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"Bouki and Lapin in the Garden," #190 Swapping Stories
Max Grieg, St. Martinville, Louisiana


Mr. Lapin had been, the little rabbit, he was a soft little cookie. He would go into Mr. Bouki's every night and eat up all his vegetables. Mr. Bouki decided he was going to make a little tarbaby. He put the little tarbaby in the garden, and the little rabbit, Lapin, came there at night.

He said, "Little man, what the heck are you doing here at night?"

Naturally, the little tarbaby couldn't talk. So the little rabbit said, "I'm going to slap the hell out of you with my right hand paw."

Slapped him and then his hand stayed caught. Left hand--bam--stayed caught. Each leg, kicked. They were all stuck. Belly. Hit him with his belly. That stayed stuck. The next morning, Mr. Bouki got up and went to his garden. Said, "Ah! You little rascal, I finally got you."

He said, "Mr. Bouki, please. Throw me in the fire, throw me in the water, but don't throw me in that briar patch across the fence. That's going to cut up all my skin." What you think that Mr. Bouki did? He throwed the little rabbit right in that briar patch. Put him at home.

The little rabbit run off and said, "You see? I'm smarter than you are!" So that's the story of Bouki and Lapin.


Notes to the Teacher: The tale of the tarbaby and the briar patch, made world famous by Joel Chandler Harris's Brer Rabbit stories and by Walt Disney's 1946 cartoon rendition, has been collected from French-speaking Americans since the nineteenth century; see Fortier (1895, 108). Similar tales have been collected in French-speaking Missouri (Carriére 1937). AT 175; K741. Capture by tar baby; K581.2, Briar-patch punishment for rabbit. Three other Louisiana variants of this story--#33, #49, #200--appear in this book.

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