Another Br’er Rabbit story
This is a story about Br’er Rabbit. So one day in late fall, Br’er Rabbit was hopping down the dirt road and wagging his great big bushy tail. Br’er Rabbit was very proud of his fine tail. Now, you may say, rabbits don’t have great big bushy tails! They have little tails like in the picture! But back then rabbits had great big tails – and this story is about how Br’er Rabbit lost his tail.
Br’er Fox knows how to fish
So Br’er Rabbit kept on hopping down that dirt road, and by and by Br’er Rabbit ran into Br’er Fox. And Br’er Fox was carrying a great long string of fish he had caught, fishing in the creek. “Hey, Br’er Fox, where’d you get all those fish?” asked Br’er Rabbit. He thought those fish looked really yummy. “Oh, I caught them in the creek up there,” said Br’er Fox, and he sat down to rest. “How’d you catch so many fine fish?” asked Br’er Rabbit.
He tells Br’er Rabbit his story
“Oh, it’s easy,” said Br’er Fox, “you just go up to that creek just after the sun goes down, and you turn around and drop your tail down in the water. Then you just sit there until the sun comes up again, and pull your tail out, and there will be lots of fish hanging on it. If there’s too many for you, you can toss ’em back in.”Too many! thought Br’er Rabbit. There couldn’t be too many fish for me!
Why rabbits have short tails
Well, Br’er Rabbit said “Thank You” and he hopped right on down to that creek and squatted down and stuck his tail in the water. He sat there all night, and he got colder and colder. It really got pretty cold, and he was shivering all over, but he kept his tail in that water.
Finally it was morning, and Br’er Rabbit stood up to pull his tail out and get his fish. Oh, that tail was heavy! It didn’t want to come! (There must be an awful lot of fish, he thought.) Br’er Rabbit pulled harder and harder – and pop! his tail came right off. It was stuck in the ice. And that is why rabbits have little short tails now.
You might compare this story to the African story of Anansi and the Turtle.