Tricksters

A Trickster is a mischievous or roguish figure in myth or folklore who typically makes up for physical weakness with cunning and subversive humor. The Trickster alternates between cleverness and stupidity, kindness and cruelty, deceiver and deceived, breaker of taboos and creator of culture. Tricksters play an important role in the folklore and culture of the United States.

Tricksters



Brer Fox Catches Old Man Tarrypin

Well now, Brer Rabbit had made friends with Old Man Tarrypin, a big turtle that lived in the pond near his house. Brer Rabbit and Old Man Tarrypin liked to pull tricks on Brer Fox, and that rascally fellow got pretty mad about it.

Brer Rabbit Earns a Dollar-A-Minute

One fine morning, Brer Fox decided to plant him a patch of goober peas. He set to with a will and before you know it, he had raked and hoed out a beautiful patch of ground and he put in a fine planting of peas. It didn't take too long before those goober vines grew tall and long and the peas ripened up good and smart.

Brer Rabbit Fools Sis Cow

Now Brer Rabbit was skipping down the road one day heading for his home in the briar patch when he spotted Sis Cow grazing in the field. It was a mighty hot day and Brer Rabbit was thirsty. Some milk would be real fine on such a warm afternoon, but Sis Cow always refused to let Brer Rabbit milk her when he asked. So Brer Rabbit thought up a plan.

Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby

Well now, that rascal Brer Fox hated Brer Rabbit on account of he was always cutting capers and bossing everyone around. So Brer Fox decided to capture and kill Brer Rabbit if it was the last thing he ever did! He thought and he thought until he came up with a plan. He would make a tar baby! Brer Fox went and got some tar and he mixed it with some turpentine and he sculpted it into the figure of a cute little baby. Then he stuck a hat on the Tar Baby and sat her in the middle of the road.

Connecticut Yankee

Now, here in the South, we all do not approve of your so-called Connecticut Yankee peddlers. So when one appeared in the yard of my tavern, I was not of a mind to give him room for the night. He was a scrawny fellow with a mop of white hair and a withered face. He did not seem like a crafty Yankee peddler.

Coyote and Wishpoosh

Now Wishpoosh the monster beaver lived in the beautiful Lake Cle-el-lum which was full of fish. Every day, the animal people would come to the lake, wanting to catch some fish, but Wishpoosh the giant beaver drove them away with many threats and great splashing. If they refused to leave, Wishpoosh would kill the animal people by dragging them deep into the lake so that they drowned.

Coyote and the Columbia

One day, Coyote was walking along. The sun was shining brightly, and Coyote felt very hot. "I would like a cloud," Coyote said. So a cloud came and made some shade for Coyote. Coyote was not satisfied.

Crow Brings the Daylight

Long, long ago, when the world was still new, the Inuit lived in darkness in their home in the fastness of the north. They had never heard of daylight, and when it was first explained to them by Crow, who traveled back and forth between the northlands and the south, they did not believe him.

Davy Crockett and the Coonskin

Well, they say that Davy Crockett, the most famous bear hunter in the U.S. of A, once ran for election in Congress. He was campaigning in town one day, standing on a big ol' stump an talking to a big ol' crowd, when one of the men complained, saying he was mighty thirsty. 'Course, that set the whole crowd off, don't ya know. They said they wanted free drinks, and they wanted Davy to pay fer 'em out of his own pocket. If he didn't pay, he wouldn't get elected.

Gollywhopper's Eggs

Well now, when old Johnson came to town, I knew there'd be trouble. That Yankee Peddler was a scoundrel if ever I saw one. But I was laid up with my rheumatism when he arrived, so I couldn't do anything about it.

Rabbit Plays Tug-of-War

Now Rabbit had a favorite place on the river where he always went to drink water. It was on a bend in the river, and two Snakes lived there, one on the upper side of the bend and one on the lower. Rabbit soon learned that neither of the Snakes knew that the other Snake lived there.

Sam Hyde

Many years before the American Revolution, there was an old man named Sam Hyde who became famous throughout New England as a jester. He told so many tall tales that he was called the greatest of all liars. In fact, people were apt to say: "You lie like Sam Hyde" when they didn't believe a friend's tall tale.

That Pesky Fellow

A fisherman from Newfoundland was having difficulty finding someone to assist him. Help was scarce, and he couldn't find a soul to hire. Then one day he saw a handsome fellow in fancy city clothes walking along the docks. This was obviously not a man looking for work, but the fisherman still called out, half in jest: "Are ye looking for some work?" To his surprise, the city-man nodded and jumped into the boat.

The Trickster Tricked

In which Terrapin the Turtle outwits the Trickster Rabbit

Why Dogs Chase Cats

Once long ago, Dog was married to Cat. They were happy together, but every night when Dog came home from work, Cat said she was too sick to make him dinner...
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