Compère Bouki* had a great big garden, where he grew many fruits and vegetables, but
the thing that Compère Lapin* liked most of all were Compère Bouki’s sweet potatoes, the best of which grew next to a briar patch.
Now, Compère Lapin didn’t have a garden of his own and Compère Bouki had more sweet potatoes than he could ever eat by his lonesome. But Compère Bouki, the greedy old wolf, never shared his sweet potatoes with Compère Lapin. In fact, Compère Bouki decided he was going to make a little tarbaby to scare Compère Lapin away from his garden.
When night came, Compère Lapin slid under the fence and into the garden and he saw
the tarbaby. Being a polite rabbit, he said, “Comment ça va?*” to the tarbaby.
Of course, the tarbaby didn’t respond, so Compère Lapin poked the tarbaby with his paw.
Now, he was stuck fast to the tar! He tried to pull his paw free but only succeeded in getting more stuck. He stayed stuck to the tarbaby til morning came, feeling like a couyon*.
Compère Bouki got up and went to his garden, feeling smug. “I finally got you.”
But Compère Lapin was clever and he said, “Compère Bouki, please, please don't throw
me in the briar patch.” So of course, the wolf threw him into the briar patch. Quick as a wink, Compère Lapin snatched up the best sweet potatoes and ran all the way home.
"Compère Bouki” means brother wolf/hyena and “Compère Lapin” means brother rabbit in Cajun/Creole French.
“Couyon” means a “foolish person” in Cajun French.
“Comment ça va” means “how’s it going” in French.
“Tout fini” means “all done” in French.
This is a Cajun and Creole tale from North America and has been contributed by the Fairy Encyclopedia.
It is a part of our series, Folklore Worldwide. We are currently open to submissions from around the world, and you are welcome to send us your stories!