who had moved a long way off, but his mother objected. She
had not forgotten those last unhappy days she spent among
50 OLD RABBIT, THE VOODOO,
them, therefore she did not wish to rejoin them nor have her
son with them.
When Redfeather found his arguments went for nought, he
left her under the tree.
" Here you will find me on your return," she told him, for
she had no faith in those people.
He set out buoyant of heart. He found the people, he taught
them, he led them to battle, he helped them to conquer their
enemies, he let them keep all the spoil, he showed them
pleasant places in which to dwell.
At first they were thankful, then they were proud, then
they were jealous, then they plotted against him.
He founcj out all these things. He called them together
and revealed his knowledge. He renounced them. The wife
he married he sent back to her father. He left all behind and
returned to his mother. He found her sitting lonely under
the elm tree, which was again black with cherries.
" Come up ! " a voice called.
"I could not climb the tree when I was young, how can I
now that I am old ? " said Little Dove, weeping bitterly. " Go,
my son, without me."
Redfeather took her hand. " Come up," he said, echoing the
He started, drawing her after him.
She found she could go easily ; so they went, the son first,
the mother after ; up the trunk, the limbs, the light branches,
through the thick leaves.
Some who had pursued Redfeather saw a cloud receive the
two. With them went all the good-luck of Little's Dove's
" Sarve um right, too ! " said Granny, emphatically. " De
proud stummick dat spew out de milk in de mawnin' am boun'
ter stay hitse'f on crik-watteh (creek-water) 'fo' de day am
done. Dat de sollum fack, hit sholy am."
AND OTHER SORCERERS. 51
<4 Troof dar, Aunt Jinny ; troof dar, Miss Boogarry," echoed
" I wish," said Tow Head, thoughtfully, " that I knew if
Redfeather's father ever taught him how to change himself
into a bird. Do you think he did, Mrs. Boogarry ? "
" Me an' Redfeather ain' kip sikrits at un nurr " (kept secrets
together) Big Angy made answer so grimly that the little girl
ventured no more questions. Her little tongue was stilled,
though her brain was not. She pondered over Redfeather and
his probable career in his father's mansions for a long, long
time, paying no heed to the neighbourhood gossip her friends
were bandying about. After awhile it seemed to her that she
was rocked on a cloud herself, and voices very far away began
to sing, not in invitation, but this bill-of-fare, of which she
certainly did not partake :
" Oh ! chicken-pie an' pepper, oh I
Chicken-pie is good, I know ;
So is watteh-million, too,
So is rabbit in er stew,
So is dumplin's biled with squab,
So is cawn biled on de cob,
So is chine an' turkey-breast,
So is aigs des fum de nest."
MORE ABOUT WOODPECKER.
IT was a bright afternoon, but Granny's aspect was exceedingly
gloomy. As she left the "calf-lot," where she had been
prescribing for a young bovine too soon acquainted with the
ills that flesh is heir to, she saw a sight that froze her very
A lane ran between the " calf-lot " and the enclosure where
the cabins were, and in that lane stood Tow Head flinging
corn-cobs with all her little might at a small, dark bird, which
was busily examining the rails of the old worm-fence and the
bark of an ancient tree that lounged against them.
" Stop dat ! Stop, dis minnit ! " shrieked Granny, hastily
slipping the bars of the calf-lot in place, and making a dash
at the offender. " D'yo' wanter git the whole passel ob us
cunjered ? "
Tow Head paused in dismay, and looked about for the
" W-where is he, Granny ? " she asked, faintly.
" On de top de fence. Dar, on de ridah " (rider, top rail),
mumbled Granny, nodding towards the top rail of the worm-
fence, and then hurrying the little girl through the " big gate "
of the less primitive boundary on the opposite side of the lane.
" You're pinching my shoulder," whimpered Tow Head,
vainly striving to wriggle out of Granny's iron grasp.
" Nemmine ! nemmine ! " (never mind !) panted Granny.
