Print Friendly, PDF & Email
A briar patch - a big thorn bush

A briar patch – a big thorn bush

A story about Br’er Rabbit

So Br’er Fox had caught Br’er Rabbit and this time Br’er Fox said he was going to cook Br’er Rabbit and eat him up for good! Br’er Rabbit was mighty scared. He begged, “Oh, Br’er Fox, I don’t care what you do with me, so long as you just don’t throw me in that briar patch over there. Go on and barbecue me up, Br’er Fox, but please don’t throw me in that briar patch.”

Who is Br’er Rabbit?
Br’er Rabbit and the Tar Baby
More American literature
All our American history articles

Br’er Fox can’t roast him

Br’er Fox said he was going to roast him anyhow, but when he went to hang Br’er Rabbit up over the fire, he found he didn’t have any string to tie him up with. “Well, I guess I can’t roast you,” Br’er Fox said. “I guess I’ll have to drown you instead.” Br’er Rabbit pleaded, “Oh, Br’er Fox, go ahead and drown me then, just so long as you don’t throw me into that briar patch!”

Br’er Fox can’t drown him

“Well,” said Br’er Fox, “it looks like there’s no water around here to drown you in. I guess I’ll skin you instead.” “Okay, Br’er Fox, no problem,” chattered Br’er Rabbit, “Go ahead and skin me, cut out my eyes, cut off my legs, just don’t throw me into that briar patch!”

An older version: Rustem and the Devil

Br'er Fox and the Briar Patch

Br’er Fox and the Briar Patch

What about the briar patch?

By this time, Br’er Fox had gotten the idea that Br’er Rabbit really, really didn’t want to get anywhere near that briar patch. Br’er Fox wanted to hurt Br’er Rabbit as bad as he could, so he took Br’er Rabbit by the legs and threw him right smack into the middle of that briar patch. He heard a lot of rustling and crackling when Br’er Rabbit landed, and he waited around to see what terrible thing was going to happen.

End of the story!

But a few minutes later, he hears somebody calling, “Oh, yoo-hoo, Br’er Fox! Over here!” and he looks – and he sees Br’er Rabbit, sitting on a rock, combing the tar out of his fur with a stick. “Didn’t you know, Br’er Fox,” called Br’er Rabbit. “I was bred and born in the briar patch! Bred and born!” And he hopped away.

Find out what happens next
Compare this story to a much older Iranian story of Rustem and the Devil

Bibliography and further reading about Br’er Rabbit stories:

 

Native American Literature
American History
Quatr.us home