<h2>HOW MR. TERRAPIN LOST HIS PLUMAGE AND WHISTLE</h2>
<h3>BY ANNE VIRGINIA CULBERTSON</h3>
<p>"Well," said Janey, as Aunt 'Phrony finished telling of the loss of Mr.
Terrapin's beard, "I saw a terrapin the other day, and it didn't look as
though it ever had had a beard or wattles. I thought it was real ugly."</p>
<p>"Law, chil'," answered the story-teller, "you kain't tell w'at one'r
dese yer creeturs bin in de times pas' jes' by lookin' at 'em now. W'y,
de day's bin w'en ol' man Tarr'pin wuz plumb harnsum. He done bin trick'
out er mo'n jes' his by'ud an' wattles, I kin tell you."</p>
<p>"Oh, please <i>do</i> tell us!" cried Janey, and little Kit came and leaned
on her knees and looked up into her face and echoed, "'Es, please to
<p>Thus besieged, Aunt 'Phrony consented to tell how the Terrapin lost his
plumage and his whistle.</p>
<p>"I done tol' you," said she. "Tarr'pin wuz onct a harnsum man, an' dat
de sho'-'nuff trufe, fer he had nice, sof' fedders all over his body an'
a fine, big, spreadin' tail, an' his eyes wuz mighty bright an' his
voice wuz de cle'res' whustle you uver yearn. He wuz a gre't man in dem
days, I tell you <i>dat</i>, an' his house wuz chock full er all sorts er
fine fixin's. He had sof' furs ter set on an' long strings er shells fer
money, an clo'es all imbroider' wid dyed pokkypine quills, an' he had
spears an' bows an' arrers an' deer-hawns, an' I dunno w'at all sidesen
<p>"In dem days de Quail wuz a homely, no-kyount cree<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_1361" id="Page_1361"></SPAN></span>tur, wid sca'cely any
fedders, an' a shawt, stumpy tail, an' no voice wuf speakin' uv. He wuz
po', too, an' nob'dy tuck much notuss uv him, jes' call him 'dat 'ar ol'
Bob White,' an' he go wannerin' up an' down de kyountry all by his
<p>"One day he come 'long pas' Mistah Tarr'pin's house, an' he peek in thu
de do', he did, an' w'en he see all de fine doin's, seem lak he kain't
tek his eye 'way f'um de crack. Den he seed Tarr'pin comin' down de road
home, an' he 'low ter hisse'f, he did, dat dish yer de harnsumes' man
w'at he uver seed, an' he be puffickly sassified ef he cu'd look jes'
lak dat. He git mo' an' mo' enviable uv 'im an' tuck ter hangin' 'roun'
de naberhood, peekin' an' peerin' in at Tarr'pin w'enuver he git de
chanct. Las' he say ter hisse'f dat he jes' natchully 'bleeged ter have
dem fedders an' tail an' whustle, but he ain' knowin' jes' how ter git
'em, so he g'long off ter ax de he'p uv a wise ol' Wolf whar live 'way,
'way up on de mountain an' whar wuz one'r dem cunjerers I done tol' you
'bout. Ez he went 'long he wuz fixin' up a tale ter tell Wolf, an' w'en
he git ter de kyave whar de cunjerer live he knock an' Wolf 'spon',
'Come in!' in sech a deep, growly voice dat li'l Quail felt kind er
skeery, an' he feel mo' skeery yit w'en he go hoppin' in an' see Wolf
settin' dar wid bones strowed all roun' him, an' showin' dem long, white
toofs er his ev'y time he open his mouf. But he perch hisse'f up in
front er Wolf, an' he say in a voice dat wuz right trim'ly, 'Howdy,
Uncle Wolf, howdy! I done comed all de way up yer ter ax yo' he'p, 'kase
I knows dar ain' nair' nu'rr man on dis mountain whar knows half ez much
ez w'at you does. Please, suh, tell me w'at ter do.'</p>
<p>"'Bob White, you is a li'l ol' fool,' sez Wolf, sezee, 'how kin I tell
you w'at ter do w'en you ain' tol' me w'at 'tis you wants?'<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_1362" id="Page_1362"></SPAN></span></p>
<p>"Den Quail he git li'l mo' pearter, an' he try ter mek Wolf feel
please', so he say, 'Laws-a-mussy! Uncle Wolf, I done fergit dat, but I
reckon I do so 'kase you is dat smart I thought you mought know widout
<p>"'Drap dat foolishness,' sez Wolf, sezee, 'an' lemme know w'at you comed
atter.' But all de same he wan't too smart ner too ol' ter feel please'
wid de flatt'ry; show me de man whar is; lots uv 'em gits ketched by
dat, nuttin' mo' ner less," and here Aunt 'Phrony cast a scornful glance
at Nancy, who answered it by a toss of the head.</p>
<p>"Well, den," she resumed, "Quail start inter de meanness he bin hatchin'
up, an' he say, sezee, 'Uncle Wolf, deys a man down dar below whar
gittin' ter be dangersome. He's rich an' goodlookin', an' a gre't chieft
an' a sho'-'nuff fighter, an' he kin do 'bout w'at he please wid tu'rr
creeturs. A man lak dat boun' ter wu'k mischief. Now, suh, ef you sesso,
'pears ter me hit be mighty good notion ter tek 'way his good looks an'
dat pleasin' voice whar he uses ter 'suade de people wid, an' gin 'em
ter some er de quiet an' peace'ble folks whar ain' all de time stickin'
derse'fs ter de front an' tryin' ter lead de people. Now yer I is, you
bin knowin' me dis good w'ile, an' you knows my numbility an'
submissity, an' ef you mek me de one ter do de deed an' den give me de
fixin's fer my trouble, I gwine feel dat I kain't ve'y well refuge 'em.'
