Front Matter Uncle Remus Initiates the Boy The Wonderful Tar-Baby Story Why Mr. Possum Loves Peace Mr. Rabbit too Sharp for Mr. Fox The Story of the Deluge Mr. Rabbit Deceives Mr. Fox Mr. Fox is Again Victimized Mr. Fox Outdone by Mr. Buzzard Miss Cow Falls a Victim Mr. Terrapin Appears on Scene Mr. Wolf Makes a Failure Mr. Fox Tackles Old Man Tarrypin The Awful Fate of Mr. Wolf Mr. Fox and the Deceitful Frogs Mr. Fox Goes A-Hunting Mr. Rabbit—a Good Fisherman Mr. Rabbit Nibbles Up the Butter Mr. Rabbit Finds His Match The Fate of Mr. Jack Sparrow How Mr. Rabbit Saved His Meat Mr. Rabbit Meets Match Again Story about the Little Rabbits Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Bear Mr. Bear Catches Mr. Bull-Frog How Mr. Rabbit Lost His Tail Mr. Terrapin Shows His Strength Why Mr. Possum Has No Hair The End of Mr. Bear Mr. Fox Gets into Serious Business Mr. Rabbit Raises a Dust A Plantation Witch Jacky-My-Lantern Why the Negro is Black The Sad Fate of Mr. Fox Plantation Proverbs Revival Hymn Camp-Meeting Song Corn-Shucking Song The Plough-Hands' Song Christmas Play-Song Plantation Play-Song A Plantation Chant A Plantation Serenade The Big Bethel Church Time Goes by Turns A Story of the War Jeems Rober'son's Last Illness Uncle Remus's Church Experience Uncle Remus and the Savannah Darkey Turnip Salad as a Text A Confession Uncle Remus with the Toothache The Phonograph Race Improvement In the Role of a Tartar A Case of the Measles The Emigrants As a Murderer His Practical View of Things That Deceitful Jug The Florida Watermelon Uncle Remus Preaches to a Convert As to Education A Temperance Reformer As a Weather Prophet The Old Man's Troubles The Fourth of July


The Florida Watermelon

"Look yer, boy," said Uncle Remus yesterday, Stopping near the railroad crossing on Whitehall Street, and gazing ferociously at a small colored youth; "look yer, boy, Ill lay you out flat ef you come flingin' yo' watermillion rimes under my foot—you watch ef I don't. You k'n play yo' pranks on deze yer w'ite fokes, but w'en you come a cuttin' up yo' capers roun me you 'll lan' right in de middle uv er spell er sickness—now you mine w'at I tell you. An' I ain't gwine fer ter put up wid none er yo' sassness nudder—let 'lone flingin' watermillion rimes whar I kin git mixt up wid um. I done had nuff watermillions yistiddy an' de day befo'."

"How was that, Uncle Remus?" asked a gentleman standing near.

"Hit wuz sorter like dis, boss. Las' Chuseday, Mars John he fotch home two er deze yer Flurridy watermillions, an him an' Miss Sally sot down fer ter eat um. Mars John an' Miss Sally ain't got nuthin' dat's too good fer me, an' de fus news I know'd Miss Sally wuz a hollerin' fer Remus. I done smelt de watermillion on de a'r, an' I ain't got no better sense dan fer ter go w'en I years w'ite fokes a-hollerin'—I larnt dat w'en I wa'n't so high. Leas'ways I galloped up ter de back po'ch, an' dar sot de watermillions dez ez natchul ez ef dey'd er bin raised on de ole Spivey place in Putmon County. Den Miss Sally, she cut me off er slishe—wunner deze yer ongodly slishes, big ez yo' hat, an' I sot down on de steps an' wrop myse'f roun' de whole blessid chunk, 'cep'in' de rime." Uncle Remus paused and laid his hand upon his stomach as if feeling for something.

[Illustration] from  by

"Well, old man, what then?"

"Dat's w'at I'm a gittin' at, boss," said Uncle Remus, smiling a feeble smile. "I santered roun' 'bout er half nour, an den I begin fer ter feel sorter squeemish—sorter like I done bin an, swoller'd 'bout fo' poun's off'n de ruff een' uv er scantlin'. Look like ter me dat I wuz gwineter be sick, an' den hit look like I wuzzent. Bimeby a little pain showed 'is head an' sorter m'andered roun' like he wuz a lookin' fer a good place fer ter ketch holt, an' den a great big pain jump up an' take atter de little one an' chase 'im 'roun' an' 'roun,' an' he mus' er kotch 'im, kaze bimeby de big pain retch down an' grab dis yer lef' leg—so—an' haul 'im up, an' den he retch down an grab de udder one an' pull him up, an' den de wah begun, sho nuff. Fer mighty nigh fo' hours dey kep' up dat racket, an' des ez soon ez a little pain 'ud jump up de big un 'ud light onter it an' gobble it up, an' den de big un 'ud go sailin' roun' huntin' fer mo'. Some fokes is mighty cu'us, dough. Nex' mornin' I hear Miss Sally a laughin', an' singin' an' a w'isslin' des like dey want no watermillions raise in Flurridy. But somebody better pen dis yer nigger boy up w'en I'm on de town—I kin tell you dat."