Brer Rabbit Treats the Creeturs To A Race - Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit by Joel Chandler Harris

One sultry summer day, while the little boy was playing not far from Uncle Remus’s cabin, a heavy black cloud made its appearance in the west, and quickly obscured the sky. It sent a brisk gale before it, as if to clear the path of leaves and dust. Presently there was a blinding flash of lightning, a snap and a crash, and, with that, the child took to his heels, and ran to Uncle Remus, who was standing in his door. “Dar now!” he exclaimed, before the echoes of the thunder had rolled away, “Dat dust an’ win’, an’ rain, puts me in mind er de time when ol’ Brer Rabbit got up a big race fer ter pleasure de yuther creeturs. It wuz de mos’ funniest race you ever hear tell on. Brer Rabbit went ’way off in de woods twel he come ter de Rainmaker’s house. He knocked an’ went in, an’ he ax de Rainmaker ef he can’t fix it up so dey kin have a race ‘tween Brer Dust an’ Cousin Rain, fer ter see which kin run de fastes’. De Rainmaker growled an’ jowered, but bimeby he ’gree, but he say that ef ‘twuz anybody but Brer Rabbit, he wouldn’t gi’ it but one thunk.

“Well, dey fix de day, dey did, an’ den Brer Rabbit put out ter whar de creeturs wuz stayin’ at, an’ tol’ um de news. Dey dunner how Brer Rabbit know, but dey all wanter see de race. Now, him an’ de Rainmaker had fixt it up so dat de race would be right down de middle er de big road, an’ when de day come, dar’s whar he made de creeturs stan’-Brer B’ar at de bend er de road, Brer Wolf a leetle furder off, an’ Brer Fox at a p’int whar de cross-roads wuz. Brer Coon an’ Brer Possum an’ de yuthers be scattered about up an’ down de Road.

“Ter dem what has ter wait, it seem like de sun stops an’ all de clocks wid ‘im. Brer B’ar done some growlin’; Brer Wolf some howlin’ an’ Brer Possum some laughin’; but atter while a cloud come up fum some’rs. ’Twant sech a big cloud, but Brer Rabbit know’d dat Cousin Rain wuz in dar ‘long wid Uncle Win’. De cloud crope up, it did, twel it got right over de big road, an’ den it kinder drapped down a leetle closer ter de groun’. It look like it kinder stop, like a buggy, fer Cousin Rain ter git out, so der’d be a fa’r start. Well, he got out, kaze de creeturs kin see ‘im, an’ den Uncle Win’, he got out.

“An’ den, gentermens! de race begun fer ter commence. Uncle Win’ hep’d um bofe; he had his bellows wid ‘im, an’ he blow’d it! Brer Dust got up fum whar he wuz a-layin’ at, an’ come down de road des a-whirlin’. He stricken ol’ Brer B’ar fust, den Brer Wolf, an’ den Brer Fox, an’ atter dat, all de yuther creeturs, an’ it come mighty nigh smifflicatin’ um! Not never in all yo’ born days is you y’ever heern sech coughin’ an’ sneezin’, sech snortin’ an’ wheezin’! An’ dey all look like dey wuz painted red. Brer B’ar sneeze so hard dat he hatter lay down in de road, an’ Brer Dust come mighty nigh buryin’ ‘im, an’ ’twuz de same wid de yuther creeturs-dey got der y’ears, der noses, an’ der eyeses full.

“An’ den Cousin Rain come ‘long, a-pursuin’ Brer Dust, an’ he come mighty nigh drownin’ um. He left um kivver’d wid mud, an’ dey wuz wuss off dan befo’. It wuz de longest ‘fo’ dey kin git de mud out ’n der eyes an’ y’ears, an’ when dey git so dey kin see a leetle bit, dey tuck notice dat Brer Rabbit, stidder bein’ full er mud, wuz ez dry ez a chip, ef not dryer.

“It make um so mad, dat dey all put out atter ‘im, an’ try der level best fer ter ketch, but ef dey wuz anything in de roun’ worl’ dat Brer Rabbit’s got, it’s soople foots, an’ ’twant no time ‘fo’ de yuther creeturs can’t see ha’r ner hide un ’im! All de same Brer Rabbit aint bargain fer ter have two races de same day.”

“But, Uncle Remus,” said the little boy, “which beat, Brother Dust or Cousin Rain?” The old man stirred uneasily in his chair, and rubbed his chin with his hand. “Dey tells me,” he responded cautiously, “dat when Cousin Rain can’t see nothin’ er Brother Dust, he thunk he am beat, but he holla out, ‘Brer Dust, wharbouts is you?’ an’ Brer Dust he holla back, ‘You’ll hatter scuzen me; I fell down in de mud an’ can’t run no mo’!’”