Case in point, my favorite Brer Rabbit story...
This is a warning to foxes everywhwere...|
Beware of The Rabbit!
The cute, fun-loving little furry rodent Brer Rabbit, who appears in
the classic Uncle Remus stories by Joel Chandler Harris, is not the innocent little
victim that you have been lead to believe. Many are familiar with the Tar Baby story,
made fameous by the Disney movie Song of the South, but read the real Brer
Rabbit stories, and you will discover the horrible truth: Brer Rabbit gets
Brer Fox killed, boils Brer Wolf to death and makes mittens out of his fur,
and gets one of his kids to trick Brer Wolf's wife into cooking one of her
own children! Incidentally, he also chases Brer Bear and Brer Lion out of town. We foxes must unite against the rabbit or he'll get us all!
Brer Rabbit and the Riding Horse
What? You didn't know rabbits rode foxes around?
The story goes by many names and has two distinct versions, but the gist is the same: To redeem himself as top trickster after being tricked by Brer Fox's tar baby, Brer Rabbit boasts that Brer Fox was the riding horse for his family. He then tricks Brer Fox into putting on saddle and bridle and carrying him to Miss Meadows (their neighbornood friends). On the way, brer Rabbit puts on spurs and proudly rides Brer Fox up to the house, thus demonstrating Brer Fox is indeed his "horse".
In the two-part version, the story continues with Brer Fox throwing Brer Rabbit off his back on the ride home. Brer Rabbit hides in a hole, so Brer Fox has Brer Buzzard keep watch over the hole while he gets an axe. While he is gone Brer Rabbit escapes. Brer Fox returns to find Brer Rabbit is gone and goes after Brer Buzzard.
Read the Story
The story is a compilation work, and the illustrations that appear on this page were taken from several different printings of this story.
Yeah, there are piles of books out there full of people analyzing this and other old folktakes to death, going into things like society parallels and social class implications... blah blah blah. IT'S A STORY MEANT FOR ENTERTAINMENT. Get over it, people.
I am aware of both extremes of Joel Chandler Harris' works, and prefer to see this story on the light-hearted end of the spectrum. For me, I enjoy the Brer Rabbit stories for their animal characters and the simple fun the characters have with each other.
Different versions of the story:
The story of Brer Rabbit and the Riding Horse has also been known as:
This story also has varients in many other cultures, including a version in
African folklore where it probably originated. In it, Brer Fox is replaced by Tiger,
and Brer Rabbit is replaced by Anansi, a spider. Additional parallel stories hav been documented.
There is even a story similar to this in Native American Indian folklore, entitled: How Rabbit Fooled Wolf.
And here's an interesting (South American?) re-mix of several animal tales using Rabbit and Tiger.
- Brer Rabbit Rides The Fox
- Mr. Rabbit Grossly Deceives Brer Fox & Brer Fox Is Again Victimized
- Old Brer Rabbit's Riding Horse
- Brer Rabbit Goes Riding
- Brer Rabbit Gets A Riding Horse & Brer Rabbit In a Hole
Here is a very neat web page I found--it's the story from Brer Rabbit's point of view.
It is rumored that there were plans to include this story in Disney's Song Of
The South feature film, but a lot of things ended up being cut from final
production. Instead this story was released in a Golden Book called "Brer
Rabbit Rides The Fox" In Disney's version of this story there is no boast
from Brer Rabbit to fulfill. Brer Rabbit simply rides Brer Fox to a party
to have a bit of fun and play a trick on him. Disney also included the story
in a couple of Uncle Remus storybooks.
So, if you're ever walking through Brer Rabbit country and see a rabbit riding a bucking fox down the road, now you know the story behind it.
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All art on this page is (c) the respective artists