‘Uncle Remus’ is a collection of animal stories, songs, and oral folklore, collected from southern African Americans. The stories were compiled by Joel Handler Harris, in the same way that the Brothers Grimm collected and wrote out fairy tales that had been previously handed down via oral tradition. Uncle Remus is a kindly old man who serves as a storytelling device, passing on the folktales to children gathered around him.
This brief play for two boys offers an excellent opportunity for students to practice movement and physical comedy. In the play, Br’er Fox steals Br’er Rabbit’s best carrots. Knowing that he can’t overpower the fox, he invents a clever way to get them back!
Excerpt from the play:
Br’er Rabbit’s garden and Br’er Fox’s house.
(Br’er Fox enters and pantomimes greedily digging and filling a sack.)
Narrator One: Once upon a bright clear winter morning, Br’er Fox stole into Br’er Rabbit’s garden and dug up a big sack full of his best carrots.
(Br’er Rabbit enters, whistling while he walks. Br’er Fox sees him coming and quickly exits.)
Narrator Two: Br’er Rabbit did not see him as he was visiting his friend Br’er Bear at the time. When he got home, he was mighty angry to see his empty carrot patch.
Br’er Rabbit: Br’er Fox! That’s who’s been here. Here are his paw marks. All my best winter carrots gone. I’ll make him give them back, or my name’s not Br’er Rabbit.
Narrator One: He went along, lippity lip, clippity clip and his nose wrinkled at the fragrant smell of soup coming from Br’er Fox’s house.
(Br’er Rabbit hops along sniffing at the air. He sees Br’er Fox’s house.)
Br’er Rabbit: (at the door) Now see here Br’er Fox! I just know it’s my carrots you’re cooking. I want them back, so you’d better open your door.
Br’er Fox: Too bad! I’m not opening my door until winter is over. I have plenty of carrots thanks to my friend Br’er Rabbit.
Br’er Rabbit: Let me in! Give them back!
Br’er Fox: Go away. I want to enjoy my first bowl of carrot soup in peace!
Narrator Two: Br’er Rabbit gave the front door a good hard kick, but all he did was hurt his toe. The door was heavy and locked.
Narrator One: Br’er Rabbit stomped off muttering furiously. But soon, he came up with a plan.