AT LAST Daddy Jack returned, and the fact that the little boy had missed him and inquired about him, seemed to give the old African particular pleasure. It was probably a new experience to Daddy Jack, and it vaguely stirred some dim instinct in his bosom that impelled him to greet the child with more genuine heartiness than he had ever displayed in all his life. He drew the little boy up to him, patted him gently on the cheek, and exclaimed:
"Ki! I bin want fer see you bery bahd. I bin-a tell you' nunk Jeem' how fine noung màn you is. 'E ahx wey you no come fer shum. Fine b'y--fine b'y!"
"Well, ef dat 's de way youer gwine on, Brer Jack, you'll spile dat chap sho'. A whole sack er salt won't save 'im."
"I dunno 'bout dat, Brer Remus," said Aunt Tempy, who had come in. "Don't seem like he bad like some yuther childun w'at I seen. Bless you, I know childun w'at'd keep dish yer whole place tarryfied--dat dey would!"
"Well, sir," said Uncle Remus, shaking his head and groaning, "you all aint wid dat young un dar much ez I is. Some days w'en dey aint nobody lookin', en dey aint nobody nowhar fer ter take keer un me, dat ar little chap dar 'll come down yer en chunk me wid rocks, en 'buze me en holler at me scan'lous."
The little boy looked so shocked that Uncle Remus broke into a laugh that shook the cobwebs in the corners; then, suddenly relapsing into seriousness, he drew himself up with dignity and remarked:
"Good er bad, you can't git 'long wid 'im less'n you sets in ter tellin' tales, en, Brer Jack, I hope you got some 'long wid you."
Daddy Jack rubbed his hands together, and said:
"Me bin yeddy one tale; 'e mekky me lahff tel I is 'come tire'."
"Fer de Lord sake less have it den!" exclaimed Aunt Tempy, with unction. Whereupon, the small but appreciative audience disposed itself comfortably, and Daddy Jack, peering at each one in turn, his eyes shining between his half-closed lids as brightly as those of some wild animal, began:
"One tam B'er Rabbit is bin traffel 'roun' fer see 'e neighbor folks. 'E bin mahd wit' B'er Wolf fer so long tam; 'e mek no diffran, 'e come pas' 'e house 'e no see nuttin', 'e no yeddy nuttin'. 'E holler:
"'Hi, B'er Wolf! wey you no fer mek answer wun me ahx you howdy? Wey fer you is do dis 'fo' me werry face? Wut mekky you do dis?'
"'E wait, 'e lissun; nuttin' no mek answer. B'er Rabbit, 'e holler:
"'Come-a show you'se'f, B'er Wolf! Come-a show you'se'f. Be 'shame' fer not show you'se'f wun you' 'quaintun' come bisitin' wey you lif!'
"Nuttin' 't all no mek answer, un B'er Rabbit 'come berry mahd. 'E 'come so mahd 'e stomp 'e fut un bump 'e head 'pon da fence-side. Bumbye 'e tek heart, 'e y-opun da do', 'e is look inside da house. Fier bu'n in da chimbly, pot set 'pon da fier, ole ooman sed by da pot. Fier bu'n, pot, 'e bile, ole ooman, 'e tek 'e nap.
"Da ole ooman, 'e ole Granny Wolf; 'e cripple in 'e leg, 'e bline in 'e y-eye, 'e mos' deaf in 'e year. 'E deaf, but 'e bin yeddy B'er Rabbit mek fuss at da do', un 'e is cry out:
"'Come-a see you' ole Granny, me gran'son--come-a see you' Granny! Da fier is bin bu'n, da pot is bin b'ile; come-a fix you' Granny some bittle,  me gran'son.'"
Daddy Jack's representation of the speech and action of an old woman was worth seeing and hearing. The little boy laughed, and Uncle Remus smiled good-humoredly; but Aunt Tempy looked at the old African with open-mouthed astonishment. Daddy Jack, however, cared nothing for any effect he might produce. He told the story for the story's sake, and he made no pause for the purpose of gauging the appreciation of his audience.
