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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2019, 12:15 PM

1. Perhaps, just perhaps, he's doing what he usually does and lying about what he wants.

He's playing B'rer Rabbit. In the story of Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby, Brer Rabbit made himself a "tar baby" out of calamus root and tar and then waited for Brer Fox to come along. Then he started talking to it like it was real, but got no answer, of course.
And then he started a fight with the tar baby and get himself stuck to it while pretending he didn't know that Brer Fox was watching him all the time. Brer Fox thought sure that Brer Rabbit would be his dinner that very night. But Brer Rabbit was sneaky.


https://www.abelard.org/brer_fox_brer_rabbit_briar_patch.php

Who asked you to chat up the Tar-Baby? And who stuck you up the way you are? Nobody in the round world. You just jammed yourself on that Tar-Baby without waiting for any invitation,” said Brer Fox,. “And there you are, and there you’ll stay until I fix up a heap of brushwood and make a fire, ’cos I’m going to barbeque you today for sure,” said Brer Fox.

So Brer Rabbit talked in a mighty humble way.

“I don’t care what you do with me, Brer Fox” said Brer Rabbit. “Just don’t fling me in that briar patch over there. Roast me, Brer Fox, but don’t fling me in in that briar patch,” said Brer Rabbit.

“It’s so much trouble to start a fire,” said Brer Fox, “that I think I’d rather hang you.”

“Hang me just as high as you please, Brer Fox,” said Brer Rabbit, “but for Lord’s sake don’t fling me in in that briar patch.”

“I don’t have any string,” said Brer Fox, “so I think I’d rather drown you.”

“Drown me just as deep as you please, Brer Fox,” said Brer Rabbit, “but for Lord’s sake don’t fling me in in that briar patch.”

“There’s no water nearby,” said Brer Fox, “so I think I’d rather skin you.”

“Skin me, Brer Fox, snatch out my eyeballs, tear out my ears by the roots, and cut off my legs,” said Brer Rabbit. “Only please, Brer Fox, please don’t throw me into the briar patch.”

“It’s not going to be much fun skinning you,” said Brer Fox, “you’re not scared of that. But you are scared of the briar patch.”

And with that, Brer Fox yanked Brer Rabbit off the Tar-Baby, and he flung him -KERPLUNK!- right into the briar patch.

Well, there was a flutter where Brer Rabbit landed, then “Ooo! Oow! Ouch!” he screeched and he squalled. Then after a while, there was only a weak whisper from Brer Rabbit. Brer Fox listened.

“I got him! Brer Rabbit is dead!” said Brer Fox.

But then he heard a scuffling away at the other end of the briar patch. And low and behold, who does Brer Fox see scrambling out but Brer Rabbit himself, playing a briar bush whistle.

“Born and bred in the briar patch, that’s me,” laughed Brer Rabbit. “I told you not to throw me there. In all the world, that’s the place I love best!”


Commentary from Abelard.org:

Old tales of psychological manipulation translated into modern English.

“Whatever you do,” cried Brer Rabbit, “Don’t throw me into the briar patch”, or how to get recalcitrant idiots to do what you want.

Notice that Brer Rabbit gets himself into a predicament, by making a foolish assumption and then behaving in an impulsive manner.

Tar baby is an expression used to describe a sticky situation. It is “a situation or problem from which it is virtually impossible to disentangle oneself”.

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global1 May 2019 OP
LineNew Reply Perhaps, just perhaps, he's doing what he usually does and lying about what he wants.
hedda_foil May 2019 #1
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