child, and taking no notice of Aunt Mymee's remark, " w'en
dat triflin' ole pipe o' mine quit a-suckin' de, baby-woodpeckeh
fell outen de jaws oh Bracksnake, but de po' HI crittur wuz
done die stone daid. Nemmine ! nemmine, dough ! Wood-
peckeh mo'n er match foh dat, an' so I tells you'. W'en he
see de baby wuz shoh nuff daid, he go an' he git out de
medsum (medicine, or magic) pipe an' he puff an' he suck an'
he draw an' he fill dat lil daid woodpeckeh full ob de smoke.
W'en dat smoke fill lil woodpeckeh he 'mence ter come ter life.
96 OLD RABBIT, THE VOODOO,
He stretch he wings fust an' kick one laig, den he flinch he tail
an' dror up bofe laigs, den he shet an' open he bill an' dror
up he claws. Arter dat he gap big an' sneege a-kwisha ! Dis
done, he wuz well, an' he fly up ter he mammy.
"Den wuz de time dat Ole Woodpeckeh tuhn he 'tention 'pun
Bracksnake ter gib 'im er good sottlemint (settlement). He
kyarn't kill dat villyun out an' out, kase he got cunjerin' sense
in 'im too, but, Ian' o' love ! he kin fill 'im wid tricks (spells),
ez full ez de shucks (dried maize leaves) whah de hogs lay is
full ob fleas. He scratch that Bracksnacke down de back, an'
he blow hot on 'im an' dry 'im up lak er last yeah's milk-
weed, den 'e tuhn 'im aloose, an' er fine sight he wuz !
" Sence dat day dat Bracksnake ain't no mo' 'count. He
own folks ain't count kin wid 'im. To be shoh, he cunjer back
he eyesight, ur mo' 'tickler, (or, what is more) he knowed de
weed dat kin do dat, an' he cunjer de weed ter cum unter 'im
an' kyore (cure) 'im, but he ain't got de sense ter cunjer back
he strenk ur he good looks. Fum dat day unter dis he des
wriggle roun' in de grass, he don't climb trees no mo' ur run
fas' 'long de aige (edge) ob de road lak de res' o' he fambly,
an' folkses wen dey see 'im, dey des poke fun at 'im stiddier
(instead of) gittin' skeered. Dey let on, dey do, dat dey s'picion
some triflin' gal done drap 'im offen 'er laig, an' des foh sport
dey calls 'im de gyarteh (garter) snake. Oh, yes ! dat's so, po'
lil wizzle (poor little withered up thing) up t'ing. Ise seen 'im,
menny an' menny's de time, an' so I boun' hez all de res' ob
yo'. 'Tain't but des 'fo' fros' dat I brung one up, a-twustin'
ev'whichaways, on de eend o' my stick, w'en I wuz a-pokin' in
de daid leabes a-searchin' foh warnits (walnuts)."
" I should hate," said Tow Head, uneasily, " to get one of
those things on by mistake. I'm always dropping my garters
and picking them up again. I might pick up a snake, if it
looked just like one. Granny, do you know if they have
buckles on the ends of them ? n
AND OTHER SORCERERS. 97
" No, dey don't," said Aunt Mymee, emphatically. " Dar,
now, Aunt Jinny, des look wut yo' done ! I 'low yo' hafter tell
nurr tale ter git de tase (taste) ob dis un outen de chile's mouf."
" Yo' ain't skeered, is yo', honey ? "
" N-no," answered the child, doubtfully, "but maybe I will be
if you do not tell another story. Sometimes I get scared after
I go to bed, when the lights are out and there seems to be
such a lot of dark. Those times, the stories you've heard seem
to be coming at you if they are not nice."
" Den I gwine ter tell 'bout de pahty (party) dat Ole Wood-
peckeh wuz 'tendin' wunst (once attended). De pahty, honey,
whah he play on de fiddle up at Perarer-Chickin's house.
Mebbe yo' don't keer foh dat tale, do ugh ? "
Tow Head did care, and said so, to Aunt Mymee's disgust,
so Granny began
" One time, Ole Perarer-Chicken, he gin er big pahty. All
de buhds dey hed er eenvite, clar down ter Cow-buntin* an'
clar up ter Ole Woodpeckeh hisse'f. Dem eenvites dey kick
up er heap er ter-do-unce (preparation) mungs de buhds. Dey
pick de tangles outen dey pin-fedders an' smoove dey quills an'
ile dey backs an' breas'es twell dey shine lak er pond in de sun.