"B'er Rabbit, 'e is bin mek 'ese'f comfuts by da fier. Bumbye, 'e holler:
"'Hi, Granny! I bin cripple mese'f; me y-eye bin-a come bline. You mus' bile-a me in da water, Granny, so me leg is kin come well, un so me y-eye kin come see.'
"B'er Rabbit, 'e mighty ha'd fer fool. 'E bin tek 'im one chunk woot, 'e drap da woot in da pot. 'E bin say:
"'I is bin feelin' well, me Granny. Me leg, 'e comin' strong, me y-eye 'e fix fer see.'
"Granny Wolf, 'e shek 'e head; 'e cry:
"'Me one leg cripple, me turrer leg cripple; me one eye bline, me turrer y-eye bline. Wey you no fer pit me in da pot fer mek me well?'
"B'er Rabbit laff in 'e belly; 'e say:
"'Hol' you'se'f still, me Granny; I fix you one place in da pot wey you is kin fetch-a back da strenk in you' leg un da sight in you' eye. Hol' still, me Granny!'
"B'er Rabbit, 'e is bin tekky da chunk y-out da pot; 'e tekky da chunk, un 'e is bin pit Granny Wolf in dey place. 'E tetch da water, 'e holler:
"'Ow! tekky me way fum dis!'
"B'er Rabbit say 'tiss not da soon 'nuff tam. Granny Wolf, 'e holler:
"'Ow! tekky me way fum dis! 'E bin too hot!'
"B'er Rabbit, 'e no tekky da Mammy Wolf fum da pot, un bumbye 'e die in dey. B'er Rabbit 'e tek 'e bone un t'row um 'way; 'e leaf da meat. 'E tek Granny Wolf frock, 'e tu'n um 'roun', 'e pit um on; 'e tek Granny Wolf cap, 'e tu'n 'roun', 'e pit um on. 'E sed deer by da fier, 'e hol' 'e'se'f in 'e cheer sem lak Granny Wolf.
"Bumbye B'er Wolf is bin-a come back. 'E walk in 'e house, 'e say:
"'Me honkry, Grinny-Granny! Me honkry, fer true!'
"'You' dinner ready, Grin'son-Gran'son!'
"B'er Wolf, 'e look in da pot, 'e smell in da pot, 'e stir in da pot. 'E eat 'e dinner, 'e smack 'e mout'."
The little boy shuddered, and Aunt Tempy exclaimed, "In de name er de Lord!" The old African paid no attention to either.
"B'er Wolf eat 'e dinner; 'e call 'e chilluns, 'e ahx um is dey no want nuttin' 't all fer eat. 'E holler back:
"'We no kin eat we Grinny-Granny!'
"B'er Rabbit, 'e run 'way fum dey-dey; 'e holler back:
"'B'er Wolf, you is bin eat you' Grinny-Granny.'
"B'er Wolf bin-a git so mad 'e yent mos' kin see. 'E yeddy B'er Rabbit holler, un 'e try fer ketch um. 'E feer teer up da grass wey 'e run 'long. Bumbye 'e come 'pon B'er Rabbit. 'E is bin push um ha'd. B'er Rabbit run un-a run tel 'e yent kin run no mo'; 'e hide 'neat' leanin' tree. B'er Wolf, 'e fine um; B'er Rabbit 'e holler:
"'Hi! B'er Wolf! mek 'as'e come hol' up da tree, 'fo' 'e is fall dey-dey; come-a hol' um, B'er Wolf, so I is kin prop um up.'
"B'er Wolf, 'e hol' up da tree fer B'er Rabbit; 'e hol' um till 'e do come tire'. B'er Rabbit gone!"
Daddy Jack paused. His story was ended. The little boy drew a long breath and said:
"I did n't think Brother Rabbit would burn anybody to death in a pot of boiling water."
"Dat," said Uncle Remus, reassuringly, "wuz endurin' er de dog days. Dey er mighty wom times, mon, dem ar dog days is."
This was intended to satisfy such scruples as the child might have, and it was no doubt successful, for the youngster said no more, but watched Uncle Remus as the latter leisurely proceeded to fill his pipe.