Br’er Fox, take care of your clothes,
For this is the way the world goes;
Some goes up, and some goes down,
You’ll get to the bottom all safe and soun’.”
When Br’er Rabbit get out, he gallop off and
tell the folks what the well belong to that Br’er
Fox was down in there muddying up the drinking
water, and then he gallop back to the well and
holler down to Br’er Fox:
“Here comes a man with a great big gun;
When he hauls you up, you cut and run.”
But in about half an hour both of them were
back in the new ground, working as if they
never heard of no well, ’cept that every now and
then Br’er Rabbit burst out and laugh, and old
Br’er Fox he’d get a spell of the dry grins.