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Monday, March 21, 2011

Br'er Rabbit and The Tar Baby III

A Sticky Situation!
Greetings from Magpie!

Griots are Afrikkan story tellers that retain large amounts of information, in there memory, and pass it down from generation to generation in their tribes. They also tell stories as 'food for thought' great stories, jokes and lessons to learn. They can represent the family history of  one tribe, or travel from country to country telling stories to many.
Greetings from Magpie!

    When I spoke to U last week we were missing two of my friends who love folktales, Cloudy and Rain. They were out looking for their pet Rolo, who was hiding in our library all the time. Finally, Cloudy showed up, and we're waiting on Rain. Cloudy assures me Rain is not far away, so why don't U get comfortable so I can tell you part three of the folktale about Br'er Rabbit and the Tar Baby, by Uncle Remus.

     Rain is in the house, and we can get started boys and girls.
     When we left Br'er Rabbit, he had given up on trying to make friends with Tar Baby after trying all day. Even though Red Fox told him to keep trying he became discouraged. Br'er Rabbit decided he'd had enough. So he hopped back to his rabbit hole to think about what to do next. He stayed up late too. On one hand Tommy Turtle told him to be patient and to leave the Tar Baby alone. He even told him to mind his own beeswax.  Remember?
     But Br'er Rabbit wouldn' t listen. Instead, he took Red Fox's advice and kept pestering the Tar Baby until he was so exhausted he had to hop home in defeat and frustration..
     Poor Br'er Rabbit looked tired too and stayed up all night trying to figure out what to do next. Around 2 o'clock in the morning, after dozing off and yawning fifteen times or more, he decided to take Red Fox's advice, and try just one more time to make friends with the Tar Baby. Even going against his better judgement earlier to leave him alone.
     Since he also wanted him to speak, he promised himself to be patient and not to lose his cool. Once he'd made up his mind, Br'er Rabbit fell into bed and went fast to sleep. He dreamed a beautiful dream about 'the fruits of the spirit,' and how those fruits made animals better creatures. Love, joy, kindness, peace, and self control would make him a better rabbit - if he applied himself. Those fruits were the qualities the COBB, creator of birds, beast and bugs, put in all his creatures.
    The next morning Br'er Rabbit  had breakfast, and then headed straight for the location near the big rock with a great view of the far off  moss covered mountains. He promised himself all the way
there to be mild tempered and patient. He promised himself not to try and force the Tar Baby to do anything. Br'er Rabbit felt proud of himself, and was sure that today he 'd be successful .
   When Br'er Rabbit arrived at the sight, the Tar Baby wasn't looking at the beautiful moss covered mountains. The Tar Baby was looking straight at him - with his arms extended, and a big smile on his face. "Hello," said Br'er Rabbit."You look like you slept well last night. How are you today?" he asked.  
     But the Tar Baby didn't answer him. So Br'er Rabbit comes closer to him. "I said you look like U slept well. Did you?" asked Br'er Rabbit again. As for me, I was up half the night trying to figure U out."
     Tar Baby still doesn't answer. Growing blindingly angry with his refusal to speak, Br'er Rabbit grabs Tar Baby's  extended hands and immediately sticks to them. The more he tries to break free from the Tar Baby's grip, the more he sticks to him. "Release me  at once," cried Br'er Rabbit angrily. "I have shown you nothing but kindness, and this is the way you treat me."                                       

