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 shivered.

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 the water.

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.