Brer Bear's Big House - Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit by Joel Chandler Harris

“Uv all de creeturs”, said Uncle Remus, in response to a questioning took on the part of the little boy, “ol Brer B’ar had de biggest an’ de warmest house. I dunner why ner wharfo’, but I’m a-tellin’ you de plain fack, des ez dey to!’ it unter me. Ef I kin he’p it I never will be deceivin’ you, ner lead you inter no bad habits. Yo’ pappy trotted wid me a mighty long time, an’ ef you’ll ax him he’ll tell you dat de one thing I never did do wuz ter deceive him whiles he had his eyes open; not ef I knows myse’f. Well, ol’ Brer B’ar had de big house I’m a-tellin’ you about. Ef he y’ever is brag un it, it aint never come down ter me. Yit dat’s des what he had-a big house an’ plenty er room fer him an’ his fambly; an’ he aint had mo’ dan he need, kaze all er his fambly wuz fat an’ had what folks calls heft-de nachal plunkness.

“He had a son name Simmon, an’ a gal name Sue, not countin’ his ol’ ‘oman, an’ dey all live wid one an’er day atter day, an’ night atter night; an’ when one un um went abroad, dey’d be spected home ’bout meal-time, ef not befo’, an’ dey segashuated right along fum day ter day, washin’ der face an’ han’s in de same wash-pan in de back po’ch, an’ wipin’ on de same towel same ez all happy famblies allers does.

“Well, time went on an’ fotched de changes dat might be spected, an’ one day dar come a mighty knockin’ on Brer B’ar’s do’. Brer B’ar, he holla out, he did. ‘Who dat come a-knockin’ dis time er de year, ‘fo’ de corn’s done planted, er de cotton-crap’s pitched?’ De one at de do’ make a big noise, an’ rattle de hinges. Brer B’ar holla out, he did, ’Don’t t’ar down my house! Who is you, anyhow, an’ what you want?’ An’ de answer come, ‘I’m one an’ darfo’ not two; ef youer mo’ dan one, who is you an’ what you doin’ in dar?’ Brer B’ar, he say, sezee, ’I’m all er one an’ mighty nigh two, but I’d thank you fer ter tell me yo’ full fambly name.’ Den de answer come.

“‘I’m de knocker an’ de mover bofe, an’ ef I can’t clim’ over I’ll crawl under ef you do but gi’ me de word. Some calls me Brer Polecat, an’ some a big word dat it aint wuff while ter ermember, but I wanter move in. It’s mighty col’ out here, an’ all I meets tells me it’s mighty warm in dar whar you is.’ Den ol’ Brer B’ar say, sezee. ’It’s warm nuff fer dem what stays in here, but not nigh so warm fer dem on de outside. What does you reely want?’ Brer Polecat ‘spon’, he did, ’I wants a heap er things dat I don’t git. I’m a mighty good housekeeper, but I takes notice dat dar’s mighty few folks dat wants me ter keep house fer um.’ Brer B’ar say, sezee, ’I aint got no room fer no housekeeper; we aint skacely got room fer ter go ter bed. Ef you kin keep my house on de outside, you er mighty welcome.’

“Brer Polecat say, ’You may think you aint got no room, but I bet you got des ez much room ez anybody what I know. Ef you let me in dar one time, I boun’ you I’ll make all de room I want.’”

Uncle Remus paused to see what effect this statement would have on the little boy. He closed his eyes, as though he were tired, but when he opened them again, he saw the faint shadow of a smile on the child’s face. “’Taint gwine ter hurt you fer ter laugh a little bit, honey. Brer Polecat come in Brer B’ar’s house, an’ he had sech a bad breff dat dey all hatter git out-an’ he stayed an’ stayed twel time stopped runnin’ ag’in’ him.”