‘Til we outnumber ’em

I thought of this Woody Guthrie track on the way home from work yesterday. I’d never heard it and I thought it was a song, but it turned out to be a spoken-word thing. It turned out to be a Guthrie story.

“So here’s these two rabbits, Mama Rabbit and Papa Rabbit, out in the woods one day, munching on things like rabbits like to do. And the wind kicked up a little bit. And on the wind came the sound of dogs off in the distance. But the wind was swirling around, so the rabbits couldn’t tell where the sound of the dogs was coming from.

“So they just went back to munching on things, but now they were nervous. Now they were paying attention. And after a while, the wind died down and the rabbits could tell the sound of the dogs was coming clearly through those trees on the hill and so they stood up and they looked. And there through the trees on the hill was this bunch of dogs jumping up and down. And by some cosmic coincidence, when the two rabbits stood up to look at the dogs, the dogs jumped up and saw the two rabbits down below. And the dogs got happy. And their faces started smiling and their feet starting running, their tails were going, their eyes were smiling, happy, barking, yelping, running dogs.

“And when the rabbits saw the dogs coming, they bolted and they ran this way and that way. ‘Round the trees and over the rocks and through the shrubs. But no matter where they went, and no matter how quick they were, the dogs kept getting closer and closer, until finally the dogs were just about on top of them and the rabbits started getting tired. And just as the dogs were on them, the rabbits ducked into the hollow of a log. And in the next instant, the dogs were all over the log and they were making a big racket because they couldn’t get in. And deep in the hollow of the log, above all the noise outside, the Mama Rabbit looked at the Papa Rabbit and said, ‘You know, Pop, I don’t believe we’re going to get out of this alive.’

“And the Papa Rabbit just smiled and said, ‘Well, that’s all right. We’ll just stay here ’til we outnumber ’em.’ “

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