Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings/Miss Cow falls a Victim to Mr. Rabbit

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Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings by Joel Chandler Harris
Miss Cow falls a Victim to Mr. Rabbit

Legends of the Old Plantation[edit]

IX. Miss Cow falls a Victim to Mr. Rabbit[edit]

“Uncle Remus,” said the little boy, “what became of the Rabbit after he fooled the Buzzard, and got out of the hollow tree?”

“Who? Brer Rabbit? Bless yo’ soul, honey, Brer Rabbit went skippin’ long home, he did, des ez sassy ez a jay-bird at a sparrer’s nes’. He went gallopin’ ’long, he did, but he feel mighty fired out, en stiff in his jints, en he wuz mighty nigh dead for sumpin fer ter drink, en bimeby, w’en he got mos’ home, he spied ole Miss Cow feedin’ roun’ in a fiel’, he did, en he ’termin’ fer ter try his han’ wid ’er. Brer Rabbit know mighty well dat Miss Cow won’t give ’im no milk, kaze she done ’fuse ’im mo’n once, en w’en his ole ’oman wuz sick, at dat. But never mind dat. Brer Rabbit sorter dance up long side er de fence, he did, en holler out:

“‘Howdy, Sis Cow,’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.

“‘W’y, howdy, Brer Rabbit,’ sez Miss Cow, sez she.

“‘How you fine yo’se’f deze days, Sis Cow?’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.

“‘I’m sorter toler’ble, Brer Rabbit; how you come on?’ sez Miss Cow, sez she.

“‘Oh, I’m des toler’ble myse’f, Sis Cow; sorter linger’n’ twix’ a bauk en a break-down,’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.

“‘How yo’ fokes, Brer Rabbit?’ sez Miss Cow, sez she.

“‘Dey er des middlin’, Sis Cow; how Brer Bull gittin’ on?’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.

“‘Sorter so-so,’ sez Miss Cow, sez she.

“‘Dey er some mighty nice ’simmons up dis tree, Sis Cow,’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, ‘en I’d like mighty well fer ter have some un um,’ sezee.

“‘How you gwineter git um, Brer Rabbit?’ sez she.

“‘I ’lowed maybe dat I might ax you fer ter butt ’gin de tree, en shake some down, Sis Cow,’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.

“C’ose Miss Cow don’t wanter diskommerdate Brer Rabbit, en she march up ter de ’simmon tree, she did, en hit it a rap wid ’er horns—blam! Now, den,” continued Uncle Remus, tearing off the comer of a plug of tobacco and cramming it into his mouth—“now, den, dem ’simmons wuz green ez grass, en na’er one never drap. Den Miss Cow butt de tree—blim! Na’er ’simmon drap. Den Miss Cow sorter back off little, en run agin de tree—blip! No ’simmons never drap. Den Miss Cow back off little fudder, she did, en hi’st her tail on ’er back, en come agin de tree, kerblam! en she come so fas’, en she come so hard, twel one ’er her horns went spang thoo de tree, en dar she wuz. She can’t go forerds, en she can’t go backerds. Dis zackly w’at Brer Rabbit waitin’ fer, en he no sooner seed ole Miss Cow all fas’en’d up dan he jump up, he did, en cut de pidjin-wing.

“‘Come he’p me out, Brer Rabbit,’ sez Miss Cow, sez she.

“‘I can’t clime, Sis Cow,’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, ‘but I’ll run’n tell Brer Bull,’ sezee; en wid dat Brer Rabbit put out fer home, en ’twan’t long ’fo here he come wid his ole ’oman en all his chilluns, en de las’ one er de fambly wuz totin’ a pail. De big uns had big pails, en de little uns had little pails. En dey all s’roundid ole Miss Cow, dey did, en you hear me, honey, dey milk’t ’er dry. De ole uns milk’t en de young uns milk’t, en den w’en dey done got nuff, Brer Rabbit, he up’n say, sezee:

“‘I wish you mighty well, Sis Cow. I ’low’d, bein’s how dat you’d hatter sorter camp out all night dat I’d better come en swaje yo’ bag,’ sezee.”

“Do which, Uncle Remus?” asked the little boy.

“Go long, honey! Swaje ’er bag. W’en cows don’t git milk’t, der bag swells, en you k’n hear um a moanin’ en a beller’n des like dey wuz gittin’ hurtid. Dat’s w’at Brer Rabbit done. He ’sembled his fambly, he did, en he swaje ole Miss Cow’s bag.

“Miss Cow, she stood dar, she did, en she study en study, en strive fer ter break loose, but de horn done bin jam in de tree so tight dat twuz way ’fo day in de mornin’ ’fo’ she loose it. Anyhow hit wuz endurin’ er de night, en atter she git loose she sorter graze ’roun’, she did, fer ter jestify ’er stummuck she low’d, ole Miss Cow did, dat Brer Rabbit be hoppin’ long dat way fer ter see how she gittin’ on, en she tuck’n lay er trap fer ’im; en des ’bout sunrise w’at’d ole Miss Cow do but march up ter de ’simmon tree en stick er horn back in de hole? But, bless yo’ soul, honey, w’ile she wuz croppin’ de grass she tuck one mou’ful too menny, kaze w’en she hitch on ter de ’simmon tree agin, Brer Rabbit wuz settin’ in de fence cornder a watchin’ un ’er. Den Brer Rabbit he say ter hisse’f:

“‘Heyo,’ sezee, ‘w’at dis yer gwine on now? Hol’ yo’ hosses, Sis Cow, twel you hear me comin’,’ sezee.

“En den he crope off down de fence, Brer Rabbit did, en bimeby here he come—lippity-clippity, clippity-lippity—des a sailin’ down de big road.

“‘Mornin’, Sis Cow,’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, ‘how you come on dis mornin’?’ sezee.

“Po’ly, Brer Rabbit, po’ly,’ sez Miss Cow, sez she. ‘I ain’t had no res’ all night,’ sez she. ‘I can’t pull loose,’ sez she, ‘but ef you’ll come en ketch holt er my tail, Brer Rabbit,’ sez she, ‘I reckin may be I kin fetch my horn out,’ sez she. Den Brer Rabbit, he come up little closer, but he ain’t gittin’ too close.

“‘I speck I’m nigh nuff, Sis Cow,’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. ‘I’m a mighty puny man, en I might git trompled,’ sezee. ‘You do de pullin’, Sis Cow,’ sezee, ‘en I’ll do de gruntin,’ sezee.

“Den Miss Cow, she pull out ’er horn, she did, en tuck atter Brer Rabbit, en down de big road dey had it, Brer Rabbit wid his years laid back, en Miss Cow wid ’er head down en ’er tail curl. Brer Rabbit kep’ on gainin’, en bimeby he dart in a brier-patch, en by de time Miss Cow come long he had his head stickin’ out, en his eyes look big ez Miss Sally’s chany sassers.

“‘Heyo, Sis Cow! whar you gwine?’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.

“‘Howdy, Brer Big-Eyes,’ sez Miss Cow, sez she. ‘Is you seed Brer Rabbit go by?’

“‘He des dis minit pass,’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, ‘en he look mighty sick,’ sezee.

“En wid dat, Miss Cow tuck down de road like de dogs wuz atter er, en Brer Rabbit, he des lay down dar in de brier-patch en roll en laugh twel his sides hurtid ’im. He bleedzd ter laff. Fox atter ’im, Buzzard atter ’im, en Cow atter ’im, en dey ain’t kotch ’im yet.”