Wen dey git primp ter dey mine, dey sot out, Ole Woodpeckeh
lil arter de res'. Time wuz w'en 'e wouldn't a-gone er step in
dat 'rection, but dat wuz 'fo' Ole Perarer-Chicken gun 'im
warnin' dat Ole Miss Owl, she 'low she like mighty well ter
hab er mess ob young woodpeckehs in 'er pot-pie on de table
w'en she git up de suppeh foh de weddin' ob 'er oldes' gal.
Ole Woodpeckeh, he wuz much erbleeged foh dat piece o'
news, an' he keep one eye out twell arter de weddin'. He
ain't ne'er fegit dat good tuhn (turn), an' mm dat day fo'th
he pass de time o' day an' ax, ( How am yo' good healt',
neighbeh ? ' w'en dey meet.
" Ez I wuz a-ree-mockin' (remarking), he went ter de pahty.
Hit bin hilt out in one o' dem lil open place mungs de woods,
98 OLD RABBIT, THE VOODOO,
an* wuz all green wid grass, an' de grass speckled up wid
berbenyums (verbenas) an' sweet-willyums, an' de likes, an' de
place wuz sorter fence-in wid wild-rose bushes an' de hazel-bresh
dat sorter hug up ergin de plum trees an' saplin's. Hit wuz er
mighty fav'able spot, honey, an' sides de res' dey wuz er lil cl'ar
runnin' crik ganderin' 'crost one cornder.
" So, den ! Dey all got dar, an' dey wuz turr'ble p'lite ter
un nurr an' complymint dey looks, an' ax arter de chilluns.
" Arter w'iles, w'en dey done nibble de grass seeds an' gobble
de groun'-churries an' snap up de bugs an' hoppehgrasses an'
bo' (bore) down in de groun' an' git er wuhm ur two, an' grab
'bout fibe ur six minnuz (minnows) out en de crik, 'corjin' ez
dey tas-tes calls foh, dey all whirl in an ax Ole Perarer-Chicken
fob ter darnce dat darnce ob hissen dat dey hyeah (heard) tell
on so much.
" Now, dat darnce wuz er sorter er cunjerin' darnce, an' e'en
Ole Woodpeckeh des natchelly hone (longed) foh ter see 'im
" Perarer-Chicken, he ain't nowise sot on showin' off dat
u * I ain't got no moosic,' sez 'e, ' an', in co'se, I kyarn't mek
out medout none. W'en I wuz young,' sez 'e, ' an' not so fat
an' pussy ' (pursy, plump), sez 'e, ' I c'd sing me a little chune ter
darnce by des ez I went erlong, but I kyarn't do dat no mo','
sez 'e, a-shakin' he haid an' a-lookin' sollum. ' Ise gittin' ole
an' tizzicky, now. Ise 'bleege ter 'noledge dat.'
" * I kin play yo' er chune dat I 'low yo' kin mek out by,' sez
Ole Woodpeckeh, speakin' up mighty quick an' smilin'. * In
co'se, I ain't no great shakes,' sez 'e, ( but I kin mek out ter
pick er chune an' I'll do hit, rudder'n see all dese hyeah frens
go home dis'pinted,' sez 'e. * I'm got bofe er fiddle an' er
whustle,' sez 'e.
" * Le's hab de whustle ! ' sez de comp'ny, speakin' up mighty
AND OTHER SORCERERS. 99
" ( Yo's mighty kine ter gib ch'ice,' sez Perarer-Chicken.
'Ise sho' I kyarn't darnce ter no whustle.'
" De facks o' de marter am, he don't wanter darnce 'tall,
but he don' lak ter 'fuse at he own pahty. 'Sidesen dat,
he know dat whustle am dangersome.
