Brer Rabbit and the Partridge nest - Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit by Joel Chandler Harris

Oh, what’s de matter wid de Whipperwill,
Dat she sets an’ cries on de furder hill?
An’ what’s de matter wid Miss Bob White,
Dat she choke herse’f wid sayin’ Good-night?
You know mighty well dat sump’n is wrong
When dey sets an’ sings dat kinder song,
‘Twix’ a call an’ a cry, ‘twix’ a weep an’ a wail-
Dey must be tellin’ a mighty sad tale.

Miss Whipperwill’s troubles, an’ what she say
Will do fer ter tell some yuther day;
But Miss Bob White-my! aint she a sight?-
I’ll hatter tell why she hollers Good-night.
Dey once wuz a time (needer mo’ ner less)
When she ain’t try ter hide ner kivver her nes’;
She built it in de open, whar all kin see,
An’ wuz des ez perlite ez she kin be.

She’d make her house facin’ eas’ an’ wes’,
An’ den wid eggs she’d fill her nes’;
Fer ter keep um warm she’d brood an’ set,
An’ keep her house fum gittin’ wet.
Whiles dis gwine on, Brer Rabbit come by,
A-wigglin’ his mouf, an’ a-blinkin’ his eye:
“De top er de mornin’, Miss Bob,” sezee;
“De same ter you, Brer Rabbit,” se’ she.

Sez ol’ Brer Rabbit, “I been missin’ you long,
I wuz mighty fear’d dat sump’n wuz wrong,
But here you set ez still ez a mouse,
Not doin’ nothin’ but keepin’ house!”
“Oh, well,” se’ she, “I’m too ol’ ter gad,
I use’ ter do it, but I wish I never had!
De only thing I want is ter wash my dress,
But I can’t do dat whiles I’m on my nes’.”

Brer Rabbit, he say, “Can’t I he’p you out?
I ain’t doin’ nothin’ but walkin’ about,
An’ my ol’ ‘oman is willin’ fer ter bet
Dat ef settin ‘s de thing, I’m ol’ man Set!”
“I know mighty well,” sez Miss Bob White,
“Ef you set a-tall, it’ll be done right.”
“Thanky-do, Miss Bob! Go wash yo’ dress,
An’ I’ll do what I kin fer ter kivver yo’ nes’!”

So off she put, wid a flutter an’ a flirt,
An’ washed her dress in a pile er clean dirt;
Brer Rabbit see de eggs, an’ shuck his head;
His mouf ‘gun ter dribble, an’ his eye turn red;
Sezee, “It’d sholy be hard fer ter match um,
So I’ll des take um home an’ try fer ter hatch um!”
So said, so done! An’ den when he come back,
He come in a gait ‘twix’ a lope an’ a rack.

An’ Miss Bob White, atter washin’ her dress,
Went a-runnin’ back ter house an’ nes’;
“Much erbleege, Brer Rabbit,” an’ den she bowed.
“Say nothin’, ma’am, fer ter make me proud,
Kaze I been a-waitin’ here, frettin’ an’ sweatin’,
Fer fear I ain’t sech a good han’ at settin’;
My ol’ ’oman say I got a slow fever,
An’ I ‘clar’ ter goodness, I’m ready ter b’lieve her!

“I felt sump’n move, I hear’ sump’n run,
An’ de eggs done gone-dey ain’t na’er one!
I sho is seed sights, I done hear folks talk-
But never befo’ is I seed eggs walk!”
“My goodness, me!” sez Miss Bob White,
A-peepin’ in de nes’, “You sho is right!”
An’ y’ever sence den, when darkness falls,
She gives de lost chillun her Good-night calls!
An’ y’ever sence den, when darkness falls,
She gives de lost chillun her Good-night calls!