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NEGRO FOLK RHYMES
all his rhyme-making habits after coming to America, for he certainly clustered his American verse largely around his religion. Assuming this to be true the large amount of animal lore in Negro rhyme and story is at once explained.
Possibly the greatest hindrance to one's coming to this conclusion is the fact that the Rabbit and some other animals- found in Negro rhyme and story do not appear in the records among those worshiped by aboriginal Africans. The known record of the Africans' early religion covers only a very few pages. Christians have not been willing to spend any time to speak of in investigating the religions of the primitive and the lowly. Thus if these animals were widely worshiped it would not be strange if we should never have heard of it. Let us consider what is known, however.
Taking up the matter of the rabbit Mr. John McBride, Jr., had a very fine and lengthy discussion on "Br'er Rabbit in the Folk Tales of the Negro and other Races" in The Sewanee Review, April, 1911. On page 201 of that journal's issue we find these wTords: "Among the Hottentots, for example, there is a story in which the hare appears in the moon and of which several versions are extant. The story goes that the moon sent the hare to the earth