The Rabbit And The Peas

: Boys And Girls Bookshelf


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 l
t 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


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.