" Des lemme git yo' in out o' sight."
OLD RABBIT, THE VOODOO. 53
Tow Head was appalled. Never had she seen Granny's
eyes gleam like that since the day she and some of Aunt
Mymee's juvenile descendants had tried to convert the big
yellow tom-cat into an opossum by trimming the hair off his
tail with the sheep-shears. " Many a time and oft " had she
had reason to thank her lucky stars that she was not " a nut-
brown mayde," and in consequence liable to discipline from
the old woman's staff. That wretched little bird seemed to
have obliterated the colour line. Ordinarily, the little pickle
quailed when she found herself marched towards " The House,"
but on this occasion, when she was unceremoniously ushered
into the cabin and seated in the tallest chair, she felt like a
criminal about to receive a life-sentence.
Granny sat down opposite her, with folded arms and a face
as expressionless as a mummy's.
Tow Head looked awestruck, looked indignant, defiant,
then gave way and began to cry.
" The Bible says you shalt not make yourself a graven
image, I heard 'em say it in Sunday School," she sniffled.
a Uh ! huh ! " exclaimed Granny, in sudden fury, " ole
Mymee's bin a-callin' me er gravum image ergin, hez she ?
An' yo' ter say dat yo' pick up dat meanness in de Sunday
skule ! Ise 'shame at yo', dat I is ! "
" I did hear it in Sunday School," insisted Tow Head, recover-
ing courage, now that she saw she would have Aunt Mymee
as a partner in any " fuss."
" Oh, yes ! oh, yes ! well, suz ! des lemme tell yo' dat yo'
betteh git dat HI ole niggah ter putt fo'th huh strenk a-takin'
off de tricks dat de woodpeckeh yo' bin flingin' at am gwine
ter putt on de fam'bly, stiddier a-settin' Miss Agnes' chilluns
ter sass dey Granny."
" Granny, that wasn't a woodpecker. That little bird didn't
have a red head."
" Hit b'long in de fam'bly o' de pecker woods des de same,
54 OLD RABBIT, THE VOODOO,
an* I lay dat ef hit don't 'scuse yo' on de grounds ob natch el
foolishness hit gwine ter raise er mighty ruction w'en hit tell
Ole Man Woodpeckeh."
" Who is he, Granny ? " asked the little girl, forgetting her
peril, and intent only on hearing a story. " Is he the father of
Redfeather, Big Angy was telling about ? "
"Des 'bout de same, des 'bout de same."
" Tell about him, Granny ; tell all about him."
Granny deliberated, fixing her eyes meanwhile on a flaw in
the chinking of the wall behind Tow Head.
Tow Head meekly looked at the hole in Granny's boot.
Finally, Granny filled and lighted her pipe, and the little
girl heaved a sigh of relief.
" Yo' betteh be a sivin' " (sighing), said Granny, but her tone
was not one of commendation. " Dat's right. Ise gwine ter tell
yo' one tale dat's gwine ter mek dat plain. Gin'ly, I tell tales
unter good chilluns, but dis I gwine ter tell soster keep yo' fum
fetchin' de whole ob creation down 'bout our yeahs. Dat's
right, hang yo' haid down, but," and Granny softened, " come
git in my lap, kase Ise got de misery in my breas', and kyarn't
tork (talk) lak I wuz hollerin' thu de big dinneh horn. Dat's
de jump ! Now, honey, lemme tell yo', all de woodpeckehs dat
e'er corned out en er aig is cun-jer-ers ! "
" Oh, Granny ! "
" Yessir ! Lemme tull yo' wut happen wunst, an' I boun'
yo' gwine ter lef dem budhs 'lone foh de res' o' yo' natchel life :
" Wunst, in de ole times, dey wuz er mighty peart (pert,
lively, or smart) an' biggetty-feelin' lil boy. He tuck arter de
rest ob de fam'bly in dat, to be shoh, kase dey wuz all un um
peart, but he wuz de peartes' in de lot, an' dat am sholy sayin'