Right dar he putt his haid on one side an' look up at Wolf mighty meek
<p>"Wolf he say he gwine think 'bout hit, an' he tell Quail ter come back
in seven days an' git de arnser. So Quail he go hippitty-hoppin' down de
mountains, thinkin' he bin mighty smart, an' wunnerin' ef he kin stan'
hit ter wait seven mo' days befo' he rob po' ol' Tarr'pin.</p>
<p>"Wolf he went off higher yit, ter de top er de mountain fer ter ax de
'pinion er seven urr wolfs mo' older<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_1363" id="Page_1363"></SPAN></span> an' wiser dan w'at he wuz. Dey
talked an' dey 'sputed toge'rr fer seven days an' nights. Den Wolf came
back an' Quail made has'e up ter see him ag'in. He say Quail mus' go ter
Tarr'pin's house at midnight an' do jes' lak he tell 'im to, er hit be
wusser fer him, stidder better. Quail lissen an' say he gwine do jes'
lak he tell 'im, an' wid dat he g'long off. Jes' at de stroke er
midnight, w'en de bats wuz a-flyin' an' de squinch-owls hootin' an' de
jacky-my-lanturns trabellin' up an' down, he knock on Mistah Tarr'pin's
do' an' gin out dat he wuz a trabeller whar comed a fur ways an' wuz
pow'ful tired an' hongry.</p>
<p>"Tarr'pin wuz a kin' man, so he 'vited him in an' gin him sump'n ter eat
an' drink an' made him set down on de sof' furs, 'kase he felt saw'y fer
any pusson so po' an' ugly ez w'at Quail wuz. Den he say, 'You mus' be
tired atter yo' journeyin', lemme rub you a w'iles.' He rub de ugly,
rough creetur fer so long time, an' den Quail sez, sezee, 'You sut'n'y
is kin', but I ain' wanter tire you out. I is res'ed now, so please,
suh, ter lemme rub <i>you</i> a li'l.' He rub an' he rub Tarr'pin wid one
han', an' all de time he wuz rubbin' hisse'f wid de urr. Dat-a-way he
rub all de fedders offen Tarr'pin onter his own se'f. Den he rub down
Tarr'pin's tail 'twel 'twan't nuttin' but a li'l roun', sharp-p'inted
stump, an' at de same time he wuz rubbin' his own tail wid tu'rr han'
an' puttin' Tarr'pin's fine, spreadin' tail onter his own li'l stump.
Hit wuz plumb dark, so't Mistah Tarr'pin ain' see w'at bin done, an'
sidesen dat he wuz pow'ful sleepy fum de rubbin'. Den Quail say he
'bleeged ter lay down 'kase he mus' git him a early start in de mawnin'.</p>
<p>"Befo' sun-up he wuz stirrin' an' he say he mus' be gittin' 'long.
Tarr'pin go ter de do' wid him an' den Quail say, sezee, 'Mistah
Tarr'pin, I year you has a monst'ous fine whustle, I lak mighty well ter
year hit befo' I go.'<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_1364" id="Page_1364"></SPAN></span></p>
<p>"'W'y sut'n'y,' sez de Tarr'pin, sezee, an' wid dat he whustle long an'
loud. Quail lissen at him wid all his years, an' den he say: 'Well, dog
my cats, ef I ain' beat! Yo' voice is de prezack match er mine.</p>
<p>"'You don't sesso! lemme year you whustle,' sez Tarr'pin, sezee.</p>
<p>"'Dat I will,' sez Quail, 'but lemme go off li'l ways an' show you how
fer I kin mek myse'f yearn,' sezee. He sesso 'kase he'z gittin' mighty
'feerd dat Tarr'pin gwine fin' out his fedders wuz gone. So he go 'way
off inter de bushes an' whustle, an' sho' nuff, 'twuz jes' lak Mistah
Tarr'pin's voice. Den Tarr'pin try ter whustle back, but lo, beholst
you! his voice clean gone, nuttin' lef' but a li'l hiss, an' hit done
stay dat-a-way clean ontwel dis day. 'Twuz gittin' daylight, an' he look
down uv a suddint an' dar he wuz! wid nair' a smidgin' uv a fedder on
his back. He feel so bad he go inter de house an' cry ontwel his eyes
wuz so raid dat dey stayed dat-a-way uver sence.</p>
<p>"Den Mis' Tarr'pin she say, 'Is you a chieft, er is you a ol' ooman?
