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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 40 pages of information about Fifty years & Other Poems.

BRER RABBIT, YOU’S DE CUTES’ OF ’EM ALL

    Once der was a meetin’ in de wilderness,
    All de critters of creation dey was dar;
    Brer Rabbit, Brer ’Possum, Brer Wolf, Brer Fox,
    King Lion, Mister Terrapin, Mister B’ar. 
    De question fu’ discussion was, “Who is de bigges’ man?”
    Dey ’pinted ole Jedge Owl to decide;
    He polished up his spectacles an’ put ’em on his nose,
    An’ to the question slowly he replied: 

    “Brer Wolf am mighty cunnin’,
    Brer Fox am mighty sly,
    Brer Terrapin an’ ’Possum—­kinder small;
    Brer Lion’s mighty vicious,
    Brer B’ar he’s sorter ’spicious,
    Brer Rabbit, you’s de cutes’ of ’em all.”

    Dis caused a great confusion ’mongst de animals,
    Ev’y critter claimed dat he had won de prize;
    Dey ‘sputed an’ dey arg’ed, dey growled an’ dey roared,
    Den putty soon de dus’ begin to rise.

    Brer Rabbit he jes’ stood aside an’ urged ’em on to fight. 
    Brer Lion he mos’ tore Brer B’ar in two;
    W’en dey was all so tiahd dat dey couldn’t catch der bref
    Brer Rabbit he jes’ grabbed de prize an’ flew.

    Brer Wolf am mighty cunnin’,
    Brer Fox am mighty sly,
    Brer Terrapin an’ Possum—­kinder small;
    Brer Lion’s mighty vicious,
    Brer B’ar he’s sorter ’spicious,
    Brer Rabbit, you’s de cutes’ of ’em all.

AN EXPLANATION

    Look heah!  ’Splain to me de reason
    Why you said to Squire Lee,
    Der wuz twelve ole chicken thieves
    In dis heah town, includin’ me. 
    Ef he tole you dat, my brudder,
    He said sump’n dat warn’t true;
    W’at I said wuz dis, dat der wuz
    Twelve, widout includin’ you.

    Oh!...!—­

DE LITTLE PICKANINNY’S GONE TO SLEEP

    Cuddle down, ma honey, in yo’ bed,
    Go to sleep an’ res’ yo’ little head,
    Been a-kind o’ ailin’ all de day? 
    Didn’t have no sperit fu’ to play? 
    Never min’; to-morrer, w’en you wek,
    Daddy’s gwine to ride you on his bek,
    ‘Roun’ an’ roun’ de cabin flo’ so fas’—­
    Der!  He’s closed his little eyes at las’.

    De little pickaninny’s gone to sleep,
    Cuddled in his trundle bed so tiny,
    De little pickaninny’s gone to sleep,
    Closed his little eyes so bright an’ shiny. 
    Hush! an’ w’en you walk across de flo’
    Step across it very sof’ an’ slow. 
    De shadders all aroun’ begin to creep,
    De little pickaninny’s gone to sleep.

    Mandy, w’at’s de matter wid dat chile? 
    Keeps a-sighin’ ev’y little w’ile;
    Seems to me I heayhd him sorter groan,
    Lord! his little han’s am col’ as stone! 
    W’at’s dat far-off light dat’s in his eyes? 
    Dat’s a light dey’s borrow’d f’om de skies;
    Fol’ his little han’s across his breas’,
    Let de little pickaninny res’.

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