In all honesty, it was very hard to read the two stories by Joe Chandler Harris. I had to really slow down and try to understand what was being said. The old tale of Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Fox reminded me of Disney World in Florida. There is always a lesson behind a story and this one was that the Rabbit outsmarted the fox by telling him not to do what he really wanted to do. I use reverse psychology with my two boys a lot and it really does work.
The other story was just plain sad. Free Joe was an outstanding character. He was so unbelievably humble and the actuality of his life was sad. While the slaves who were captive in their own life danced and sang he, free in his own right, was sad and was treated badly. It was as if he was paying a price for being free. It wasn’t for people like Free Joe, our world could have been very different. Even though he was treated badly he was still the same person and still believed in his freedom. The way his wife and dog were taken from him just tears your heart in two. With them just wanting to live a life together and then having it stripped away was awful. The author makes you feel for Free Joe in a very emotional way. It takes what happened to a free man who was a slave and pushes it in your face to read and swallow it (whether you want to or not).
The first story really didn’t mean much to me. It was very short and I couldn’t really understand it. The second story though was very touching. I like the reality of what the author presented to the reader. It was something you don’t want to read because of the sadness but something that you must read because of the situation of Free Joe.