Whyn't you go atter dat man an' gin him a lambastin' an' git back w'at
b'long to you?' He feel kind er 'shame', so he pull hisse'f toge'rr an'
go out ter see w'at he kin do. 'Fo' long he fin' out dat de cunjerers
bin at wu'k, so he know he gotter have he'p, an' he go an' git all tu'rr
tarr'pins ter he'p him. Dey went ter de ol' wolfs, de cunjerers, an' dey
ses: 'We is a slow people an' you is a swif people, but nemmine dat, we
dyar's you-all to a race, an' ef you-all wins, den you kin kill we-all;
an' ef we-all wins, den we gwine exescoot you. An' ef you ain't dast ter
tek up dis dyar', den ev'yb'dy gwine know you is cowerds.'</p>
<p>"Co'se de wolfs tucken de dyar' up, an' hit wuz 'greed de race wuz ter
be over seben mountain ridges, an' dat<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_1365" id="Page_1365"></SPAN></span> hit wuz ter be run 'twix' one
wolf an' one tarr'pin, de res' ter look on.</p>
<p>"Wen de day come, ol' Tarr'pin he tuck an' fix up dis trick; he git six
urr tarr'pins whar look jes' lak him, an' he hide one away in de bresh
on top uv each er de six mountains, an' he hide hisse'f away on top er
de sebent'. Jes' befo' Wolf git ter de top er de fus' mountain, de
tarr'pin whar wuz hidin' dar crawl outen de bresh an' git ter de top
fus' an' gin a whoop, an' went over a li'l ways an' hid in de bresh
ag'in. Wolf think dat mighty cur'ous, but he keep on, an' 'twuz jesso at
ev'y one, an' at de las' ridge co'se Tarr'pin jes' walk hisse'f outen de
bresh an' gin a gre't whoop ter let ev'yb'dy know he done won de race.</p>
<p>"Den de tarr'pins mek up der min's ter kill de wolfs by fire, so dey pen
'em all in a big kyave on de mountain an' dey bring bresh an' wood an'
pile in front uv hit, a pile mos' ez high ez de mountain, an' den dey
set fire to hit, an' de wolfs howl an' de fire hit spit an' sputter an'
hiss an' crack an' roar, an' all de creeturs on de mountain set up a big
cry an' run dis-a-way an' dat ter git outen de fire; dey wuz plumb
'stracted, an' hit soun' lak all de wil' beas'es in creation wuz turnt
aloose an' tryin' w'ich kin yell de loudes'. But de tarr'pins jes' drord
inter der shells an' sot dar safe an' soun', an' watched de fire burn
an' de smoke an' de flame rollin' inter de kyave.</p>
<p>"De wolfs dey howled an' dey howled <i>an'</i> dey howled, an' de li'l ones
dey cried an' dey cried <i>an'</i> dey cried, an' las' de ol' ones felt so
bad 'bout de chillen dat dey 'gun ter kill 'em off so's't dey ain'
suffer no mo'. Wen de tarr'pins see dat, dey wuz saw'y, an' dey mek up
der min's ter let de res' off, so dey turnt 'em aloose f'um de kyave.
But lots uv 'em had died in dar, an' dat huccome<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_1366" id="Page_1366"></SPAN></span> dar ain' so many wolfs
now ez dey useter be. Some wuz nearer ter de fire dan tu'rrs an' got
swinged, an' some got smoked black, an' dat w'y, ontwel dis day, some
wolfs is black an' some gray an' some white, an' some has longer,
bushier tails dan tu'rrs. Dey got so hoarse wid all dat cryin' dat der
voices bin nuttin' but a howl uver sence.</p>
<p>"Quail he year w'at gwine on, an' he tucken hisse'f outen dat kyountry
fas' ez his laigs cu'd kyar' him, so Tarr'pin nuver got back de fedders
ner de whustle, an' ef you goes out inter de fiel' mos' any day you kin
see Quail gwine roun' in de stolen fedders an' year him whustle:</p>
<div class="poem"><div class="stanza italic">
<span class="i0">'Bob White, do right! do right!<br/></span>
<span class="i0">Do right! do right, Bob White!'<br/></span></div>
<p>jes' ez sassy ez ef <i>he</i> bin doin' right all his days, an' ez ef he bin
raised wid dat voice stidder stealin' hit way f'um ol' man Tarr'pin."<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_1367" id="Page_1367"></SPAN></span></p>
<hr style="width: 65%;" />
<div style="break-after:column;"></div><br />