" ( De fiddle gits hit,' sez de ladies an' gentermens.
u ' Ef I mus', I mus', I reckon,' sez Perarer-Chicken, ( but ez
yo' 'gree, le's hab de fiddle. De fiddle sorter he'ps out, but de
whustle am diffunt'
" De Lawd know, he don't wanter darnce ter dat whustle,
kase hit wuss des er full-size witch foh dobbilmmt. Hit bin
mek outen de big eagle wing-bone an' hit des fit ter bust wid
cunjurin'. Wen Ole Woodpeckeh blow on hit, he blow all
manneh ob chahms right inter de noggins (heads) an' bones ob'
de ones dat hyeah 'im blow.
" So dey all know an' dey 'gree on de fiddle, an' dey tork back
an' fo'th twell dey all out o' bref, an' den dey sen' Redbuhd
arter de fiddle."
" I never saw a redbird that could carry a fiddle, Granny."
" Ef yo' keep yo' eye on um, honey, de charnces am dat yo'
will see hit, kase dis hyeah fiddle ain't no biggeh'n de eend j'int
ob de ole cat's tail. Hit wuz," said Granny, evidently drawing
on her imagination for the child's amusement, " mek outen de
Hies' gode (gourd) dat e'er growed on de vines. One side wuz
hack off an' strung 'cross wid de innards ob er buffler-cricket
(buffalo-cricket) foh fiddle-strings, an' ha'r offen er flutterbug
(butterfly) foh bowstrings, w'ich de same bow wuz er fishbone.
" Well den ! Quail, Ole Perarer-Chicken's grandarter,
whustle de chune dat he wanter darnce by ez well ez she km
twell Ole Woodpeckeh, he cotch um. Den cr-r-r-eek,
s-s-s-quee-ee-k ! squeak ! he draw de bow 'crost de strings an'
den de chune, hit come des a-trabblin', an' Ole Perarer-
Chicken, he darnce an' he darnce, twell he laigs mos' fit ter
drap off, an' dey all mek de gret miration an' gigglin' an' dey
OLD RABBIT, THE VOODOO,
AND OTHER SORCERERS. 101
all mought a-bin dar yit a-joyin' deyse'fs ef dey hain't come er
crickle-crackle in de bresh, an' den w'en dey tuhn foh ter look
ping ! an' dat wuz de fust shot de w'ite man fiah off in dis
paht ob de kyentry.
" De buhds, dey all cut out foh home, liketty-switch (rapidly),
m'dout a-sayin' * good ebenin',' ur how dey bin 'joy deyse'fs, ur
nuttin, an' hit tuck urn long time ter fine out dat de ruction
wuzzent some ob Ole Woodpeckeh's cunjerin' tricks. Lan' o'
Gosha' ! Ole Woodpeckeh, he run wid de bes', wid he fiddle
un'neat' he wing.
" De bow," continued Granny, after a pause which seemed
interminable to her listeners, " he drapped in de bresh some'ers.
" Arter dat, dat same ole gun wuhkt er heap o' mischief, an'
arter w'iles, Ole Woodpeckeh he stop gittin' de credick ob hit.
All de same dough, dey ain't bin sech er mighty menny wood-
peckehs kilt. W'en dey wuz, two free w'ite man gotter pay
foh hit. Ef foolin' am did wid er woodpeckeh, de one dat do
hit am de one dat got de bill ter pay, an', genterfolk, cunjerers*
bills am long ones."
" So dey be," said Big Angy, with unction, "an* dat mek I
t'ink 'bout nurr tale."
" Ef yo' please, Miss Boogarry," said Aunt Mymee, " let dat
tale keep de w'iles yo' 'fresh yo'se'f wid Aunt Jinny's pop-cawn
an' honey. I boun' ter kyar dis chile ter baid, else OleMistis,
she'll git arter me. Oh, yes, honey ! Come 'long putty, now"
this to her reluctant charge " an' I'll singyo' er woodpeckeh
The little girl went along " putty," and, as a reward, heard
this touching ballad
" Woodpeckeh tappin' on de maple bahk.
Miss Wuhm hyeah 'im. Hahk ! oh, hahk!
Miss Wuhm quiled (coiled) on de parlour flo',
Woodpeckeh bustin' thu de entry do' !
Good-bye, Miss Wuhm, yo' boun' ter git er fall!
