Brer Rabbit is an American folktale character (the contraction Br’oth’er Rabbit). He’s a typical trickster, able to use wit and wile to get what he wants, or to escape from those trying to catch and eat him (Brer Wolf, Brer Fox, and Brer Bear). Brer Rabbit was probably the inspiration for Bugs Bunny.
Enid Blyton retold a bunch of the traditional Brer Rabbit stories including the Tar Baby (where Brer Rabbit passes a doll made of tar, says “How do,” gets no response so he punches the Tar Baby for his impudence. Then gets stuck. And keeps attacking. And gets more stuck) and my personal favourite, when Brer Rabbit was stealing something from a community shed each night, and the other Brers (including Brer Turkey-Buzzard and Brer Terrapin) smother the floor in oil to track the thief, and Brer Rabbit realises and takes his shoes off to trick them all).
My dad used to read me these short stories at bedtime when I was too small to read myself. We had three books of Brer Rabbit stories and I loved them all. Brer Rabbit wasn’t a particularly likeable character because he was a thief and a liar, and I often felt sorry for the other characters he outwitted. But often they deserved it because they wanted to eat him, so I was always happy that he ended up getting away with it.
This is the earliest book I remember my dad reading to me – I think the books belonged to him from his own childhood. When I spoke to my dad about the earliest stories I listened to, he told me it was the Brer Rabbit stories. He’d even recorded himself reading some to me (he was GREAT at reading stories), and I used to listen to his retellings when he was away overnight. I’m certain that the Brer Rabbit books was my introduction to reading, and made me fall in love and keep reading to this day.