heap. Well ! dis hyeah boy wut I gwine ter tell 'bout, he wuz
des up an 'a-comin' all de time. He sot traps an cotch de
cotton-tails an 7 pa'tridges, he dug out de gophers, 1 hp head
1 Gopher, a kind of marmot.
AND OTHER SORCERERS. 55
off de moles, he steal de budh aigs, he shoot de squir'ls, he tree
de 'coons, he drownd out de woodchucks. 1 He des whirl in an'
get de whole ob creation down 'pon 'im ; but de day wuz
a-comin' w'en all de critturs feel dey cotch up wid' im'. One
day he up wid er rock an' bust de laig ob er lil peckerwood dat
he see a-knockin' at de do' (door) ob Misteh Wuhm's (Worm's)
" Dat settle de bizniz for dat boy.
" Woodpeckeh fetch one squall an' go hipplety, hopplety
home. He fine he pa an' say
" ' Looky hyeah at my laig ! '
a Old Woodpeckeh look, look long time an' say nuttin.
" Den he cuss.
" Den he ax, ' Who done dat ? ^
u ' Dat boy down in de holler.'
" * Wut he done dat foh ? '
u ' Foh nuttin. I ain't tetch 'im. I ain't ez much ez sen*
(send) my shadder 'cross 'im.'
" ' Nemmine ! nemmine ! des wait, my child, twell yo' daddy
mek de 'quaintance ob dat boy.'
" * Fix my laig fust, daddy.'
" ' Dat wut I gwine ter do, my son.'
" Den Ole Woodpeckeh fix that
laig up good ez new."
" How did he do it, Granny ? "
" He done hit de way dat suit
'im, dat all I knows. I wuzzen'
dar at de time. Howsomedevvah
he done hit hit wuz er mighty " DEN OLD WOODPECKEH FIX
good job." DAT LAIG UP OOD."
" I didn't know birds were doctors."
" Dey's two free tings yo' ain't larn yit," said Granny, with
a fine irony that was altogether wasted on her auditor, " an'
1 Woodckuck, also a variety of marmot.
56 OLD RABBIT, THE VOODOO,
one un um is de pint Ise aimin' at. De peckerwoods ain't no
shoh 'nuff buhds, dey's cunjerers dat kin be buhds ur dey kin
be men, an' de boss un um (of them) all, Ole Woodpeckeh, he
kin look lak de finest kine ob er Injun-chief, ceppin dat he
don't hafter paint red, he des grow dataways."
Here Granny paused and reflected a long time, presumably
on the characteristics and abilities of Woodpecker.
" Did Woodpecker ask the little boy's mamma to punish
him?" asked Tow Head, after various ineffectual efforts to
attract Granny's attention without addressing her directly.
" Him ? huh ! " ejaculated Granny
with fine scorn. " He don't ax
nobody ter chew he vittles foh 'im.
W'en he git de laig fix he flewed off
inter de big woods. He fly roun'
dar twell he pick out de bigges'
tree in de kyounty (county), an'
out o' de biggest last yeah's limb,
up todes (towards) de top, he pick
de kine o' maggit dat he want.
Wut kine wuz dat prezackry I
dunno. His wuz de right kine foh
he bizniz, I boun' yo' for dat.
" Well ! he git dat wuhm an' he watch round twell dat boy
wuz soun' er sleep in his trunnle-baid. Den he lay dat wuhm
down, keerful, on de winder-sill, an' he fly in de room an' chahm
dat boy so he sleep lak de daid out in de grabe-yahd. Dat
done, he bore lil hole in he haid, an' ee git de maggit offen de
winder-sill an' he putt hit in de lil hole, and kiver hit up an'
mek de place well an' soun'."
" Didn't the little boy ever wake up again ? " asked Tow
Head, in an awestruck whisper.
