While older anthologies don't document sources the way most do today, in her Introduction she groups the story with some other tales "The southern negroes have given us the stories...still told in Georgia and the Carolinas." At the same time she omits the difficult dialect that almost becomes a foreign language so commonly used then in such tales. The hero of the story is "little Brother Rabbit" oppressed by an "old Bear." All the other animals are called Brother. The name Br'er is a contraction of Brother and tales of Br'er Rabbit by Joel Chandler Harris don't include this story. It would be fun to assign the animal parts to audience members to mime while the story is told.
While it's not hibernation, curling up with a good book is always welcome. Ms. Bauer has many books online:
- a few at Project Gutenberg,
- many at the Internet Archive, including Firelight Stories which had today's story,
- and even seven audio stories at Librivox.
- Not yet online is her Newbery Medal winning children's novel, Miss Hickory,
- but the text of her popular picture book, The Little Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings, can be found with new illustrations. Also translations into Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Italian, and Croatian through the Rosetta Project at Children's Books Online
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain." The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated. I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century. My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them. I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.
At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience. Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week. This is a return to my normal monthly posting of a research project here. Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my monthly postings as often as I can manage it.
There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection. I recommended it earlier and want to continue to do so. Have fun discovering even more stories!
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