“Bimeby, w’iles de Nunicorn wuz ‘sputin’ wid de Lion, en w’ile de Hyener wuz a laughin’ ter hisse’f, de Elephant squshed anudder one er de Crawfishes, en a little mo’n he’d er ruint de Mud Turkle. Den de Crawfishes, w’at dey wuz lef’ un um, swarmed tergedder en draw’d up anudder peramble wid sum mo’ wharfo’es; but dey might ez well er sung Ole Dan Tucker ter a harrycane. De udder creeturs wuz too busy wid der fussin’ fer ter ‘spon’ unto de Crawfishes. So dar dey wuz, de Crawfishes, en dey didn’t know w’at minnit wuz gwineter be de nex’; en dey kep’ on gittin madder en madder en skeerder en skeerder, twel bimeby dey gun de wink ter de Mud Turkle en de Spring Lizzud, en den dey bo’d little holes in de groun’ en went down outer sight.”
“Who did, Uncle Remus?” asked the little boy.
“De Crawfishes, honey. Dey bo’d inter de groun’ en kep’ on bo’in twel dey onloost de fountains er de yeth; en de waters squirt out, en riz higher en higher twel de hills wuz kivvered, en de creeturs wuz all drownded; en all bekaze dey let on ’mong deyselves dat dey wuz bigger dan de Crawfishes.”
Then the old man blew the ashes from a smoking yam, and proceeded to remove the peeling.
“Where was the ark, Uncle Remus?” the little boy inquired, presently.
“W’ich ark’s dat?” asked the old man, in a tone of well-feigned curiosity.
“Noah’s ark,” replied the child.
“Don’t you pester wid ole man Noah, honey. I boun’ he tuck keer er dat ark. Dat’s w’at he wuz dar fer, en dat’s w’at he done. Leas’ways, dat’s w’at dey tells me. But don’t you bodder longer dat ark, ‘ceppin’ your mammy fetches it up. Dey mout er bin two deloojes, en den agin dey moutent. Ef dey wuz enny ark in dish yer w’at de Crawfishes brung on, I ain’t heern tell un it, en w’en dey ain’t no arks ‘roun’, I ain’t got no time fer ter make um en put um in dar. Hit’s gittin’ yo’ bedtime, honey.”
One evening when the little boy, whose nights with Uncle Remus were as entertaining as those Arabian ones of blessed memory, had finished supper and hurried out to sit with his venerable patron, he found the old man in great glee. Indeed, Uncle Remus was talking and laughing to himself at such a rate that the little boy was afraid he had company. The truth is, Uncle Remus had heard the child coming, and, when the rosy-cheeked chap put his head in at the door, was engaged in a monologue, the burden of which seemed to be—
“Ole Molly Har’,
W’at you doin’ dar,
Settin’ in de cornder
Smokin’ yo’ seegyar?”
As a matter of course this vague allusion reminded the little boy of the fact that the wicked Fox was still in pursuit of the Rabbit, and he immediately put his curiosity in the shape of a question.
“Uncle Remus, did the Rabbit have to go clean away when he got loose from the Tar-Baby?”