Woodpeckeh swallered huh, petticuts an' all ! "
HOW WOODPECKER TOOK A BOY TO RAISE AND
WAS DISGUSTED WITH THE JOB. ALSO, HOW
HE SET OUT TO CHARM GRANDFATHER RATTLE-
SNAKE, TOGETHER WITH A HISTORY OF HIS
NECKLACE OF BEARS' CLA W r S, AND AN ACCOUNT
OF HIS A 1 TEMPT TO DESTRO Y RABBITS CUNJER-
IG ANGY had been telling another story of
Woodpecker and boasting of his power ,
"des ez ef he wuz huh own kinfolks," as
Aunt Mary privately commented.
Once, she told the company, a band of
people were fleeing from their enemies and,
as they went along in great haste, they
dropped a baby-boy and passed on, not per-
ceiving their loss.
OLE RABBIT. Woodpecker heard the little fellow cry
and, not wishing to see him killed by the enemies of his people
or eaten by wolves or panthers, he carried him home and
brought him up among his own children. He taught the boy
many things and treated him so well that it was a wonder that
he was not perfectly happy, but this he was not. When he found
that he was different from the children of Woodpecker, nothing
would satisfy him but knowing who he was and how he came
to be where he was. After listening to many entreaties, Wood-
pecker told him all there was to tell, adding
OLD RABBIT, THE VOODOO. 103
" Be content here. I have made a son of you. Day by day,
as you can understand, I will teach you my wisdom. Seek not
your own people, as you evidently wish to do ; they are not a
brave people no mighty warriors are amongst them they are
not a wise people their counsellors count for nothing and their
sorcerers are as little children before me. They are poor, they
are miserable, they are despised by their acquaintances. Seek
This was good advice, but the boy, now grown to be a tall
youth, would not heed it ; he was determined to go to his own
" WOODPECKER TOOK A BOY TO RAISE AND WAS DISGUSTED WITH
" Then go back to them as you came from them ! " cried
Woodpecker, in a rage.
Immediately the young man shrank to the size of a baby and
never grew any larger, as can be proved, for, after Woodpecker
drove him off, he wandered all over the earth, telling of his
misfortunes and asking vainly for tidings of his people.
Aunt Mymee was tired of Woodpecker, and had made up her
mind to " settle dat braggin'," so, with a suavity of manner
somewhat at variance with the malice twinkling in her eye, she
104 OLD RABBIT, THE VOODOO,
" Hit's des pop inter my 'membunce dat in de time pass by,
Ise hyurn (heard) er couple ob tales 'bout Ole Woodpeckeh my
" Le's hab um," said her friends, quailing, they knew not why.
" De fust am 'bout Ole Woodpeckeh an' how he got he come-
uppunce x wid Ole Gran'daddy Rattlesnake. In de ole times,
yo' mine, Ole Woodpeckeh, he suttinly hed mo'n he fa'r shear
ob truck an' luck, but, suz ! foh all dat he ain't out an' out sati'fy
wid de gwines-on in de worl'. Ef yo' tek er long walk, Gord
know dat er chunk o' grabble boun' ter wuhk hit way eenside
de fines' shoe, an' dat de way Ole Woodpeckeh foun' hit.
Thesso ! thesso ! (That's so) an' de one blisteh dat de grabble
raise mek de feelin's ob de man dat got shoes wuss den de
feelin's ob de one dat 'bleege to go bar'foot. De blisteh on Ole
Woodpeckeh heel wuz de 'membunce ob Ole Gran'daddy
Rattlesnake an' de big name Ole Gran'daddy got. All on de
suddint he mek up he mine dat 'e gwine ter cunjer Ole
Gran'daddy an' den, w'en he got 'im down unner foot, he
gwine ter pull out he haht (heart) an' gin it ter he cousin ter
kyore up (cure up) er bad cough she got."
"He don't hatter hab Ole Gran'dad foh dat," interrupted
Granny. " Enny rattlesnake haht'll kyore up (heart will cure)
de breas'-kimplaint (consumption) ef yo' t'ar hit outen de body
an' swaller hit down, p'int fust, w'iles de life am yit in hit."
" Dat fack I ain' 'sputin'," said Aunt Mymee, with a frown,
" but 'tain't hyeah nurr dar in dis case. Ole Woodpeckeh, he
hone arter gittin' de haht ob Gran'daddy Rattlesnake an' he
ain't gwine ter putt up wid nuttin else, ef he kin he'p hisse'f.
