The Awful Fate of Mr. Wolf (as told by a quarter-Vietnamese girl raised in the affluent suburbs of Atlanta)

By-n-by, Br’er Rabbit never did get a moment’s rest. Heather adopted an accent that was a true imitation of her grandfather. It seemed like ev-er-y day Mr. Wolf came along and made off with one of his kits. He reckoned they’d be safer if’n they had a house. So ’e made a house o’ straw. I tell you what, it wasn’t one day later Mr. Wolf came along an’ tore it down. So he made a house of pine cones and gumballs. It lasted maybe a week before Mr. Wolf came crashing in. Then, ’e made a house outta bark, but that di’n’t last long neither.

            Welp, Br’er Rabbit was at ’is wit’s end, and runnin’ short on progeny. He finally hired some proper carpen’ers, an’ they built ’im a proper house with wood logs an’ a stone foundation.

            A’ firs’, e’rytime Br’er Rabbit an’ ’is fam’ly heard Mr. Wolf passin’ by er sniffin’ ’round, they would run to the cellar–’cuz they had a proper cellar–an’ hide. But by-n-by, they stopped bein’ so scurred–

            “‘Scurred’?” Z chuckled.

            “Scurred, son! Pull the cotton out yer ears.”

The group giggled. Heather took the opportunity to attempt to clear her throat before she began again.

            Br’er Rabbit’s fam’ly was jus’ startin’ to feelin’ safe, wen one mornin’, they heard a ruckus ou’side: Houn’s barkin’ and bayin’, feet goin’ e’ry-which-way. ’Fore Br’er Rabbit cud peek ou’ the door, Mr. Wolf was pushin’ ’is way in.

            I tell you what, all his chil’ren duckt into that cellar lickety-split, but Br’er Rabbit cud see tha’ Mr. Wolf was huffin’ and puffin’, an’ co’ered in mud, an’ all tore up.

            “Hide me, Br’er Rabbit!” Mr. Wolf cried. “Them dawgs’re comin’!”

            “Jum’ in this here ches’!” Br’er Rabbit said, openin’ a foot locker by the fireplace. ’Thout a secon’ thought, Mr. Wolf jumpt in and curl’d up. Br’er Rabbit slammed the lid shut and clapt on a lock.

            “Whassat soun’?” Mr. Wolf askt.

            “Oh, ‘es the dawgs tryin’ the doorknob!” Br’er Rabbit said. “You gotta be quie’!”

            Now, Br’er Rabbit pulled up a chair and propp’t ’is loooong, lucky legs on the lid of the locker. He chewed the end of ’is pipe while he decided wha’ wud be-fall Mr. Wolf.

            “Is the dawgs gone?” Mr. Wolf whispered af’er a while.

            “Naw,” Br’er Rabbit replied. “I can still hear ’em sniffin’ ’roun’ under the windo’.”

            Getting’ out of ’is sea’, he lit up the fire place and put the kettle on.

            “Wha’chu doin’ now?” Mr. Wolf askt.

            “I’mma makin’ you some nice, sweet tea,” Br’er Rabbit replied.

            “Oh, tha’s mighty kind of you, Br’er Rabbit.”

            While the water warmed, Br’er Rabbit took a bore and bore little holes in the lid of the foot locker.

            “Wha’chu doin’ now?” Mr. Wolf askt.

            “I’m makin’ holes so’s you can breathe, Mr. Wolf.”

            “Oh, thank ’ou, Br’er Rabbit. ’tis mighty hard t’ breathe in here.”

            Br’er Rabbit chucked sommore logs on the fire, buildin’ it up ’til it was nice an’ hot.

            “Wha’chu doin’ now?

            “Oh, I’m buildin’ up the fire so’s you don’ get cold.”

            “Oh, thank you, Br’er Rabbit!”

            Once the fire was nice an’ hot, and the kettle was boilin’ furious, Br’er Rabbit open’ the cellar door to fetch ‘is chil’ren.

            “What’chu doin’, now, Br’er Rabbit?”

            “I’m tellin’ my chil’ren what a nice man you is now, Mr. Wolf.”

            “Y’all watch this,” he whispered to ’is chil’ren. I tell you what, it was all they could do to kee’ from laughin’. As soon as th’whole fam’ly was gather’d ’round, Br’er Rabbit pulled the kettle from the fire and poured the boilin’ water all o’er the foot locker.

            “Whassat I hear, Br’er Rabbit?”

            “’Es the wind blowin’, Mr. Wolf.”     

            “Whassat I feeeel, Br’er Rabbit?”

            “Oh, ’es fleas bitin’, Mr. Wolf!”

            “Fleas be eatin’ me alive, Br’er Rabbit!” An’ those were the last words of Mr. Wolf.

            I tell you what, Br’er Rabbit threw ’is door open and invi’ed the who’ neck of the wood to a bar-bee-que. When there was nothin’ else of Mr. Wolf, Br’er Rabbit strecht out ’is pelt on the fron’ porch and used it to shade ’is rockin’ chair.


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