"Bred En Bawn In A Brier Patch"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: The feud between Brer (Brother) Fox and Brer Rabbit is the origin of a number of tales, supposedly told by old Uncle Remus, on a plantation in middle Georgia. Their author, always known by his full name, Joel Chandler Harris, wrote them for The Atlanta Constitution, on which he advanced from reporter to editor between 1876 and 1900. In 1880 he gathered 34 of his animal fables into Uncle Remus, His Songs and His Sayings. The best known story of them begins in Chapter 2, "The Wonderful Tar-Baby Story," and continues in Chapter 4, "How Mr. Rabbit Was Too Sharp for Mr. Fox." To capture his annoying enemy, Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox mixes tar with "turkentine," and models a Tar-Baby. Along comes the Rabbit. Angry because the creature will not answer his greeting, the Rabbit punches its head, and his fist sticks in the sticky mess. In a second attempt to punch it, the Rabbit's other fist sticks tight. So do his feet, when he tries to kick the Tar-Baby. Now he cannot move. At this point, Uncle Remus interrupts the story. He looks at the little boy and sees that "Old Man Nod wuz ridin' on his eyelids." In Chapter 4, he finishes the tale. To all the cruel threats made by Brer Fox about what he is going to do with his victim, Brer Rabbit has only one reply: "I don't keer what you do wid me, Brer Fox, so you don't fling me in dat brier-patch." Deciding to punish the Rabbit in the way he feared most, Brer Fox:

cotch 'im by de behinn legs en slung 'im right in de middle er de brier-patch . . . Brer Fox sorter hang 'roun' fer ter see w'at wuz gwine ter happen. Bimeby he hear somebody call 'im, en way up de hill he see Brer Rabbit settin' cross-legged on a chinkapin log koamin' de pitch out'n his ha'r wid a chip. Den Brer Fox know dat he been swop off mighty bad. Brer Rabbit wuz bleedzd fer ter fling back some er his sass, en he holler out:
"Bred en bawn in a brier-patch, Brer Fox!" . . . en wid dat he skip out des ez lively ez a cricket in de embers.