Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings/Plantation Proverbs

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Plantation Proverbs[edit]

Big ’possum clime little tree.

Dem w’at eats kin say grace.

Ole man Know-All died las’ year.

Better de gravy dan no grease ’tall.

Dram ain’t good twel you git it.

Lazy fokes’ stummucks don’t git tired.

Rheumatiz don’t he’p at de log-rollin’.

Mole don’t see w’at his naber doin’.

Save de pacin’ mar’ fer Sunday.

Don’t rain eve’y time de pig squeal.

Crow en corn can’t grow in de same fiel’.

Tattlin’ ’oman can’t make de bread rise.

Rails split ’fo’ bre’kfus’ll season de dinner.

Dem w’at knows too much sleeps under de ash-hopper.

Ef you wanter see yo’ own sins, clean up a new groun’.

Hog dunner w’ich part un ’im’ll season de turnip salad.

Hit’s a blessin’ de w’ite sow don’t shake de plum-tree.

Winter grape sour, whedder you kin reach ’im or not.

Mighty po’ bee dat don’t make mo’ honey dan he want.

Kwishins on mule’s foots done gone out er fashun.

Pigs dunno w’at a pen’s fer.

Possum’s tail good as a paw.

Dogs don’t bite at de front gate.

Colt in de barley-patch kick high.

Jay-bird don’t rob his own nes’.

Pullet can’t roost too high for de owl.

Meat fried ’fo’ day won’t las’ twel night.

Stump water won’t kyo’ de gripes.

De howlin’ dog know w’at he sees.

Blin’ hoss don’t fall w’en he follers de bit.

Hongry nigger won’t w’ar his maul out.

Don’t fling away de empty wallet.

Black-snake know de way ter de hin nes’.

Looks won’t do ter split rails wid.

Settin’ hens don’t hanker arter fresh aigs.

Tater-vine growin’ w’ile you sleep.

Hit take two birds fer to make a nes’.

Ef you bleedzd ter eat dirt, eat clean dirt.

Tarrypin walk fast ’nuff fer to go visitin’.

Empty smoke-house makes de pullet holler.

W’en coon take water he fixin’ fer ter fight.

Corn makes mo’ at de mill dan it does in de crib.

Good luck say: “Op’n yo’ mouf en shet yo’ eyes.”

Nigger dat gets hurt wukkin oughter show de skyars.

Fiddlin’ nigger say hit’s long ways ter de dance.

Rooster makes mo’ racket dan de hin w’at lay de aig.

Meller mush-million hollers at you fum over de fence.

Nigger wid a pocket-hankcher better be looked atter.

Rain-crow don’t sing no chune, but you k’n ’pen’ on ’im.

One-eyed mule can’t be handled on de bline side.

Moon may shine, but a lightered knot’s mighty handy.

Licker talks mighty loud w’en it git loose fum de jug.

De proudness un a man don’t count w’en his head’s cold.

Hongry rooster don’t cackle w’en he fine a wum.

Some niggers mighty smart, but dey can’t drive de pidgins ter roos’.

You may know de way, but better keep yo’ eyes on de seven stairs.

All de buzzards in de settlement ’ll come to de gray mule’s funer’l.

You k’n hide de fier, but w’at you gwine do wid de smoke?

Termorrow may be de carridge-driver’s day for ploughin’.

Hit’s a mighty deaf nigger dat don’t year de dinner-ho’n.

Hit takes a bee fer ter git de sweetness out’n de hoar-houn’ blossom.

Ha’nts don’t bodder longer hones’ folks, but you better go ’roun’ de grave-yard.

De pig dat runs off wid de year er corn gits little mo’ dan de cob.

Sleepin’ in de fence-cornder don’t fetch Chrismus in de kitchen.

De spring-house may freeze, but de niggers ’ll keep de shuck-pen warm.

’Twix’ de bug en de bee-martin ’tain’t hard ter tell w’ich gwineter git kotch.

Don’t ’sput wid de squinch-owl. Jam de shovel in de fier.

You’d see mo’ er de mink ef he know’d whar de yard dog sleeps.

Troubles is seasonin’.

’Simmons ain’t good twel dey ’er fros’-bit.

Watch out w’en you’er gittin all you want. Fattenin’ hogs ain’t in luck.