Do You Know the Stories from Uncle Remus?

Uncle Remus Stories by Joel Harris

Book of stories from Uncle Remus
Classic stories from Uncle Remus

From our library and sold on eBay, The Stories from Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris: six classic “Uncle Remus” tales that spell adventure:
–Why Mr. Possum Has No Hair on His Tail
–Mr. Rabbit Meets His Match
–The Wonderful Tar-Baby
–Mr. Wolf Makes a Failure
–Mr. Fox Tackles Old Man Tarrypin
–Old Mr. Rabbit, He’s a Good Fisherman.

uncle-remus-possom-race300

The charming stories by Joel Chandler Harris and their vibrant illustrations date from the 1800s.

It was one of those things we inherited, and inasmuch as I love books and story telling, I only glimpsed the book before selling it for $29 on eBay.

I was glad to hear from the buyer she bought Uncle Remus to read to her grandchildren, a perfect ending to any good book.

Flourish Wheat Icon to divide text

Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and Tar-Baby

Here’s how the classic story goes …

Stories from Uncle Remus

Brer Fox was always trying to catch Brer Rabbit; but Brer Rabbit was mighty pert and spry, and he never let Brer Fox catch him. So Brer Fox pretended to be friendly, and asked Brer Rabbit to come to dinner with him. But Brer Rabbit did not come; he knew what was going to be eaten at that dinner. Brer Fox then thought of something else. He went to work and got some tar and some turpentine, and fixed up a thing he called a Tar-Baby. He set up this Tar-Baby by the road near Brer Rabbit’s house, and laid low beneath the bramble-bushes nearby to watch what would happen.

By and by Brer Rabbit came prancing along, lippity-clippity, clippity-lippity, as saucy as a jay-bird. When he saw Tar-Baby he sat up on his legs in astonishment.

“Good-morning,” says Brer Rabbit, very politely and nicely. “Fine weather this morning,” says he.

Tar-Baby said nothing, and Brer Fox he laid low.

“Are you deaf?” said Brer Rabbit. “I can shout if you are.”

And he shouted. But Tar-Baby kept on saying nothing; and Brer Fox he winked his eye slowly, and laid low.

At last Brer Rabbit raised his fist and hit Tar-Baby on the side of her head. And there his fist stuck in the tar, and he couldn’t pull it away.

“Let me go, or I’ll strike you again!” says Brer Rabbit. And he hit out with his other hand, and that stuck on Tar-Baby.

book illustration of Brer Fox, Brer Rabbit, and Tar-Baby
Brer Fox to Brer Rabbit, “You seem rather stuck up this morning.”

Brer Rabbit kicked out angrily with his feet and they got stuck on Tar-Baby. Then he butted her with his head, and his head also got fixed.

“Howdydo?” says Brer Fox, coming out of the bushes, and looking as innocent as a dicky-bird. “You seem rather stuck up, Brer Rabbit, this morning.”

And then Brer Fox rolled about the ground and laughed.

“I expect you’ll come to dinner with me now, Brer Rabbit,” says he. “We’re going to have some nice roast rabbit. You won’t play any more tricks on me. You’re too saucy by far.

“Who asked you to strike up an acquaintance with this Tar-Baby? Now you’re going to have a warm time, as soon as I can get some firewood together.”

Then Brer Rabbit began to talk mighty humble.

“I don’t care what you do with me, Brer Fox,” says he, “so long as you don’t’ fling me on those prickly bramble-bushes.”

“It’s too much trouble to light a fire, says Brer Fox. I’ll have to hang you.”

“Hang me, or drown me?” says Brer Rabbit. “I don’t mind. But for pity’s sake don’t fling me on those prickly bramble-bushes.”

Birds eye view of Uncle Uncle Remus story of Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox and the Tar-Baby
Birds eye view of Brer Rabbit in the Bramble Bushes

But Brer Fox wanted to hurt Brer Rabbit as much as he could, so he took him by the hind legs and pulled him off Tar-Baby, and flung him right into the middle of the prickly bramble-bushes. There was a considerable flutter where Brer Rabbit struck the bushes, and Brer Fox wanted to see what was going to happen. By and by he heard someone calling up the hill, and there he saw Brer Rabbit sitting on a log, combing the tar out of his hair with a chip of wood.

“I was bred and born in a briar bush, Brer Fox—bred and born in it — says Brer Rabbit, with a laugh. And with that he skipped off home as lively as a cricket.

SOURCE: The Human Interest Library, The National Home and School Association, The Midland Press, Chicago, 1922; pp. 346-347

Life Begins at 80!

Life begins at 80 image

Life Begins at 80! Won’t that be grand!

clipping of a column by Frank Charles Laubach on being 80 years old
Frank Laubach writing on the joys of being 80!

I discovered a newspaper clipping by Frank Laubach in a box from the attic. It’s yellow with age.

I know the article held a matter of importance to the person who clipped it because it’s laminated with plastic for preservation. Reading it is like seeing a rainbow – a gleaming light – at the end of the tunnel.

Chicago columnist Frank Charles Laubach, who lived to be 85, offers his  perspective on growing old, with a smile.
With tongue in cheek,  he substantiates the premise that —at any age — our well-being  is merely a state of mind.