When the Tar Baby  doesn't release him and continues to smile, but says nothing, Br'er Rabbit grows  regretfully angrier. He starts shaking the Tar Baby violently. "I demand you let me go immediately," shouts Br'er Rabbit.
     When the Tar Baby doesn't reply, Br'er Rabbit takes his feet and plants them on the Tar Baby's legs for leverage. Then he tries to pull away from the Tar Baby with his feet and then his hands and then his feet, again. Now he is really  good and stuck. His feet and hands  are deeply embedded into the Tar Baby.
     Br'er Rabbit cries out. "Oh please help me! Won't someone help me free myself from this Tar Baby! "
       Red Fox, who had been hiding behind a tree watching, and also Mr. Bear, come to Br'er Rabbits aid.  Or do they?  "My, my my," says Red Fox slyly. It looks like our sociable friend, Br'er Rabbit, finds himself in a sticky situation, hey Mr. Bear?"
       Mr. Bear licked the honey off his paw, narrowed his wide eyes, and starred at Br'er Rabbit deceitfully. "A good sticky situation for us, and a bad sticky situation for him, Mr. Fox. Looks like dinner to me."
     "Oh, no," said Red Fox. " Br'er Rabbit is much too amusing. Eating him would not be nearly as good or as much fun, as watching him get unstuck from the Tar Baby. Besides I'm not very hungry right now."
    Mr. Bear moves closer to the trapped, prisoner rabbit and whispers in his ear," Let that be a lesson to you, Br'er Rabbit, exclaimed Mr. Bear - with his hot bear breath. "Because if I had  it my way, you'd be lunch."
     "Oh, woe is me," exclaimed Br'er Rabbit. I wish I had listened to Tommy Turtle, or even myself and left this Tar Baby alone."
     "You know your right, Mr. Fox. You are such a clever trickster," said Mr. Bear, as they left the scene. "We have not stopped laughing since that Br'er Rabbit first set eyes on the Tar Baby."
    "Watching Br'er Rabbit try to make friends with a Tar Baby was a hoot," said Red Fox. "I thoroughly enjoyed every moment."
      As Br'er Rabbit struggled to break free and the day went by, he began to realize what a dangerous situation he was in. "Oh, my," said Br'er Rabbit, "I should have left the Tar Baby alone. I could have been eaten by Red Fox and Mr. Bear."
KidSmart Books is a subsidiary of the KidSmart Fdn, and Kidsmart, the Children's Workshop/Craftshop (c) 2002-2011, KidSmart Publishing, (R) All rights reserved. Illustrations  by A.Mck. GACM,Inc..2002-2011

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Br'er Rabbit & The Tar Baby II, Meet Tommy Turtle & Red Fox

Q. Why is an airline pilot like a football player?    A. They both want to make safe touchdowns.

Greetings everyone!

     My name is Magpie and  this little guy next to  me is Rolly Polly or Rolo for short. I am your Griot for the Br'er Rabbit Meets Tar  Baby folktale.
    When we left you, Br'er Rabbit had introduced himself to Tar Baby who was sitting against a rock, but Tar Baby would not speak to Br'er Rabbit. So Br'er Rabbit tried to think of ways to get Tar Baby to speak to him. Let's see what he does.                                                                                                                   
     After two days of trying to figure out what to do, Br'er Rabbit decides to ask some friends of his in the forest. How he should deal with the silent Tar Baby. He looks around for Tommy Turtle, his racing  buddy. He finds Tommy resting near a cool brook under a shade tree.
       Br'er Rabbit knocks on Tommy Turtle's shell. "Oh Tommy, could U come outside your shell for a
minute?" After about 3 seconds, Tommy Turtle sticks his small green head slowly out of the shell.
     "Good day to you Tommy Turtle," said Br'er Rabbit. "Sorry to wake you. I hope I didn't disturb U?"
 "I wasn't asleep, just resting my eyes," said Tommy Turtle, as he yawned for the third time. "What can I do U, Br'er Rabbit?"
 "I need to ask your advice about a very curious character called, The Tar Baby. I have done everything I can think of to be nice to this chap, but he won't talk to me" 

     "Maybe U should just leave him alone for a while, and try again later," said Tommy Turtle. "Then again, maybe U should just let him be. If the chap wants to talk then he will. Stop trying to figure him out and stop trying to talk to him. Leave him alone, mind your own beeswax,  and maybe he'll warm up to U and speak," explained Tommy Turtle.

     "I disagree," said Br'er Rabbit. "I spent the whole day trying to make friends, and the Tar Baby shunned me. Now I must win him over and make him speak to me." insisted Br'er Rabbit. "I know he wants something from me. Besides, everyone speaks to me and likes me once they get to know me," said Br'er Rabbit--matter of factly.