Dat am," she corrected herself, " nuttin in de shapes ob er
haht, dough, truf ter tell, he honed arter de rattles on Gran'-
daddy tail de mos'es."
1 Equalled or come up to. The formation of verbal nouns in this very
peculiar negro dialect distinctly indicates the Red Indian agglutinate
combinations. C. G. L.
AND OTHER SORCERERS. 105
<( I reck'n, den, he mus' a-bin pester wid misery in de haid
(headache)," said Aunt Mary, in a tone of sympathy. "Ef yo'
w'ar de rattles ob er rattlesnake in yo' ha'r, yo' ain't ne'er
gwine ter hab dat misery."
" Er cabbage-leaf is mos' ez good," amended Aunt Em'ly.
"No, 'tain't," maintained Aunt Mary, stoutly. " Lak-all-
wise, de skin ob er rattlesnake wo' round de wais' keep off de
rheumatiz an' mek yo' swif ' in de foot."
" I kyarn't set hyeah twell mawnin' " (morning), grumbled
Aunt Mymee. " Leggo holts (Let go hold) an' lemme tell my
tale ter Miss Boogarry. Arter dat, yo' kin brag on rattlesnake
grease an' hide foh rheumatiz twell yo' tongues is all wo' ter
frazzles, 1 ef yo' am a mine ter. Miss Boogarry, ez I wuz a-sayin',
de rattles wuz de mainest p'int, kase evvy rattle stan' foh er
in'my (an enemy) dat Gran'dad kilt, an' dey wuz sech er lot ob
um dat yo' kyarn't skusely count iim. Dat Ole Gran'daddy
chilluns, dey feel stuck-up an' 'bove de neighbehs ef dey hab
six ur seben rattles, but dat much ain't count in de crowd on
Ole Rattlesnake tail. Ef Ole Woodpeckeh c'd git dem dey'd
count ez ef dey wuz he in'my (his enemy) made off wid.
" T'inkin' 'bout all dis pester 'im mighty much, so dat 'e
don't git no good res', an', ez de cool wedder corned on an' de
fros' 'gun ter nip, he git de noshin dat 'e gittin' stiff in de j'ints
an' dat 'e des 'bleeged ter hab Old Gran'dad fat foh ter soople
um. Sidesen dat, he need de skin ter mek er queeveh (quiver),
kase de arrers kep' in dat queeveh fly furder an' kill quickeh
den urr arrers. Oh ! he des gotter hab (must have) dat sly an'
dry ole snake. 'Pun dis 'count 'e don't eat nuttin, an' 'e go 'way
'lone an' t'ink heap an' smoke yarb an' drink bitteh watteh. 2
" Dat all done, 'e set out.
" He go lil way, den Ole Owl come flyin' low an' ( hoo ! hoo ! *
" * G'long back,' say Owl, ' w'iles yo' kin.'
1 Frazzles. Frayed bits, distorted pieces. Cf. German Fratze.
2 An Indian penance or preparation for exertion of magical power.
106 OLD RABBIT, THE VOODOO,
" Woodpeckeh say, ( 'Sense me dis time. Tuhnin' back am
" Owl flewed on an' he say, ' boo ! hoo ! ' dis time.
"Ole Woodpeckeh, he tek er big medsum-pipe an' 'e git
some de ashes out o' hit afront ob 'im. ' Dar now ! ' sez 'e,
'dat mek all safe.'
" Den 'e go on.
" Bimeby, lil rabbit cut 'cross de road. He don't look todes
Woodpeckeh 'tall, but, all de same, he holler, ' Go back ! '
" Woodpeckeh git down in de road an' scratch crossways ob
de rabbit-track an' spit in um, den 'e go on wunst mo'.
" Arter w'iles, er brack wolf jump outen de bresh an' howl
lak 'e wuz a-howlin' foh de daid (dead).
