Brer Rabbit

Brer Rabbit is the main character in the Uncle Remus tales written by Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908). As a trickster, Brer Rabbit outsmarts larger and stronger animals, such as Brer Fox and Brer Bear. Many stories about Brer Rabbit originated in African folklore and were brought to America by slaves.

trickster mischievous figure appearing in various forms in the folktales and mythology of many different peoples

Perhaps the most famous Brer Rabbit story is the one about Brer Rabbit and the tar baby. In this tale, Brer Fox makes a life-size figure out of sticky tar and places it on the road. Brer Rabbit greets the tar baby several times but gets no reply. Annoyed, he hits the tar baby and gets stuck in the tar. Brer Fox seizes him and wonders about a punishment. Brer Rabbit begs him to do anything he wants except throw him into the briar patch. Brer Fox, of course, does exactly that. Brer Rabbit, however, easily escapes because, as he says, "I was born and raised in the briar patch." Brer Rabbit is successful in tricking Brer Fox.

See also African Mythology ; Anansi ; Tricksters .

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