"Cose (of course) he wake up in de mawnin,' but I lay he
wish he don't. Dat boy bin a-fidgettin' an' a-flouncin' roun'
AND OTHER SORCERERS. 57
an' a-stirrin' up foolishness dat done kip he pa a-whoppin' ob
'im wid de trunkstrap study (steadily), e'er sence. Mo'n dat,
he ain't de onlest (only) one dat got de maggit in he haid. Heap
o' folks got um, an' all fum pesterin' de peckerwoods."
Tow Head felt the crown of her head with a thoughtful
" Does a trunk-strap hurt worse than a lady's hand or
slipper ? " she asked, seriously.
" Heap wuss," answered Granny, emphatically.
Tow Head's deepening melancholy was touching to behold.
"I reckon yo' safe dis time," said Granny, observing it,
<( kase yo's young an' ain't had no speunce (experience). Ef yo'
promiss dat yo' ain't gwine ter do so no mo', I 'low I kin beg
yo' off wid Ole Woodpeckeh."
Tow Head promised with all earnestness.
" G'long in de house, now, an' if yo' mek out ter 'have
(behave) yo'se'f twell arter suppeh, mebbe I git Aunt Mary ter
tell dat putty tale 'bout de fuss 'twixt Old Woodpeckeh an'
This statement so cheered Tow Head that she set out for
" The House " in the gayest spirits, singing as she went a little
song she had learned from Aunt Mymee. She did not finish it,
however, for at the door the auntie caught her up in great
excitement, informing her that, u I done hunt yo' evverwhurs
'cept in my own mouf," and adding that the new minister was
in the parlour, and wished to see all the children. Immediately
thereafter, Tow Head was whirled about in a perfect cyclone of
When she came to herself, she was a very starchy, shiny child
indeed, with a fiery warmth in her ears and a sudden chill of
bashfulness in her soul. She had barely strength to sidle up to
the dignified minister's knee and tell, when asked, her name,
her age, the length of time she had attended Sunday School,
and her impression that there were twelve commandments and
58 OLD RABBIT, THE VOODOO.
seven or ten apostles. Growing bolder, she stated to that
worthy man that she could sing.
" What hymns?"
<( Little grains of water, little drops of sand " and " Lord, dis-
miss us " ; but cabin songs, she frankly added, were a great deal
nicer than hymns.
" What are cabin songs, my dear child ? "
To the dismay and everlasting shame of her parents and
grandparents, and to the speechless amazement of that good
ecclesiastic from " Down East," Tow Head piped the little lay
Aunt Mymee had unceremoniously interrupted a few moments
" Jay-Buhd a-settin' on a hickory lim',
He looked at me, I winked at him.
I up wid a rock an' I hit 'im on de shin,
An' dat's de way I sucked 'im in."
THE "FUSS" BETWEEN WOODPECKER AND
Tow HEAD did not make her appearance in the cabin, as she
expected, the evening after her interview with the minister,
nor for many evenings thereafter. Her relatives were suddenly
awakened to the necessity of making her acquainted with the
writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The little maiden,
nothing loth, at once set to work to memorise the names of the
apostles, and later proved herself a promising member of the
Church militant by taking sides with or against every historical
character mentioned in the Four Gospels. Jay Bird and Wood-
pecker were for the time being forgotten, but one night mamma
had a headache and grandma a visitor, so away went Tow
Head to the cabin again, and immediately bethought her of the
Granny, with an oifended air, pleaded timidity. She " wuzn't
use ter tell tales * fo ' sech mighty big strangers."
