The book is entitled New Stories of the Old Plantation, Told by Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris. One of the past few times I was home in Texas, my Dad asked if I wanted it. And I said with much excitement, "O course!" Since then, it has been put away from curious little hands that might bring harm to it. It was extremely brittle and in major disrepair. Just opening the pages made me cringe that they were going to disentigrate into tiny little pieces. But illustrations were amazing and beautiful and the stories timeless and valuable. Ms. Dorothy, our next door neighbor, used to be a bookbinder and restoration artist at the local museum, so I had her take a look at it. She offered to restore it for the cost of her materials. And after about two months, she brought it over to return it.
I can remember my grandmother Florence reading this book to me and my brother when I was a kid. We would stay a night or two at her house. And after listening to the Lawrence Welk Show, she would put us in bed and read to us from it. She read the stories of Brer Rabbit being caught by Brer Fox and asking "not" to be thrown into the briar patch. Of course Brer Fox throws him into the briar patch and well ... apparently rabbits like briar patches and Brer Rabbit gets away. There are many other stories in this great old book which are really African proverbs.
Here is just a tad little bit from the famous Tar-Baby for you to read.
"Didn't the fox never catch the rabbit, Uncle Remus?” asked the little boy the next evening.
“He come mighty nigh it, honey, sho’s you born—Brer Fox did. One day atter Brer Rabbit fool ’im wid dat calamus root, Brer Fox went ter wuk en got ’im some tar, en mix it wid some turkentime, en fix up a contrapshun w’at he call a Tar-Baby, en he tuck dish yer Tar-Baby en he sot ’er in de big road, en den he lay off in de bushes fer to see what de news wuz gwine ter be. En he didn’t hatter wait long, nudder, kaze bimeby here come Brer Rabbit pacin’ down de road—lippity-clippity, clippity -lippity—dez ez sassy ez a jay-bird. Brer Fox, he lay low. Brer Rabbit come prancin’ ’long twel he spy de Tar-Baby, en den he fotch up on his behime legs like he wuz ’stonished. De Tar Baby, she sot dar, she did, en Brer Fox, he lay low."
Thirty-five complete stories can be found here to download if you want to read more of these great stories.