Br'er Fox Tackles Old Br'er Tarrypin

One day Br’er Fox struck up with Br’er Tarrypin right in the middle of the big road. Br’er Tarrypin he heard Br’er Fox coming, and he say to hisself that he’d sort of better keep one eye open; but Br’er Fox was monstrous polite, and he begin, he did, and say he hadn’t seen Br’er Tarrypin this ever so long.

“Hallo, Br’er Tarrypin, where you been this long-come-short?” says Br’er Fox, says he.

“Lounging round,” says Br’er Tarrypin.

“You don’t look sprucy, like you did, Br’er Tarrypin,” says Br’er Fox.

“Lounging round and suffering,” says Br’er Tarrypin, says he.

Then the talk sort of run on like this:

 “What ails you, Br’er Tarrypin? Your eye look mighty red,” says Br’er Fox.

“Lor, Br’er Fox, you dunno what trouble is. You ain’t been lounging round and suffering,” says Br’er Tarrypin, says he.

Both eyes red, and you look like you is mighty weak, Br’er Tarrypin,” says Br’er Fox, says he.

“Lor, Br’er Fox, you dunno what trouble is,” says Br’er Tarrypin, says he.

“What ails you now?” says Br’er Fox.

“Took a walk the other day, and Mr. Man come along and set the field on fire. Lor, Br’er Fox, you dunno what trouble is,” says Br’er Tarrypin, says he.

“How you get out of the fire, Br’er Tarrypin?” says Br’er Fox.

“Sat and took it, Br’er Fox,” says Br’er Tarrypin, says he, “sat and took it; and the smoke got in my eye, and the fire scorched my back,” says Br’er Tarrypin, says he.

“Likewise it burn your tail off,” says Br’er Fox, says he.

“Oh, no, there’s my tail, Br’er Fox,” says Br’er Tarrypin, and with that he uncurl his tail from under his shell, and no sooner did he do that than Br’er Fox grab at it and holler out:

“Oh, yes, Br’er Terrapin! Oh, yes! And so you’s the one what lam me on the head the other day, is you? You’s in with Br’er Rabbit, is you? Well, I’m going to out you.”

Br’er Tarrypin he beg and he beg, but it weren’t no use. Then he beg Br’er Fox not to drown him. Br’er Fox ain’t making no promise. Then he beg Br’er Fox to burn him, ’cause now he used to fire. Br’er Fox he say nothing. By-and-by Br’er Fox drag Br’er Tarrypin off little ways below the spring, and he souse him under the water.

Then Br’er Tarrypin he began to holler out:

“Turn loose that stump-root and catch hold of me!”

Br’er Fox he holler back:

“I ain’t got hold of no stump-root, and I is got hold of you.”

“Catch hold of me, I’m a-drowning—I’m a-drowning; turn loose that stump-root and catch hold of me!”

Sure enough, Br’er Fox turned loose Br’er Tarrypin’s tail, and Br’er Tarrypin he went down to the bottom!

Was Br’er Tarrypin drowned, then? Not a bit of it. Is you drowned when your mammy tucks you up in bed?