The Worlds Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906. Vols. IV: American
Uncle Remus Has Peculiar Dreams
By Joel Chandler Harris (18481908)
From Told by Uncle Remus
ONE afternoon, while Uncle Remus was sitting in the sun, he drifted across the dim and pleasant borderland that lies somewhere between sleeping and waking. He must have drifted back again immediately, for it seemed that he was not so fast asleep that he was unable to hear the sound of stealthy footsteps somewhere near him. Instantly he was on the alert, but still kept his eyes closed. He knew at once that the little boy was trying to surprise him .
By opening one eye a trifle, Uncle Remus could watch the youngster, who was creeping, Indian-like, upon him, and this gave the old negro an immense advantage, for just as the little boy was about to jump at him, Uncle Remus straightened himself in his chair and uttered a blood-curdling yell that would have alarmed a much larger and older person than the lad.
Wuz dat you comin long dar, honey? said Uncle Remus, by way of response. Well, ef twuz, you kin des go up dar ter de big house an tell um all dat you saved my life, kaze dat what you done. Dey aint no tellin what would a happen ef you had nt a come creepin long an woke me up, kaze whiles I wuz dozin dar I wuz on a train, an de bullgine look like it wuz runnin away. Twant one er deze yer commydatin trains, kaze de man what tuck up de tickets say he wa nt in no hurry fer ter see how fur anybody gwine; dey wuz all boun fer de same place, an when dey got dar dey d know it. De kyars wuz lined wid caliker, an de brakeman wuz made out n straw. It went on, it did, an de bullgine run faster an faster twel it run so fast you could nt hear it toot fer brakes, an des bout de time dat eveything wuz a gittin smashed up, here you come an wokened mean a mighty good thing, kaze ef I d a stayed on dat train, dey would nt a been nough er me left fer de congergation ter sing a song over. Im mighty thankful dat dey s somebody got sense nough fer ter come long an skeer me out er my troubles.
This statement was intended to change the course of the little boys thoughtsto cause him to forget that he had been frightenedand it was quite successful, for he began to talk about dreams in general, telling some peculiar ones of his own, such as children have.
Talkin bout dreams, remarked Uncle Remus, it put me in min er de man what been sick off an on, an he hatter be mighty keerful er his eatin. One night he had a dream. It seemed like dat somebody come long an gi him a great big hunk er ol time ginger-cake, an it smell so sweet an taste so good dat he et bout a poun. He wuz eatin it in his sleep, but de dream wuz so natchal dat de nex mornin dey hatter sen fer de doctor, an twuz een bout all dey could do fer ter pull im thoo.