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Brother Rabbit Tales


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The Fish In The Well

One day Brother Rabbit, Brother Fox, Brother Raccoon, Brother Bear and many other animals were working together. They were clearing a new piece of ground to plant maize. The sun was hot and Brother Rabbit got tired. But he did not show it and continued to carry away bushes. Suddenly he cried out:

"Oh! Oh! There is a thorn in my band!"

Then he disappeared. He went to look for a cool place where he could rest for a while. Soon he came to a big well. It was a well which had two buckets, and when one bucket went down, the other bucket came up. But Brother Rabbit did not know about that. So he looked at the big wooden bucket which was hanging in the well and said:

"That looks like a cool place. I'll get in and have a rest." He jumped into the bucket, and the bucket began to go down. Brother Rabbit was terribly afraid because he did not know where he was going. Then the bucket struck the water and stopped. Brother Rabbit was afraid to move. He just sat in the bucket and wailed. He did not know what was going to happen next.

Brother Fox always had one eye on Brother Rabbit, and when Brother Rabbit cried out about the thorn and ran into the bushes, Brother Fox followed him. "Brother Rabbit always has a lot of plans in his head," he said to himself. "We shall see what kind of a plan he has this time."

Brother Fox saw Brother Rabbit near the well. Then he saw that Brother Rabbit jumped into the bucket and disappeared in the well. Brother Fox could cot understand anything. He sat there in the bushes and thought and thought. Then he said to himself:

"I know what Brother Rabbit is doing there. He is hiding his money in that well. And if it isn't that, I am going to see what it is."

He crawled a little nearer and listened. He did not hear any noise, and he crawled still nearer. But again he did not hear anything. By and by he crawled up to the well and looked down. It was dark in the well, and at first Brother Fox saw nothing and heard nothing. All tins time Brother Rabbit was afraid to move. Then Brother Fox cried out:

"Hey, Brother Rabbit! Whom are you visiting there?"

"Who? Me? Oh, I am just fishing, Brother Fox," said Brother Rabbit. "I wanted to surprise everybody with fish for dinner."

"Are there many fish down there?"

"Lots of them, Brother Fox. The well is full of fish. Come down and help me, Brother Fox."

"How can I get down, Brother Rabbit?"

"Jump into the bucket, Brother Fox. It will take you down all safe and sound."

Brother Rabbit talked so merrily that Brother Fox believed him and jumped into the bucket. He went down and Brother Rabbit came up. When they passed one another, Brother Rabbit sang out:

"Good-bye, Brother Fox, take care of your clothes:
This is the way the round world goes;
Some go up, and some go down, You'll get lo the bottom all safe and sound."

When Brother Rabbit got out of the well, he galloped to the people to' whom the welt belonged.

"Brother Fox is in your well," he shouted. Then he galloped back to the well and cried down to Brother Fox:

"A man will come
With a great big gun.
When he drags you up,
Jump out and run!"

About half an hour later Brother Rabbit and Brother Fox were in the field. They worked as if they knew nothing about the well. But from time to time "Brother Rabbit began to laugh, and Brother Fox looked very angry.

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