Life Begins at 80 by Frank Laubach

Birthday cake wishing you a merry 80 years - Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday!

I have good news for you. The first 80 years are the hardest. The second 80 are a succession of birthday parties.
Once you reach 80, everyone wants to carry your baggage and help you up the steps. If you forget your name or anybody’s name, or an appointment, or your own telephone number, or promise to be three places at the same time, or can’t remember how many grandchildren you have, you need only explain that you are 80.
Being 80 is a lot better than being 70. At 70, people are mad at you for everything. At 80, you have a perfect excuse, no matter what you do. If you act foolishly, it’s your second childhood. Everybody is looking for symptoms of softening of the brain.
Being 70 is no fun at all. At that age, they expect you to retire to a house in Florida and complain about your arthritis and you ask everybody to stop mumbling because you can’t understand them. (Actually, your hearing is about 50 percent gone.)
If you survive until you are 80, everybody is surprised you are still alive. They treat you with respect just for having lived so long. Actually, they seem surprised you can walk and talk sensibly.
So please, folks, try to make it to 80. It’s the best time of life. People forgive you for anything. If you ask me, life begins at 80. —Frank Laubach

One-Hundred Years is the Frosting on the Cake!

Cartoon in New Yorker, Dec. 11, 1978, on page 57. Caption, My goodness. Is it one hundred years already. By James Mulligan
“My goodness! Is it one hundred years already?”

Source: New Yorker, Dec. 11, 1978; pg. 57; cartoonist, James Mulligan

Seniors Only

I attended a senior’s luncheon in Branson at a community center where luncheons always begin with announcements, the Pledge of Allegiance, prayer, and a joke.

Joke of the Day – 
Two duffers were playing golf when an 80-year-old woman streaked across the greens in her birthday suit.

Golfer 1: Did you see that woman?
Golfer 2: Yup!
Golfer 1: What was she wearing?
Golfer 2: Don’t know. Whatever it was, it needs ironing!

After lunch, Darrell and I played a round of golf. A few geese streaked across the greens in their birthday suits

There were goldfish in the pond and the sun was shining. Another lovely day in the Ozarks!

Laugh Out Loud

Trust you have friends to laugh-out-loud with, where you double over in laughter at least once a week.
So … I was at a Chamber of Commerce meeting with a speaker from Google, speaking on Web options for small business enterprises.
As all fine public speakers, she punctuated her remarks with a joke.
Q: What did the fish say when he ran into a wall?
A: Dam.
clown fish with red nose illustrates laugh out loud with friends

Kokeshi Dolls Mailed to Canada

Kokeshi lipstick and perfumer
Silver Kokeshi lipstick and perfumer

Silver Kokeshi Lipstick Dolls

Kokeshi dolls, another fun sale on eBay.

Selling a Kokeshi doll lipstick and perfumer brought back memories of our travels to Cabo San Lucas and of Canada, the mailing destination for this sale on eBay.

It’s a small world

Filling out the shipping label to Canada brought back some dubious memories of two Canadian tourists we met in Cabo San Lucas on vacation in 2008.
Darrell and I took an eco-tour with the promise of seeing fossils on the Baja Peninsula. The brochure  had in big letters, Wear hiking boots or other well structured footwear.

When the shuttle stopped to pick-up two Canada tourists who were joining the group tour, they were sporting slip-on, wedge sandals. The tour guide looked disapprovingly at their flimsy footwear as they boarded.

“It’s all the shoes we have,” they said.

So, we fossil hunters were limited on our exploration. We could only hike so high up the mountain before it became too dangerous for the ballet shoes the Canadians were wearing, forcing us to abort our search.

That happening left an altered view in my mind of Canada as a country without hiking shoes or tennis shoes.

Flash forward to 2010 Winter Olympics and Canada

I had another glimpse into the heart of the Canadian people as I sat in front of the TV watching the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. I would have hopped a plane to Canada if I could.

NBC showcased the beautiful country and lifestyle and took viewers on nightly tours of restaurants.

Then I was reminded of Canada’s hospitality after 911 and was ready to sing Oh Canada.

NBC’s Tom Brokaw reported on Gander, Newfoundland, and how they welcomed 7,000 passengers in 2001 when U.S. closed air space over New York following the attack on the Twin Towers.

Now, 9-years later, watching the report and reunions of U.S. citizens with the generous Canadians who welcomed them into their homes in a time of national distress endeared Canada and its people to me.

Kokeshi dolls for the makeup table
Kokeshi dolls for your purse, a lipstick and perfumer

A note regarding the Kokeshi dolls: They are Japanese in origin. The taller one is a lipstick tube and the shorter one a perfumer that holds a lasting, rich perfume scent.

The outer canisters have remarkable craftsmanship, making them mini sculptures of art from a country of artisans.

All tourists aboard – fossil hunting in Cabo

Darrell hunting fossils
Darrell wearing fossil hunting gear
Fossil hunting in Mexico
Our guides referred to their rig as a Mexican limousine
Guide testing a fossil for authenticity
Guide says fossil is real if it sticks to your tongue
Tourist Alvin tests fossil for authenticity
Alvin, an engineer and  tourist from California, found a fossil that stuck to his tongue
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Visit my Made in Japan page on Estate Trinkets & Treasures to see other objects of art, made in Japan.