"All By My Own-alone Self"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Joel Chandler Harris, always referred to by his full name, made his reputation by a series of animal stories, supposedly told by an elderly Negro ex-slave, Uncle Remus. He published the first one in The Atlanta Constitution with which he was associated from 1876 to 1900. The stories attribute human traits to Brer (Brother) Rabbit and to other animals, and are told in the Negro dialect of middle Georgia. In Europe it was the Fox, not the Rabbit, who was the trickster hero of folk tales. But in Chapter 36 of Harris's second book, as the title declares, "Brother Wolf Falls a Victim" (to Brother Rabbit). In the conversation, the little boy who is listening asks whether Uncle Remus ever saw the Witch-Rabbit, Mammy-Bammy Big-Money. The elderly Negro replies that if he has ever run across her, she disappeared so fast he never caught a glimpse of her.

The result of this good-humored explanation was that the child didn't know whether Uncle Remus had ever seen the Witch-Rabbit or not, but his sympathies led him to suspect that the old man was thoroughly familiar with all her movements. "Uncle Remus," the little boy said after a while, "If there's another story about Mammy-Bammy Big-Money, I wish you would tell it to me all by my own-alone self."