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The possum's fondness for muscadine, a delicious variety of grape growing wild in southern woods, sometimes called fox-grape, is com­mented on in the following stanza given me as sung by George Ragland, of Kentucky:
I met a possum in de road,
"Bre'r Possum, whax you gwine?"
"I bless my soul and thank my stars To hunt some muscadine."
E. H. RatclifTe, of Mississippi, remembered a stanza he had heard Negroes sing in his childhood, concerning the shy, reserved ways of the possum.
I met a possum in the road,
And 'shamed he looked to be. He stuck his tail between his legs And gave the xoad to me.
I gave in my " Southern Porch" a quatrain mentioning a possum, for which a correspondent sends me a match, as announcing the birth, not of a "little gal," but of a "little boy."
Possum up de gum-stump,
Coony up de hollow; Little gal at our house
Fat as she kin wallow!
The possum figures in many other songs, but these are enough to illustrate his endearing young charms as the Negro sees them.
The natural companion for the possum is, of course, the coon, and the two are mentioned together in various folk-songs, as has already been seen. The coon has some songs in which he is celebrated alone, however, though he is not so dear to the colored heart as the pos­sum.
W. R. Boyd, Jr., formerly of Texas, gave me a " coon" song which he remembered from hearing his father sing it in his childhood.
Settin' on a Rail
As I went out by the light of the moon,
So merrily singin, this here old tune,
Thar I spies a fat raccoon
A-settin' on a rail,
Settin' on a rail,
Settin' on a rail,
Ha-ha! Ha-ha, Ha-ha, Ha-ha!
Sleepin' mighty sound.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III