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My mother ued to read "Moral Fables" to me. One of our favorites was the Joel Chandler Harris rendition of "Brer Rabbit, (Brother Rabbit) and the Tar Baby."

I am recognizing a connection here with myself and thought it might be appropriate to share.

Brer Fox went to work and got some tar. He mixed it with some turpentine, and made a Tar-Baby. He put a straw hat on the Tar-Baby and sat her in the middle of the road, then hid in the bushes to see what would happen.

He didn’t have to wait long either, because Brer Rabbit soon came pacing down the road—lippity-clippity, clippity-lippity—as saucy as a jay-bird.

Brer Rabbit come prancing along until he spotted the Tar-Baby. Then he fetched up on his hind legs as if he was astonished. The Tar Baby, she sat there.

“Good morning,” said Brer Rabbit, “Nice weather we’re having.”

The Tar-Baby said nothing.

Brer Rabbit tried again. “And how are you feeling this fine day?”

Brer Fox winked his eye slowly and laid low in the bushes, and the Tar Baby, well, she said nothing.

“How are you then? Are you deaf?” said Brer Rabbit. “If you are, I can shout louder.”

Tar-Baby stayed still.

“You’re stuck up, that’s what you are,” said Brer Rabbit, “I’ll cure you, that’s what I’ll do.”

“Brer Fox, he gave a belly-laugh, but Tar-Baby said nothing.

“I’m going to teach you how to talk to respectable people, if it’s my last act,’ said Brer Rabbit. ‘If you don’t take off that hat, I’m going to beat you up”.

Tar-Baby stayed still.

Brer Rabbit keep on asking, and the Tar-Baby kept on saying nothing.

Presently, Brer Rabbit drew back his fist and -BLIP- he hit the Tar-Baby on the side of the head. And that’s when he lost his cool. His fist stuck and he couldn’t get loose. The tar held him. But Tar-Baby, she stayed still.

“If you don’t let me go, I’ll hit you again,” said Brer Rabbit, and with that he swiped again with the other hand, and that stuck. Tar-Baby said nothing.

“Let me go, or I’ll knock the stuffing out of you,” said Brer Rabbit, but Tar-Baby said nothing. She just hung on, and Brer Rabbit lost the use of his feet in the same way.

Then Brer Rabbit yelled out that if the Tar-Baby didn’t turn him loose he’d head butt her side-on. So he butted, and his head got stuck. Then Brer Fox sauntered out, looking as innocent as one of your mummy’s mocking-birds.

When Brer Fox found Brer Rabbit entangled with the Tar-Baby, he felt really good, and he rolled on the ground laughing. Eventually, he got up and said:

“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."

How many of us decide we are going to change a situation, the more entangled we become. The more we exert force, either verbal or physical, and wind up getting stuck in it? The more that Br'er Rabbit fights the Tar-Baby, the more entangled he becomes.

"tar baby" refers to any "sticky situation" that is only aggravated by additional contact.

As usual, I am writing to myself. Saying the things I want to remember. Keeping my eyes on the path, enjoying the Journey and walking past sticky situations. These are private words I say to myself in public.

I know that I know and that I don't know, but I forget. Writing it down helps me remember.

asked 28 Dec '12, 08:57

Dollar%20Bill's gravatar image

Dollar Bill

edited 28 Dec '12, 19:39


Beautiful story illustrating that each of our actions carry heaven and hell within themselves. As opposed to some final ruling and judgment calling there at pearly gates. ;>

(28 Dec '12, 09:55) CalonLan

The lamp of the LORD searches the spirit of a man; it searches out his inmost being. o aladdin why do you wash the outside of the lamp?you should have clean the inside. "...It is said that 70% of the human brains' capacity is left unused. It is thought that the amazing powers that humans possess are hidden within these parts. That unused 70% of the brain is also known as...Night Head." do you think you will find that outside? or inside?

(28 Dec '12, 19:13) white tiger
showing 0 of 3 show 3 more comments

I am trying to see the point of this story. I guess this is where the term outfoxed came from. The fox didn't gain anything except a good laugh. The rabbit didn't gain anything and maybe died stuck there. The tar baby was nothing but a decoy and trap set.

I remember some version where the tar baby was used to repair a pot hole. I am trying to remember where. Oh I found it the was SNL Mr. Mike.


answered 28 Dec '12, 17:19

Wade%20Casaldi's gravatar image

Wade Casaldi

edited 29 Dec '12, 15:34

the point of this story is that the fox using is wisdom have abused the rabbit foulishness, creating the tar baby to trap him.the rabbit was mad at the tar baby that was only a creation of the fox to serve that perpace. but when the rabbit do a creation to abuse and trap the fox will the fox laugh? or will he be sorry for is own foulishness? since he started all this and it was is own idee that he was so proud about. if he know that he would hate it why did he do it in the first place?

(28 Dec '12, 19:28) white tiger

@white tiger, he didn't set up trap. He set up a tar-baby. Rabbit made the tar-baby lead him to his own demise as he created his own hell through his perception.

(29 Dec '12, 14:22) CalonLan

@calonlan the fox made it on perpace and was waiting for the rabbit,knowing what would happen. it was the fox creation in the first place not the rabbit. so the fox was wise and the rabbit was foulish. but the fox will eventually fall in the trap also. look at mined field even after war there is still some people that get blow up.

(29 Dec '12, 15:02) white tiger
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