     "Well, have it your way," said Tommy Turtle. "Why did you awaken me and bother to ask for advice in the first place?  You always do things your way Br'er Rabbit, no matter what anyone tells U."

     "Thanks for the advice anyways," said Br'er Rabbit. "I know exactly what to do now to make him speak."

     Tommy Turtle just  shakes his head as Br'er Rabbit darts off.  In a flash Tommy Turtle's eyes close and he is back to resting his eyes.

     On his way back to the location where he first met the Tar Baby, Br'er Rabbit runs into Mr. Red Fox, aka, Br'er Rabbit's worst nightmare. "Hello Red Fox!" exclaims Br'er Rabbit  "Can I ask your advice about a situation I recently encountered?"

     "I don't know," said Red Fox... "Can you?"

     "Yes I can. May I then, asked Br'er Rabbit, ask your advice."

     "Yes you may ask away," said Red Fox laughing.

     "What would you do if U went out of your way to make friends with somebody, and they ignored U?"

     "Well, " said Red Fox, I don't believe I have ever gone out my way to make friends with anybody." He looked at Br'er Rabbit, slyly. "That sounds like a pretty sticky situation to be in. Perhaps U ought to walk away and wait for a better day," said Red Fox.

     "I did." said Br'er Rabbit.

     "Well then why not try offering him a carrot or a drink of water." said Red Fox. "Food and water, no one would dare turn that down."

     "That's a great idea," said Br'er Rabbit. 'Let me see. I just dug up some beautiful carrots in the field this morning, and I'll show the Tar Baby where the spring is so he can get some refreshing water."

     "Sounds like a winner to me!" exclaimed Red Fox. "Do yah mind if I come along to see what happens? Who knows, I might learn a thing or two."

     "Not at all," said Br'er Rabbit. "After all it was your idea."

     "The last time I saw him, he was over there looking at the beautiful mountains," said Red Fox.

     So off they go, Br'er Rabbit and Mr. Red Fox to the location where the Tar Baby was last seen, and when they arrive, sure enough, there he is looking at the beautiful mountains. Mr Fox stays in the background while Br'er Rabbit trys to make friends with the Tar Baby.

     Br'er Rabbit says, "Good day to you Tar Baby. I brought you something to eat. I picked them this morning especially for U."
     He extends his paw, holding two large orange carrots, towards the Tar Baby, but he doesn't even look at Br'er Rabbit. So Br'er Rabbit sits down on the ground and starts telling the Tar Baby about his day--all the time his paw is extended towards the Tar Baby. "Did you sleep well last night?  Would U like a cool drink of water? Is your family close by?"
      Br'er r Rabbit talked all afternoon and into the evening , but the Tar Baby didn't answer him or even look at him, one time. When Br'er Rabbit would get tired, Red Fox would appear and encourage him to keep trying. 


     "Keep talking,"  said Red Fox. "He looks like he's softening up a little. I believe he even moved  his head"

     But after hours of incessant chatter, believe it or not, Br'er Rabbit had enough. He got up against Red Fox's advice and hopped away.

     Well, kids, I would say that Br'er Rabbit did everything he could to make friends with the Tar Baby.
Sometimes we can't be friends with every one we meet or like. Maybe Tommy Turtle was right. We'll see. Part III, and the ending to the story of Br'er Rabbit and the Tar Baby will be available next week, and I sure hope, my cousins, Cloudy and Rain show up by then, because Rolo is right here with me.

Kid Stuff: Jokes:
Q.  Did you hear about the big fight at the candy store?    A. Yeah, a lollypop got licked.

1. Do you know what a Griot is?
2. What do rabbits eat besides carrots?
3. Whose advice would you take Tommy Turtle, or Red Fox?
4. How many times would you try to make friends with a person who shuns you?
5. How many times should you forgive a person?

Take care,


KIDSMART, The Children's Workshop/Craftshop  and KIDSMART Fdn. 1985, are registered TM(s).KSBs  coprights 2002-2011, all rights reserved. KidSmart Books is a subsidiary of the KidSmart Fdn. GACM,Inc..