" Dat mek Ole Woodpeckeh sweat. Den sholy he'd
a-gorned back ef 'twuzzent too late, but he wuz right inter de
u Dar in de sottlemint he see heap ob Ole Gran'daddy
Rattlesnake folks dozin' afo' dey front do's. Heap un um, too,
he see des lettin' on dey dozin' w'iles dey wuz r'aly projeckin'
cu'i's (curious) t'ings. He go on a-parst dem, Ole Woodpeckeh
did, an' kep' on a-gwine, twell 'e git ter er high place 'twixt de
fawks (forks) ob er crick. On dat high place wuz er oak tree,
de onlest tree dat grow up dar, urr enny urr t'ing too, kase
e'en de grass an' weeds wuz all daid an' bio wed erway. Up
dar, at de foot ob dat tree, wuz whah Ole Gran'daddy lib.
" Ole Woodpeckeh, he blowed in he whustle, de chahm
whustle mek outen eagle-bone, an' dat he do soster (so as to)
let Ole Gran'daddy know he a-comin'. Den he go sucklin'
(circling) roun' dat tree, mekin' cunjer-lines dat kin tie down
ghostes an' choke debbils.
" Gran'daddy Rattlesnake, he was stretch out on de groun',
a-sunnin' hisse'f, an' he ain't go ter de bodderashun ter quile
(coil) hisse'f, e'en w'en he hyeah dem awful gwines-on. He
stretch hisse'f lil mo' an' gap wid he mouf.
AND OTHER SORCERERS. 107
" Seein' dat, Ole Woodpeckeh, he shoot at Ole Gran'daddy.
He shoot tree arrers des ez fas' ez he kin pull de bow-string, an'
dem arrers dey wuzzent des common arrers ne'er ; dey wuz
chahm, dem arrers wuz.
u De fust two Ole Gran'dad ketch on dem two big toofses o'
hissen dat stick up des lak two sickles in de mouf.
" Dem arrers, dey des fall into sawdust.
" De turr one oh, my ! dat wuz de one dat wukht de sorrer.
Ole Gran'daddy swaller um an' den spit um up ergin so f'erce
dat hit flewed into Ole Woodpeckeh 's eyes, an' putt um ri'
spang out !
" Oh, den wuzzent Ole Woodpeckeh in er mighty bad fix !
" Ole Gran'daddy, he r'ar up he haid an' he holler out
" ' Now, Ole Imp'ence, I gwine ter swaller yo' ! Whooh !
Yo' gwine ter be medsum (medicine ; z>., a charm) foh er long
w'iles an' yo' gwine ter fetch me nurr rattle, too.'
" Hit 'u'd all a-tuhned out dataway, too, ef Ole Woodpeckeh
ole 'ooman, wut wuz a-skulkin' arter him all de time, ain' whirl
in an' hit Ole Gran'daddy sech er lick dat hit mek' er dent in
'e haid dat am dar ter dis day, an' all de chilluns dat he hab
sence dat tuck arter 'im too, an' dey got dat se'f same dent, ez
I done see myse'f an' yo' done see yo'se'f."
" Troof, too ! I done see um, heaps o' times," commented
" Dat clip sorter stunded (stunned) Ole Gran'daddy, an' dat
gun Miss Woodpeckeh de chance ter git J er ole man off outen
dat kyentry an' home wunst mo'.
" Ole Woodpeckeh, he," continued Aunt Mymee, with a
wave of her hand to impose silence on Big Angy, who showed
a disposition to interrupt, u soon kyored up dem bline eyes, an'
see, des ez good ez (as well as) e'er he done ; 'twuzzen't much ob
er job, ne'er, kase Miss Woodpeckeh, she done busted de chahm
dat Ole Gran'daddy wuz a-makin' w'en she flewed in 'twix' um
an' hit Ole Gran'daddy dat smack. So, all tuhn out berry well ;
io8 OLD RABBIT, THE VOODOO,
but foh all dat, I lay yo' could trabble cl'ar 'crost de Rattlesnake
Kyentry an' ne'er ketch Ole Woodpeckeh nur none ob he chil-
luns ur kinfolks in dar. No, suz ! Ole Woodpeckeh ain't yit
fegit de way dem ole bline eyes hurted. Mo'n dat, ef Ole
Woodpeckeh hisse'f, ur enny ob de folks, ketch sight ob er
rattlesnake, dey des holler an' screech an' cry an' skim round."
Aunt Mymee ceased her recital, and applied herself very
seriously to the removal of some obstruction in the neighbour-
hood of her tympanum, employing for that purpose a cotton-
wood splinter and a succession of winks and grimaces that
lifted every facial muscle out of its lawful position.