Tow Head argued and urged in vain. Finally, she remem-
bered that it was Aunt Mary, not Granny, that knew about
Blue Jay and Woodpecker, so she turned about with a beaming
smile and requested the younger woman to u tell a long, long
Aunt Mary had her laurels yet to win as a story-teller, and
was anxious to make a beginning, so with no more delay than
a preface of giggles demanded, she said
60 OLD RABBIT, THE VOODOO,
"All I knows am des 'bout de fuss 'twixt Woodpeckeh an'
Blue Jay, an' hyeah 'tis, des ez I done hyeah hit w'en I wuz er
gal 'bout knee-high ter er hoppergrass. Foh er long time
Woodpeckeh am keep hisse'f ter hisse'f an' ain't r'ar x round
much. He des mine he own bizniz 'tickler clost. Arter w'iles,
w'en he don't putt in nowhurs (show himself anywhere), Old
Blue Jay, he come fo' (began) ter t'ink dat de whole yearth
wuz hizzen. He smack de young squir'ls side o' de jaw, he et
up de aigs in de nestes, an' he flirt he tail-fedders in de eyes o'
de turr buhds, an' he des ack scannelous evvy-which-aways
dat yo' kin name. But he gwine ter git he come-up-ance
(punishment), dat he wuz ! an' at de berry time dat he wuzzent
'spectin' nuttin. Dishaways 'twuz come out : Ole Woodpeckeh,
he sorter hyeah sumpin an' he sorter rouge (rouse) up outen he
dreamin' an' cunjerin' an' he say, ' Wut dis I hyeah ? '
" De chilluns, dey mek arnser back
" ' Dunno zackry (exactly), kase yo' ain't lef us play wid de
nabeh buhds much.'
" (Dat wuz troof too, kase de woodpeckeh fam'bly wuz
quality, an' de chilluns wuzzent 'low ter run roun' an' play wid
no half-strainers an' trash.) "
" Those little woodpeckers must have been awfully lonesome,"
said Tow Head, wiggling her foot and looking both conscious
" Nemmine 'bout dat ; dey bin mek out ter hyeah (they
managed to learn) dat Ole Blue Jay bin a-raisin' heap o' ruction
roun' in dem pahts (parts).
" ' Daddy,' dey say, ' Ole Blue Jay, he say dat he am boss ob
dis neck ob de woods, an' hit 'pears lak he mean hit mo'n (more
than) dat, kase he bin doin' heap o' debbilment de las' w'iles
" Dat mek Ole Woodpeckeh orfle mad.
" ( Boss is he ? ' sez 'e. * Well ! I gwine ter see 'bout dat.
, to rear up like a horse, or curvet ; to show spirit .
AND OTHER SORCERERS. 61
Wen I wants enny debbilment done round dis hyeah nabeh-
hood, I lay I kin do hit my own se'f, ' sez 'e.
" So he tell Miss Woodpeckeh she mought ez well go roun'
a-visitin ? an' see ef she kin pick up enny 'ticklers 'bout Blue
Jay fum de nabehs, kase dese marters (matters) boun' ter be
" So Miss Woodpeckeh, she go, an' w'en she git home an'
'gin ter tell all dat she gedder up, Ole Woodpeckeh he dat mad
dat he whirl in an' chop down er good-size hick'ry tree wid he
bill, kase he boun' ter hit sumpin, an' ef he ain't hit de tree he
mought a hit Miss Woodpeckeh.
" Ez he chop, he mummle an' grummle, lak dis hyeah
" ' Gwine ter run dese woods, is he ? '
" ' Et up all de buhd-aigs, hez 'e, an' bruck up all dis yeah's
nestes ? *
" Whack 1 whack 1
" ' Stole er hazel nut right outen de fox-squir'1's paw, on'y
yistiddy, did he ? '
" * Peck de eye clean outen Miss Cat-Buhd's darter's haid,
" Whack ! whack !
" ' Bern's fine gwines-on, ain't dey ? '
" ( I 'low I des lub foh 'im ter kip right on (like to have him
continue). Oh, yes ! '
" Whack !
" ( Mebbe I betteh ax Misteh Jay ef I kin stay hyeah, ef I
'have (behave) myse'f, an' ax no questions. Oh, yes ! '
" Whack ! whack ! whack !
" An' so, suz ! he kep' a-grittin' he toofs an' a-whackin' de tree
an' a-torkin' unter hisse'f, twell de tree come a-crashin' down,
- r-r-ack \- snash ! crash ! boom ! ezde trunk fall, bam!
