Brother Rabbit and the Tar Baby

Adapted from A Folk Tale

Written on . Posted in Intermediate Reading.

Times viewed: 739

Tagged with: Age 13-17, Intermediate Reading, Age 6-12

Brother Fox and Brother Rabbit lived not far from each other. Brother Rabbit behaved like he was the boss of the whole neighborhood. Brother Fox didn’t like that and decided to teach Brother Rabbit a lesson.

He made a doll out of wood and put black sticky tar all over it. Then he put a straw hat on her head and sat the Tar Baby in the middle of the road. Then he hid behind the trees to see what was going to happen.

He didn’t have to wait for too long. Soon he saw Brother Rabbit hopping happily until he saw the Tar Baby.
He was surprised. "Good morning! Nice weather we’re having this morning,” he said.

The Tar Baby didn't move. Brother Fox was watching from behind the trees. Brother Rabbit went up a little closer, and asked again: "How are you this morning?" The Tar Baby didn’t say a thing.

“What’s wrong with you? Are you deaf? Because if you are, I can shout louder.” said Brother Rabbit. The Tar Baby kept sitting still, and Brother Fox kept watching.

“You’re rude, that’s what’s wrong with you! You think you’re too good to talk to me,” said Brother Rabbit. “And I’m going to cure you, that’s what I’m going to do,” he said.

Brother Fox started laughing quietly behind the trees, but the Tar Baby said nothing.

“I’m going to teach you how to be respectful. If you don’t take off that hat and say Hello, I’m going to hit you,” said Brother Rabbit.

The Tar Baby stayed still, and Brother Fox was watching.

Then Brother Rabbit got so mad, he raised his hand, and he hit the Tar Baby on the head. Bam! His hand got stuck.

“What’s this?” exclaimed Brother Rabbit. “Let me go! If you don’t, I will hit you on your head with my other hand,” he said, but the Tar Baby just sat there. Brother Rabbit hit the Tar Baby with the other hand and that one got stuck fast too.

“Let me go, before I kick you with my two strong legs.” But the Tar Baby just held on, and then Brother Rabbit jumped her with both his feet, and they also got stuck like his hands.

"Watch out, now!" he yelled. "If I hit you with my head, your ugly face will turn into a jelly. Let me go! Oh! You don't answer?" Bam!

"Are you dead? Oh, no! Now my head is stuck too!"

At this moment, Brother Fox walked from behind the trees over to Brother Rabbit.

"Hey, Brother Rabbit! What are you doing there? You look sort of stuck up this morning," said he. And he rolled on the ground and laughed and laughed until he couldn’t laugh anymore.

Then he said, “Well, I got you this time, Brother Rabbit. Now it’s your end.”

"I am your friend," said Brother Rabbit; "don't kill me."

“No, I am going to cook you for dinner tonight, for sure”, said Brother Fox.

Brother Rabbit got very scared indeed. Then he had an idea. “I don’t care what you do with me, Brother Fox,” he said, “Just don’t throw me into the blackberry bushes, they will tear me to pieces. Throw me into the fire instead.”

"Aha, Brother Rabbit!" exclaimed Brother Fox, "You don't like the blackberry bushes? Well, then, go and laugh in them," and he threw Brother Rabbit in the blackberry bushes without feeling sorry for him.

Brother Rabbit fell in the bushes, jumped to his feet, and began to laugh.

"Ha-ha-ha! Brother Fox, what a fool you are!--ha-ha-ha! I’ve never had a better bed! I was born in these bushes!"

Brother Fox knew he was fooled again. Brother Rabbit was safe.

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| Taura Shaw | Intermediate Reading
Deep in the woods, there was a clear spring with water like silver. Neither lions nor other wild animals came to the spring in the night time. Neither leaves nor branches fell into it. Only green grass grew around it all year long.

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