Big Angy muttered something that sounded suspiciously like
" big lie " ; but Aunt Mymee was a witcher- woman, and not to
be openly denounced.
The others laughed and applauded with well-feigned enthu-
siasm ; but they were between two fires, and anxious to retire
to safer ground. Aunt Em'ly rushed to the rescue of her
friends with great gallantry.
" Dat sorter 'minds me, I des dunno des how," she said, " ob
de tale 'bout how Ole Woodpeckeh git dat putty necklash ob
b'ar-claws ; but, arter Aunt Mymee a-holdin' forth so fine, I
mos' 'feard ter tell hit."
" Go 'long, Aunt Em'ly, go 'long," said Granny, encourag-
ingly ; " we kyarn't hab too much ob er good t'ing. De mo' I
hyeah ob dem good ole tales, de mo' dat I wanter hyeah, an' I
boun' dat de res' ob de ladies feels des de same prezack way."
" Dat my feelin's ! " cried Aunt Mary, giggling in anticipa-
tion of the amusement her friend was sure to furnish.
Big Angy nodded. Aunt Mymee removed the splinter from
her ear, and seemed to nod slightly.
" In de good ole times, w'en all de folks an' beasteses use ter
scuffle foh er libbin' des 'bout de same, de beasteses, dey wuz
a-merryin' (marrying), right an' lef , all de time, des ez dey
tuck er shine (took a fancy), medout a-stickin' ter dey own
AND OTHER SORCERERS. 109
kine, ez dey does dese days. Dey merry, merry, merry, de
wolf an' de deer, de squir'l an' de fox, de b'ar an' de folks, de
niggeh an' de 'possum dar now ! hit 'pear lak de niggeh an'
de 'possum, dey dataway yit 'bout jinedin' (joining) ; but
hit diffunt in de respex dat one git chawed up dese days.
Oh, yes ! in de good time dey all mix up lak de mo'nehs
(mourners) at de camp-meetin'. In dem times, w'en hit been
dishaway, Ole B'ar, he bin a-foolin' round in de aige ob de
sottlemmt, one day, a-lookin' foh sumpin he could steal for
dinneh, w'en he seed de putties' gal dat he done clap he eye
on sence he wuz bawn. De minnit he see dat gal, he lub 'er
lak er house a-fiah ; he lub 'er mo' hahd den 'er hoss kin kick ;
he lub 'er hahd ez he own se'f kin squeege. Wen he see 'er,
he grin at 'er an' say, * Come hyeah, putty lil gal, kase I lub
yo' ; ' but dat des mek de gal run an' holler, kase de minnit he
grin, dat minnit he show dem big w'ite tushes ob hissen, dat
look lak dey des made ter chaw up 'er whole fambly ter wunst,
let 'lone one lil gal lak dat.
" She holler an' she holler twell huh daddy run out an* look,
an' den run back foh he gun.
" Den Misteh B'ar, he cl'ar out, lak de man wid de yaller
jacket (a small wasp) up he britches-laig, dat hatter spressify
ter de gals dat he done fegit sumpin in he turr coat-pottit dat
he 'bleeged ter hab, an' he mighty sorry, but he kyarn't wait
twell dinneh's on de table.
" Nex' day, dough, he come a-hangin' roun' ergin, an' he
put he paw on he breas', an' he grin, an' he wall up he eye des
lak he plum sick ter show des how big er ijit (idiot) he wuz.
" Dat don't he'p marters none. Lil gal holler. Daddy
come out wid er gun. B'ar skaddle off ter de woods.
" Den de nex' day, de same t'ing all obeh.
" Day arter dat, same ; an' so dat kip up foh er week.
" By dat time de ole daddy wuz des plum 'stractid, kase he
feared Ole B'ar a-layin' off ter eat dat lil gal.
I io OLD RABBIT, THE VOODOO,
" Ole B'ar, he git desput, an' try er 'splain, but de gal an' 'er
daddy dat skeered dat dey won't lissen.
" Ole B'ar, he wait an' he hone, an' he git de simples so
mighty bad dat he ain't got no peace ob he life. He des sick
foh dat lil gal ; so one day he fling hisse'f down at de foot ob er