Sonny Bunny Rabbit’s Granny

★ Sonny Bunny Rabbit’s Granny Story :

Of all the animal stories which America, the nurse-girl, told to the children of Broadlands plantation, they liked best those about Sonny Bunny Rabbit.

“You listen now, Marse Pate an’ Miss Patty an’ my baby child, an’ I gwine tell you de best tale yit, ’bout de rabbit,” she said, one lazy summer afternoon when they were tired of playing marbles with china-berries.

“You see, de fox he mighty hongry all de time for rabbit meat; yit, at de same time, he ‘fraid to buck up ‘gainst a old rabbit, an’ he always pesterin’ after de young ones.

“Sonny Bunny Rabbit’ granny was sick, an’ Sonny Bunny Rabbit’ mammy want to send her a mess o’ sallet. She put it in a poke, an’ hang de poke round de little rabbit boy’s neck.

“‘Now, my son,’ she says, ‘you tote dis sallet to yo’ granny, an’ don’t stop to play wid none o’ dey critters in de Big Woods.’

“‘Yassum, mammy,’ say Sonny Bunny Rabbit.

“‘Don’t you pass de time o’ day wid no foxes,’ say Mammy Rabbit.

“‘Yassum, mammy,’ say Sonny Bunny Rabbit.

“Dest as he was passin’ some thick chinkapin bushes, up hop a big red fox an’ told him howdy.

“‘Howdy,’ say Sonny Bunny Rabbit. He ain’t study ’bout what his mammy tell him now. He ‘bleege to stop an’ make a miration at bein’ noticed by sech a fine pusson as Mr. Fox. ‘Hit’s a fine day–an’ mighty growin’ weather, Mr. Fox.’

“‘Hit am dat,’ say de fox. ‘Yaas, suh, hit sho’ly am dat. An’ whar you puttin’ out for, ef I mought ax?’ he say, mighty slick an’ easy.

“Now right dar,” said America, impressively, “am whar dat little rabbit boy fergit his teachin’. He act like he ain’t know nothin’–an ain’t know dat right good. ‘Stead o’ sayin’, ‘I’s gwine whar I’s gwine–an’ dat’s whar I’s gwine,’ he answer right back: ‘Dest ‘cross de hill, suh. Won’t you walk wid me, suh? Proud to have yo’ company, suh.’

“‘An’ who-all is you gwine see on t’ other side de hill?’ ax Mr. Fox.

“‘My granny,’ answer Sonny Bunny Rabbit. ‘I totin’ dis sallet to her.’

“‘Is yo’ granny big?’ ax de fox. ‘Is yo’ granny old?’ he say. ‘Is yo’ granny mighty pore? Is yo’ granny tough?’ An’ he ain’t been nigh so slick an’ sof’ an’ easy any mo’ by dis time–he gittin’ mighty hongry an’ greedy.

“Right den an dere Sonny Bunny Rabbit wake up. Yaas, law! He come to he senses. He know mighty well an’ good dat a pusson de size o’ Mr. Fox ain’t got no reason to ax ef he granny tough, less’n he want to git he teef in her. By dat he recomember what his mammy done told him. He look all ’bout. He ain’t see no he’p nowhars. Den hit come in Sonny Bunny Rabbit’ mind dat de boys on de farm done sot a trap down by de pastur’ fence. Ef he kin git Mr. Fox to jump inter dat trap, his life done save.

“‘Oh, my granny mighty big,’ he say; ‘but dat ‘s ‘ca’se she so fat she cain’t run. She hain’t so mighty old, but she sleep all de time; an’ I ain’t know is she tough or not–you dest better come on an’ find out,’ he holler. Den he start off on er long, keen jump.

“Sonny Bunny Rabbit run as hard as he could. De fox run after, most nippin’ his heels. Sonny Bunny Rabbit run by de place whar de fox-trap done sot, an’ all kivered wid leaves an’ trash, an’ dar he le’p high in the air–an’ over it. Mr. Fox ain’t know dey ary trap in de grass; an’, blam! he stuck he foot squar’ in it!

“‘Oh-ow-ow! Hi-hi-hi! Hi-yi! Yi-yi-yi!’ bark de fox. ‘Come back hyer, you rabbit trash, an’ he’p me out o’ dis trouble!’ he holler.

“‘Dat ain’t no trouble,’ say Sonny Bunny Rabbit, jumping high in de grass. ‘Dat my granny, what I done told you ’bout. Ain’t I say she so fat she cain’t run? She dest love company so powerful well, dat I ‘spect she holdin’ on to you to hear you talk.’

“An’ de fox talk,” America giggled, as she looked about on her small audience.

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