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A short story by Joel Chandler Harris

As To Education

Title:     As To Education
Author: Joel Chandler Harris [More Titles by Harris]

As Uncle Remus came up Whitehall Street recently, he met a little colored boy carrying a slate and a number of books. Some words passed between them, but their exact purport will probably never be known. They were unpleasant, for the attention of a wandering policeman was called to the matter by hearing the old man bawl out:

"Don't you come foolin' longer me, nigger. You er flippin' yo' sass at de wrong color. You k'n go roun' yer an' sass deze w'ite people, an' maybe dey'll stan' it, but w'en you come a-slingin' yo' jaw at a man w'at wuz gray w'en de fahmin' days gin out, you better go an' git yo' hide greased."

"What's the matter, old man?" asked a sympathizing policeman.

"Nothin', boss, 'ceppin I ain't gwineter hav' no nigger chillun a hoopin' an' a hollerin' at me w'en I'm gwine long de streets."

"Oh, well, school-children--you know how they are.

"Dat's w'at make I say w'at I duz. Dey better be home pickin' up chips. W'at a nigger gwineter larn outen books? I kin take a bar'l stave an' fling mo' sense inter a nigger in one minnit dan all de schoolhouses betwixt dis en de State er Midgigin. Don't talk, honey! Wid one bar'l stave I kin fa'rly lif' de vail er ignunce."

"Then you don't believe in education?"

"Hit's de ruinashun er dis country. Look at my gal. De ole 'oman sont 'er ter school las' year, an' now we dassent hardly ax 'er fer ter kyar de washin' home. She done got beyant 'er bizness. I ain't larnt nuthin' in books, 'en yit I kin count all de money I gits. No use talkin', boss. Put a spellin'-book in a nigger's han's, en right den en dar' you loozes a plow-hand. I done had de speunce un it."

[The end]
Joel Chandler Harris's short story: As To Education (Uncle Remus, His Sayings)