“No sooner did de blacksmif git back on de groun’ dan he ’gun ter wuk his way outer de bag. He crope out, he did, en den he tuck’n change de bag. He tuck’n tuck a n’er bag en lay it down whar dish yer bag wuz, en den he crope outer de crowd en lay low in de underbresh.
“Las’, w’en de time come fer ter go, de Ole Boy up wid his bag en slung her on his shoulder, en off he put fer de Bad Place. W’en he got dar he tuck’n drap de bag off’n his back en call up de imps, en dey des come a squallin’ en a caperin’, w’ich I speck dey mus’ a bin hongry. Leas’ways dey des swawm’d ‘roun’, hollerin’ out:
“‘Daddy, w’at you brung—daddy, w’at you brung?’
“So den dey open de bag, en lo en behol’s, out jump a big bull-dog, en de way he shuck dem little imps wuz a caution, en he kep’ on gnyawin’ un um twel de Ole Boy open de gate en t’un ’im out.”
“And what became of the blacksmith?” the little boy asked, as Uncle Remus paused to snuff the candle with his fingers.
“I’m drivin’ on ‘roun’, honey. Atter ’long time, de blacksmif he tuck’n die, en w’en he go ter de Good Place de man at de gate dunner who he is, en he can’t squeeze in. Den he go down ter de Bad Place, en knock. De Ole Boy, he look out, he did, en he know’d de blacksmif de minnit he laid eyes on ’im; but he shake his head en say, sezee:
“’You’ll hatter skuze me, Brer Blacksmif, kase I dun had ’speunce ’longer you. You’ll hatter go some’rs else ef you wanter raise enny racket,’ sezee, en wid dat he shet do do’.
“En dey do say,” continued Uncle Remus, with unction, “dat sense dat day de blacksmif bin sorter huv’rin’ ‘roun’ ‘twix’ de heavens en de ye’th, en dark nights he shine out so fokes call ’im Jacky-my-lantern. Dat’s w’at dey tells me. Hit may be wrong er’t maybe right, but dat’s w’at I years.”
1 This story is popular on the coast and among
plantations, and, since the publication of some of the
animal-myths in the newspapers, I have received a version
of it from a planter in southwest Georgia; but it seems to
me to be an intruder among the genuine myth-stories of the
negroes. It is a trifle too elaborate. Nevertheless, it is
told upon the plantations with great gusto, and there are
several versions in circulation.
XXXIII. WHY THE NEGRO IS BLACK
One night, while the little boy was watching Uncle Remus twisting and waxing some shoe-thread, he made what appeared to him to be a very curious discovery. He discovered that the palms of the old man’s hands were as white as his own, and the fact was such a source of wonder that he at last made it the subject of remark. The response of Uncle Remus led to the earnest recital of a piece of unwritten history that must prove interesting to ethnologists.