Read UNCLE EPHE’S ADVICE TO BRER RABBIT of Solomon Crow's Christmas Pockets and Other Tales , free online book, by Ruth McEnery Stuart, on

Keep step, Rabbit, man!
Hunter comin’ quick’s he can!
H’ist yo’se’f! Don’t cross de road,
Less ’n he’ll hit you fur a toad!

Up an’ skip it, ‘fo’ t’s too late!
Hoppit lippit! Bull-frog gait!
Hoppit lippit lippit hoppit!
Goodness me, why don’t you stop it?

Shame on you, Mr. Ge’man Rabbit,
Ter limp along wid sech a habit!
‘F you’d balumps on yo’ hime-legs straight,
An’ hurry wid a mannish gait,

An’ tie yo’ ears down onder yo’ th’oat,
An’ kivir yo’ tail wid a cut-away coat,
Rabbit-hunters by de dozen
Would shek yo’ han’ an’ call you cousin,

An’ like as not, you onery sinner,
Dey’d ax’ you home ter eat yo’ dinner!
But don’t you go, ’caze ef you do,
Dey’ll set you down to rabbit-stew.

An’ de shape o’ dem bones an’ de smell o’ dat meal
‘Ll meck you wish you was back in de fiel’.
An’ ef you’d stretch yo’ mouf too wide,
You know yo’ ears mought come ontied;

An’ when you’d jump, you couldn’t fail
To show yo’ little cotton tail,
An’ den, ‘fo’ you could twis’ yo’ phiz,
Dey’d reconnize you who you is;

An’ fo’ you’d sca’cely bat yo’ eye,
Dey’d have you skun an’ in a pie,
Or maybe roasted on a coal,
Widout one thought about yo’ soul.

So better teck olé Ephe’s advice,
Des rig yo’se’f out slick an’ nice,
An’ tie yo’ ears down, like I said,
An’ hide yo’ tail an’ lif’ yo’ head.

An’ when you balumps on yo’ foots,
It wouldn’t hurt ter put on boots.
Den walk straight up, like Mr. Man,
An’ when he offer you ‘is han’,

Des smile, an’ gi’e yo’ hat a tip;
But don’t you show yo’ rabbit lip.
An’ don’t you have a word ter say,
No mo’n ter pass de time o’ day.

An’ ef he ax ‘bout yo’ affairs,
Des ’low you gwine ter hunt some hares,
An’ ax ’im is he seen a jack
An’ dat ’ll put ’im off de track.

Now, ef you’ll foller dis advice,
Instid o’ bein’ et wid rice,
Ur baked in pie, ur stuffed wid sage,
You’ll live ter die of nachel age.

’Sh! hush! What’s dat? Was dat a gun? Don’t trimble so. An’ don’t you run! Come, set heah on de lorg wid me Hol’ down yo’ ears an’ cross yo’ knee.

Don’t run, I say. Tut tut! He’s gorn. Right ’cross de road, as sho’s you born! Slam bang! I know’d he’d ketch a shot! Well, one mo’ rabbit fur de pot!