62 OLD RABBIT, THE VOODOO,
ez de lim's slap de ground an' den, squash ! ez de leafy
branches queeveh (quiver) an' settle down mungs de bustid
undeh-bresh an' vines.
" My ! how dat ole Woodpeckeh did go on ! Some ob de
chips dey wuz flung so high dat dey lit on de moon, an' dey
dar yit, foh all dis hyeah niggeh know.
" Wen de tree kim down, Ole Woodpeckeh he clumb onter
hit an' he sot dar a-breevin hahd (breathing hard), an' a-open-
in* an' a-shettin' he eyes, des ez ef somebody wuz a-fannin' um
open an' shet.
:c All de time he doin' dat," continued Aunt Mary ; after a
break in the narrative to give her an opportunity to depict
Woodpecker's mood in expressive pantomime ; " he wuz mekin'
up he mine (mind). Wen he git dat done ter he noshin (to
his notion or mind), he holler at one ob de chilluns dat wuz
a-peekin' round de aige (edge) ob er gum stump.
" ( Tell yo' mammy notter set up foh me dis ebenin',' he say.
* Mebbe hit mought happen dat I come home late,' sez 'e, sorter
wallin' up he eyeball.
" ' All right, daddy,' holler back de young one, den away de
ole man flewed.
" He flewed an' he flewed," continued Aunt Mary, contem-
plating the smoky rafter above her, from one end to the other,
as if on it she could trace the woodpecker's flight, " des lak
chain-lightnin' wuz arter 'im. He flewed an' he flewed twell
he flewed ter whah de tall cottonwoods bin t'ickest not ter de
Ul cottonwoods down on de san'-bah (sand-bar), but ter de big,
big ones on de bluffs furdest back fum de ribber. Wen he git
dar he don't fly fas' enny mo'. He fly lil way, hop HI way, fly
HI way kine o' keerless lak, ez ef he wuz des sorter playin' roun'
an' 'muzin' hisse'f a-hummin' er chune.
" Wut he do dat foh ? Kase he knowed Blue Jay wuzzent
fur off, an' he 'low he s'prise 'im.
a Putty soon arter, he hyeah de young jay-buhds a-squallin',
AND OTHER SORCERERS. 63
an' he know by dat dat he gwine ter meet up wid dey pa, berry
quick. Shoh nuff, arter w'iles, he see Ole Jay come a-sailin'
thu de woods an' light on er low-down daid limb. My 1 he
look dat peart an' sassy a-stannin' dar an' a-balluncin' on he
lef laig de w'iles he nibble at er lil stiaw same ez ef he hab er
fine seegyar in he mouf. He stick he haid on one side w'en he
see Ole Woodpeckeh, den he wink, des ez peart ez er free-niggeh
buck (young man) w'en de yaller gals go by. Den he spit out
de straw an' he holler
" ' Hello, ole man ! '
" Ole Woodpeckeh choke back de cuss words an' he say,
4 Hello,' too, an' try foh ter look 'gree'ble.
u * Git stahve (starve) out up yo' way ? ' Blue Jay ax,
twissen he neck roun' an' a-stirrin' yundehneat he wing foh
" ' N-not dezackly,' say Ole Woodpeckeh, mos' a-bustin', he
" * Ef yo' hongry, des stir roun' an' ketch yo'se'f er wuhm out
o' my trees,' sez Blue Jay, sez 'e, a-combin' out he tail-fedders
wid he bill, an' no mo' a-lookin' todes (towards) Ole Wood-
peckeh den ef he wuz er las' yeah's aig-shell.
" ' 'Bleeged, Ise shore,' sez Ole Woodpeckeh, a-whettin' he
bill on er limb. * You's de boss ob dese woods, I spoge (sup-
pose) ? '
" At dat, Blue Jay he fetched er sorter cackle. ' Des jedge
foh yo'se'f,' sez 'e. * / ain't mekkin' no brags,' sez 'e, * but I 'low
nobody in dese hyeah woods am a-denyin' dat I des natchelly
gwine ter lam de stuffin' outen 'im, ef he gib me enny sass,' sez 'e.
