Br'er Rabbit Earns a Dollar a Minute
"Br'er Rabbit Earns a Dollar a Minute" is a traditional African American folktale, featuring Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear. It is famous for its inclusion among Joel Chandler Harris' Uncle Remus stories. Although its folk roots most likely trace back to ancient Africa, the folktale's first written appearance was as a chapter titled "Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Bear" in Uncle Remus: His Songs and Sayings, published in 1881.
Like many short stories featuring Br'er Rabbit, the tale describes one of the trickster's successful attempts to talk his way out of a difficult situation. Br'er Rabbit is sneaking into Br'er Fox's garden to steal goober peas (peanuts) when he gets caught in a snare trap laid by Br'er Fox. Suspended awkwardly in mid-air, unable to free himself, he worries what will happen when Br'er Fox finds him caught in his trap. He then sees the notoriously slow-witted Br'er Bear approaching and quickly thinks of a way to trick Br'er Bear into freeing him.
Feigning a cheerful complacency, he tells Br'er Bear that he is hanging there because Br'er Fox has been paying him "a dollar a minute" to act as a scarecrow for the garden. He offers to let Br'er Bear take over the "job". Excited by the promise of quick wealth, Br'er Bear gladly helps free Br'er Rabbit and takes his place in the trap. Br'er Rabbit laughs and scampers away before Br'er Bear realizes that he has been tricked.
In popular culture
The story was used in the movie Song of the South along with "The Tar Baby" and "The Laughing Place". It is also referenced in the first dark ride scene of Splash Mountain, a log flume-style attraction at Disneyland, Orlando's Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland, based on Song of the South.
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- Full text of Uncle Remus: His Songs and Sayings from Project Gutenberg
- Brer Rabbit Stories at AmericanFolklore.net
- Harris, Joel Chandler. Uncle Remus: His Songs and Sayings. Chapter XXIII. 1881.
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