Brer Rabbit and the Mosquitoes?

Origin: U.S. Southern African American

Theme: Trickery some times works and humor is always great.


Brer Wold had a daughter who was sho’ nuf good-looking. Now, before I go any further I can hear you thinking that Brer Wolf been killed off twice. What that got to do with anything? Am I the tale? Is the tale me? Or is the tale the tale? Well, you can figure that out. If I ain’t the tale and the tale ain’t me, it don’t make one bit of difference if Brer Wolf was dead or alive. Ain’t that so?

Dead or dead, Brer Wolf had a daughter and she was a fine young thing. All the animals was hitting on her! First one was Brer Fox. He was sitting on the porch talking his stuff to her, and everybody know that Brer Fox could talk stuff sho’ nuf’. All of a sudden the mosquitoes started coming around. The mosquitoes at Brer Wolf’s house was near ’bout big airplanes and just as loud. Brer Fox started hitting and slapping at them. Brer Wolf came out of the house and told Brer Fox to go. “Any man what can’t put up with a few mosquitoes can’t court my daughter.”

Next was Brer Coon. He hardly got one foot on the porch before he was slapping and biting at the mosquitoes. Brer Wolf showed him how the road run the same both ways.

Next was Brer Mink and he declared war on them mosquitoes. Brer Wolf told him to fight his war somewhere else.

It went on this way until all the animals had eliminated themselves except Brer Rabbit. He sent word that he was coming courting. Brer Wolf’s daughter, who had always thought Brer Rabbit was kind of cute, put on her mascara and eyeliner and whatever else it is that the women put on their face. She squeezed herself into a pair of jeans four sizes too small. Have mercy! And she put on a pink halter top! When Brer Rabbit saw her, he thought he’d died and gone to heaven.

When Brer Wolf saw what his daughter was looking like, he said there was no way in this lifetime she was gon’ sit there in the porch swing by herself with Brer Rabbit. Not with all he knowed about Brer Rabbit! So he pulled his rocking chair out and sat with them.

They hadn’t been there long before Brer Rabbit heard the mosquitoes coming. Zoom, zoom, zoom.

“Mighty nice place you got here, Brer Wolf.”

Zoom, zoom, zoom.

“Some say it’s too low in the swamps.” Brer Wolf answered.

Zoom, zoom, zoom.

The mosquitoes were zooming so fierce that Brer Rabbit started getting scared, and when Brer Rabbit gets scared his mind works like a brand-new car motor.

“I was in town today, Brer Wolf, and I saw a spotted horse. Never seen a spotted horse in my life.

“Do tell! I ain’t never seen one of them myself.”

“You’re wonderful,” said the girl. She figured wouldn’t nobody else in the world could’ve seen a spotted horse. Shows you how far gone she was.

Zoom, zoom, zoom.

“My granddaddy was spotted, Brer Wolf.”

“Do tell!”

Zoom, zoom, zoom

“That’s the naked truth I’m telling you. He was spotted all over. He had one spot right here.” Brer Rabbit slapped his face and killed one of the mosquitoes.

“I don’t want nobody to laugh, but my granddaddy had spots all over. Had that one on the side of his face which I just showed you. Had another one right here on his leg.”


Another mosquito gone.

“Even had one right here in between his shoulder blades.”


And one down here at his hipbone


Brer Rabbit kept on talking about his granddaddy’s spots until near ’bout every mosquito in the county was dead. Brer Wolf was so tired of hearing about Brer Rabbit’s granddaddy’s spots he fell asleep.

At which point, Brer Wolf’s daughter went on a walk with Brer Rabbit in the woods, and thestory don’t go no further.


Like the indigenous characters of the coyote in the Southwest and the raven in the Northwest, Brer Rabbit is a great archetype of human frailty. Part of the human condition is that we are frail or weak at times and that we have strong times as well, and it helps us to laugh at those times we are weak. Brer Rabbit doesn’t mind looking stupid or silly because he can use his wits to maneuver out of situations. Teens need many messages that it is okay to think for themselves, and even look silly or “uncool” before their peers. Brer Rabbit is a good one for this, and the humor always helps get a message across.

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