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The Rabbit And The Peas

from Boys And Girls Bookshelf - BRER RABBIT and HIS NEIGHBORS





BY MRS. M. R. ALLEN


A long time ago there was a Bear that had a fine pea patch. He and his
wife had to work in the field every day, so they left their little girl
at home to keep house. One fine morning Br'er (which means "Brother")
Rabbit came up to the house and called the little girl: "Mary, Mary,
your father and mother told me to come up here and tell you to put me in
the pea patch and let me have as many peas as I want." So Mary put him
in, and he stayed there until nearly 12 o'clock, and then he begun
calling: "Little girl, little girl, come and let me out; I'm full for
this time!"

So she let him out, and he went home. At dinner when her father and
mother came home and saw their pea patch they were angry, and said: "Who
has been in these peas?" "Why, didn't you send Br'er Rabbit to get as
many as he wanted?" said Mary. "No, I didn't; no, I didn't;" said Mr.
Bear. "And the next time that rascal comes here with that sort of tale,
you just keep him in there until I come home."

So the next morning Br'er Rabbit came back again, and called: "Mary,
Mary, your father told me to tell you to put me in the pea patch, and
let me have all the peas I want." "All right," said Mary; "come on." So
she put him in and fastened him up.

As it began to grow late, Mr. Rabbit began to call: "Little girl, little
girl, come and let me out!" "All right," said Mary, "when I put down my
bread for supper." After a while he called again: "Little girl, little
girl, come let me out!" "When I milk my cow," said Mary. When she
finished milking he called again, and she said: "Wait till I turn my cow
out."

By that time Mr. Bear came home and found him in his pea patch, and
asked him what he was doing in there. "Your little girl told me you said
I might have some peas," said Br'er Rabbit. "Well," said Mr. Bear, "I'll
put you in this box until I get rested and eat my supper, then I'll show
you a trick or two." So he locked him in the box and went to the house.

After a while Br'er Fox came along the road, and Br'er Rabbit called
him, and Br'er Fox said: "What are you doing in there?" "They are going
to have a ball here to-night and want me to play the fiddle for them, so
they put me in here. I wouldn't disappoint them," said Br'er Rabbit.
"But, Br'er Fox, you always could beat me playing the fiddle. Now, they
offer to pay two dollars for every tune. Suppose you take my place; my
wife is sick and I must go home--if I can get off."

"All right," said Mr. Fox. "I'm always willing to make money, and if you
don't want to stay I will take your place."



"Well, look on top of the box and get the key. I saw Mr. Bear put it
there," said Br'er Rabbit. So Br'er Fox unlocked the door, and Br'er
Rabbit hopped out and locked Br'er Fox in.

So after supper they all came out, and the little girl ran up to the box
and looked in, and said: "Oh, mamma! just come and see how this Rabbit
has growed!"

Mr. Fox said: "I ain't no Rabbit!" "Well," said Mr. Bear, "how came you
in there?" "Because Br'er Rabbit asked me to take his place, and play at
your ball to-night," said Mr. Fox.

"Well, Br'er Rabbit has fooled you badly, Fox. But I will have to whip
you, anyway, for letting him out. I'll help you find Br'er Rabbit."
"I'll hunt him till I die, to pay him back for fooling me so," said Mr.
Fox. So they all started out to find Br'er Rabbit.

And they soon came upon him, and he began to run, and all of them after
him. And they got him in a tight place, and he ran up a hollow tree.

And they had to go back for their axes. So they put a Frog at the tree
to watch him to keep him from getting away. After they were gone, Mr.
Frog looked up and saw Br'er Rabbit.

"What's dat you chewing?" said Mr. Frog. "Tobacco," said Br'er Rabbit.
"Give me some," said Mr. Frog. "Well," said Br'er Rabbit, "look up here
and open your eyes and mouth wide." So he filled the Frog's eyes full of
trash. And while Mr. Frog was rubbing his eyes trying to get the trash
out so he could see, Br'er Rabbit ran out and got away.

When Mr. Bear and Mr. Fox got back with their axes, they asked Mr. Frog:
"Whar's Mr. Rabbit?" He said: "He's in dar." They cut down the tree and
didn't find him. Then they asked Mr. Frog again: "Whar's Mr. Rabbit?"
"He's in dar," said Mr. Frog. So they split the tree open, and still
didn't find him. And they asked Mr. Frog again, "Whar's Mr. Rabbit, I
say?" "He's in dar," said Mr. Frog.

"Now, Mr. Frog," they said, "you have let Mr. Rabbit get away, and we
are going to kill you in his place."

So Mr. Frog said: "Wait till I go to my praying ground, and say my
prayers." So they told him he might have five minutes.

And there was a pond near by, and a log on the edge of it. So when Frog
got on the log he bowed his head and said: "Ta-hoo! ta-hoo! ta-h-o-o!"
Splash! and he was gone! And the Bear and Fox were outwitted again.





Next: Br'er Rabbit's Fishing

Previous: Brother Fox's Tar Baby



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