" Uh-huh ! ' sez Woodpeckeh, sez 'e. ' Uh-huh ! Ise
mighty glad yo' tole me. Ef yo' hatten ter (had not) tole me
I mought a cut er shine ur two my own se'f. W'iles I 'bout
hit dough, I reckon I mought ez well mek dat bold ter ax yo',
did yo' evveh hyeah tell dat / wuz ownin' er heap o' proppity
roun' in dese hyeah pahts ? '
64 OLD RABBIT, THE VOODOO,
" ( Yes I reckon mebbe I mought a-hyurn (have heard) dat/
sez Blue Jay, ' but, good Ian' ! ef I hez, I done fegit um. I'm
got nurr kine ob fish ter fry sidesen a-loadin' up my 'mem-
bunces 'ith urr folks' ole wo' -out (worn out) brags,' sez 'e.
" * Who braggin' ? wut brags yo' torkin' (talking) 'bout ? '
say Ole Woodpeckeh, breevin' mighty hot an' quick an*
a-torkin' way down in he stummick.
" ' Yourn, ef hit come ter dat,' sez Blue Jay, sez 'e, a-stompin r
on de limb lak he feel so good dat he gwine ter pat Juba de
" ' Tek dat, den ! ' holler Ole Woodpeckeh, a-hittin' 'im er
clip dat des nigh split 'im open. Ise Ole Woodpeckeh, I is,
an' Tse gwine ter boss dese hyeah woods des ez I alms hab
enduin' (during) ob de forty-'lebin yeahs I bin hyeah (here) befo r
de debbil tuck ter mekin' blue jays. Yo' hyeah me ! Yah ! don't
yo' cock up yo' laig at me lak dat, yo' sassy trash, yo' ! Come
on, den ! Come on ! '
" * Don't yo' try ter cunjer me, yo' ole bag o' shucks,' Blue
Jay holler back, ' kase hit kyarn't be did, no hit kyarn't ! '
" * Cunjer nuttin,' sez Ole Woodpeckeh. * Who gwine ter
tek de trouble ter cunjer sitch er low-life, sneakin', ole aig-
sucker ez yo' ? Des lay down an' lemme tromple de lights
outen yo'. Hit'll save me time an' you trouble,' sez 'e.
" Den Blue Jay low hit time someun teach dat low -flung
red-head mannehs (manners). ( I des wisht,' sez 'e, ( dat dat
HI pee- wee buhd 'u'd come 'long an' tek dis triflin' bizniz offen
my ban's,' sez 'e, ( but ez him an' all de turr buhds is a-tendin'
ter dey own marters, study (steadily), I reckon I boun' ter
string yo' 'long de ground my own se'f,' sez 'e, an' wid dat he
spit on he claw an' he rattle he bill an' he set ter wuhk ; an r
dar dey hed hit, up an' down, roun' an' roun', back an' fo'th
twell des 'bout sundown. Long 'fo' dat dough, Ole Blue Jay's
bref come mighty shawt (short), he haht (heart) ack lak she
gwine ter bust thu he ribs an' he tongue feel lak dat ole straw
AND OTHER SORCERERS. 65
he wuz a-chewin' w'en woodpeckeh fust lit. Sidesen dat, he'd
a giner holler log cramful ob aigs (eggs) ef he'd hed um
foh des one sup o' cole watteh (cold water), but, de laws o'
massy ! he ain't git no watteh, wut he git wuz de bes' kine
o' er lickin'. Ole Woodpeckeh, he des natchelly lay 'im out
bedout (without) cunjerin, at dat an' dat breshin' o' he hide
done 'im heaps ob good an' last 'im long time, too."
As Aunt Mary finished there was a mighty clapping at the